THE 15 GREAT­EST CHAR­AC­TER CRE­ATORS IN XBOX HIS­TORY

From de­mon ba­bies, to dread­locked giants, to gin­ger-mul­leted weirdos, here are the top 15 char­ac­ter cre­ators on Xbox that let you go fur­ther than the laws of na­ture ever in­tended Ben Grif­fin

XBox: The Official Magazine - - START -

15 Rock Band 4

Each hair­style, in­stru­ment and item of cloth­ing you pur­chase in this mu­sic party game comes with a brief de­scrip­tion of­fer­ing play­ers a scathing in­dict­ment of cul­ture in all its forms. A half-and-half leo­tard called Be­yond the Bi­nary, for ex­am­ple, reads: ‘Be­cause why pick just ONE out­fit? You can’t be tied down like that, man’, while an Axl Rose ban­dana is ‘the rough­est, tough­est way to show off your pretty, pretty hair’. But we shouldn’t be sur­prised: af­ter all, there’s no bet­ter way to pre­pare for a gig than get­ting ab­so­lutely de­flated by a bru­tal cri­tique of your care­fully con­structed im­age that cuts right to your very soul. Now let’s rock!

14 Rain­bow 6 Ve­gas 2

If this counter-ter­ror­ist looks fa­mil­iar, it’s be­cause he’s wear­ing the face of the writer across the page. That’s right, you can ac­tu­ally scan your own mug into Ubisoft’s tac­ti­cal Xbox 360 shooter and run around Las Ve­gas as a slightly bored op­er­a­tive. All you need is an Xbox Live Vi­sion Cam­era and good light­ing. There’s no fa­cial an­i­ma­tion: in­stead you have a sin­gle stoic ex­pres­sion that fails to reg­is­ter so much as a pan­icked quiver even when you’re be­sieged by a wave of in­sur­gent. To be hon­est, that’s ul­ti­mately an ac­cu­rate rep­re­sen­ta­tion of a Tom Clancy lead­ing man any­way. Just look at Ben Af­fleck [Whoa,shots­fired-Ed].

13 Sky­lan­ders Imag­i­na­tors

A mod­u­lar mon­ster-maker, this. Slap a tiki head on a ro­bot body, at­tach snake arms (as in ac­tual snakes) and fill in each com­po­nent in a dif­fer­ent colour. You can also con­struct mean­ing­less catch­phrases out of in­di­vid­ual lines, such as “No one ex­pects the Earth!”, and even have a fig­urine replica sent to you by down­load­ing the Sky­lan­ders Cre­ators app. It’s hard to end up with some­one who

isn’t weirdly awe­some, so we take up the chal­lenge and en­deav­our to make the lamest Sky­lan­der pos­si­ble: Saucepan Man, with the head of a man and the body of a man, and a saucepan on his head. We love him to bits.

12 Watch Dogs 2

Mar­cus Hol­loway al­ways comes out of it well no mat­ter what gar­ish getup he wears. We can very eas­ily imag­ine half a pin­stripe business suit, pink box­ers and cow­boy boots be­ing the look among San Fran­cisco’s un­der­ground tech re­sis­tance. While you can’t al­ter Mar­cus’ face or remove his glasses, a bevvy of cloth­ing out­lets en­sure plenty of style op­tions: there’s knitwear paradise Plain­stock; Wil­liam Finn for the dap­per; Torque Rat for hel­mets and leathers; Axle Board­shop for beach bums; and Street Flex for the east coast ex­tro­verts want­ing to rock gold puffers and tank tops cov­ered in dol­lar bills.

11 Mass Ef­fect 2

BioWare’s space epic starts with your char­ac­ter dead. Af­ter para­mil­i­tary or­gan­i­sa­tion Cer­berus re­cov­ers and re­con­structs Com­man­der Shep­ard’s body us­ing the finest plas­tic surgery cred­its can buy, you be­gin again. Once we’re done pick­ing Shep­ard’s ori­gin (Earth­born, colonist or spacer) and psy­cho­log­i­cal pro­file (ruth­less sol­dier or war hero?), we head im­me­di­ately to the fa­cial slid­ers. Af­ter all, it’s what’s on the out­side that counts, and what’s out­side is a blonde cae­sar cut with a pen­cil mous­tache. We may owe our life to Cer­berus but our style is our own. “I’m Com­man­der Shep­ard, and this is the most po­tato-like face on the Ci­tadel.”

10 Dark Souls 2

The ego­tis­ti­cal use char­ac­ter cre­ators to recre­ate them­selves. The cu­ri­ous swap gen­ders and ex­pe­ri­ence life from the other side. The di­a­bol­i­cal (that’s us) are all about con­struct­ing the most off­putting avatars hu­manly pos­si­ble, with plump noses, rosy cheeks and a thick and proud mono­brow. It’s hard to ruin the won­der in an epic game like Dark Souls

2, in which or­ches­tral scores un­der­pin ten­ta­tive ex­plo­ration of an at­mo­spheric fan­tasy world, but pan­ning the cam­era to re­veal your char­ac­ter as a per­ma­grin­ning Lilly Sav­age looka­like just about does it. No one in Dran­gleic is as grossly in­can­des­cent as this.

09 FIFA 17

Ev­ery­one knows the smaller you are, the bet­ter you are at foot­ball. Just look at Messi. Our 4ft-and-a-bit foot­baller in­fu­ri­ates de­fences by lit­er­ally duck­ing un­der their chal­lenges like a Barcelona Bor­rower, and when he scores, he shouts di­rectly into the side­line cam­era ev­ery time. This is a true sport­ing role model. FIFA’s Be A Pro mode has been a main­stay of the se­ries for years, let­ting you cre­ate foot­ballers and im­prove them match af­ter match by meet­ing ob­jec­tives. It also gets pretty silly when you run up against other Pros on­line – they’re all tiny, light­ning quick and 90 per cent of them in­ex­pli­ca­bly have mas­sive afros.

08 Fall­out 4

Bethesda’s post-apoc­a­lyp­tic RPG bril­liantly makes its char­ac­ter-cre­ator in-uni­verse. The game starts with a scene of do­mes­tic bliss, you star­ing into the bath­room mir­ror prod­ding wrin­kles and an­gling your chin to look for pim­ples just like you would any other morn­ing. Only this morn­ing you can tag-in your sig­nif­i­cant other and cus­tomise them, or cover up those bald spots with a healthy head of hair, or make those dark bags van­ish in­stantly. We could have cre­ated Abe Lin­coln or Wal­ter White, and many have. In­stead, you’re look­ing at The Waste­land’s un­health­i­est res­i­dent, and we’re count­ing ghouls in that list.

07 The Sims 3

We’ve built plenty of freaks over the years, but only the most glo­ri­ously wrong make OXM’s rogue’s gallery. Freaks like The Red Boy here, with his se­vere crew cut, sun­burned skin and pitch-black eyes are the best. He’s ba­si­cally Damian from TheO­men meets

AstroBoy. The best part is cus­tomis­ing his cot­ton cov­er­alls with dif­fer­ent pat­terns and ma­te­ri­als, from swish ze­bra print to shiny leather. We’ve plumped for an awe­some fire de­sign be­cause baby-blue is for ba­bies (clue’s in the name). EA’s lat­est, TheSims4, isn’t avail­able on Xbox One, so you’ll have to crack out your Xbox 360 if you want a Red Boy of your own. It’s worth it; trust us.

06 Dragon Age: In­qui­si­tion

You start by pick­ing one of four races: craggy hu­man, el­e­gant elf, stocky dwarf, or horned gi­ant (the Qu­nari). Next, you pick your class, from tricksy mage to di­rect warrior. Then you go nuts. This is the ul­ti­mate in idio­syn­crasy, with lone braids hang­ing down backs, tribal de­signs tat­tooed across fore­heads and deep fa­cial scar­ring. Hey, it’s a fan­tasy game – there’s no point look­ing sen­si­ble. Qu­nari get the best deal with their range of horn op­tions, in­clud­ing gold-plated, curled and chunky Hell­boy-style. But, in the in­ter­est of com­edy, we’ve cre­ated a don­key-faced weirdo for you to look at.

05 Saints Row IV

Some char­ac­ter cre­ators don’t go far enough with the silly fac­tor, in our hum­ble opin­ion. In SaintsRowIV, if any­thing, you ac­tu­ally have to tone down the shiny chrome skin, lu­mi­nous bee­hive hair­dos, rep­tile eyes and clown makeup, oth­er­wise it just looks silly. There’s also a slider option for ‘sex ap­peal’, which de­ter­mines the size of your... well, you know. It’s the taunts that make this one spe­cial, though, giv­ing you ac­cess to Arrested Devel­op­ment’s chicken dance and Ric Flair’s strut. Best of all, you can strip all your clothes off and per­form these com­pletely naked if you so wish. And why wouldn’t you? You are the Pres­i­dent of the United States, af­ter all.

04 Dead Ris­ing 4

Frank West is will­ing to wear just about any­thing. Hey, you can be who you want in a zom­bie apoc­a­lypse. Wil­lamette Me­gaplex and the sur­round­ing area is ripe for loot­ing, packing pirate out­fits, gin­ger­bread cos­tumes, a white cu­pid nappy, full Santa re­galia, and even strength-boost­ing mil­i­tary exo-suits. The best are cos­play homages to clas­sic Cap­com char­ac­ters, from Mega Man to down­load­able Street Fighter skins. Whether dress­ing like a shark and rid­ing around on a tri­cy­cle, or don­ning a burlap sack and grab­bing Hulk hands, this game is about em­brac­ing ex­cess. Ba­si­cally the op­po­site of DawnOfTheDead.

03 WWE 2K17

Many fea­tures here don’t ap­pear in any other game, prob­a­bly for good rea­son. Vein in­ten­sity, for in­stance, de­ter­mines how much your blood tubes vis­i­bly pop from your skin to give the im­pres­sion your wrestler is con­stantly strain­ing. It’s gross, and kind of cool. Cou­ple this with an­other novel option – body grease – and you can reach truly aw­ful lev­els. For this su­per­star we use the doughy body of King Kong Bundy, the back hair of Ge­orge ‘The An­i­mal’ Steele, and the un­tamed mop of Ein­stein. He’s go­ing up against Big Baby in what prom­ises to be a slob­ber­knocker. What’s more, you can share your cre­ations on­line so play­ers from all over the world can down­load them and re­coil at the phys­i­cal man­i­fes­ta­tion of the con­tents of your brain.

02 NBA 2K17

So life­like is our cre­ated char­ac­ter that even he can’t be­lieve how good he looks. Just look at the sur­prise on his face! And what’s more, this hunk of a man is ac­tu­ally 17 years old. We made him for

NBA2K17’ s cu­rated story mode, in which you start as a high school prodigy be­fore choos­ing your col­lege and fi­nally get­ting drafted to the NBA’s main stage. In par­tic­u­lar, de­vel­oper Vis­ual Con­cepts has nailed a va­ri­ety of hair, with crinkly chin beards and wispy dreads au­then­ti­cally frizzing dur­ing matches, and de­tailed fa­cial an­i­ma­tion that sees play­ers eye the ball hun­grily. The in­stant re­play lets you see ev­ery­thing, from the court’s re­flec­tion in his eyes to the del­i­cate lit­tle hairs up his nose. Look out, Lebron.

01 EA Sports Ul­ti­mate Fight­ing Cham­pi­onship 2

The hu­man­ity! Just look at that un­for­tu­natelook­ing mug on the right. And un­be­liev­ably, this man/crea­ture/thing hasn’t even been punched yet. When re­view copies of UFC2 ar­rived in the office dur­ing March of 2015, we ac­tu­ally drew a crowd of col­leagues who ob­served the mount­ing ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in shriek­ing hor­ror, from sweat-mat­ted body hair to oily glaze on the car­toon chicken chest tat­too (not pic­tured, to pro­tect your sweet eyes). In truth we’re at pains to pick just one from the army of fight­ers we made that day: nar­rowly miss­ing out was the woman with a chin strap beard that stretched around her whole head, and a guy who looked like a botched Je­sus fresco. If we judge char­ac­ter cre­ators on the spit-takes of spec­ta­tors, there can only be one win­ner: UFC2. That would be ten spit-takes out of ten.

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