In Ride to Hell: Retribution, you play the leader of a motorcycle gang out on the West Coast. The story looks pretty generic: the protagonist and his biker bro are having fun, biker bro gets murdered, protagonist wants retribution, forms or reforms a gang, and goes after the people responsible. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike people who ride motorcycles. In fact, once in a while I’ve thought it’d be cool to get one of those sleek, zippy Suzuki bikes. It’s the guys who don’t shower, put on as much leather as they can, hop on their Harleys, and think because they ride together that somehow makes them a gang. As someone who lived in a town with a historical highway that ran though the downtown area, I saw more than my fair share of these groups. I think their use of the term “gang” is insulting to people in real gangs. I once saw someone knock into one of their motorcycles, causing that cliché but comical chain reaction of knocking down other bikes. The person who did it just power walked away, and even while jogging, the big bikers couldn’t catch him to do anything about it. And I laughed and laughed and laughed. In keeping with my distaste for the protagonists of Ride to Hell, a game I haven’t and never will touch, here are some protagonists from games I have played who would be absolutely despised in real life.
Scumbag Dovahkiin (from Skyrim)
We all know that with great power comes great responsibility. But with great power also comes the great urge to be a complete asshole to any and all who dare to get in your way. Or even just enter your field of vision. In no game is this more fun, or more aggravating to the everyday citizens, than in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. As someone who went overboard with it when it first came out, I’ve experienced the issue that is becoming increasingly more common for other returning players: it’s just not as fun when you come back and play Skyrim as it was when you first started. Trying to get back into the quests and re-immerse yourself in the story is really quite challenging, but there’s no difficulty, or excitement lost, in heading to a nearby settlement and acting like a completely overpowered bellend. Recently, a Skyrim news team ventured to popular settlements to gather updates on the Dragonborn’s antics. These are actual quotes from the citizens whose lives have been affected by the hero’s change of heart.
Adrianne Avenicci, blacksmith and owner of Warmaiden’s, Whiterun: “I appreciate the Dragonborn running an errand for me while he was in town. It was nice of him to deliver the Jarl’s sword to my father, given both of our busy schedules. However, Eorlund Gray-mane is like an idol to me, and I don’t appreciate the Dragonborn Fus-Ro-Dah-ing him into the Skyforge every chance he gets.”
Fralia Gray-mane, merchant, Whiterun: “Weeks ago I approached the Dragonborn about the disappearance and suspected kidnapping of my son, Thorald. He said he would look into the matter. I know the Dragonborn has many responsibilities and matters to attend to, but I don’t think jumping off the stairs leading to Dragonsreach into the pools below and using Fire Breath on the side of the inn are incredibly vital.”
Mjoll the Lioness, warrior, Riften: “When the Dragonborn first arrived in Riften, he seemed initially eager to aid in my cause to dismantle the Thieves’ Guild. Since then, he has only furthered their influence and income, and mocks me by wearing their armor. I also feel as if he only retrieved my sword, Grimsever, just so he could wed me. Of course I agreed, but now he keeps trying to murder Aerin when I’m not looking.”
Maven Black-Briar, influential citizen and Black-Briar matriarch, Riften: “A while back, every time the Dragonborn would come to Riften, he’d always come to my meadery and have the same conversation with Ungrien at the front desk for hours. I’ve sinced talked with Ungrien and addressed the issue. The strangest part was that every time they talked, the Dragonborn spoke more eloquently each time. Strange…”
Ulfric Stormcloak, Jarl of Windhelm and leader of the Stormcloaks, Windhelm: “I don’t care if he saved Ralof’s life, or how many Imperials he’s killed, if he comes into my hall and uses his Shouts to knock all the food and plates off of my table again, I’ll kill him.”
Desmond Miles (from Assassin’s Creed)
*Assassin’s Creed 3 spoilers included, you’ve been warned*
It is well-documented how disappointed a certain person on this site who will remain nameless, and I, were with Assassin’s Creed 3. Not to say it was a bad game, it just didn’t live up to the expectations set by its predecessors. AC3 took forever to get going, we only got to play as an interesting character during the beginning, the historical inaccuracies are through the roof, and I may be alone in this criticism, but I fucking hated the naval combat missions. But something happened at the end that almost made it all up for me: we saw the end of that insufferable prick, Desmond Miles. I mean, thank the Sun Gods, I was so goddamn sick of this guy. First of all, he’s got this incredible ancestral lineage, and what did he do with his life prior to being kidnapped by Abstergo? He became a fucking bartender who contributes jack shit to society. IT’S NOT LIKE YOU HAVE WORLD RENOWNED ASSASSIN BADASSERY IN YOUR BLOOD OR ANYTHING. And apparently he did some assassin-ing as a younger man, but ran away from it, and from his family. Who does that? All that skill and talent, and having a great purpose, nah just throw that away and serve drinks. When he finally reconnects with Papa Miles, the man who tried to show Desmond the way as a child, Desmond treats his dad like an asshole for trying to save the world. And apart from general rudeness and douchebaggery, at the beginning of Assassin’s Creed III, when the gang arrives at the underground temple, guess who’s not helping carry shit in? You guessed it: Desmond Miles. Good riddance Mr. Miles, good riddance.
Faith (from Mirror’s Edge)
Depending on the situation, I can sometimes be a devout follower of the idea that “ignorance is bliss.” With regards to current events, I respect and admire Edward Snowden for having the courage to reveal what the US government has been up to, and wish him the best in finding asylum. However, if Snowden had never come forward with this information, wouldn’t the public just be blissfully unaware of the NSA and PRISM? Yes, it’s important to know things that pertain to people’s everyday lives, but if there’s no effect on everyday lives that we’re aware of, why should I start calling for the heads of political leaders to roll? My pursuit of a mental state of unimaginable neglect is why Faith makes this list, because as happy as I am that Mirror’s Edge is finally getting a sequel, if there was a person running around and above crowded cities, with a messenger bag filled with truth-laced documents about the city’s corruption, to a degree that SWAT teams have to be called in to detain her, it would make life miserable for the rest of us. The first step after the emergence of these runners would be a curfew. Then we’d see other adjustments to the lives of citizens such as city-mandated ID’s that need to be scanned to enter public buildings. Then there’d be “random bag checks.” And then we’d see bans on tattoos, running shoes, and the color red. And then we could just rename to city to be “City 17.” In Mirror’s Edge, Faith is delivering the truth about the corrupt police state she lives in. But in real life, her actions would be responsible for the creation of such a state.