Everybody loves an antihero and, although they might not admit it, almost everybody would love to be one. Video games are a medium that often allow players to do just that, also ensuring that nobody in real life gets hurt during the process (unless you decide to do something silly like take out your frustration by bludgeoning your flatmate with your keyboard), and it is often opined that characters on the wrong side of the law are much more fun than the traditional bland goody two shoes protagonist. So who are video gaming’s top criminals?
- Garrett (the Thief series)
The Thief series is widely praised as one of the best stealth games of its time, and even now it remains fondly thought of by fans and critics alike. Protagonist Garrett inhabits a dark fantasy world fraught with magic and steampunk in more or less equal parts. Gruff, cynical and darkly comic, you can’t help but find yourself sharing in Garrett’s smug satisfaction following a successful bout of thieving. He has little fondness for other people (although he generally avoids killing if at all possible), and also has a rather useful mechanical eye which essentially operates as a zoom lens and remote camera.
- Niko Bellic (Grand Theft Auto IV)
Niko Bellic is the complex character at the heart of Rockstar North’s blockbusting title Grand Theft Auto IV. Having had a rough family life as a child and been betrayed by one of his fellow soldiers during his years in the army, you can really blame him for seeing the glass as half empty. Niko’s life of crime starts almost inadvertently, with him coming to Liberty City in order to help out his trouble prone brother and try and pursue the American Dream. However, he also has another, ulterior motive for turning up in the city: in order to try and find the man who betrayed him and his unit.
- Agent 47 (the Hitman series)
There’s no two ways about it: Agent 47 is a criminal, even if he is a highly skilled one. As a bald, barcode-tattooed guy in a stylish Italian suit and leather gloves, you’d think that he’d find it rather difficult to blend in. However, fortunately for 47 he is a master of disguise, with people seemingly finding it impossible to identify him just so long as he’s wearing somebody else’s stuff. A genetically engineered super clone and a dedicated professional, you have to be sure that you want to get Agent 47 to assassinate someone when you request him: he cannot be called off once the contract has been agreed (so it would be a little late for you to try and get criminal injuries compensation, but hey, your friends and relatives might).
Eli Smith is a nice guy really, but just can’t help admitting that he has more fun playing antiheroes than he does clean cut heroes.