games that have got­ten Side­kicks right

Games TM - - CONTENTS -

the last of us (2013)

Leav­ing aside the sec­tion where you ac­tu­ally play as El­lie for a short while, your pri­mary goal through The Last Of Us is to pro­tect her and help her nav­i­gate the world. With only a few ex­cep­tions, the game does a fan­tas­tic job of keep­ing El­lie out of sight dur­ing stealth sec­tion, keeps her move­ments ac­cu­rate dur­ing wa­ter sec­tions (where she can’t swim) and gives her some help­ful abil­i­ties for com­bat as­sists too.

Por­tal (2007)

The Com­pan­ion Cube is such an im­por­tant fig­ure in the Por­tal story that we couldn’t write a list like this with­out ac­knowl­edg­ing it. Sure, it doesn’t say a lot (un­less you re­ally lis­ten care­fully), and it doesn’t do a lot (if you don’t con­sider its im­mense emo­tional sup­port im­por­tant), but it is a great ex­am­ple of an es­cort mis­sion that never feels like a bur­den. The

Cube pro­tects, it drives you and nobly sac­ri­fices it­self for you in the end.

half-life 2 (2004)

Thanks to speedy health re­cov­ery and some sharp aim­ing, Vance is a hugely help­ful as­sist char­ac­ter to have around. In the con­tin­u­ing episodes of Halflife 2, Alyx Vance be­came an even more rounded com­pan­ion, as her AI pro­gram­ming was de­signed to com­ple­ment Free­man’s abil­i­ties and of­fer strate­gic op­tions that would oth­er­wise not be avail­able.

en­slaved: odyssey to the west (2010)

Trip is a great AI com­pan­ion who is nom­i­nally in con­trol of Mon­key thanks to a slave head­band. What this ul­ti­mately means is that Mon­key has to keep Trip alive or he dies too. Thank­fully, Trip’s abil­i­ties as a hacker and tech ex­pert means she is vi­tal in travers­ing the game world, and she largely keeps her­self out of trou­ble quite nicely. She also ably acts as a co-op part­ner for some puz­zle and nav­i­ga­tion sec­tions.

Bioshock in­fi­nite (2013)

Eliz­a­beth is a rare ex­am­ple of an AI com­pan­ion who is ex­ceed­ingly more pow­er­ful in many re­spects than the player char­ac­ter. Booker doesn’t have con­trol over Eliz­a­beth’s ac­tions, but can ask for as­sis­tance, and Eliz­a­beth is more than happy to rum­mage around for use­ful items like money, food and am­mu­ni­tion as and when you need it. When you’re re­ally in trou­ble, she can open a tear and change the game for you.

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