Arno Dorian – Assassin’s Creed Unity
The first boring protagonist on our list, Arno is the star of one of the least memorable Assassin’s Creed games, Unity, and its lack of popularity probably has something to do with him. He’s a two-dimensional character with lackluster motivations that don’t do much for the plot of the game.
Most of the time he chases after a woman who’s occupied with more important things than a silly boy. To make matters worse, he’s unconcerned with the world around him and he’s only really interested in things that involve him and Elise.
He barely even wants to be an assassin which defeats the purpose of a game series titled “Assassin’s Creed.”
Ubisoft attempted to create another type of Ezio character which will never happen ever again. You can only have one Ezio, after all. They instead ended up creating Arno who just fell short of anything interesting.
Aiden Pearce – Watch Dogs
Aiden Pearce is the epitome of generic video game protagonists. His personality is rather bland and he doesn’t particularly contribute much in the way of intriguing conversation or character interaction.
He’s the typical revenge-seeking protagonist who wants justice for the wrongdoings done against him and his family. That could have been a very exciting and interesting story to follow if Aiden showed an ounce of life in his character.
However, his personality simply doesn’t engage with the player or the plot.
He’s as memorable as Arno and that is the furthest from a complement. Aiden Pearce goes through the plot of his game with disinterest and no ounce of charisma or intrigue. He’s simply just there which makes him entirely forgettable.
Sam Fisher – Splinter Cell Series
One of gaming’s most iconic protagonists, Sam Fisher has been in this particular business for over seven games. Many of us followed his story from the beginning and he was very interesting (keyword: was).
Sam already had an interesting job to start with. He’s practically a secret agent with cool gadgets and tricks. To top it off, he had a mix of wit, sarcasm, and professionalism as the backbone to his personality.
After Splinter Cell: Conviction, he lost that special something that made him Sam Fisher. He simply turned into another lackluster protagonist who didn’t have anything interesting about him. It’s like everything cool about him went away with Michael Ironside.
He turns more angry and generic in Splinter Cell: Blacklist, replacing his mix of lighthearted sarcasm and humor with something akin to an action movie star.
Master Chief – Halo Series
Another incredibly iconic video game character, Master Chief has saved the universe countless times. Even though he’s near and dear to my heart, Master Chief is a little boring. Most of the time it seems like other characters are talking to a brick wall.
Cortana practically talks for the both of them and since they were separated for most of Halo 3 and, now, the rest of the Forerunner trilogy, Master Chief has to drive conversation himself, a feat he doesn’t really do well.
Granted, it’s because the Chief has very little talent in anything other than shooting Grunts and punching Brutes even though those are very enjoyable things to do.
Some would say Master Chief’s charm comes from his stoicism and straightforwardness but being a man of very little words can only take you so far.
Desmond Miles – Assassin’s Creed Series
The modern-day protagonist of the first few Assassin’s Creed games, Desmond Miles has a tendency to complain and complain and complain.
Granted, some of his complaints are warranted but most people would rather run and jump across rooftops as Ezio in Venice instead of hearing Desmond talk about how terrible his life is.
Desmond attempts to be sarcastic and witty but most of the time it ends up feeling like he’s just being a jerk and being a little bitter. He did end up saving the world but his death would have been a little more meaningful if he wasn’t Desmond.
The modern-day aspects of the early Assassin’s Creed games could have been incredibly interesting and exciting if they had simply gotten Desmond right.
However, they didn’t. So, there were unskippable sections of the games where you simply had to let Desmond be Desmond.
Markus – Detroit: Become Human
Out of the three main protagonists in Detroit: Become Human, Markus is the least interesting. He’s meant to be a messiah character or practically Jesus in a video game but the entirety of his story and character lacks that “something” that needs to keep the audience’s attention.
The story itself is predictable and, as such, it makes Markus just as predictable even with the many choices you can make in the game.
Markus didn’t have the charisma and charm that most leaders and figures have that lets them captivate an audience and gain followers, something he very much needs because he is literally the figurehead of the android uprising and revolution.
Instead, Markus goes about the game with a sort of distance to his character that keeps his story from feeling meaningful.
Deacon St. John – Days Gone
Akin to Aiden Pearce, Deacon is pretty generic. This time, however, he’s a generic brooding video game protagonist with a beard and tattoos.
On his own, he’s not particularly intriguing but when he’s with other people like Sarah he gets an ounce more interesting. The zombies in the game are more entertaining than him which is saying something because they don’t even talk.
To top it off, Deacon has a tendency to yell everything he says even when he’s a foot away from someone, leading to some of the weirdest dialogue interactions.
His voice actor, in general, tends to overact Deacon’s lines, making the character feel fake and uninteresting. The bad dialogue, in itself, is entertaining in an absurd kind of way but Deacon himself…not so much.
Every Pokemon Protagonist (Except Red) – Pokemon Series
Don’t get me wrong. The Pokemon games are great and a lot of fun. The main characters, however, are a bit lacking. Silent protagonists can go either way when it comes to how interesting they are and the ones in Pokemon are simply just there for your use.
The maximum potential for the protagonists seems to only be walking in the cardinal directions and throwing Poke Balls. They don’t have anything other than cool clothes despite being 10 years old. Your rival even has more personality than you.
The games would be even better with fleshed out playable characters with personalities instead of simply being little kids you’re using to catch Pokemon.
Red gets exempt from this because his character has been expanded upon in tons of other media. Everyone else, however, I’m looking at you.