Video games have their fair share of bad guys. Most of them kill people and when we say kill people we mean a LOT of people. In our beloved pastime we’ve faced many different foes of all shapes, sizes and motivations. Some enemies are good, some are bad, and some are too complex morally to even begin with. Here are a selection of our favourite video game baddies of recent years.
The Reapers (Mass Effect)
The Reapers of the Mass Effect series are possibly the most destructive and awe-inspiring video game enemies ever. Despite being only a handful of Reapers being seen before the third game, players have known since Commander Shepard’s first adventure that the Reapers are coming and that they will destroy everything. In the game the Reapers are a race of sentient machines that arrive from dark space every 50,000 years and destroy all galactic civilization. Furthermore, they leave behind technology that is discovered by emerging galactic superpowers who then adapt it into their own technology, making them easier to conquer when the time comes. They are nigh-unkillable, soulless, and without mercy. The terrifying sight of their cuttlefish bodies and red lasers blasting across Earth’s cities immediately brings home the devastation of the Reaper attack on humankind.
The Flood (Halo)
The Flood: a terrifying organic parasite that infects any race it can find, mutates it, and turns it to fight against you. The Flood tear across the galaxy countless, though they are thwarted by Master Chief each time. However the Forerunners have gone to the extreme length of attempting to destroying all organic life in the galaxy just to starve every Flood organism down to the last spore and were sadly unsuccessful. The Flood terrify due to their disgusting corruptions of the races they infect and the tiny crawler creatures that pass on the infection. But in a realm beyond terror, one is sometimes required during the course of the Halo games to venture aboard a Flood ship. Contained in freakish organic architecture and dark wet spaces, these are truly horrifying and spectacular levels. The Flood are perhaps the most revolting and frightening enemy found in any first person shooter to date.
He is a massively terrifying enemy, and the hardest boss in any Diablo game. A burning Lord of searing hate, terror and destruction. He is awful. He’s bad enough to be a titular character. Diablo, Lord of Terror is one of the Prime Evils of Hell in the Diablo universe. His aim is to conquer all of Sanctuary and the Heavens using all the powers at his command. He can instill fear by his name alone. His powers include: breathing flames, calling down burning meteors, shooting lightning, shapeshifting, possession, and terrifying anything, up to and including his fellow Prime Evils. If you thought that was bad, in the third game he absorbs the other great evils and becomes the true embodiment of Evil.
The Borgias (Assassin’s Creed II, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood)
If we ever hated any villain in any game then most certainly it was the Borgias. As Templars they were ruthless, devious and quick to action. As a family they were spiteful, quick to anger, violent and tyrannical not only to their subjects but to each other. Based on their real life historical counterparts, this family worked their way up the Roman food chain to the Papal throne and ruled it with an iron fist. The first time we see the Borgias is as a 17 year old Ezio Auditore as we watch helplessly while his family is hanged for treason after being betrayed by the Templars. From that point on during Ezio’s quest for revenge he constantly finds himself going toe to toe with key members of the Borgias such as Rodrigo in the Sistine Chapel and later against his son, Cesare. Indeed the Borgias were a worthy set of adversaries that made the Ezio trilogy a fan favorite in the Assassin’s Creed games.
The Darkspawn (Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age II)
Something that you can always expect from medieval style RPGs in a fantasy setting are Orcs, Dragons, ghosts and other assorted nasties. The Dragon Age series took it one step further by introducing us to the Darkspawn. Led by the Archdemon, they laid waste to the land of Thedas and killed everything in their path. Exposure to Darkspawn blood meant death and even the Grey Wardens who ritually drank it were from that point on haunted until the end of their days by visions of the Archdemon. When players finally met the Archdemon at the end of Dragon Age: Origins they had a fight on their hands that likely required a lot of potions and healing. The Archdemon wasn’t alone either as the player had to deal with dozens of Darkspawn of all shapes and sizes at the same time. Yes if there was one enemy that you could count on to be relentless in their attacks and unwavering in their missions to destroy everything, that enemy was the Darkspawn.