Less authentic than a faux-hawk hairdo, baditude is a designed-by-committee style that's applied to games in order to make them appealing to teenagers and young adults. It often consists of making the protagonist angry, brooding, dressed in black, and brimming with pent-up violence.
These are a list of attributes that characters have that them have Baditude. They either usually have a few or most of these listed.
There’s nothing like intimidating your enemies by having large muscles. You can tell that they work out religiously and possibly take enhancements such as going on a strict diet, consuming protein-filled food/drinks, and possibly take steroids. Enemies with big muscles are also perceived as tougher than your standard enemies thus they can absorb and/or deal out more damage.
Personality and Fashion
Some characters try to look tough by making them looked distinguished and intimidating by dressing crazy and by sounding a little crazy as well to be extra scary. Their clothing is a mix between spiked or faux-mohawk hair, with rugged or stylized clothes (occasionally have chains on them), piercings, and many tattoos. Usually their personality is rooted on their past by either having a disturbing past or was gradually driven to insanity. With that said their personality that is blood-thirsty, sadistic, or both.
A character that says many swear words is another way to show how “bad” they are. Any game that has any form of swearing have an ESRB rating for E 10 (mild language), T for Teens (slightly more explicit) or M for Mature (Very explicit swearing) rated games. Developers usually try to give a character some edginess by making them say many swear words to make them more tougher sounding, however, this could make the character unintentionally hilarious or make it distasteful of the character. Even mild words could ruin the image for some characters. For example, in Shadow the Hedgehog, the game which embodies this concept more than any other, there are attempts to give the characters "edge" by making Sonic say “hell” and Shadow say words like “Damn”. The result comes off as inappropriate for a game that markets mainly for children. Potty mouths, however, are common in games such as Grand Theft Auto IV, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, and Rogue Warrior.
Characters also exemplify Baditude by wielding large weapons and/or guns. They usually carry weapons such as large swords, scythes, axes, polearms, and even giant butcher knives. They might also pack some firearms with them as well but not just a pistol. Typical giant guns include light machine guns, assault rifles, chainguns, or grenade/rocket launchers. Big weapons are occasionally flashy by giving it an aura/fancy design both and so it shows how powerful they are. Depending on the game the characters and the type of weapon they can swing these very quickly or are very slow but dish out more damage.
There are certain things that a Character can say that can come off as catchy whether or not its meant to funny. These one-liners are mostly used to make them sound smooth, to insult a foe, and/or trying to instil fear to them. These phrases can be combined with a potty mouth can lead to some really crazy phrases that are quite memorable in their own right and can even make a song as well. A notable quote is made by Tony Yayo in 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand when he says “Yo Fifty, jump over dat big ass ramp!” and taunts such as “I’ma kill yo whole fuckin’ generation muthafucka!”
When they look down on the ground or have a serious expression on their face. They are most likely brooding. Generally, most characters with a baditude will reminisce sooner or later about something that they regret doing, something tragic that occurred to them, something tragic that occurred to a loved one, or an archnemesis that has defeated them previously. Either way, this usually drives them in order to reach a goal, most likely revenge. Something like Kratos from God of War, or Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII, except that in those cases, the characters' tragic pasts successfully made them more interesting characters.
Note that characters that deliberately parody the elements listed here for the purposes of comedy do not count as genuine baditude, as they were never intended to be legitimately badass. Characters like this include Mr. Torgue from the Borderlands franchise, Brad from Comic Jumper, and Duke Nukem from the Duke Nukem franchise (with the exception of Duke Nukem Forever, where attempts at humour fall flat, and the game reads more like an unironic attempt at such themes). Additionally, entire games can be covered in this manner: the first two entries in the Saints Row series attempt dark, edgy themes, with mixed results, while starting from Saints Row: The Third, the franchise chooses to instead parody such themes, and become exempt.