Ion Fury is a blast from the past: a retro-styled FPS with fast action and extreme violence. However, it also brings back another element from those old school shooters, which is the return of the foul-mouthed, rather mean-spirited protagonist. Shelly "Bombshell" Harrison is cut from the same cloth as heroes like Duke Nukem, and while they definitely can be pretty awesome, they're not necessarily the type of people you'd actually want to hang out with after they saved your lives. Hanging out with these kinds of heroes seems like a chore, as all they'll want to talk about is how cool they were then they blew up that alien spaceship, and their idea of humor is repeating the same Bruce Campbell quotes over and over.
Not every hero needs to be some cigar-chomping, expletive spewing stereotype who can't hold a conversation without blowing something up and then throwing out a pop culture reference. Some actually seem like pretty nice people, the kind you might want to take to mini-golf or play laser tag with. These are just a few of the badasses that we wouldn't mind inviting over for Sunday dinner.
B.J. Blazkowicz (Wolfenstein)
Judging by B.J.'s chosen vocation of violent Nazi killer, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Mr. Blazkowicz isn't the most personable individual. After all, if you spent most of your time stabbing and shooting enemy soldiers, and being covered in blood and viscera, you might come across as a bit of an uncouth fellow.
However, if you got to know B.J., you'd find that he's actually a very nice person once you wash away all the gore. He's very loyal to both his country and his wife, he's vehemently against racism and fascism, he'll do anything for his friends, and he has strong family values (although he did kill his dad, but that guy sucked, so it's alright). Everyone he runs into who's not a member of the Third Reich eventually takes a strong liking to old Blazko, and while being a one-man army probably helps with that, we like to think it's also due to the fact that he's just a stand-up guy. There are only a few badasses in gaming who seem like they would willing to help you move, but B.J. definitely seems like one of the good ones.
Commander Shepard (Mass Effect)
Now, this is kind of an iffy choice, since she can also just go full-on renegade and be a total jerk to everyone. But while she may come across as a bit gruff, Shepard is someone who always seems to make time to help everyone on her crew deal with whatever problem they may have, despite having the entire fate of the universe resting on her shoulders. Even if it involves flying across the galaxy and inserting herself into situations that she really doesn't have anything to do with, she does it anyway because her crew needs her, and that's what good commanders do.
Shepard might just be the friendliest space captain out of every major science-fiction franchise. On top of helping out her immediate friends, she gains the trust of a telepathic alien hive mind, gets the Geth and the Quarians to set aside their differences and agree to a truce, and even manages to earn the respect and admiration of a race of war-torn lizard people like the Krogans. She's so cool that everyone even sets aside a random day to just hang out at the Citadel and party with her before they have to fight off the evil sentient spaceships that want to kill everyone. If she's the kind of person that makes you want to postpone the apocalypse to drink some shots with her, then it's probably safe to say she's a pretty likable badass. Unless you're a reporter, that is.
Gordon Freeman (Half-Life)
The main character of the Half-Life series isn't much for conversation. In fact, he doesn't really talk at all, preferring to be the strong, silent type. Even though we don't know what his voice sounds like, we have a pretty good idea of the type of guy Freeman is. He's someone who apparently lives to help others, as across the Half-Life games he only seems to exist in order to solve problems that others can't.
Is a machine not working properly? He'll find the switch or plug that'll make it work. Too many Combine soldiers getting in the way of the resistance fighters? Don't worry, he'll crowbar them to death for you. Need to vent about your worries regarding the end of humanity as we know it? Feel free to talk away, as Gordon is an excellent listener. He doesn't speak much, but he's a true blue friend, and he even doesn't mind picking up the beer tab, as long you get him back after this whole alien war business is taken care of.
Aloy (Horizon Zero Dawn)
Most people trapped in the weird, robot dinosaur ridden land of Horizon Zero Dawn have reverted back to living in small tribes, using primitive technology, and generally being scared of everything. Aloy, however, is someone who's not only unafraid to stand up to a mechanical T-Rex, but also doesn't let things like ancient traditions, or being ostracized from society stop her from meeting new people.
Despite being in a world where sticks with rocks attached at the end are the height of scientific ingenuity, Aloy takes it upon to learn more about her surroundings and how to help the various terrified villages around her. Personally, if people were as mean to us as they were to her, we'd probably say screw them when the robo-raptors attacked them. But Aloy is inquisitive and compassionate, and even if people are generally awful, she'll still go out of her way to save them. As an added bonus, she also probably has a lot of cool stories to tell about the various dino-machines she's managed to ride.
Arthur Morgan (Red Dead Redemption 2)
Arthur definitely doesn't start out as a kind-hearted individual, but over time he becomes just about the nicest outlaw to ever rob a train. Even at his worst, he's a courteous man who doesn't stand for injustice and will insert himself in any scuffle if he feels like someone is being wronged. He's also someone who's willing to admit when he's made a mistake, which is a unique, but welcome character trait for a cowboy.
Once he gets sick, he goes even further into correcting past mistakes and trying to make good with anyone he feels he hasn't treated properly. Even though he's supposed to be a degenerate black hat-wearing villain, we're pretty sure we could leave our wallet around him, and not have to worry about losing any change. He's someone we would love to go drinking with, because not only would be a ball to hang out with, he also somehow has the ability to turn a bar fight into a dancing chorus line. That's the kind of dude we want to ride with.
Ion Fury shows that there's always going to be a place for a filthy, bloodthirsty, borderline sociopath of a hero like Bombshell Harrison. It's just nice to see some gaming characters that would simultaneously help an old lady cross the street, while also firing off a machine gun. Maybe the best badasses are the ones who not only kill with rocket launchers, but also kill you with kindness.
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