Gordon Freeman: Strongest personality in gaming

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

From hereon in, the journey is about making the stronger Gordon realise his full potential. He gains genuine control over his environment after first being set upon by and then taming the Antlions, and the subsequent assault on Nova Prospekt is a perfect introduction to his progression to leadership. Following Nova Prospect, Gordon builds upon this new status by becoming a leader of men rather than of beasts in the “Follow Freeman” chapter, and the empowerment continues to increase right through to the final assualt on the Citadel, during which he secures the nigh-godlike powers of the super-charged Gravity Gun and is allowed to physically manifest the dominace he has earned in a brutally visceral fashion. If you can tell us that the payback of hurling those helpless Combine around didn’t make you feel like the most righteous badass on the planet, then we rather suspect you have no soul. Ditto if Alyx’ “Do your worst” didn’t put you in the mood for taking on an army. Hey Ebert, who says games can’t be art?


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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