Now I know what you're thinking about the title. It's either "Hey, Jash, you gave a huge spoiler about the game!" or "Of course Paul Serene is a villain!".
To the former, I want to point out that he's played by Aidan Gillen, infamous for his role of Littlefinger in the HBO show Game of Thrones, and him playing a villain is sort of obvious. Plus his reveal as the villain happens within the first act of the game.
To the latter, I want to point out that judging someone's villainy becomes harder once you look at their motives and how time travel really works in Quantum Break's universe.
Now if you're concerned about big spoilers I would suggest to not continue to read until you've played the game or watched a Let's Play of it.
When I say Paul isn't a villain I don't mean he is a good guy. There is no denying that he does some very bad things, including killing Mer-I mean William Joyce. Or at least intending to kill Will in their encounter near the start of the game.
Depending on your choices in the game, Paul has all the witnesses to what happened at the university killed.
So when I say not a villain, I don't mean Paul's hands are anywhere near clean. What I'm saying is that Paul's intentions play a huge part in judging him as a character. If you listen to his recordings you can hear, very clearly, that he is regretful for what he does but he sees no other way.
He wants to save some of humanity so that it can continue and he's more than willing to make the hard choices so our species can go on.
I also can't rule Paul out as a total villain as how time travel works in Quantum Break is unclear. There are many a times when characters say that time can't be changed (Paul Serene and Beth Wilder notably) and that they failed to change a small event.
Jack Joyce, the protagonist of Quantum Break, is the only one who time travels that seems to think there is any hope at changing time.
So if time can't be changed, no matter what happens, then preparing for the future is the only thing that can be done. No matter how cruel it sounds, if time can't be changed then you can't keep trying to stop something that will happen.
Every action will always lead to the same result.
This is what Paul Serene believed and he was prepared to be cursed just so humanity would have a fighting chance.
I do hope that we see more Paul Serene if a sequel to Quantum Break happens. The ending is left open for him not to be dead. If he's not dead then he can come back.
Do you classify Paul as a villain and what do you think he would be like in a possible sequel?