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PlayStation game creators pick their standout characters of 2017

Top development talent reveal their personal favourite faces of the past 12 months

2017 is a year packed not only with great gameplay moments, but with fantastic characters. Be it new heroes (Horizon Zero Dawn’s Aloy) or returning rogues (Uncharted’s Chloe Frazer), we asked developers from across the PlayStation spectrum to name their favourite faces from the past 12 months.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice’s Senua

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

As chosen by…

“That has to be Senua, or better yet the actress playing Senua, Melina Juergens. She has done a tremendous job in bringing the character to life.” Hermen Hulst, Co-founder, Guerrilla Games (Horizon Zero Dawn)

“She’s a massive leap forward in characterisation, executed very thoughtfully, very skilfully. I’ve definitely never played a character like her before – and I want more!” Gavin Price, Creative Lead, Playtonic (Yooka Laylee)

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy’s Chloe Frazer

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

As chosen by…

“Aside from being an extremely cool individual, she felt like a very real person – they weren’t merely depicted as female characters created to serve as eye candy.” Fumihiko Yasuda, Director, Team Ninja (Nioh)

“The more you play, the more you understand the different nuances that defines her; rough on the outside but way more complex on the inside.” Damien Kieken, Game Director, Ubisoft (For Honor)

“I was already a fan of Chloe since Uncharted 2 and I was so glad when I heard Naughty Dog had decided to make a spin-off based just on her. After Horizon: Zero Dawn, The Lost Legacy, Hellblade and Battlefront II’s main campaign, it’s good to see that female leads are finally getting the attention they deserve in AAA productions. It’s a bold move, really, and I appreciate the studio for giving us more of Chloe’s adventures.” Román Echevarrena, Producer, RecoTechnology (Numantia)

Horizon Zero Dawn’s Aloy

Horizon Zero Dawn

As chosen by…

“A smart, realistic new gaming heroine.” Steve Goss, Director of Design, Supermassive Games (Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, Hidden Agenda)

“In a world with games and movies that feature superheroes and powerful characters that face extinction-level threats all the time, it’s always interesting to play as characters like Delsin (Infamous: Second Son), Nathan Drake (Uncharted) or Aloy – characters that have to discover what it is they’re good at, improvise when thrust into dangerous situations, and handle threats that exist more on a personal level than a global one.

“The thing that makes Aloy so interesting is that she’s not only discovering herself, she’s starting out from a much lower point than some other characters – from a place of exile, as an outcast from birth, and for reasons she’s never even been told. It’s not a story that gets told so well very often, and it makes you think about the real places in our world where a story like Aloy’s — being an outcast solely because of tradition, superstition, or caste — might not be fiction.” Jeramy Bergerson, Associate Producer, Arkane Studios (Prey)

“Horizon’s Aloy was just a genuine surprise for me, the game intro really created a very strong bond between her and the player.” James Valls, Senior Producer, Rebellion (Battlezone)

“Aloy is such a great character; warm, compassionate, motivated and capable. Ashley Burch gives her such depth in her performance. Every interaction was a treasure in a game already full of them.” Brad Davey, Lead Designer, Sumo Digital (Snake Pass)

“It’s nice to see a female character done well.” Mark Healey, Creative Director, Media Molecule (Dreams)

Nier: Automata’s 2B

Nier: Automata

As chosen by…

“Video games often struggle conveying subtle emotions in their human characters. Nier: Automata is a game about fighter androids who are not allowed to have feelings or even their own name. Yet 2B ends up displaying a wide range of believable emotions throughout the many twists and turns of the story. I was expecting a kick-ass action game, but 2B took me on a deep dive to the depths of the human soul. All the while kicking ass left and right!” Joona Heinikoski, Gameplay Engineer, Housemarque (Nex Machina, Matterfall)

Battle Chasers: Nightwar’s Gully

Battle Chasers: Nightwar

As chosen by…

“It may be a little shallow since I worked on the game, but I think Gully, from Battle Chasers: Nightwar, is an awesome protagonist! It’s not every day you get to play a badass 12-year-old girl with super strength, who can hold her own against giant War Golems and hordes of the undead.” Steve Madureira, Lead Designer/Lead Animator, Airship Syndicate (Battle Chasers: Nightwar)

Knowledge is Power’s Wiener

Knowledge is Power

As chosen by…

“The ‘Wiener’ for me is HotDog guy from Knowledge Is Power. I’m definitely selecting one of my own games for this one.” John McLaughlin, Senior Producer, XDev Studios

Undertale’s Papyrus

Undertale

As chosen by…

“Papyrus was awesome and well written. He works hard, like me and you got a whole section of the game where you got to hang out with him so we bonded.” John Johanas, Director, Tango Gameworks (The Evil Within 2)

Yakuza’s Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima

YakuzaYakuza

As chosen by

“The chemistry between these two is just something else. I think it captures this idea of true rivalry perfectly. Plus, if there ever was an award for best bromance, theirs is one for the ages.” Michał Dobrowolski, Senior Game Designer, CD Projekt Red (The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, Gwent)

N. Sane Trilogy’s Crash Bandicoot

N. Sane Trilogy

As chosen by…

“I bought the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, and even though I had completed all the original games, I had forgotten everything this time round and am having a lot of trouble progressing through them. I play intensively for around 30 minutes each day.” Hiroaki Kato, Producer, Square-Enix (Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age)

Playdead’s Arnt Hensen

Playdead

As chosen by…

“I suppose I’d have to say it was actually Arnt Jensen of Playdead – the company who developed Inside. He appeared on stage at the Tokyo Game Show and was so shy and so quiet that he left quite an impression on me. There are a lot of people from abroad who would stand on that stage with tons of confidence, so I was rather charmed by the very different figure he painted.” Yoko Taro, Director, Platinum Games (Nier: Automata)

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3 Author replies

Senua and 2B rocks! Aloy was boring as [DELETED]…

Kinda shocked to see 2B on the list! I really felt that 9S had a lot more going for him, especially the way he develops during the story.

2.1

Honorable mention: 9S

Carnivius_Prime 29 December, 2017 @ 14:27
3

I agree about Chloe (loved her since Uncharted 2) and also Aloy (I didn’t get into the game much but I really liked that character)

MiseryPrincess 29 December, 2017 @ 22:26
4

That Alloy character in no way deserves to be on any list. She’s utterly boring in every conceivable way. Pretty much because she’s designed so certain segments of society aren’t “offended”, which just leaves her as boring as a potato, and looking like one.

Sorry, but she is in no way a “realistic female character”. She’s a “female character” designed to not “offend” other guys who want to feel they’re somehow wonderful modern people by being offended by “offensive” female characters. I’d personally rather play as Bayonetta than her, and kind of find the portrayal that all women must be samey modestly dressed proper dullards from a 1960’s girls magazine to be “realistic” more “offensive”.

You can tell that a bunch of corporate guys sat round a table ticking off checklists and reading target demographic projections rather than it being based off personality. Guerrilla should go back to making characters like Vadec and games like Killzone 2. Big ridiculous personalities who turn up an...

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That Alloy character in no way deserves to be on any list. She’s utterly boring in every conceivable way. Pretty much because she’s designed so certain segments of society aren’t “offended”, which just leaves her as boring as a potato, and looking like one.

Sorry, but she is in no way a “realistic female character”. She’s a “female character” designed to not “offend” other guys who want to feel they’re somehow wonderful modern people by being offended by “offensive” female characters. I’d personally rather play as Bayonetta than her, and kind of find the portrayal that all women must be samey modestly dressed proper dullards from a 1960’s girls magazine to be “realistic” more “offensive”.

You can tell that a bunch of corporate guys sat round a table ticking off checklists and reading target demographic projections rather than it being based off personality. Guerrilla should go back to making characters like Vadec and games like Killzone 2. Big ridiculous personalities who turn up and nuke things in fun gameplay focused games rather than tiresome “emotional” soap operas.

4.1

Aloy was actually developed over several years and Guerrilla took a lot of inspiration on what the central character should be like from the world they were creating for Horizon Zero Dawn.

We released a really interesting video showing how she was created and how the character evolved last year, just before the game launched. You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/2L_9kKSWcos

MiseryPrincess 04 January, 2018 @ 23:01
4.2

It’s not how much time you spend. It’s the inspiration behind it. Final Fantasy XV was developed over 10 years by teams of hundreds, yet ended up with a nonsensical plot, boring gameplay and tedious characters.

Why she’s so boring is there isn’t really anything original about her and she’s way too “safe”. She’s basically the same as the main character of Brave, just older and not in a children’s film. Making endless revisions just removes rough edges, and that’s often what makes people different and memorable.

I really liked Aloy… Sort of a sober seriousness to her that I really liked. I love it when characters feel ‘real’ and substantial and aren’t just there to entertain the viewer (either via their personality or through their actions or whatever). Definitely my favourite PS mascotte since Kratos (the original Kratos, not the old guy from now), not counting ‘sprititual’ mascottes like Solid Snake etc…

Jack Baker from RE7

6.1

That’s… quite a choice

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