This page contains some unmarked spoilers.
The Rhino Squad
- Animal Motifs: Rhinoes, of course.
- Badass Army
- Big Damn Heroes: The rescue of Kane, just as he's about to be fully converted into a Strogg.
- The Squad
Matthew Kane (Corporal)
"I hear their voices when I sleep. I've seen the worst of war. But I can't escape the images of the Strogg. A metallic spine, jutting awkwardly through muscle. Flesh and bone fused with wires and steel. I hear their voices when I sleep. Created for war, and fueled by the blood of their enemy. But this isn't just a nightmare, it's who I've become."Above all else, Corporal Matthew Kane is a survivor. He was involved with the disaster on Space Station Armstrong and was the only one to emerge alive. But exactly what happened there may never be known—he is under the strictest orders to remain silent. After several months of recuperation, Kane was assigned to Rhino squad. This was due to Lieutenant Voss, who saw Kane's potential to be a truly valuable asset to the team. However, the squad knows him only from his mysterious reputation. They don't trust him, and they believe he might be too much of a loose cannon.Tropes:
— In the trailer
- All of the Other Reindeer: He gets bashing from the other non-Rhino Squad Marines before and after being Stroggified (although in the "after" they seem to be under the mistaken impression he's a Strogg Ambassador rather than a Stroggified fellow Marine). However, as soon as the shit hits the fan and his Strogg implants makes him humanity's last best hope, everyone wants to be his best bud.
- Awesome McCoolname: Word of God said that he's surnamed Kane because it's said that the creator of Star Trek have always used a hard "K" sound in the names of his heroes. Plus, Kane just sounds badass.
- Body Horror: His Strogg modifications aren't pretty, to say the least.
- Cursed with Awesome: His Stroggification is, naturally, a horrific, agonising and traumatising experience. However, his new modifications grant him strengths and abilities that make him humanity's best hope.
- Cyborg: After his Stroggification.
- Empowered Badass Normal: After his Stroggification.
- Eye Scream: Prior to being assigned to Rhino Squad, he lost one of his eyes in the initial Strogg invasion of Earth, on Armstrong station - the first facility to fall to the Strogg. He had it replaced with a cybernetic implant - way before most of the rest of his body was replaced with cybernetics.
- Heroic Mime: Typical of an FPS series, but it's especially notable here, as he remains utterly silent throughout even the cutscenes. However, it's strongly implied that it is he who narrates the game's trailer.
- Noodle Incident: At the beginning, he's reputed to be a badass (and a nut) for something that happened on a space station before the events of the game. What happened there is never explained.
- Phlebotinum Rebel: The Strogg obviously never watched a Showa era Kamen Rider installment, or they'd know you have to brainwash your victims before you turn them into cyborgs.
- Rogue Drone: Although it's more of a case of a person never fully turned into a hive member in the first place.
- Rookie Red Ranger
- Unwilling Roboticisation: Unwilling and very, very painful.
Johann Strauss (Tech Marine)Johann Strauss possesses one of the most gifted minds of our age. By the time he was 4 years old, Strauss could perform complex trigonometry equations in his head. At the age of 8 he was fluent in six languages and could recite all of Shakespeare's works from memory. He was part of the research team that discovered how the Strogg used black holes to travel across the vast distances of space. He currently holds a Ph.D. in advanced computer science and in biotechnology and is one of eight people fluent in the Strogg language. In keeping with his genius status, Strauss also has a tremendous ego and can be extremely brash. He would have remained in research were it not for a run-in with General Nathaniel Hastings. Strauss insulted the general so badly that he found himself on the front lines a week after the argument. While in the field, Strauss found he excelled in working with Strogg technology. Because of his talents, he was assigned to Rhino squad. Now they receive missions deep in enemy territory that require interaction with Strogg security and computer systems.Tropes:
- Badass Bookworm: Despite being every bit the Insufferable Genius, he's more than capable of holding his own in a fight. In an off-screen adventure he even manages to fight his way to safety while trapped alone deep behind enemy lines while Kane was busy getting turned into a Strogg.
- Child Prodigy: According to his backstory.
- The Engineer
- Germanic Depressives: To an extent. He's one of the most no-nonsense characters in the game.
- Germanic Efficiency: German and very tech-savvy.
- Insufferable Genius: Very much so. He is incredibly smart and talented, but has a habit of berating those he deems less intelligent than himself.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's an arrogant, whiny Insufferable Genius, but he's as determined to save humanity from the Strogg menace as any other member of the squad.
- Nerdgasm: Invoked - towards the end of the game he admits to Kane that he's jealous of him, simply because Kane is seeing awesome technology he can't.
- Noodle Incident: Was captured by the Strogg at the same time as Kane. Escaped. The way in which he did this is "classified" and is never discussed further.
- Non-Action Guy: He used to be one, until an argument with a general caused him to be transferred to the front lines, and often complains/demands bodyguards when he has to be sent on a dangerous mission.
- Omniglot: He's said to be fluent in many languages besides German and English - including the Strogg language (he is one of the few humans to speak Strogg fluently).
- Look at his name.
- His name is also extremely similar to the name of the main villain from the new Wolfenstein series (who was also an Insufferable Genius German scientist), the first two games of which (Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Wolfenstein) were also developed by Raven Software.
- The Smart Guy
- The Stoic: To an extent.
- Techno Wizard
- Took a Level in Badass: Strauss starts off as whiny and a bit of a coward, but after Kane is Stroggified, he manages to escape the facility completely by himself (according to chatter from other soldiers, although Sledge is doubtful) and is significantly more assertive and fearless.
Alejandro "Alex" Cortez (Corporal)Growing up on his family's ranch, Cortez took to guns while very young. His father still brags about how, at the age of 8, Alejandro could kill a jackrabbit from 150 yards out. After his sister was killed during the first Strogg attack on Earth, Cortez joined the Marine Corps determined to have his revenge. Extremely cool in a firefight, he has a way of getting to vantage points no one else can find. Silent as darkness and swift as the hand of death, Cortez was assigned to Rhino squad after he single-handedly defended a communications outpost armed only with a depleted pistol—14 rounds against 14 Strogg—and at the end of the fight he still had one round left.On Stroggos, Cortez defended the flank of Rhino Squad, dramatically killing three Strogg with his rifle and notifying Kane on the location of the rest of Rhino Squad.
- Children Forced to Kill: According to his backstory.
- Cold Sniper
- Informed Ability: His backstory puts him in badass levels. However, he rarely does something of importance in-game, aside of destroying a Strogg at the beginning of the game with few shots and helping Kane to reach the last tower near the end of it.
- One-Man Army: He singlehandedly defended an outpost before his recruitment as part of the Rhino Squad.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: He wants the Strogg to be dead because they killed his sister during the Strogg invasion of Earth.
- Shout-Out: Word of God stated that he's surnamed Cortez as an homage to Robert Rodriguez, whose movies had families surnamed Cortez.
- Weapon of Choice: Cortez fights with a unique, customized version of the machine gun that's been modified into a semi-auto sniper rifle. It does significantly increased damage, and when you first meet him he takes out multiple Strogg (including a Berserker) in the space of a couple seconds with it.
Nikolai "Sledge" Sledjonovitch (Lance Corporal)The son of a former Russian Olympic weightlifter, Nikolai was raised on a farm where he spent most of his childhood doing intense physical labor. He eventually grew to dwarf even his father's huge physique. While his family had expected him to go to college to study chemical engineering, Nikolai surprised everyone by choosing to join the Marine Corps. After his first two days in boot camp, he was given the nickname “Sledge"—a moniker that has stuck with him ever since. Soft-spoken and a man of few words, Sledge is a welcome addition to Rhino squad. He can easily handle equipment that would normally take two men to lift. His strength has become the stuff of legend—Sledge is the only human who has fought a Strogg hand-to-hand and won. Admittedly, he required three weeks in a hospital afterward.Tropes related with him:
- Badass Normal: Although the almost entirety of the Rhino Squad would qualify, while others prefer to use guns, he can, when pressed, beat Strogg in hand to hand combat, at least according to his backstory.
- The Big Guy: He's the only known human to have defeated a Strogg in hand to hand combat and lived to tell the tale.
- Brutal Honesty: He doesn't mince his words with regards to Kane's new appearance.May I be the first to say you look like shit.
- Deadpan Snarker: Probably the snarkiest member of Rhino Squad.
- Go Ye Heroes, Go and Die: When you leave the Hannibal for the second time."Kane, I would remind you the existence of all of humanity rests on your shoulders, but I wouldn't want you to feel any pressure. So all I will say is go get yourself killed, my friend."
- Husky Russkie: To an extent. He's physically very strong and is built like a truck, although he is more intelligent than most examples of the trope.
- Informed Ability: Despite him being the Heavy Weapons expert, he isn't seen carrying or using one.
- Mother Russia Makes You Strong: He's probably the beefiest member of Rhino Squad, he's the Heavy Weapons expert, and, well, he once beat a Strogg to death with his bare hands.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Even the HUD calls him Sledge. The only character to address him by his real name is Strauss. Word of God says that the reason for his surname was because of his nickname.
Marion Bidwell (Sergeant)Master Sergeant Marian Bidwell was born in space and plans on dying in space. Both his parents were Marines for life, and he intends to do the same. He supplied falsified documents in order to join the Corps while still two years under the legal age limit. He's seen more war and death than most men twice his age, but Bidwell still loves the Marine Corps and all its traditions. The master sergeant can be extremely brutal during training. He knows the only way a Marine is going to survive under enemy fire is to train under extreme duress. More than a few Marines have been severely injured during exercises, but Bidwell will never lessen the training. Rhino squad is too important to allow anyone but the absolute best out onto the field.On the Strogg planet, Bidwell is found at the trenches near a Strogg anti-aircraft gun with Sledge. During Operation: Advantage, he helps Voss, Morris and Kane to secure the door controls and later, secure the detonation position.Tropes related with him:
- Badass Grandpa: Ok, he's not a grandpa per se, but he's the older member of the Squad, with 28 years old. Yes, he's even older than Voss.
- The Big Guy
- Black Dude Dies First: Impaled with Extreme Prejudice by a Harvester's leg. Ouch.
- Blood Knight
- Embarrassing First Name: Although it is not revealed in-game, he has "Marion" as his first name. The creators have stated that they wanted to give him a first name that no-one would dare call him to his face.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice
- Number Two: To Voss.
- Scary Black Man: He is a very stern man with a no-nonsense attitude, with a fondness for brutal training.
- Surprisingly Sudden Death: He is suddenly and brutally impaled by a Harvester's leg.
- Training from Hell
Jeremiah Anderson (The Medic)Anderson is the youngest member of Rhino squad, even though he's been with them for more than a year. Coming from an affluent family in Chicago, Jeremiah could have easily used his grandfather, General Anderson, to avert serving on the front lines. Instead, he requested to be a part of Rhino squad, hoping to always be in the thick of the action. When Sergeant Bidwell heard a general got Anderson assigned to the squad, he made it just that much harder on Jeremiah. Much to Bidwell's surprise, Anderson thrived under the stressful conditions. Although Jeremiah considers himself a healer, he isn't afraid of using a gun, and with his knowledge of Strogg physiology, he's an expert at stopping the enemy with a minimum of shots.During the invasion to the Strogg planet, he remained at the Rhino Squad crash-site with Morris, attempting to stabilize Medic Metcalf's collapsed lung. Afterwards, he is brought by Matthew Kane to attend to Pvt. Chase's leg injuries.
- The Medic
- Never Found the Body: Since he was last seen being dragged away by a Strogg Scientist, we don't know if he was killed or Stroggified.
- Nice Guy: He is one of the friendliest members of Rhino Squad and tends to be quite chipper.
- Surprisingly Sudden Death: He is ambushed and snatched away by a Strogg Scientist when accompanying the newly-Stroggified Kane.
Scott Voss (Lieutenant)After the death of its former commander, Lieutenant Daily, Rhino squad wasn't sure it would ever find someone capable of leading it. Then the squad met Lieutenant Scott Voss. He epitomizes the old saying, "It's not so much the size of the dog in the fight as it is the size of the fight in the dog." He's not physically large or overtly demanding, but there is something about his demeanor that demands respect from even the most reckless Marine. Rhino squad knows very little about Voss because he never speaks of his past. But were he to talk, they would hear tales of the horrors he endured after being captured during the Mars riots. He was tortured for six months before being freed; he still suffers nightmares and is highly claustrophobic after having been placed in a coffin and buried for days at a time. Voss knows Rhino squad questions his reasoning for bringing Matthew Kane into the group. But Voss has a sneaking suspicion this new guy just might prove to be Rhino squad's most valuable asset in its battle against the Strogg.
- A Father to His Men: He cares for all members of his squad. His reaction to Bidwell's death speaks volumes.
- And I Must Scream: He is fully self-aware after being Stroggified, but is unable to stop himself from attacking Kane. He spends the entire boss fight against him pleading with Kane to run.
- Big "SHUT UP!": He lets out a huge one at Strauss in frustration after Bidwell's death.
- The Captain
- Meaningful Name: Word of God stated that his surname was given because it rhymes with "Boss".
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's stern, but fair and likable. This makes his stroggification and death a bigger Player Punch.
- Rugged Scar: He has a big scar over his right eye.
- Tragic Monster: He gets Stroggified into a mech-like boss monster, but retains enough self-awareness to try and warn Kane before he goes berserk and attacks him.
- Was Once a Man: After his Stroggification.
Dell Morris (Corporal/Lieutenant)Corporal Dell Morris has been with Rhino squad for more than three years, which makes him second in seniority only to Sergeant Bidwell. He's highly skilled at hand-to-hand combat, having achieved black belts in tae kwon do, jeet kune do, and aikido. Gifted with a quick wit and boundless energy, Morris likes nothing better than to give a running commentary as he mows down Strogg. While his chatter can be a bit trying on his squadmates, Morris is a complete professional in a firefight. The team has come to look to him for guidance when the lieutenant or master sergeant aren't around.Morris is left behind with Anderson to establish communications through Strogg jamming. After doing so, he made his way to Bidwell's position, getting there at the same time Kane does. He helps Kane assault the hangar, staying behind after meeting another team to relay communications. After the hangar is taken, Morris calls Kane back down to the anti-aircraft gun and, when the door to the gun is breached, Morris is ordered by Voss to guard the entrance.
- The Captain: After Voss' stroggification and death.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: According to his backstory, it's his preferred way to fight.
- You Are in Command Now: He is promoted to Lieutenant after Voss' death.
William Rhodes (Corporal)William Rhodes knew from a very early age he wanted to be a Marine. He entered the Corps as soon as he was old enough, and he quickly showed a gift for demolitions. Where anyone else would require a detailed blueprint of a structure to know where best to place a bomb, Rhodes knows instinctively where the weak points are. Be it a heavily fortified damn or a reinforced bunker, Rhodes can reduce it to rubble with a minimal amount of explosives. Hailing from Texas, Rhodes plays as hard as he works. He's been demoted twice due to altercations with MPs while out on R&R.Rhodes is seen with Bidwell. After Kane and another team secured the hangar, Rhodes arrived to destroy it. After destroying both hangars, Rhodes was called away by Voss. When the anti-aircraft gun is secured, Rhodes arrives to destroy it.
- Boisterous Bruiser: He comes across as loudest and most outgoing member of the squad.
- Escort Mission: He's the one carrying the bomb in one of the early missions in the game.
- Jumped at the Call
- Stuff Blowing Up: He's a gifted demolitions expert, and is very enthusiastic about it.
- Back from the Dead: Subverted, he was built following the original Makron's destruction.
- Big Bad
- Grappling Hook Arm: He uses it on Kane.