Gordon Freeman: Strongest personality in gaming

How Valve created the most complex and best-realised character in videogames without a line of dialogue.

In their early days, videogames were a crude and unsubtle medium, Technological restraints reducing character motivations to blunt and simplistic variations of “Save the princess” or “Kill the villain and save the world” when sending us bleeping away to shoot up the monotone bricks of evil. As technology has developed, designers have been eager to make games a more sophisticated experience, and many have understandably, but perhaps misguidedly, attempted to ape the conventions of cinema to make their videogames more realistic or involving. Thus, cut-scenes and protagonist dialogue have become the standard model with which to tell a story.


Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.
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