9 Gruffest Video Game Characters Who Are Actually Great Softies

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There’s no shortage of gruff, insensitive characters in video games. Sometimes they are a product of their circumstances, forced to turn their backs on their emotions to be more effective on the battlefield. Others are just morons.


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For all their postures, many of these characters aren’t as one-dimensional as one might think. Beneath a hard outer shell, they are actually marshmallows, the emotions of which spill out in unpredictable ways. Most often they turn anything negative into rage, but sometimes they show their sensitive side. There’s nothing cuter than watching a big man cry.

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9/9 Scorpion – Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat’s Scorpion actually seems like a good guy for being a hellfire-infused man who regularly throws people through the torso with a sword and chain so he can rip their spines out. An assassin who began his calling to support his family, Scorpion’s main motivation is not based on wickedness, but on simple revenge. This drive is so strong that after Quan Chi slaughters him and his entire clan, he returns from the dead to exact revenge.

While early games depicted him as a villain, recent depictions of Scorpion are more comprehensive. While he still enjoys killing just as much, he’s still kind enough to take in war refugees from the Netherlands – and even adopted Takeda Takahashi after the death of his father, fellow fighter Kenshi. There’s a weak point in him that you don’t often see, probably because he’s regularly covered in blood.

8/9 Athena – Borderlands Series

If you had been raised from birth to be the galaxy’s perfect assassin and were forced to kill your parents at an early age to solidify your loyalty to the megacorporation that kidnapped you, then you would probably have a chip too. on the shoulder. If that same company made you kill the sister you’ve been looking for for years? You wouldn’t have much time for kindness either.

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But Athena’s no-nonsense persona is partly just for show. She has a strong moral compass that drives her to quit Handsome Jack’s job, despite the money being offered. She also has one of the sweetest relationships in the series, further developed in Tales from the Borderlands, which shows that love can flourish even in the toughest soil.

7/9 Bigby Wolf – Wolf Among Us

As the reformed Big Bad Wolf of fairy tale fame, Sheriff Bigby Wolf from The Wolf Among Us takes a paw law approach. The first scene of the game shows you facing the woodcutter of the same legend. It’s a fight that takes you from his second-floor apartment to street level, causing serious bodily harm and serious collateral damage along the way. He also smokes, drinks whiskey with a crafty pig and sounds like a mix of Tom Waits and Clint Eastwood.

But as fierce as Bigby is, he’s just trying to do his best for Fabletown. His methods may be unorthodox, but his emotional investment in the less privileged and his determination to do the right thing show that there is deep care within him. Even under all that fur.

6/9 Joel Miller – The Last of Us Series

At first, the protagonist of The Last of Us doesn’t seem to care about most people. He wants to survive in a world infested with spore zombies and doesn’t really care how he does it. He’s a cantankerous mercenary through and through, to the point that, though he eventually consents to escort Ellie, he complains about it for much of the first game.

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But Joel’s cynical and ruthless nature is a product of his circumstances. Withdrawing from the world of emotions after the death of his daughter, he actively tries to stay away, because attachment means loss. Eventually, however, the game lets you see through his disguise. He is gutted by Tess’ death and takes on the almost superhuman task of defending Ellie as they travel across the country.

metal sniper wolf

The first time you encounter Sniper Wolf in Metal Gear Solid is after she puts multiple bullets into your friend, Meryl Silverborough. Your relationship doesn’t really improve from there. Arrogant and exceptionally lethal, she is responsible for your first and only capture and delivers one of the most decisive battles in the game’s second half.

But Wolf isn’t mean, not really. Instead, she is the product of extreme trauma. As she tells you as she bleeds at your feet, “I was born on a battlefield. I grew up on a battlefield. Gunfire and sirens and screams… Those were my lullabies. ” Born only to see her entire family killed, her only father figure was the morally ambiguous Big Boss, which must not have been great for her inner compass. But, as she’s dying, relieving years of those pent up emotions, you realize she’s felt it all. She just wasn’t able to show it.

4/9 Yhorm the Giant – Dark Souls 3

Even though when you encounter this monstrosity it tries to cut you in half with a sword at least twice your size, Yhorm the Giant was actually quite nice before he was overrun with darkness. Ostracized due to his size, Dark Souls 3 lore describes him as a loner; a solitary, soulful creature who defended his people from attack almost single-handedly.

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Kind of like one of those quiet people at a party who are incredibly interesting once you take the time to listen to them, Yhorm seems like a really good guy — when he’s not trying to kill you. Plus, anyone who’s friends with Seigward of Catarina can’t be that bad.

3/9 John Marston – Red Dead: Redemption

There’s nothing gruffer than a cowboy with a vendetta. Drinking hard and shooting hard, Red Dead Redemption’s John Marston is all of that and more, fighting his way through his former gang to save his family from corrupt government officials.

But John doesn’t really want to be the murderous criminal he was. He tries to calm down and be better for his wife and son. That’s what makes the game so tragic. It explores the life of a man trying to break out of the cycle of violence, but can never quite make it work.

poisonous snake with Ddog MGSV

So, you are the ruthless leader of the Diamond Dogs, a private mercenary army that operates under the mantra “no greater good, no just cause”. You’re stoic, barely speak, and when you do, it’s short, badass sentences that would make any action hero jealous. Oh, and you have a piece of shrapnel coming out of your head that makes you look like a demon. You are a force of terror.

And then you’re going to undermine that impression through the jobs you pull. You could say you extracted a puppy from Afghanistan, because you could one day turn it into a canine fighter, but we all know what the real reason was. She’s the cutest thing you’ve ever seen in your life, and every time she greets you, your heart melts a little more.

1/9 Kratos – God of War

Kratos killed more people than most, and for a while he seemed fine with it. Enraged by the death of his family, his murderous rampage drove him through the entire Greek pantheon, including his own father, Zeus.

Since those days, however, Kratos has mellowed considerably. The events of 2019’s God of War see him attempt to leave behind a life of violence, and even though he’s forced to fight, he doesn’t enjoy it like he once did. And if he’s not particularly nice to his son, it’s not because he doesn’t love him. He just doesn’t know how to communicate and wants him to be different than he is. He’s the perfect example of someone raised to be toxically masculine slowly realizing how to express complex emotions and becoming a better person in the process.

NEXT: Video Game Characters We Wish We Were For A Day

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