To move a story forward, you need characters who captivate you from the start. Some achieve this feat with excellent backstory, while others rely on plot development or acting. In video games, it’s the culmination of these qualities, where talented vocal artists bring a digital puppet to life, made of polygons. Your bond with these characters is then strengthened as you interact with them or take full control of their actions or choices.
Despite the setbacks of the pandemic, 2021 has witnessed some notable games and characters that have had a huge impact in and around the industry. So let’s take a moment to go through them before the end of the year.
Lady Dimitrescu – Resident Evil Village
Alcina “Lady” Dimitrescu stole the show at Capcom’s annual event, as gamers around the world were instantly mesmerized by her appearance. Sporting long, retracting sharp claws and an even menacing smile, the “Vampire Grand Lady” served as a fitting tyrant in the survival horror nature of Resident Evil Village. Her character design inspired several cosplayers, fanarts, memes, and erotica, leading her to become the face of the game.
His impact is not just attributed to his appearance, although it has played a key role in his growing fame. Standing at 9ft 6in, Dimitrescu was vicious, chasing us through the narrow hallways as we clung to our dear lives. But she also had another side, that of a caring mother. In quiet moments, you could gaze into her bedroom as she cried on her nightstand for her deceased daughters. Girls that you the player killed. Her devotion to the game’s ultimate antagonist, Mother Miranda, was also superbly portrayed, where her tone grew nervous at first, then eventually began to ignore orders as her rage grew.
His mutation into his true dragon form was pretty absurd but served as a big boss battle nonetheless. Scoring her first work in a video game, stage actress Maggie Robertson delivered exceptional voice acting and motion capture, and even won “Best Performance” at the 2021 Game Awards.
Cody and May – It takes two
Yes, we know Cody and May are two separate characters, but the whole point of this game was to bring them together as a couple. It Takes Two has taken the depressing subject matter of divorce and childhood trauma and turned it into something magical – a fun co-op platform game where you take on the doll-like renditions of a husband and wife who’s in love with each other. confront. By participating in many challenges and puzzles, you quickly realize how much you need each other and learn how much separation affects your child’s mental state.
The disputes between the two are also realistic, where they constantly deny blame and refuse to communicate. Cody would act recklessly and do boyish things, while May continually harassed and did girlish things. It was up to the players to choose sides and work together to find a solution and, over time, rekindle their lost love. In fact, the game had such an impact that many struggling couples online reached out to director Josef Fares and thanked him for fixing their relationship.
For many, living vicariously through these digital dolls has served as therapy. For others, it may have just been another couch co-op game from the studio. Either way, it was hugely fun, brimming with unpredictable moments, a vibrant tone, and lovable characters you could relate to on some level.
AntÃ³n Castillo – Far Cry 6
If there’s one franchise that knows how to properly glorify villains, it’s Far Cry. ‘Breaking Bad’ Star – Giancarlo Esposito’s involvement in the latest iteration prompted tons of fans to buy the game at launch. The role of a refined and ruthless dictator in search of ultimate power suited him perfectly. And since it was his first time doing motion capture, he did a terrific job.
The impassive nature of AntÃ³n Castillo in no way detracts from his love for Yara. He cared deeply about his land and its people, to the point where he tweaked religion to his liking and got the job done. His relationship with his son was also complicated, one where he had to show “the right amount” of love and thoroughness to raise him as a worthy successor.
This cold personality even infiltrated real life, where Ubisoft’s marketing team did YouTube ads based on his character. This would involve clips of AntÃ³n looking straight into the camera and causing users to skip the 5-second commercial break, respond to fan mail, and laugh in your face threateningly. As you would have guessed, many of them have become meme-worthy items for the internet.
Master Chief – Infinite Halo
As predictable as it sounds, there’s no denying that the Master Chief had a big arc this time around. Halo Infinite was relying heavily on its campaign aspect to be more “human” than ever, and they certainly delivered on their promises. We got to see a new side of him, chatty, regretful and emptiness after Cortana was deleted. It was a personality trait that many players could relate to. And him wearing a helmet and not knowing what he looks like has helped many imagine their own reality – putting himself in his shoes.
The older and wiser nature of the leader left him emotionally vulnerable, where he would gradually open up to his new AI companion, The Weapon. These aspects are reflected more on the battlefield, where his movement, although clinical, felt slow. There is a lack of motivation and a lingering fear that hangs over him every step of the way. It’s hard to put into words, but you’ll feel it when you play it. What’s fascinating is that this new direction has never bothered longtime fans. They loved it and wanted more, many donning their Gamestop Master Chief helmets and chanting stories about the 343 Industries Redemption Arc.
Mono – Little Nightmares 2
Being able to communicate stories without dialogue is an exceptional achievement. The Little Nightmare games manage to do this by creating an almost psychological horror storyline, where making any kind of noise could kill you instantly. Slipping a tan paper bag over his head and a khaki trench coat, Mono is essentially a shy kid who never speaks. His personality is manifested through his actions, where he appears to be a noble and confident boy who would go out of his way to help others.
His low self-esteem comes out like a sore thumb, where he thinks the world hates him, but that doesn’t stop him from being kind. His anxiety makes him nimble and resourceful which reflects on the player as you think they won’t be able to do a particular jump or grab hold of objects in the air. These special qualities and powers are revealed to you and Mono at the same time, highlighting the potential behind his mask.
As you complete levels and make a new friend (Six) his confidence grows to the point that he is able to remove the sack from his head without fear of the cruel world. It’s a stimulating sight to watch, and the climax of the game takes it to another level, giving it spooky, almost dystopian character development.