Monday, 5 March 2012

GLaDOS is nothing compared to the Helicopters in Half-Life 2.

At some point the well known gaming site IGN compiled a top 100 videogame villains list. Sorry to spoil the ending folks but the number one spot went to GLaDOS from the Portal series, as in "the cake is a lie" GLaDOS. Yep, you know who I mean. GLaDOS. Good. I remember reading this list about a year ago and being satisfied by IGN's choice. GLaDOS is a perfectly insane computer that not only forces the player character Shell to be a test subject for the Portal Gun to then go and reward her with a lie about a cake, attempted murder by barbeque and many other personal insults to boot. She even makes your befriend an inanimate Companion Cube only to make you roast it in some kind of waste disposal unit. A despicable yet brilliant villain through and through. 

This was the least annoying image for this concept I could find. 

But hang on. I really like GLaDOS. She's got good voice acting, she made me laugh out loud and without her in the game Portal would merely be a great concept game instead of the excellent experience that it was. The truth of the matter is that I didn't want to kill GLaDOS in the end because, quite frankly, I thought she was boss. I then came to the realisation that as Shell, the victim, I had every reason to hate GLaDOS but as Jak, the player, I had no beef with the deranged computer woman thing. I then started applying this to other so called 'great' baddies. I mean sure Link has reasons to go and kill Ganondorf in the Legend of Zelda series but personally I think he's got great style and he seems like a real man's man. He never systematically corrupted my home world so I don't have beef with him. 

See that? He's the Great King of Evil !  He's not the Annoying Douchebag of Impoliteness is he? 
I played through the entirety of Half-Life 2 this weekend for the first time. It's in my collection and it's a classic so I decided to just go for broke and power through it all. For the first time in a long while I found that my lungs filled with bile as I first came into contact with a Combine Helicopter gunner. My word I hated it's guts from the moment I saw it. For those of you don't know the game very well, this piece of shit helicopter starts appearing very early on in the game when you have nothing more than a crowbar and a couple of basic firearms at your disposal and it begins peppering you with gunfire, often when you have minimal cover to protect yourself and for the greatest part of the game you have no way of countering it's attacks or inflicting any damage on it at all. Your hard earned Health and Suit Energy bars are whittled down as you try and scramble past the sections that the flying git guards. The same kind of irritation was caused by the Dropships and Striders that plagued later sections.

I see this and I want it destroyed. Hate is all I feel towards Striders.


Although the main villain of this game is meant to be the conniving traitor to humanity Dr. Breen, I can only say that the joy I had defeating him was nothing compared to the elation I felt when I first got my hands on a surface to air missile launcher in the game. I knew exactly what I was going to need it for as soon as I was given it and bringing down my first Combine gunship was pure bliss. Not from the point of the character Gordon Freeman, but from me dammit. I'm sure the calm stoic character of Dr. Freeman would have just seen the act of downing the ship as just a necessary act of survival but I can assure you I was howling in celebration when I saw the ship crash to the ground. Well done Valve, you really have managed to make some great villains. Villains I actually love to kill. That doesn't happen very often and my only other example are the birds and hang gliding ninjas from Ninja Gaiden. Play it and you'll know what I'm talking about.

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