Gaming’s least hard hard-men


Why you’d think he’s hard

Above: As hard as he is sexy

Depraved and sadistic, Starkweather is a director of snuff films, with nothing pleasing him more than seeing his puppet James Earl Cash decapitate, skewer and mutilate whoever he tells him to. He may be a bit portly, but he makes up for it with his enthusiasm for voyeuristic violence. Besides, Starkweather is voiced by Brian Cox. And he was Hannibal Lecter - long before Hopkins washed down his first liver with a nice Chianti too.

Why he’s not hard at all

Fat, pasty and a total recluse, you’d have to give this creepy pervert a minigun, a year’s gym membership and Jack Bauer as his bodyguard before he could ever be convincing as hard. His thirst for violence stems from his own physical impotence and the only way he can act out his fevered bouts of brutality is through someone he’s blackmailing.

Above: A fair, mince-sponsored depiction of Starkweather's death

His death is hardly imbued with dignified manliness either. Somehow, a man screaming and begging in pain, while cradling the last of his intestines in his greasy palms, just doesn’t seem tough.

Not as hard as… The White Rabbit

Despite being murdered in a gruesome fashion by Cash, the White Rabbit is still hard enough to frolic through a mental asylum full of unstable and schizophrenic hunters. Gleefully playing out a twisted, perverted version of Alice in Wonderland, all the Donnie Darko-style bunny wants to do is drive you insane, with little thought to his well being.

Above: Off with her head

Why you’d think he’s a hard man

Above: Jewellery? No self-respecting hard men would wear any

Apart from being more pumped than a bouncy castle, Brucie is also a fairly ruthless businessman. He has no problem in hiring Niko to wipe out his competition and is obsessed with being number one at everything he does. The gym-addicted garage owner, unlike the majority of GTA IV’s cast, is also his own boss. And the hits he orders Bellic to complete are entirely fuelled by his steroid-addled fury, not directed by fear of crime bosses.

Why he’s not hard at all
Can you say ‘denial’? How about ‘overcompensating’? Brucie is really just an insecure, low level criminal, whose luxury Lifestyle Auto shop is about as successful as the N-Gage. His ripped abs, delts and his unhealthy love for women are really just covering the fact he can’t accept his sexuality or lack of success. Besides, Niko floors him easily shortly after they meet and proper hard men take Great White steroids, not the Bull Shark variety.

Above: 'Nuff said

Not as hard as… Bernie

Don’t let Bernie’s effeminate nature fool you. When he went by the name of Florian Cravic he fought in the same Eastern European conflict that left Niko such a scarred, wounded mess. Despite his fondness for snuggling with politicians and form-fitting jeans this guy is a hardened, trained killer.

Above: Don’t mess with the Florian

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  • sofaku - January 8, 2010 5:56 p.m.

    surprised i didn't see lord Lucien. u know when u fight him at the end of fable and he acts all baddass but all you have to do is shoot him before he finishes his little speech.
  • Heyexclamationpoint - January 6, 2010 2:35 p.m.

    Qwark reminds me of Zapp Brannigan from Futurama
  • m1bayluv41510 - November 11, 2009 3:28 a.m.

    make a t-shirt showing a stoogie chomping, machine gun rocking robot like that image of clank G.R. so i can buy the shit outta them!
  • Romination - January 29, 2009 3:41 a.m.

    I think Destroyman needed a mention. After all...he was really a postman. wtf is that all about!? You could even put Silvia as harder than he was
  • masenjo - January 28, 2009 1:47 p.m.

    Never fuck with Florian
  • Hurricrane - January 28, 2009 1:22 p.m.

    rofl great article, I love me some Issun
  • AA95mp - January 28, 2009 1 p.m.

    i'm not surprised captain Q is on here but i don't think he qualifys as looking hard at all
  • FierceDeity - January 28, 2009 2:38 a.m.

    oh fine fine, you put warning - contains spoilers right at the top in tiny writing. but still goddammit
  • Kirbykiller4 - January 28, 2009 1:12 a.m.

    Geez,that mirrors edge screenshot looked terrible for some reason.
  • game-thugsta - January 27, 2009 11:57 p.m.

    Zero's hard? The nerd who was hoisted up in his closet by his underpants? Besides Sweet smoked tons of fools and singled handedly brought Grove back (CJ was planning to leave it.) Oh and Master Chief has smoked wayyy more aliens than clank.
  • RebornKusabi - January 27, 2009 8:57 p.m.

    You know, I never thought about this until I read this article but Bernie is kinda built up to be a badass! Considering Him, Niko and Darko (I think that's all, if not then add whomever I missed) were the only ones that "survived", he has to have SOME battle skills...
  • schmeidenkamp - January 27, 2009 6:26 p.m.

    14 john wayne films back to back. lol
  • RonnyLive19881 - January 27, 2009 5:53 p.m.

    Hmm I think they missed someone...
  • skyguy343 - January 27, 2009 5:29 p.m.

    that bastard kamek always used his magic powers to catch pop flies in mario superstar baseball. what an asshole
  • UnreaK745 - January 27, 2009 4:31 p.m.

    i just can't stop... i have to.... FIRST!!!!!! there u go I said it... awesome article btw u rock!!
  • dougle - February 25, 2009 8:08 a.m.

    captain Qwark IS the greatest super hero the galaxy has ever known!
  • oreopizza47 - February 1, 2009 2:29 a.m.

    i agree that Brucie isn't hard in the slightest, but it's not the jewelery that kills his look. obviously, no one here knows Mr. T. Mr. T pities all you fools.
  • deathrebellion - January 29, 2009 10:19 p.m.

    Lolz ISSUN yup he's the definition of Hardass Hard man
  • Jason.Darksavior - January 28, 2009 8:47 a.m.

    Nice Article.
  • MoChilla - January 28, 2009 3:59 a.m.

    Also, bowser gets swung by his tail in 64. tsk, tsk, not gangsta.

Showing 1-20 of 28 comments

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