Gaming’s least hard hard-men

Why you’d think he’s a hard man

Above: Suit almost 72% death proof

Built like bricks, packing bigger guns than Hulk Hogan and with armour thicker than the Earth’s core, these two brothers seem to be some of the toughest recruits in the entire COG army. Their Herculean physiques are only surpassed by their unbridled enthusiasm for the slaughter and manly Locust skull-stomping of war.

Why he’s not hard all

We’ve never seen anyone as attached to death outside a young cartoon child called Kenny. They may be burly, but all that exuberant enthusiasm ain’t much good when you stick your head above cover and into the sight of a Locust sniper rifle, all because you can’t reload a simple Lancer. Goodbye Carmine number one and in the first level of Gears no less.

Above: Alas, poor Carmine...

Carmine number two fairs a tad better. Although still referred to as a ‘green as grass’ rook, he manages to survive the perils of the sequel’s opening level and even lives past the ‘THEY’RE SINKING CITIES WITH A GIANT WORM!’ moment. Despite helping his colleagues into the King Raven chopper, Carmine the second still falls into the giant worm’s mouth, where he's promptly eviscerated by beasties, called Nemacytes. Dies in hilarious Itchy and Scratchy-style fashion.

Not as hard as… Chap

Who needs a six foot, 250lb marine when the original Gears has already got the ultimate ass kicking geriatric? You meet Chap in Act Two and must help him defend his gas station. Not one for resting on his ageing laurels, the stick-thin pensioner is surprisingly spry, with a crack shot and incredible Locust pistol-whipping skills.

Above: Help the elderly indeed

Why you’d think he’s a hard man

Above: The Heihachi hairstyle is hard like nails in Japan

Descended from the legendary warrior Nagi, who once defeated the dreaded Orochi (a hideous serpent with multiple heads) the essence of being a man’s man are embedded into his very genes. He also looks the business. Ludicrously sized Popeye arms, prison-style tats, a six foot sword that screams genital security; these are the hallmarks of a true tough guy.

Why he’s not hard at all

Aside from his bungling clumsiness, arrogance and the fact that he accidentally frees the Orochi, he’s a horrible coward. We can forgive the occasional yellow belly in the face of insurmountable odds. But to leave the fate of the world in the paws of a wolf and an inch-high insect? Now that really is low.

Above: In a tight spot our gallant hero leaves all the hard work to a wolf

Susano does eventually man up to beat the Scylla-style demon, although only after Ammy’s sufficiently softened him up. He’s also a bit too partial to the Saki. And everyone knows real men only drink whiskey. Straight and by the pint.

Not as hard as… Issun

Horny, brazenly sure of himself and always up for a fight (whether it’s a 100 foot spider or a spunky piece of flying paper), the inch-tall Issun possesses all the qualities of a hard man. After all, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight that counts; it’s how quickly you can scurry up a woman’s kimono.

Above: A man’s man if ever we saw one

David Meikleham
Google AMP Stories Editor

David has worked for Future under many guises, including for GamesRadar+ and the Official Xbox Magazine. He is currently the Google Stories Editor for GamesRadar and PC Gamer, which sees him making daily video Stories content for both websites. David also regularly writes features, guides, and reviews for both brands too.