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What you’ll find below is the top three characters on our list. As the New Year starts, it’s nice to look into the past to see what moved us the most. This list was compiled using the latest technology in beer pouring and slurred speech. Two broken bottles, one crushed coffee table and a small kitchen fire later we have something to be proud of. So now, Blend Games presents to you, dear reader, the Top 5 Video Game Characters of 2007…Part II.
3. Alyx Vance
Half-Life 2: Episode 2
By the time Half-Life 2: Episode 2 starts up Alyx has become far more than a side character. Valve has been a master of immersive storytelling throughout the series, but the choice to place the strong and beautiful Ms. Vance by Gordon’s side has led to increasingly more beautiful and intense gameplay. She is the type of woman you’d want next to you when fighting off the Combine: strong, beautiful, and pretty damn helpful. Even when she’s absent in Episode 2 Alyx drives much of the action. Take for example the battle for her survival, as well as yours, in the mines. Until the end of the game that is the most intense and visceral battle in the entire Half-Life series. Alyx’ ability to captivate and move us amidst raining bullets is why she deserves her place on our list.
Super Mario Galaxy
Was there any doubt that the most iconic character in video games would be on this list? Since his premiere I doubt there’s been a year where Mario wouldn’t feature heavily as one of the best characters. The high placement is the result of what is simply the best platforming game made. Everything we loved about Mario games back in the Super Mario Bros 3 days is back with precision and innovation. While the design doesn’t quite wow us like Mario 64 did, the Mario of Super Mario Galaxy is the most satisfying example of gameplay in a long line of watershed moments in the series. Perhaps his character didn’t grow much in 2007, but have you had more fun with the plumber from Brooklyn in recent memory? I doubt it. If Smash Bros Brawl had released in 2007 it is very possible that Mario would top our list. Instead that honor goes to…
At its core Portal was a fun, well designed and short puzzle game. It easily could have stood alone in that capacity, but Valve placed Aperture Science directly into the Half-Life universe and crafted a brilliantly simple story around the entity controlling the experiments. GLaDOS is the sole source of plot and character, even the main character Chell is developed by GLaDOS’ dialogue.
Alone that would not be noteworthy; it certainly wouldn’t garner a top game character of the year nomination. It was the increasingly irreverent commentary, and vaguely threatening quips that drove the plot of Portal along. Sometimes we focus on a single aspect of a game: story in BioShock, gameplay in Super Mario Galaxy, or character in Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. The truly great games are able to combine them all into a cohesive package. GLaDOS stands above all other characters in 2007 because within a simple puzzle game she breathes life, emotion and hilarity into the lab. She also performs the end credit song, and you should be ashamed if you haven’t seen it first hand yet.
Other great characters who didn’t quite make the list: Commander Shepard (Mass Effect), Cast Of Team Fortress 2, Illidan Stormrage (World of Warcraft), Kratos (God of War 2), Triangle Piece (Neves), Devil (Guitar Hero 3), Duke Nukem (not dead), King Bohan (Heavenly Sword), Travis (Silent Hill Origins), Ashley Williams (Mass Effect), Rabbid (Rayman Raving Rabbids 2), Your Friends (Rock Band), Big Daddy (BioShock), Andrew Ryan (BioShock), Wrex (Mass Effect), Agent (Crackdown)