It’s been a very dramatic and emotional year for gaming in 2012.  The games industry has come a long way from a yellow sphere chomping on pills and the bleeps and bloops of something from Atari.

Today’s modern games are threatening Hollywood in terms of getting the player emotionally engaged in the story.  One of the best ways to do this is having the player identify themselves and get connected with a specific character or characters.

Here at Casually Addicted we recognise just how great some of these characters are whether they be controlled by the player or not and now it’s time to salute them.

THE NOMINATIONS

Of all the talk of emotion and engagement in games we start our nominations with just a general badass in Sleeping Dogs’ Wei Shen.  The Hong Kong born but American raised cop went back to Hong Kong and became an undercover cop who at points had to cross a line he didn’t want to cross.  Enemies became friends and friends became enemies in one of 2012’s sleeper hits.

Wei Shen also gave us one of the quotes of the year in “Wei Shen mother f*cker” as well as getting his own set of meme’s.  Wei Shen is certainly badass of the year but will he win our coverted character of the year?

The next nomination comes from Studio Japan and they’re Vita exclusive Gravity Rush.  It tells the tale of a super hero origin story with the centre of it being the star of the show – Kat.  The innocent looking and cute talking hero often doubts herself throughout her tale but even as she grows into the role she always has time for a bit of humour while saving the town of Heskeville.

The game hints at a more elaborate back story for our heroine and it’s a tale we’re hoping to see more of in the sequel.  But for now Kat drifts about her world and beautiful art style with ease while also being refreshing for a main character and quite down to Earth.

Speaking of refreshing the bond between Lee and Clementine in The Walking Dead is one rarely seen in games.  Young Clem is someone that the player feels a real need to look after and separating Lee from Clem isn’t something you want to see.  That’s the main reason as to why they both are nominated here as a single entity.

Some of the emotional attachment to both characters are possibly the strongest in any game.  Life, death, hope, survival and fear are all explored between the two as Lee tries to be Clem’s missing father figure as well as trying to help them both survive for as long as possible.

On the opposite end of the scale from having a warm and caring bond between player and character is the mad man who lurks in Far Cry 3.  Vaas is one of 2012’s more interesting, warped and down right scary individuals.

His cues are clearly influenced by the Joker while his tone and sometimes calm aggressive voiceover works wonderfully with the overall vibe of the game.  You knew Ubisoft had something special in Vaas when he featured in almost every trailer and even appears on the box art as opposed to the guy you play as.

Finally we arrive at our last nomination and it’s Cortana from Halo 4.  She’s often the sidepiece to Master Chief when it comes to saving the galaxy but this time her confusion and development takes centre stage.

Jen Taylor lends her voice to Cortana and she really upped her game for the latest in the Halo saga.  Cortana shows real fear of her demise for an A.I throughout as she comes to terms with being in service for so long.

Find out our 2012 Character of the Year on the next page…

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Craig is a third of Casually Addicted's origin crew and a keen lover of all things green and white. You can follow Craig on Google + and Twitter @CraigJShields.

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