What Main Character has Ruined A Movie or Game for You?


‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ has a lot going for it. Its lead character is not one of those things.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/8xawjx/what-main-character-has-ruined-a-movie-or-game-for-you


Aiden Pearce from the first Watch Dogs. I can tolerate brotagonists to a degree but this guy was just awful. Cantankerous, egoistic and dishonest. There was just nothing about him that was okay. I suppose we were suppose to like him for his determination and that he wants to avenge his niece…? But all he does is just lie to his sister, get friends in danger and ugh!


This is maybe going to be an unpopular answer, but the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies were that for me. I was a HUGE Spider-Man fan as a kid, but I just couldn’t stand him in those movies.


Baby Driver, couldn’t stand Baby in that film to the point that I didn’t really enjoy the film as much because of him.

All of Sons of Anarchy, Charlie whatshisface is an awful actor and if the show hadn’t been about him it would have been way better.

Orange is the New Black, my partner and I basically stopped watching after the second season. All of the peripheral characters are massively compelling and we were lumped with the lead that just annoyed at every turn. We kept hoping she would get killed off so the show could focus on the real stars.


So I only got about an hour into Mass Effect because for someone who has achieved the rank of Commander, Shepard seems to know jack shit about anything in the world they live in. They know nothing about any of the alien races they interact with despite humanity having interacted with them for quite a bit. No apparent knowledge about the Citadel & apparently no knowledge about their own military organization. I get that being able to ask about all the lore details mentioned in dialogue is to help the player to get to know about the world their in but there are other ways of doing that. In Dragon Age, at least your character has other things to deal with that may have distracted them from what is going on in the outside world. My Elf Wizard who had spent their life in forced isolation not knowing about whats going on in the outside world or even about other Elves makes perfect sense. A person in the future, with access to infinite information if we are to believe the internet survived that long & having worked up the ranks of the military shouldn’t have everything about their world explained to them because they should at least know something about the world they live in, even if it is misinformed.


Geralt. Primary reason I skipped the first two games, and got a steam refund on the third.


I tried to get past it, I tried to like the game, I even finished the game and I respect that it’s a good game and I wish I liked it as much as other people do but…


This is surprisingly not as big an issue in games, because many lead characters are also the player character and they are often made as a vessel for the player to fill. But, Ubisoft has a tendency to make almost all of their protagonists completely unlikable. I think the only lead characters from Ubisoft games I like are Marcus and Rayman.

EDIT: Just remembered this fun article. Still relevant:



This might be a little too reminiscent of @MooseyMcMan’s post, but the first example that jumps to mind for me is The Amazing Spider-Man films with Andrew Garfield, particularly the second one. A clingy ex-boyfriend who uses his superpowers to follow his ex-girlfriend around the city and try to wreck her university interviews? No, no, a thousand times no.


Good point. The Assassin’s Creed characters I find on average okay, but I mentioned Aiden Pearce earlier, and what’s his face from Far Cry 3 was also awful.


Aiden Pearce is the first character I thought of!!! Errant Signal has a good video on Watchdogs that encapsulate what I dislike so much about Ubi protagonists. Namely that the games believe they are cool people. You’re supposed to aspire to be like Aiden or the characters in Wildlands or the Division and it just all feels so tone deaf.


Any Space Marine character in any Warhammer 40k game. All of them embody the worst paladin stereotypes, being overly honorable and “good” in a universe where the “good guys” perform human sacrifice (psykers sacrificed to prolong the life of the Emperor) and genocide (exterminatus burns entire planets for heresy). They have no character arcs despite living for centuries, and always act in service of the plot rather than their motivations driving the plot forward.

The Dawn of War series and older games like Final Liberation have solid and sometimes even interesting mechanics, but every time I am forced to play Space Marines, I always end up thinking to myself: “It’s not fun playing as these fucking assholes.”


I watched Raiders of the Lost Ark for the first time a few years ago and Indiana Jones seemed like such an asshole that I could not get on board with the movie wanting me to find him as cartoonishly charming as the film did.


I can greatly recommend the first 3 Horus Heresy books if you haven’t read them, which take place 10.000 years before 40k, and deals with the “fall” of the Galactic empire and explicitly questions the validity of an entire empire/civilization founded on the principle of conquest and warfare. There are several protagonists in the books ranging from Space Marine, to journalist, to poet, to religious and spiritual guide, to troubled demi-god.


Altaire from Assassin’s Creed totally ruined that game for me.


Final Fantasy 12, even though it’s my favorite FF game. Vaan isn’t really even a character. Actually, come to think of it, most leading characters in FF kind of suck beyond 7.

I know people love Assassin’s Creed 2, but my god I could not stand Ezio. He just came off as such a cocky prick right out of the gate that I didn’t really care about him growing up and changing.

And honestly, I just really loathe blank-slate characters in most RPGs and open-world games. They’re almost all characters designed so generally that they’re no longer relatable to anyone. I’d rather have a character I kind of loathe at the helm than a dead-eyed emotionless zombie. At least then there’s a personality to latch onto. I hate Joel from The Last of Us as a person, and I don’t really enjoy playing as him and doing some of the things he does, but he’s still maybe my favorite leading character in a game because he’s a character, not just some blank avatar for me to project onto.


Ubi seemed to learn from that and made Ezio not only charismatic, but also a character that matured noticeably over the course of ACII. And then they went right back to boring with that dude from ACIII.


Rico in Killzone 2. Wannabe ice cube fighting space Nazis. He was always shouting fuck this, fuck that, help me the fuck up when he got incapacitated. Meanwhile whenever you got downed Rico would frequently be too busy firing back to help you up. Not sure if they finished the AI. I got so angry at Rico this one time, when he got incapacitated on the floor and asked me to help him the fuck up, I went up to him and unloaded 3 full magazines into him shouting profanity at him. I wanted him DEAD, but friendly fire preventing you from doing it yourself. I had to turn the PS3 off… God, I fucking hated that guy.

They toned him down in Killzone 3, but Jesus.


Sickle on breakfast and battlegrounds! also nathan drake in uncharted