Will any game this generation top Breen as the best villain ever?

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uninspiredcup

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#1  Edited By uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 45812 Posts

To recap - Doctor Breen sold out earth for subjugation to the combine, but the alternative is total annihilation. Instead letting earth be wiped out, he believes in his ethos of bettering humanity by molding them into an heteronomy image of ant colony working in hierarchy, using this to justify appalling acts similar to unit 731. He has an uneasy alliance similar to that of Jewish collaborators in WW2, where he himself is condemned but in a position of authority.

His patronizing 1984 news bites emphasizing the will of the state, Combine beating up, attacking, shifting people like cattle are now more relevant than ever thanks to Mr Trumps hair piece warning us the dangers of magical thinking.

In many ways the threat of Gordon Freeman could justifiably end humanity for the sake of satisfying human dignity rather than yielding for the sake of existence itself, which he eloquently explains in the later final section of the game.

Aesthetically he is a generic old looking man, intelligent with slick presentation, rather than a man with disfigurement, mental issues or a women dressed like a bad S&M party. Nothing about him suggests cynism, like a politician it's his job to win the people over through well rehearsed rhetoric.

I am bad, ho ho ho, he he he, ho ho ho
I am bad, ho ho ho, he he he, ho ho ho

 I am women with breasts and very sad, shoot me
I am women with breasts and very sad, shoot me

Do you think this generation will ever produce a villain so well executed as Dr. Breen, from Valves undisputed masterpiece? So far it's looking not to be the case.

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#2 R4gn4r0k
Member since 2004 • 37476 Posts

Was Breen the one with the pet headcrab ?

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#3 DocSanchez
Member since 2013 • 5557 Posts

The Breen sucked. They were just thrown in to make the Dominion look stronger. I preferred the Cardassians as villains.

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#4 foxhound_fox
Member since 2005 • 98532 Posts

Breen wasn't even the villain of Half Life 2...

@R4gn4r0k said:

Was Breen the one with the pet headcrab ?

That's Doctor Kleiner.

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#5  Edited By uninspiredcup
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@DocSanchez said:

The Breen sucked. They were just thrown in to make the Dominion look stronger. I preferred the Cardassians as villains.

The Breen were use to show the discord between the Cardassians and The Dominion, as well as there increasing irrelevancy.

They served to make Damar a anti-hero and ultimately (somewhat) redeem the Cardassians by turning them into the Bajorans they occupied, in ironic, poetic fashion.

Also gave Andrew J. Robinson a scene to chew.

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#6 Ghosts4ever
Member since 2015 • 18011 Posts

G-Man is better villain than breen

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#7 DocSanchez
Member since 2013 • 5557 Posts

@uninspiredcup: I would argue better served with using an existing race instead of a comedic folly but more Garak is better than less Garak.

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#8 nepu7supastar7
Member since 2007 • 6117 Posts

@uninspiredcup:

Dr. Breen? Really? Throughout the entirety of Half Life 2, he hardly ever felt like a villain to me. Sure his actions were menacing like announcing Earth's surrender but the character himself feels too....normal. He talks about working with you like as if he was still Freeman's administrator. I'd hardly consider him villainous.

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#9  Edited By uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 45812 Posts

@killered3 said:

@uninspiredcup:

Dr. Breen? Really? Throughout the entirety of Half Life 2, he hardly ever felt like a villain to me. Sure his actions were menacing like announcing Earth's surrender but the character himself feels too....normal. He talks about working with you like as if he was still Freeman's administrator. I'd hardly consider him villainous.

That's the point though. What he is doing is actively abhorrent, but his reasons for doing it (in his mind) are legitimate and rational, and even understandable. many people would agree being alive, in whatever form, is better than being dead.

He isn't ho-ho-ho like a campy villain but putting on a optimistic facade to justify anything and everything.

In his mind, it's Gordon Freeman that's the villain, for a very good reason as well, his values go directly against his own holding a mythical rather than grounded factoid appeal to the masses and that can potentially incite the Combine to just end humanities existence entirely.

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#10  Edited By iandizion713
Member since 2005 • 16025 Posts

None can top Demise. He made me doubt my faith in the Goddesses...especially Farore. Ive never had a Boss intimidate me like he did.

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#11 nepu7supastar7
Member since 2007 • 6117 Posts

@uninspiredcup:

Then by all accounts, Saren from Mass Effect 1 would fit the bill even more. He was indoctrinated by the Reapers to think that he was saving the galaxy by proving organic life's usefulness. That's Breene's mindset in a nutshell. In reality, they're both wrong and they're both dooming their causes but if in their minds they believe they're good then how does that make them villains?

It doesn't, it in fact makes them out to be victims horribly mislead by outside forces. They're in control over nothing. They're just under the illusion that they control everything. True villains like the Joker exceed the boundaries of ethics and moral standing, they live to kill and destroy because they hate everything and everyone. An evil so pure, so profound that it's unstoppable, uncorruptable and incurable. That's what makes villains like Joker so damn scary.

You could convince Dr. Breene if you provided him with evidence that he was being used. Because he was sane, he wanted to save the human race. Same with Saren if it weren't for indoctrination. But the Joker is a different case.

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#12  Edited By Sancho_Panzer
Member since 2015 • 1783 Posts

No one will stoop below the vile treachery of a Puyo Puyo tetromino.

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#13 FireEmblem_Man
Member since 2004 • 19933 Posts

@iandizion713 said:

None can top Demise. He made me doubt my faith in the Goddesses...especially Farore. Ive never had a Boss intimidate me like he did.

You must have really sucked at playing Skyward Sword if you thought Demise was the best boss. He was too easy

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#14  Edited By iandizion713
Member since 2005 • 16025 Posts

@FireEmblem_Man: Post your own Villain then, stop hatin. Dont be scared now.

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#15 jg4xchamp
Member since 2006 • 63300 Posts

Breen is terrible, and the parts of Half Life 2 that are supposed to be similar to 1984 are devoid of any nuance what so ever to actually provide some narrative depth. The constant adulation of the player by Valve in Half Life 2 is their greatest jedi mind trick, they tricked so many people into thinking the story and story telling of Half Life 2 isn't incredibly shitty and filled with paper thin characters. Oh added bonus they retcon their own previous game to make all their bullshit work, and their stupid fanbase never noticed. The worst.

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#16 mems_1224
Member since 2004 • 56919 Posts

Never heard of him

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#17  Edited By uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 45812 Posts

@killered3 said:

@uninspiredcup:

Then by all accounts, Saren from Mass Effect 1 would fit the bill even more. He was indoctrinated by the Reapers to think that he was saving the galaxy by proving organic life's usefulness. That's Breene's mindset in a nutshell. In reality, they're both wrong and they're both dooming their causes but if in their minds they believe they're good then how does that make them villains?

It doesn't, it in fact makes them out to be victims horribly mislead by outside forces. They're in control over nothing. They're just under the illusion that they control everything. True villains like the Joker exceed the boundaries of ethics and moral standing, they live to kill and destroy because they hate everything and everyone. An evil so pure, so profound that it's unstoppable, uncorruptable and incurable. That's what makes villains like Joker so damn scary.

You could convince Dr. Breene if you provided him with evidence that he was being used. Because he was sane, he wanted to save the human race. Same with Saren if it weren't for indoctrination. But the Joker is a different case.

I'm afraid I can't comment on Saren, I played it, but it was a very long time ago. All I remember was it had that girl from Star Trek who married Riker.

Regardless, would still argue his character is a masterful representation of assimilation through conditioning.

In many ways, when I look at IGN and Gamespot pretend Call Of Duty and Destiny are good, an event of our times we should all jump aboard, I think of Breen, smiling, claiming it's safer.

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#18 aigis
Member since 2015 • 7355 Posts

From what I remember Breen wasn't all that memorable

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#19  Edited By uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 45812 Posts

@aigis said:

From what I remember Breen wasn't all that memorable

I use to think the same when I was very young. Metal Gear Solid had a eye pirate samurai and cowboy who was being controlled an arm that would change his voice to a campy English man. Very cool.

As I got older,and my brain matured, I realized what Valve was doing, and how so far ahead of everything else it was.

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#20 aigis
Member since 2015 • 7355 Posts

@uninspiredcup: I enjoy the occupation aspects of the story, but I never remember Breen having a really strong moment. Its been a while since ive played, but I started playing it again recently, so maybe my view will change. As of right now I would say the Boss is better though

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#21 nepu7supastar7
Member since 2007 • 6117 Posts

@uninspiredcup:

But Breene was just a misguided guy. He had genuine intentions, he just had a horrible way of handling it. That doesn't make him evil at all. Especially when there were forces behind it all pulling his strings. Breene was just the appetizer for the main course.

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#22 Shmiity
Member since 2006 • 6625 Posts

BREEN? You mean NEIL BREEN??? The best film director of our age??

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#23  Edited By LegatoSkyheart
Member since 2009 • 29733 Posts

pfft, a best Villain thread it doesn't even have Waluigi in it.

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#24 360ru13r
Member since 2008 • 1856 Posts

First off I never heard of Doctor Breen and second he's not even the villain people refer to when they talk about the half life series so you already failed on two fronts. Now for iconic villains this generation I would say that we haven't really had one yet. I mean there are villains I like, for instance Delilah from Dishonored 2 is interesting but she not really fleshed out enough for my tastes. Also Paul from Quantum Break was an interesting villain but once again just wasn't flesh out enough.

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#25  Edited By Jag85
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The most well-written video game villains I've seen tend to be from visual novels, such as Shion from Higurashi and Archer from Fate/Stay Night. I'd probably go with Archer, however, as your choices in F/SN determine what kind of character he becomes.

The most politically interesting villain I've seen, however, is Solidus Snake from Metal Gear Solid 2. It's eery how Hideo Kojima anticipated what kind of president the US would have in the future.

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#26  Edited By Maroxad
Member since 2007 • 17066 Posts

Who is Breen?

Oh that guy. Completely forgettable. If he was supposed to draw parallels to 1984 Valve's writers failed miserably at it.

Half Life 2's narrative was outright terrible. With paper-thin characters, retcons of HL1 (the Half Life game that doesn't suck), lack of nuance and weak plot and dialogue. I am surprised people hold that shit in any high regard. Are the standards gamers hold really this low? Then again, if all you are exposed to is a medium with weaker storytelling standards than Shonen anime... I cant really say I am surprised.

The "best" stories in gaming usually come from adventure games and any of its variants (Visual Novels).

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#27  Edited By uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 45812 Posts

@LegatoSkyheart said:

pfft, a best Villain thread it doesn't even have Waluigi in it.

Was going to say Wario, but Maradox pseudo-intellectual reply put me off him forever.

Wario can get fucked.

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#28 turtlethetaffer
Member since 2009 • 18973 Posts

There are a lot of better villains in gaming than Breen. To me, the Half Life story is fine, interesting enough and presented very well, but pretty overblown by the fan base.

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#29 GarGx1
Member since 2011 • 10934 Posts

Not a product of this generation but Gladdos is a far better villain that Dr Breen.

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#30  Edited By uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 45812 Posts

@GarGx1 said:

Not a product of this generation but Gladdos is a far better villain that Dr Breen.

IMO first deception good but Gladdos is ruined in Portal 2, becomes too self aware of pop culture - panders by making her good guy and what not. The single player game as a whole feels too fan-service. Aside from the COOP, which is pretty excellent, they really should have left it at 1.

Mr Breen is a far different, more realistic depiction of evil. The only real weakness being how they hamfistedly linked him to Black Mesa for a forced connection with the characters rather than "some guy". Everything else = perfection Absolute perfection.

10/10

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#31 princeofshapeir
Member since 2006 • 16652 Posts

half-life 2 would probably be a better game without breen.

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#32 Maroxad
Member since 2007 • 17066 Posts

@GarGx1 said:

Not a product of this generation but Gladdos is a far better villain that Dr Breen.

Yeah, GLaDOS was much more well executed. She worked well with the dark humor found throughout the entire game.

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#33 GarGx1
Member since 2011 • 10934 Posts

@uninspiredcup said:
@GarGx1 said:

Not a product of this generation but Gladdos is a far better villain that Dr Breen.

IMO first deception good but Gladdos is ruined in Portal 2, becomes too self aware of pop culture - panders by making her good guy and what not. The single player game as a whole feels too fan-service. Aside from the COOP, which is pretty excellent, they really should have left it at 1.

Mr Breen is a far different, more realistic depiction of evil. The only real weakness being how they hamfistedly linked him to Black Mesa for a forced connection with the characters rather than "some guy". Everything else = perfection Absolute perfection.

10/10

Nah, I'll stick with sociopathic A.I. robot woman than manipulated insecure politician man. She's a far more interesting and entertaining bad guy. Breen gets forgotten while Gladdos will go down in video game history alongside SHODAN from System Shock.

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#34  Edited By worker
Member since 2017 • 15 Posts

Gordon Freeman and Wallace Breen are both the protagonists and antagonists of Half-Life 2.

Breen was an opportunist who found himself in a position of power, control and leadership for humanity, and to maintain his position he had to keep everyone in check. He was the link between the Combine and human population, a conduit for their will more or less and a deal broker. If you actually break down his intentions and his position, it may be selfish in regards, and it may be cowardice, however he was keeping humanity from extinction by perpetuating a neutral state with the Combine. The reason he became the "villain" in Half-Life 2 was entirely due to Gordon Freeman's insurrection, Gordon was destroying everything that Breen had built to keep humanity alive, his insurrection was dismantling the Combine's understanding and agreement with Breen that kept humans from extinction, in a way Gordon was the antagonist of Half-Life 2 as well.

Breen's intentions were always good but were that of compliance, and led to him trying to kill Gordon Freeman to save everyone, if Gordon was unsuccessful in his rebellion the Combine would wipe out humanity, that is why Breen was trying to kill him, to save humanity in the event of Gordon's failure.

Gordon's intentions were always good and led to him trying to overthrow Breen and wipe out the Combine to save humanity, but he was always reckless, didn't see the bigger picture and how his actions could unravel everything that was keeping him and everyone else alive.

So you see, they were both the antagonists and protagonists of this story, and that's something most people didn't see for whatever reason.

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#35  Edited By uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 45812 Posts

@worker said:

Gordon Freeman and Wallace Breen are both the protagonists and antagonists of Half-Life 2.

Breen was an opportunist who found himself in a position of power, control and leadership for humanity, and to maintain his position he had to keep everyone in check. He was the link between the Combine and human population, a conduit for their will more or less and a deal broker. If you actually break down his intentions and his position, it may be selfish in regards, and it may be cowardice, however he was keeping humanity from extinction by perpetuating a neutral state with the Combine. The reason he became the "villain" in Half-Life 2 was entirely due to Gordon Freeman's insurrection, Gordon was destroying everything that Breen had built to keep humanity alive, his insurrection was dismantling the Combine's understanding and agreement with Breen that kept humans from extinction, in a way Gordon was the antagonist of Half-Life 2 as well.

Breen's intentions were always good but were that of compliance, and led to him trying to kill Gordon Freeman to save everyone, if Gordon was unsuccessful in his rebellion the Combine would wipe out humanity, that is why Breen was trying to kill him, to save humanity in the event of Gordon's failure.

Gordon's intentions were always good and led to him trying to overthrow Breen and wipe out the Combine to save humanity, but he was always reckless, didn't see the bigger picture and how his actions could unravel everything that was keeping him and everyone else alive.

So you see, they were both the antagonists and protagonists of this story, and that's something most people didn't see for whatever reason.

Excellent post.

Could basically be summed up as better to die on your feet or live on your knees, dying for a cause is a romantic and far more appealing idea, it's Freemans appeal to the citizens in the game as well as the player, whereas Breen takes a distanced objective look at matters, though him seeing the better of humanity (by basically removing it) without any choice in the matter is arguably bad, bad.

Very much reminiscent of that scene from Deep Space 9 where Bashire calculates it's better to give in to the Dominion, with Sisko telling him to stop being a silly prick.

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#36 Jaysummonsdemons
Member since 2016 • 82 Posts

http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/megamitensei/images/7/7e/P3TakayaPortrait.png/revision/latest?cb=20160329180013

Easily my most hated villian.. Gahh can't play persona 3 without wanting to stab takaya in the face.

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#37 worker
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@uninspiredcup said:
@worker said:

Gordon Freeman and Wallace Breen are both the protagonists and antagonists of Half-Life 2.

Breen was an opportunist who found himself in a position of power, control and leadership for humanity, and to maintain his position he had to keep everyone in check. He was the link between the Combine and human population, a conduit for their will more or less and a deal broker. If you actually break down his intentions and his position, it may be selfish in regards, and it may be cowardice, however he was keeping humanity from extinction by perpetuating a neutral state with the Combine. The reason he became the "villain" in Half-Life 2 was entirely due to Gordon Freeman's insurrection, Gordon was destroying everything that Breen had built to keep humanity alive, his insurrection was dismantling the Combine's understanding and agreement with Breen that kept humans from extinction, in a way Gordon was the antagonist of Half-Life 2 as well.

Breen's intentions were always good but were that of compliance, and led to him trying to kill Gordon Freeman to save everyone, if Gordon was unsuccessful in his rebellion the Combine would wipe out humanity, that is why Breen was trying to kill him, to save humanity in the event of Gordon's failure.

Gordon's intentions were always good and led to him trying to overthrow Breen and wipe out the Combine to save humanity, but he was always reckless, didn't see the bigger picture and how his actions could unravel everything that was keeping him and everyone else alive.

So you see, they were both the antagonists and protagonists of this story, and that's something most people didn't see for whatever reason.

Excellent post.

Could basically be summed up as better to die on your feet or live on your knees, dying for a cause is a romantic and far more appealing idea, it's Freemans appeal to the citizens in the game as well as the player, whereas Breen takes a distanced objective look at matters, though him seeing the better of humanity (by basically removing it) without any choice in the matter is arguably bad, bad.

Very much reminiscent of that scene from Deep Space 9 where Bashire calculates it's better to give in to the Dominion, with Sisko telling him to stop being a silly prick.

That fits perfectly, have you played Quantum Break by chance? I would say that Paul Serene is without a doubt the Wallace Breen of this generation, the best villian we've seen yet, equally as good and bad with positive intentions that are rebelled against.

If you really look at that game in comparison to Half-Life 2, it's the same overarching story with a different scenario, Paul is Breen, and Jack Joyce is Gordon Freeman.

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#38 N64DD
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Airy from Bravely Default/Bravely Second. That bitch!

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#39 jun_aka_pekto
Member since 2010 • 25254 Posts

When it comes to games, I prefer a villain who shoots back at me such as Radec.

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#40  Edited By Jagoff
Member since 2016 • 515 Posts

You know, for someone who likes to place himself in a holier-than-thou position among gamers, you have some pretty shit taste of your own.

You give Breen way more credit than he deserves as a villain. To call his antagonistic presence "weak" doesn't even scratch the surface, and near the very beginning it is established that he is no more than a pawn.

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#41  Edited By uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 45812 Posts
@worker said:
@uninspiredcup said:
@worker said:

Gordon Freeman and Wallace Breen are both the protagonists and antagonists of Half-Life 2.

Breen was an opportunist who found himself in a position of power, control and leadership for humanity, and to maintain his position he had to keep everyone in check. He was the link between the Combine and human population, a conduit for their will more or less and a deal broker. If you actually break down his intentions and his position, it may be selfish in regards, and it may be cowardice, however he was keeping humanity from extinction by perpetuating a neutral state with the Combine. The reason he became the "villain" in Half-Life 2 was entirely due to Gordon Freeman's insurrection, Gordon was destroying everything that Breen had built to keep humanity alive, his insurrection was dismantling the Combine's understanding and agreement with Breen that kept humans from extinction, in a way Gordon was the antagonist of Half-Life 2 as well.

Breen's intentions were always good but were that of compliance, and led to him trying to kill Gordon Freeman to save everyone, if Gordon was unsuccessful in his rebellion the Combine would wipe out humanity, that is why Breen was trying to kill him, to save humanity in the event of Gordon's failure.

Gordon's intentions were always good and led to him trying to overthrow Breen and wipe out the Combine to save humanity, but he was always reckless, didn't see the bigger picture and how his actions could unravel everything that was keeping him and everyone else alive.

So you see, they were both the antagonists and protagonists of this story, and that's something most people didn't see for whatever reason.

Excellent post.

Could basically be summed up as better to die on your feet or live on your knees, dying for a cause is a romantic and far more appealing idea, it's Freemans appeal to the citizens in the game as well as the player, whereas Breen takes a distanced objective look at matters, though him seeing the better of humanity (by basically removing it) without any choice in the matter is arguably bad, bad.

Very much reminiscent of that scene from Deep Space 9 where Bashire calculates it's better to give in to the Dominion, with Sisko telling him to stop being a silly prick.

That fits perfectly, have you played Quantum Break by chance? I would say that Paul Serene is without a doubt the Wallace Breen of this generation, the best villian we've seen yet, equally as good and bad with positive intentions that are rebelled against.

If you really look at that game in comparison to Half-Life 2, it's the same overarching story with a different scenario, Paul is Breen, and Jack Joyce is Gordon Freeman.

Sadly not, backlog full.

Shall check it out though.