As video games have evolved throughout the years, they have become an interactive storytelling medium. Players aren’t just shooting pixellated blobs anymore. We are progressing storylines, forming alliances, and affecting the outcomes of the games we play. There are few things more despicable than a video game turncoat, and there are few things more satisfying than bringing a traitor’s life to an end.
Here are the ten biggest backstabbing dicks in video games along with ten huge spoilers. You have been warned.
10. Admiral Havelock, Dishonored
The Admiral seems like a good enough guy: he aids Corvo’s prison break, seems to have Dunwall’s best interests at heart, and conducts his loyalist business in a tavern. Ultimately, Havelock poisons Corvo, murders most of the loyalists, and sets himself up to rule by controlling the assassinated Queen’s daughter, Emily. It’s probably not a good idea to cross a man bent on revenge and Havelock’s demise at the end is particularly satisfying.
9. Keith David, Saint’s Row IV
In Saint’s Row IV, the player, naturally, is elected to the top office in the country and Keith David is the #2 guy. However, aliens enslave humanity, Keith makes a deal with an alien named Zinyak, and then stabs the player in the back at the worst possible time. The President teams up with Roddy Piper (yes, that Roddy Piper) to beat some sense into the VP in a throwback to the John Carpenter movie, They Live. Looks like I’m all out of bubblegum.
8. Albert Wesker, Resident Evil
Although most famous for its top notch vocal performances and smooth character movement, Resident Evil was the genesis for video game and movie franchises that have nothing to do with each other. Near the end of the first game, STARS leader, Albert Wesker, falls in love with the Tyrant and tries to take his own team out. Despite his treachery, Wesker is actually the least threatening thing in the mansion. Suck it, Albert.
7. Atlas, Bioshock
So, the polite Irishman who helped the player through some of Rapture’s toughest spots turned out to be backstabbing Frank Fontaine. Not only does the phrase “would you kindly” compel our protagonist to follow instructions, Frank also has a death phrase that he attempts to murder our hero with. You’re going to need more than words to kill me Frank, I’m coming for that spliced-up ass.
6. Dr. James Whitman, Tomb Raider
Throughout the Tomb Raider reboot, Whitman acts like a petulant diva. Although Lara gets suspicious when she spots him at the temple while she’s saving Sam, Whitman shows his true colors later in the game by selling out the Endurance crew for fortune and glory. Enjoy your grisly demise, Dr. Whitman, you’ve certainly earned it.
5. Pavel, Metro: Last Light
Artyom rescues the amiable Pavel during his quest to destroy the last of the Dark Ones. In an act of reciprocity, Pavel promises Artyom safe passage through the Communist-held Metro Red Line. However, Artyom is drugged, imprisoned, and tortured for information. Naturally, our hero escapes and has the good fortune to cross paths with his former comrade before leaving Communist territory. Nice knowing you, Pavel.
4. Wheatley, Portal 2
Wheatley starts out as half comic relief, half helper in Portal 2. He does suffer a drastic, and decidedly unhelpful, personality change after Chell defeats GLaDos and installs Wheatley in the captain’s chair. This forces Chell and her potato-powered former adversary to team up for the final act of the game. Wheatley doesn’t stand a chance.
3. Lance Vance, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Lance is one of the first guys that our protagonist, Tommy Vercetti, meets upon arrival in Vice City. Lance helps Tommy build his drug and vice empire, then stabs Tommy in the back over perceived lack of respect on Tommy’s part. Lance should know better than to cross a guy who can carry 20 guns at one time. Click, click, boom.
2. Anna Grimsdottir, Splinter Cell Conviction
We played though Double Agent with the understanding that Sam’s daughter was dead...Lambert himself told us she was dead. As Conviction begins, Sam is no longer a part of Third Echelon but his former handler, Grim, tells us that not only has Sam’s daughter been alive the entire time, Grim has her. After Sam uses her for a punching bag, Grim wisely chooses to Skype in her next meeting. Needless to say this makes for a bit of tension during Blacklist.
1. Astrid, Skyrim
There’s a lot of backstabbing going on in Skyrim. Mercer Frey betrays Nocturnal and the Thieves Guild, the Blades turn on our protagonist to kill Paarthurnax, there’s that dickhead elf at the College of Winterhold, the lunatic Cicero gets stabby in the Dark Brotherhood sanctuary, and folks are lined up in Markarth to give the Dragonborn a raw deal. However, the harshest betrayal comes from the leader of the Dark Brotherhood, Astrid. After Cicero shows up at the Falkreath Sanctuary with the Night Mother in tow, things start falling apart for Skyrim’s Dark Brotherhood. Astrid, jealous of the Dragonborn’s Listener status and under pressure from the head of the Penitus Oculatus, betrays the Dragonborn during the assassination of the Emperor’s double. This leaves the player in the hands of Maro, whose son was assassinated by the player in an earlier mission. However, Maro’s word is nearly as worthless as Astrid’s and he orders the Sanctuary burned. Astrid finds peace in death and the Brotherhood moves to Dawnstar for a fresh start on the coast.
General Shepherd: Modern Warfare 2
Bastila Shan: Knights of the Old Republic
Edgar Ross: Red Dead Redemption
Dana: Dead Space 2
Michael De Santa: GTA V
If you feel that I have omitted your favorite backstabbing dick, feel free to leave your comments below.