It's that time of year to throw caution (and common sense) to the wind and expose your inner nerd to the world, and what better way to do it than to dress up as a videogame character? We've chosen a few notable individuals from this year's lineup of games as suggested costume choices. Of course, you could just go down to the store and pick out a pre-made costume (especially if it's for a character with comic book origins), but we have some extra tips for taking a shot at it yourself. Use these super-serious and not-at-all-a-joke tips to nail the look of some of the most memorable characters from 2009. We here at GameSpot wish you a safe and happy Halloween.
Character: Eddie Riggs
Why Him: Eddie might be just an ordinary, underappreciated roadie in the normal world. But in a land where huge statues pay homage to the titans of metal music, Eddie becomes the leader of an army of headbangers and other like-minded individuals who are ready to free themselves from the oppressive reign of the demonic Emperor Doviculus. Among the weapons in his arsenal are a giant axe, a slick roadster called The Deuce, and a magic guitar that shoots lightning and melts faces.
What You Need: Go watch a movie (any movie) with Jack Black in it, and you'll have Eddie's personality quirks down. The rest of the costume is pretty easy to do, provided you have some jeans, a t-shirt, and maybe a spiked collar or two. You get bonus points if you can find a magic belt buckle that transports you to a completely different world if you happen to spill a little blood on it.
Game: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)
Character: Nathan Drake
Why Him: If Indiana Jones was the young, debonair, thrill-seeking adventurer of the 1980s, Nathan is the young, debonair, thrill-seeking adventurer of the 2000s. For those who own a PS3. And who also own the Uncharted games. Anyway, Nathan claims to be the descendent of legendary explorer Sir Francis Drake, and the guy somehow always ends up on treasure hunts that involve beautiful women and deadly gunplay.
What You Need: Bed-head crewcut hair and some serious five-o'clock shadow. Either don't shave for several days, or consider rubbing a little charcoal or ash on your face for that scraggly adventuring look. A holstered pistol strapped to a casual shirt and jeans will complete the ensemble, provided you remember to add the most important aspect of all--the always-classy half-tuck.
Character: Alex Mercer
Why Him: Who wouldn't want to soar through the air and leap from building to building without fear or push through crowds of people like a bowling ball through pins? That's exactly what Alex Mercer does in Prototype. Oh yeah, he also devours other people, steals their identities, and can change his arm into a biological mass weapon of death. (To clarify, those last few items would be optional for your costume.)
What You Need: As long as you have a hoodie of some sort and don't really remember anything about your past, you're good. If you can leap from building to building, that's even better. [Editor's Note: Please do not try to leap from building to building.] As for re-creating Alex's Swiss Army knife of an arm and his penchant for devouring other people…our lawyers advise us to suggest that you skip that part of the costume, too. The hoodie is really what makes the look, anyway.
Character: Pick One
Why Them: They're some of the greatest superheroes and supervillains ever to grace the pages of a comic book. And now, the fine folks at Disney own them all!
What You Need: Lots of imagination and maybe not quite as much self-respect. We're not even going to try to list the huge number of classic comic-book heroes and villains in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 that you could consider for costume ideas. If you're going to go through with it, you could choose from many fine pre-made, store-bought superhero getups, or try to create your own. Either way, just don't say "hi" to us if you're wearing your costume at the Halloween party. We won't know you and we won't have ever met you.
Game: Infamous (PS3)
Character: Cole MacGrath
Why Him: Some would argue that bike messengers already have some kind of crazy super powers that enable them to narrowly avoid car doors and pedestrians, but Cole MacGrath one-ups all of them with his ability to shoot lightning bolts from his fingertips. Of course, Cole didn't always have this power--he awakes after a major explosion in Empire City, only to discover the sizzling new skills that he can use for either good or evil.
What You Need: Cole's look is pretty easy to replicate if you're willing to shave your head, don a leather jacket, and sling a messenger bag on your back. As for his electrifying super powers, you might try carrying a small piece of shag carpet with you on Halloween, tossing it on the floor, and furiously rubbing your feet on it to generate some static electricity. You'll look like a complete fool, but unlike Cole, you'll have a reason for wearing that messenger bag.
Why Him: Batman's one of the more interesting characters in the world of super heroes in that he has no superhuman powers, but what he lacks in weird super powers, he makes up for with brains, gadgets, and the ability to strike fear into the hearts of superstitious and cowardly evil-doers everywhere. The Dark Knight brings these formidable abilities to bear in Arkham Asylum as he travels through the prison's labyrinthine hallways and corridors to track down the Joker and several other supervillains on the loose.
What You Need: The hardest part about turning into Batman isn't that you'd need to become a martial arts master or be able to grapple up to conveniently placed gargoyles. You see, Batman costumes are abundant, but the most difficult thing is replicating his massive physique, particularly the impossibly ripped look he has in Arkham Asylum. If you're a meat lover, you might consider strapping a ham (honey-baked or otherwise) or two to each bicep and securing the hood of an SUV to your ribcage to replicate his massive barrel chest. If that's too much trouble, you could consider injecting yourself with muscle-building steroids to pump yourself up fast. [Editor's Note: PLEASE DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, INJECT YOURSELF WITH STEROIDS. THANK YOU.] If you can your hands on some night-vision goggles, you might be able to simulate Batman's trademark detective mode. Then again, maybe you could just get a regular pair of goggles, and, you know…pretend.