It?s dangerous to go alone ? everybody needs a shoulder to lean on every now and then, right? After all, who?s going to watch your character?s back when you?ve got a horde of abominations nipping at your heels? Who?s going to stick with your character when they?ve hit their darkest hour, pulling them through by the skin of their teeth? Who?s going to follow your character around and try to protect them in spite of the fact that you might as well be controlling them with your foot?
It?s a pretty commonplace thing these days; particularly in RPGs and adventure games: your hero isn?t a lone wolf. They have friends. Allies. Companions. Lone wolves are, by and large, getting scarcer and scarcer. Even Master Chief had Cortana, after all.
Sometimes, the developers don?t quite succeed in giving you a memorable, capable companion. Maybe they?re so incompetent, so wall-bangingly stupid that you?d have more luck toting around a 300 pound invalid gorilla in a wagon. Maybe they?re so poorly written you?d rather take a dip in battery acid than spend any time in their company. Or maybe, in the case of characters like Ashley Graham; they?re some terrifying, nightmarish cocktail of the two.
The characters on this list, however, aren?t those ones. These are the good companions ? the ones who actually know what they?re doing, and don?t have a personality like wet dog fur. They?re the men, women, robots, and animals who we remember long after turning off the game; the characters who we?d be glad to have watching our backs in the event that the world went straight to hell. They?re some of the best in-game sidekicks you?ll ever see.
We?ll start with one from recent memory. See, a lot of the in-game followers you can get in Skyrim are?very much a mixed bag. Farkas, for example, has an annoying habit of staring blankly off into space while he?s supposed to be in combat. Mjoll the Lioness repeats her dialogue often enough that you want to play the game on mute, and Lydia, while effectively immortal, is largely ineffective in battle.
Dawnguard brought us Serana: an ancient vampire lass who puts pretty much every other companion in the game to shame (perhaps because she?s simply coded better). She?s deadly in combat, acts in a somewhat believable fashion out of battle, and doesn?t have repetitive dialogue that makes you want to throw her off a cliff (usually). Assuming you can ignore her penchant for reviving dead enemies as meat shields, she?s probably one of the best companions in the game.
Alyx Vance(Half Life 2)
So....crack shot with a pistol, fiercely intelligent, and not even remotely frustrating to have along for the ride? Sounds like a winner to me. One of her biggest defining moments was arguably the reverse escort mission in Episode 1.
The Black Whirlwind(Jade Empire)
Tails (Sonic the Hedgehog)
Of course, in later games, they fleshed out his role, and he becomes absolutely integral in several boss battles?not to mention the fact that, if you know how to aim your jumps, he can actually take out a boss without you having to do any work. So?poor AI aside, he?s actually a pretty damned good follower.
Midna (Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess)
That?s at the beginning of the game.
Over the course of their journey together, Izun matures considerably, maturing and developing a close friendship with the fox god as the journey continues. By the end, he?s almost an entirely different person, having fully accepted his destiny and come to understand his reason for being.
Garrus Vakarian(Mass Effect)
The fact that he?s the closest thing to a sidekick Commander Shepard?s ever really going to have nets him his spot on this list above pretty much every other character in the game.
Your Pet(Torchlight/Torchlight II)
Honorable Mentions: Agro(Shadow of the Colossus), The Weighted Companion Cube (Portal), Cortana (Halo), Otacon (Metal Gear Solid), Luigi (Super Mario Franchise)
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