The best new characters of 2010

Robots, cowboys and witches - oh my! Introducing our favorite new faces of the year

Introduced in… Final Fantasy XIII

In a world filled with the usual Final Fantasy over-the-top melodrama, Sazh's groundedness is absolutely refreshing. He's just a normal dad, who by a random misfortune, got caught in the crossfire of an epic battle between humans and demigods. Sazh's character surpasses all the other characters of FFXIII on every level – he's more likeable, more believable, and his selfless quest to save his young son Dajh– who was torn away from him suddenly during a father-son vacation – had us rooting for him more than any other character. And while we initially cooed over the adorableness of the baby Chocobo who follows him everywhere, ultimately we were even more moved by what it represents– Sazh's compassion for others and his dedication to his son's happiness.

The developers must have fallen in love with Sazh over the course of making FFXIII too, because he has more lines than any other character, even more than Lightning, who's supposed to be the main protagonist. Lightning and Snow's quest to save Serah (Lightning's sister and Snow's fiancée) isintended to be the main storyline, but Sazh steals the show – we felt his heartbreak throughout every step of the journey, and his confrontation with Vanilleover her role inDajh'sfateis the most emotionally intense moment in the entire game.


Introduced in… Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain’s private eye is a truly wonderful, warm-hearted individual. Caring and sympathetic, if he’s not trying to console a prostitute who’s lost her son, he’s looking after the baby of a suicidal woman. C’mon, just look at the big softie up there. A’wwwwwwwww…

Want more evidence of why he’s one of 2010’s best and most lovable new characters? Then just take a look at this…

Sheeeeeit. We thought we’d destroyed all the incriminating evidence. Ah well. Really, though, who cares Shelby is actually a kid-killing maniac who exploits his job to destroy evidence of his homicidal, extracurricular activities? He’s still one of the best realized characters of the year, in no short part thanks to the damn fine (and thankfully quasi-French-free) performance of actor Sam Douglas. He might be a demented killer who captures and murders younglings, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t also capture our heart.


Introduced in… Fallout: New Vegas

Charmed as we were by Wayne Newton’s turn as radio DJ Mr. New Vegas , his soothingly raspy broadcasts can’t really hold a candle to the real star of the Mojave Wasteland’s airwaves: a towering blue super mutant known only as Best Friend Tabitha. Together with her robot sidekick Rhonda (who may just also be Tabitha doing a different voice), she broadcasts an eclectic mix of classic country and crazed, extravagant threats aimed at her super mutant followers, her perpetually about-to-be-executed mechanic Raul, and any poor, innocent humans who would dare make the trip to her incredibly dangerous lair. She is, in short, the most entertaining thing to listen to in the wasteland, and we’d often stop whatever we were doing just to hear her bizarre chatter.

If you actually make the trip up to Black Mountain (or ”the State of Utobitha,” as she calls it), you’ll find a few ramshackle dwellings, a lot of angry mutants, and Tabitha herself, armed with more than just her radioactive good looks. This may mean you’ll be forced to kill one of the most entertaining personalities in New Vegas, which is a downer. Play your cards right, however, and she can walk off into the sunset with Rhonda after giving you her overjoyed thanks. It’s a happier ending for her, you, Raul and pretty much anyone else who didn’t get their head caved in with Tabitha’s giant hammer.

Dec 30, 2010


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