Since its inception in December 1998, Rockstar has quickly become one of the most reliable and prominent AAA developers in the modern era of gaming. The Grand Theft Auto series has become almost a household name that every man, woman, and child is familiar with (albeit for varying reasons), but Rockstar is far from a one-trick pony. They've constantly developed and published a number of impressive titles that have garnered their fair share of positive appraisal... and negative controversies. Rockstar games are notorious for being quite controversial, and their characters are no exception to this unspoken rule.
Rockstar Games have a ton of main and side characters, each of whom are fleshed out and mostly likable (of course, there are a few bad eggs but that's a rare occurrence). Some of these characters can be highly distasteful upon taking a closer look, which makes people wonder exactly what was going through the minds of the heads at Rockstar when they decided to approve such offensive characters in their games. Here are 15 of the most offensive characters Rockstar wants you to forget.
15 Anthony Prince (GTA: The Ballad Of Gay Tony)
Gay Tony is — go figure — a nightclub owner in the Grand Theft Auto IV universe, who's appearance is minor until the expansion The Ballad Of Gay Tony, where you play as his personal assistant, Luis Fernando Lopez. Perhaps his rather unflattering nickname was a dead giveaway, but Gay Tony's homosexuality wasn't handled with much finesse.
The general gay tropes of being flamboyant and over-the-top are present here in droves, but there are many oddities under the surface that'd make one wonder why such a character wasn't handled more precociously. For example, aside from the protagonist, Gay Tony undergoes the most outfit changes in the game, because obviously, he does.
14 Catalina (GTA: San Andreas)
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a game full of ridiculous stereotypes and offensive caricatures scattered throughout its massive world (so y'know, pretty much every GTA game ever). Latinos have been represented in the game, and there are two major latino characters who stand out above the rest. One of them is Cesar Vialpando, who just happens to share a love of lowriders and racing. But this is nothing compared to his cousin, Catalina.
Imagine a crazy, hot-headed latino who'll do the craziest stuff possible. Crank that up to a thousand, and you've pretty much figured out what Catalina is all about. Nothing about her character is interesting or redeemable, making her just one of the many stereotypical archetypes that Rockstar shoves into their games.
13 Amanda De Santa (GTA V)
Michael has a ton of problems in his life in Grand Theft Auto V, but perhaps the source biggest pain in his ass stems from within his own family — specifically, his own wife, Amanda De Santa.
The entire De Santa family is dysfunctional, but Amanda is a whole another story. She mixes the worst traits of a posh snob and a bored suburban wife, turning into an absolute annoyance for Michael. Instead of supporting him during bad times, Amanda leaves him to satisfy her own... 'needs,' among other things. Rockstar should probably stop depicting each and every woman as vindictive and evil.
There's another female De Santa member who's no worse for wear...
12 Tracey De Santa (GTA V)
It's no secret that women aren't handled well in Grand Theft Auto V, and the fact that the only two female members of one of the main characters' families have made this list in quick succession is proof of that. This time, it's Tracey, Michael's daughter who's stereotyped (like always) into a whiny, spoilt brat who's thrust into rather precarious situations that Michael always has to save her from.
Tracey's character is absolutely unbearable, and there's only so many times that a player must save this teenage annoyance before it starts getting on their nerves. There's also the lingering uneasiness of Tracey's age when one looks at her getting caught up in such 'sticky' situations.
11 Prostitutes (GTA Series)
The 'other industry' workers in the Grand Theft Auto series have been met with a ton of criticism by various individuals and groups for a ton of reasons. Using paid intercourse as a means to get your heath back isn't a 'wholesome' thing, to say the least. Since it's inclusion in Grand Theft Auto III, prostitutes have become a staple of the franchise, and their appearance in Grand Theft Auto V is quite jarring, to say the least (especially in the first-person).
The worst part about these people is the way you can treat them after you're... 'done.' A player can decide to simply kill the prostitute after being done with her services, which is just on a whole another level of disturbing. Maybe Rockstar should not provide an incentive to do such a thing, to begin with.
Speaking of 'other industry' workers...
10 The Strippers At The Vanilla Unicorn (GTA V)
Rockstar seems to have a pretty skewed opinion of the 'other industry,' if the strippers in Grand Theft Auto V are anything to go by. There are some strippers that offer lap dances in the Vanilla Unicorn (the only strip club accessible in Grand Theft Auto V), and to say that these lap dances are more interactive than in the previous iterations would be a huge understatement.
Upon accepting a lap dance, a mini-game of sorts starts, where you can grope the stripper as soon as the bouncer stops looking. Doing this enough will result in the stripper starting to 'like' you more, which is pretty messed up. The idea that Rockstar might actually think that this is what strippers enjoy is absolutely disgusting.
9 Jimmy Hopkins (Bully)
Rockstar didn't leave schools alone as well, providing gamers with probably the worst role model in the form of Jimmy Hopkins, a rebel who gets caught up in a series of unfortunate events (most of which he brings upon himself). The character of Jimmy Hopkins is portrayed as someone who'll attract the player's sympathy, which is quite wrong since Jimmy is the absolute last person one should sympathize with.
This should be pretty much obvious by the game's title, but Jimmy is a textbook bully who threatens and beats up people in order to get his way. These games reach a lot of impressionable minds, and portraying this behavior as cool or acceptable is not the kind of message anyone should spread, let alone a major AAA developer.
8 Auntie Poulet (GTA: Vice City)
Sometimes, stereotyping doesn't need to be completely generic in nature. Sometimes, if one makes the effort, you can pull out an absolutely outdated stereotype that most people don't know about but you'll make a character out of anyway. This is pretty much what Rockstar did with the character of Auntie Poulet in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
According to Rockstar, all Haitian women are secretly voodoo priestesses who do all sorts of weird stuff to get their way. Auntie Poulet is no exception to this rule, as she decides to drug Tommy Vercetti (the protagonist of the game) with a mind-altering voodoo potion in order to get her way. An offensive stereotype for a ridiculous character — exactly how Rockstar likes it.
7 James Earl Cash (Manhunt)
Manhunt has pretty much set the bar for how much controversy a game can actually generate, and for good reason. The series has become infamous for its use of graphic violence, and encouraging the player to try out different, more brutal versions of executions in order to get a better score. Taking a controversial character from this game would be an easy pick due to the volume of psychopaths present, but there's one person who takes the cake.
James Earl Cash from the original game is completely sick in the head, as noticed in the many ways he revels in ending other people's lives. His behaviour is unnecessary violent, making one ponder if there ever was a need to go completely overboard with the game's content.
6 Wu Zi Mu A.K.A. Woozie (GTA: San Andreas)
San Andreas is a game built on racial stereotypes. You've got the black community divided between two gangs at each other's throats (similar to the Bloods and Crips). Then there are the latino groups, who happen to drive lowriders and wear those oh-so-precious bandanas. And last but not the least, there are the Asians, represented in the form of the Triads and led by Wu Zi Mu, commonly known as Woozie.
Woozie's character isn't all that deep, although it does seem so on the surface. Being Chinese, it's pretty obvious that he has to be the wisest character CJ's ever interacted with. Him being blind and living his life peacefully through sheer luck isn't exactly the greatest piece of character development either.
5 Serrano (Max Payne 3)
Max Payne 3 was a great addition to an established franchise by Rockstar (although the story could've used more work). The shooting was crisp, the bullet-time mechanic was fun, and the gameplay was equal parts challenging and satisfying. The characters, on the other hand, weren't all that great, but Serrano (the antagonist of the game for the most part) is on a whole another level of bad.
Nothing about this character denotes that even a smudge of originality was used in the process of developing his personality. Instead, he's the son of immigrants who ended up leading one of the most terrifying gangs ever... just because. It's like Rockstar wasn't even bothered with trying to form good motivations for the villains in the game.
4 John Ferdinand Jameson (LA Noire)
Most of you will be wondering exactly who this particular character is from LA Noire. The game was full of memorable characters, each with their own character arcs and motivations, but somehow it was this minor witness from a case that managed to secure a spot on this list due to the disgusting act he commits.
In "The Studio Secretary Murder" case, you'll find a body with its lipstick smeared for some reason. The person who's discovered this body is none other than John Ferdinand Jameson, and questioning him yields the answers as to why the lipstick was smeared — even after being fully aware of the fact that she was dead, Jamison decided to engage in some necrophilia by kissing the body. The two punches he received after revealing this disturbing information were certainly well-deserved.
3 Irish (Red Dead Redemption)
Red Dead Redemption is one of Rockstar's finest games ever made. The switch to a western setting was met with extremely positive reception, and the game itself was lauded as an absolute masterpiece. However, while the characters in the game were fairly well-developed, there's one exception that stands out for all the wrong reasons.
A red flag should've been noticed the moment it became clear that the immigrant from Ireland is — quite originally — named Irish. Throughout the entire game, Irish rambles incoherently about inconsequential stuff while being in a perpetually drunk state of mind, forcing Marston to do most of the busywork. Somebody should notify Rockstar that not all Irish people are good-for-nothing drunks.
2 Trevor Philips (GTA V)
Trevor might be a fun character to play with, but he's a cut above when it comes to offensive behavior. His entire character revolves around him being a pissed-off redneck who'll stop at nothing to get his way. His antics might be crazy and entertaining, but it only takes a few moments of reading into this to realize that sympathizing with this character is a very wrong thing.
Being the ignorant redneck that he's trying to portray himself as, Trevor's thinking is as backward as they come (since Rockstar thinks people from the south are obviously stupid). The environment that he lives in isn't exactly a great representation of the community either, with jokes and instances about stuff like incest and... 'inappropriate usage of animals' pretty commonplace. Even the clothes that he has access to aren't all that great either.
1 Carl "CJ" Johnson (GTA: San Andreas)
One of the greatest protagonists in video game history, CJ is the face that every gaming fan attaches to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It's hard to picture any other protagonist that would work with this title as well as CJ did. While Rockstar should be praised accordingly for creating such an awesome protagonist, it sure as hell deserves some slack for lazily stereotyping parts of his character.
We've already mentioned before that the black community is portrayed in a very unflattering manner in San Andreas, and CJ suffers some as well. His background is structured through a mixture of good writing and lazy cliches. I mean, the first act you take when you gain control of him is to steal a bicycle... because the game is kinda racist.