originals\ Sep 27, 2011 at 3:58 pm

The Arena: John Marston vs. Grayson Hunt


Have you wondered how your favorite video game characters would stack up in comparison with all the others out there? If so, then GameZone's Arena is for you. This time we're going head-to-head with two characters with deadly personalities: John Marston from Red Dead Redemption and Grayson Hunt from Bulletstorm. So saddle up and grab the reigns to see who is the better character! Also, be prepared for plot spoilers within this editorial.

John Marston

Background: John Marston was born into what you would call a broken home. With his mother a prostitute and his father a "pimp," it's no surprise that John left early in his life to see what was out there for a young teenager. At the age of 17, Marston joined a gang headed by Dutch van der Linde. There John learned how to shoot and ultimately became the character you met in Red Dead Redemption. Marston also met his wife Abigail, a former prostitute, while a member. The gang rode together and usually stole money and food from the rich, killing anyone who got in their way.

One day during a robbery, Marston was shot and left out to dry by his comrades. This led to him changing his ways and settling down with his family. Shortly after this change, Marston is required by the Bureau of Investigation to apprehend his former outlaw friends. The Bureau seizes his family to ensure that John completes the task. From there, John goes throughout the Midwest and Mexico to hunt down his old gang. On the journey, Marston grows as a character and realizes that he wants to be a family man.


After completing the task that the Bureau asked of him, John heads back to his ranch with Abigail and their son Jack. There, John commits himself to becoming a better father and husband and to make up for time lost when he was out seizing his old gang. Everything seems fantastic until the U.S. Army attacks the Marston ranch. John protects his family and allows them enough time to get away, but sadly, not enough time for his own escape. John realizes that this is the end and walks out to have over ten U.S. soldiers shoot at him until his body is in shreds.

Pros: Marston obviously proves that he has stellar shooting skills, learned during his time in Dutch's gang. Marston is also an expert on survival, having faced death many times throughout the game. The one skill that John possesses that many people overlook is his ability to communicate. John can sweet talk anyone into anything or simply piss them off and kill them in a gunfight. John is also a man who rarely thinks about himself first. Throughout Red Dead, Marston would help anyone in need---even if it was to eventually get something in return. John probably could have escaped the U.S. Army at the end of the game, but to guarantee his family's safety, he helps them escape by sacrificing himself.

Cons: Though Marston is a rough neck kind of guy, he is also very naive. If you remember Nigel Dickens, the salesman who swears he has a cure for all ailments, then you remember that he fooled Marston time and time again. This naive nature got Marston into some trouble, and you can say that it might have even played into him being captured and killed. Marston also struggled with his identity throughout the game. He obviously wanted to throw his old life away, but with his family seized, he was forced back into that destructive lifestyle.

Grayson Hunt

Background: While little is known about Grayson Hunt's childhood, we do know that it didn't involve clean language and a clean lifestyle. Grayson Hunt, a space pirate, is instantly thrown into mayhem at the beginning of Bulletstorm, when his team goes AWOL after discovering that they were tricked into killing innocent civilians instead of the ruthless drug dealers and mass murderers that their commanding officer General Sarrano told them about.

After a ruthless attempt at getting back at Sarrano, Hunt and his best friend Ishi Sato crash-land on a planet known as Stygia. This planet once served as a resort for humans but now is overrun by mutants and other monsters. The crash causes Ishi to need a surgery that messes with his mind (he basically turns half robot, half human). With semi-robot Ishi, Hunt has to find a way off Stygia while fighting Sarrano's troops. The two meet up with a B.A. chick named Trishka and swear to take down Sarrano.


After finding Sarrano, the General tricks Hunt into arming a DNA bomb that is located somewhere on the ship. In frantic mode, Grayson fights through to Sarrano, and with Ishi's help, takes him down---though it takes Ishi sacrificing his own life to do so. Trishka and Grayson make it off the planet as the DNA bomb goes off, but before the credits roll, the game shows that Sarrano is now a cyborg like Ishi and that Ishi has been revived under Sarrano's control.

Pros: Grayson is a straight-up kamikaze soldier. He goes everywhere guns blazing, and definitely uses his surroundings to his advantage. Hunt also thinks he is the world's best comedian. Throughout the game he cracks jokes, adding flavor to the dialogue and game. Grayson also has qualities you would want in your best friend. Numerous times, Grayson could have abandoned Ishi or given up on the task at hand. Instead, Grayson stood by Ishi's side and fought till Sarrano got what he deserved.

Cons: Outside of Ishi and Trishka, Grayson did not care about anyone else. Though many obstacles and struggles stood in their way, Hunt only focused on one thing: revenge. This selfishness led to the three of them getting into many sticky situations and many brushes with death.

Winner: John Marston

Marston over Grayson was definitely a tough choice. Both characters have badass personalities, and both had reasons to continue going on in the face of adversity. One reason why Marston topped Hunt is that outside of being a badass, Grayson Hunt never really developed as a character. Throughout all of Red Dead Redemption, John Marston overcame situations and grew to become a better man. Add sharpshooting skills, expert survival skills, and an ability to talk himself in and out of situations, and Marston proved to be all Hunt was and so much more. While Grayson is an enjoyable character, dick jokes will only get you so far in the Arena.

About The Author
Tate Steinlage I write words about video games and sports. Hope you like them.
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