|Gears of War character|
|First appearance||Gears of War (2006)|
|Voiced by||John DiMaggio|
|Significant other||Anya Stroud|
Fenix debuted as the protagonist of Gears of War in 2006. Fenix is a convict who is reinstated into the Coalition of Ordered Government’s (COG) military to assist a last-ditch mission to destroy the Locust Horde. Fenix led a famed military career in the COG’s previous conflicts, but was arrested after leading a failed unauthorized mission to rescue his father, Adam. Fenix joins his best friend, Dom Santiago, in Delta Squad as they succeed in helping the COG military deploy a missile strike against the Locust Horde.
Fenix retains his role throughout the trilogy, where he plays a pivotal role in humanity’s conflict against the Locust Horde. He cripples the Locust Horde in Gears of War 2 by flooding their subterranean civilization. In Gears of War 3, Fenix discovers his father is alive and has developed a weapon that will destroy the Locust Horde and a new threat, the Lambent. Adam releases his weapon but dies in the process. While successful in vanquishing humanity’s enemies, Fenix is distraught over the death of his loved ones and comrades, including Dom and his father. He is consoled by Anya Stroud, one of his closest allies and love interest, who assures him their sacrifices have given humanity a new hope.
Fenix returned to the series in 2016's Gears of War 4, set 25 years after the events of Gears of War 3, Fenix has fathered a now adult son with Anya, JD, who serves as the game’s protagonist. JD and Fenix rally humanity to fight a new foe, the Swarm. Fenix will return as a supporting protagonist in Gears 5.
Fenix is a popular character and has been voted as the 19th top video game character of all time by the readers of Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition in 2011. However, his critical reception turned out to be very polarizing.
The Age ranked him as the third top Xbox characters of all time in 2008, commenting, "This was a new hero for a new generation of consoles, and he came in curb-stomping shooting and chainsawing his way to the top of the charts. But behind all this is a clearly wounded, perhaps even emotionally deadened, human being, and that really resonates as the game progresses. Fenix’s legend can only grow." That same year, IGN chose Fenix as one of the characters they would like to see in an ultimate fighting game, adding, "If giant, hulking muscles and a foul tongue are all one needs to fit in with the fighting game crowd, then we might as well hand over the trophy to Marcus Fenix." In a poll conducted by Game Informer, was voted as the tenth best character of the decade. In 2009, GameSpot featured Marcus as one of the 64 characters in the "Greatest Game Hero" poll, in which he lost to Duke Nukem. Empire also ranked him the 45th greatest video game character, adding that "[o]f all the marines, in all the alternate galaxies, in all the fictional universes, the gruntiest, muscliest, most trigger-happy of them all is one Mr Marcus Fenix." GamesRadar listed him as one of the gaming's greatest badass mo-fos. In 2012, GamesRadar ranked him as the 94th "most memorable, influential, and badass" protagonist in games, saying "this dude's a legend both within the scope of his own universe as well as our own, starring in some of the best games on the Xbox 360." UGO Networks placed him 28th on its list of the "coolest" headgear in video games. In 2013, Complex ranked Marcus as the fourth greatest soldier in video games, stating that he is "one of the most badass soldiers in any game. The COGs wouldn't be the same without him."
Computer and Video Games named him as the PC gaming's ninth worst character, contrasting him with Garrett (ninth best) and calling him "a mish-mash of Deckard from Blade Runner and Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, constantly lamenting the situation and grumbling at any levity and delighting only in the occasional profanity" and adding: "Desperately in need of a hug, or maybe a tug, Fenix is the least likeable hero since Billy Zane played The Phantom." IGN included him on the 2009 list of top 10 most overrated video game characters ("His personality consists entirely of grunting, shouting, and shooting. (...) Calling Marcus Fenix one of the definitive gaming characters of the current generation is technically accurate, but also misleading. There isn't any real character to be had here.") and listed him as one of the worst dressed video game characters of 2011, adding that "Anya must be Helen Keller if she's attracted to that walking grime beast." Cheat Code Central also ranked him as the third most overrated video game characters. In 2013, Complex included him among the ten video game characters who look like sex offenders (for looking like a stereotypical prison rapist).
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- "All Time Greatest Game Hero - The Standings". GameSpot. Archived from the original on October 19, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
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- Towell, Justin (October 16, 2007). "Gaming's greatest badass mo-fos". GamesRadar. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- "100 best heroes in video games". GamesRadar. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- Meli, Marissa (March 4, 2011). "Marcus Fenix (Gears of Wars series) - The Coolest Helmets and Headgear in Video Games". UGO Networks. Archived from the original on August 13, 2013. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
- Chad Hunter, Michael Rougeau, The 50 Greatest Soldiers In Video Games, Complex.com, May 25, 2013.
- "PC Feature: PC Gaming's Best, And Worst, Characters". ComputerAndVideoGames.com. 2008-02-23. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
- "Top 10 Most Overrated Videogame Characters - Stars Feature at IGN". Uk.stars.ign.com. 2009-04-24. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
- "2011's Worst Dressed Video Game Characters - Games Feature at IGN". Uk.games.ign.com. Archived from the original on 2012-02-12. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
- "Top 10 Most Overrated Video Game Characters". Cheat Code Central. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
- "10 Video Game Characters Who Look Like Sex Offenders". Complex. 2013-07-13. Retrieved 2013-07-21.