Ranking the Best and Worst Video Game Sidekicks
Are two heads better than one? For Han and Chewie, Walt and Jesse, and maybe the Lernaean Hydra, sure. But for the rest of us who play through a game and get stuck traipsing around with a character who only has a limited index of phrases to say and a knack for getting in our way, this is not always the case.
Sometimes we are paired with well-written, amiable and competent companions who capture our hearts and make adventuring that much better. Other times, we are forced to wander around with people we literally just want to punch in the face. From helpful and endearing partners to infuriating and useless idiots, here are some notable video game sidekicks who stuck out in our minds.
The Helpful Sidekicks
1) Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite
Elizabeth seems to be one of the most underrated sidekicks in gaming across the board. She is sweet, innocent and beautiful, but still manages to be extremely smart and capable. She does not annoy us by repeating the same lines over and over again or getting in our way; on the contrary, the developers tried very hard to make sure she is always entertaining herself or hanging back. She picks locks for us, gives us coins, and at all the right moments in battle, she conveniently throws us ammo and supplies to keep us in the game. The best part? She takes care of herself in combat and we don’t have to worry about reviving or protecting her.
2) Quiet from Metal Gear Solid V
One of the most helpful companions we ever get paired with in a game is Quiet. Quiet is an infamously scantily clad sniper who can be recruited once you defeat her in a boss fight. Upon sparing her life and employing her as an ally, she can be ordered to scout bases and areas to mark targets and enemies for you and will actually cover you from a distance when you sneak in to infiltrate. She stays out of the way and her sharpshooting skills are so superb that she can pretty much take out an entire zone of enemies herself while you just sit back and relax.
3) Ellie from The Last of Us
It wouldn’t be a true list of memorable sidekicks if we didn’t mention Ellie; our teenage counterpart who triggers every maternal/paternal instinct we’ve got and drives the story of the game forward. We meet her for the first time when she is only 14 years old, but despite her age, she is more competent than almost all of the damsels in distress we usually come across in video games. Not only do her innocent, evocative puppy eyes earn her instant adoration, but the fact that she can actually hold her own makes her kind of a badass. She’s independent and capable of taking out her own enemies with multiple types of weapons, and even saves our ass when we are in danger.
4) Dogmeat from Fallout 4
Man’s best friend seems to be a phrase with even more meaning when you’re wandering alone in a radioactive wasteland. When your family has been taken from you and the world as you knew it completely in shambles, who better to have by your side than a loyal canine? Dogmeat is useful for tracking and sniffing out valuables and loot, and can also attack enemies and serve as a minor tank. You can also fully utilize the “Lone Wanderer” perk line with Dogmeat; something you can’t do with any other follower. Considering the Lone Wanderer perk is one of the best perks in the game and dogs are already better than people, equipping Dogmeat as your companion seems like a no-brainer.