A companion should be many, many things. They should be loyal, possess all kinds of local knowledge, and even be willing to risk a bullet for the good of the cause. One thing they shouldn’t be, however — is basically extra baggage and an expendable tool with no functioning qualities. The problem there is that, despite their best efforts, the gaming world is riddled with such despicable companions these days.
It doesn’t matter if they’re quick with a joke or somewhat resourceful when it comes to harvesting a few spare bullets. The fact is, if they’re not pitching in during a battle or contributing enough over the long haul — then they’re hardly worth lugging around at all. And that’s sort of why we like to discard them the first chance we get. Other times, when we’re stuck with them for the ride, well, let’s just say they’re not exactly a pleasure to be around. Just take these five dislikeable companions for example.
5. Donald (Kingdom Hearts)
When we first realised that the beloved Donald Duck would be joining our quest to banish the Heartless along with fellow Disney star Goofy, we couldn’t help but shed a tear of joy. Our childhood dreams were sprung to life, and we were soon thrown into a massive journey where wisdom and wonder went hand in hand. Unfortunately for us, when it came to ringing the drums of war, that beloved duckling soon turned into a pretty useless companion.
Sure, every clique needs a mage. That’s a class that has stuck with role-playing games for decades. But Donald, on the other hand, was about as useful as as a paper mallet. He would exhaust his stock of potions in a heartbeat, contribute hardly anything towards a heated battle, and genuinely fail to put so much as a dent in most enemies. Oh, and how could we forget Kingdom Hearts 3? “This looks like a good place to find some ingredients,” was all it usually took to wind us up. Cute at first. But boy, that meme-in-progress grew stale real, real fast. Sorry Donald, but you were destined for the back burner.
4. Ashley (Resident Evil 4)
Nobody likes an escort mission. They’re drab and mundane, loaded with pointless conversations that contribute nothing to the actual plot. Knowing that, and how much gamers hated the thought of dragging someone around in a video game, Capcom decided to do it anyway. Say hello to Ashley — everybody’s all-time favourite travel companion.
In all seriousness, Ashley was hands down one of the most infuriating characters to be around — let alone be forced to protect for hours on end. As if having to dodge chainsaws on our own wasn’t hard enough. Only, with Ashley, we had to make sure even the friggin’ water wasn’t too warm before going for a swim. She couldn’t pitch in to disadvantageous situations — and she seriously couldn’t wield a gun, let alone aid us in battle. The only thing she did accomplish, annoyingly, was in giving us a thread of piercing headaches over a long and daunting expedition through blood and bullets.
3. Zeke (Infamous)
There’s nothing worse than having a friend leech off of your inherited super powers, is there? Regardless of how many times they state their case on how valuable they are to your mission, they’re really just desperate bullet sponges in denial. And, in a nutshell, that’s Zeke from Infamous. Pointless, power-deprived, and very, very petty.
At first, meeting the portly best bud is an absolute delight. The comradery between Cole and himself is smooth and somewhat meaningful, and the overall relationship feels oddly refreshing. But then, as Cole’s powers develop and Zeke’s envy grows a much darker shade of green, the true colours reveal themselves — ultimately creating one of the worst companions in the history of action games.
2. Fi (The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword)
Nintendo certainly has a knack for clarifying information that you’re already clued up on. And yet, despite our wealthy pockets of saved knowledge that we keep archived, the Japanese giant still buries us with an unnecessary amount of redundant dialogue. Skyward Sword, frustratingly, has an actual character that incorporates such pointless information. And her name, frustratingly enough, is Fi.
At one phase, we honestly believed that Nintendo was deliberately making one of the most annoying companions for the sake of it. With no substantial skills to aid the world you’re put in (unless you’re an absolute beginner), Fi just sort of loiters with no real purpose other than to get on your last nerve. There’s no mutual connection to the task at hand, nor is there any genuine heartfelt moments between her or Link. She is, in all honesty, a bland and glorified tour guide with way too much to say. Sorry, Fi.
1. Roman (Grand Theft Auto 4)
We’ll give credit where it’s due. Without Roman, Grand Theft Auto 4 never would’ve had a story to tell. After all, he did introduce Niko to the Liberty City underworld. Okay, so it might’ve been as a cab driver and a small-time errand boy — but it was a foot in the door nonetheless. After about thirty minutes, however, the guy just sort of lost his charm and left us rolling our eyes every time his mouth leaked anything to do with bowling — or any activity for that matter.
Shortly after ditching the cab gig, Liberty City started to open up to even more possibilities, where cash and credit entwined with the dangerous work that fused onto Niko’s capable shoulders. Roman, unfortunately, just followed closely behind, acting more as an annoying relative than an actual asset to the life of crime. Every phone call, every passive-aggressive gesture — it all added up to a pretty unlikeable character. And it also made us learn to hate bowling, weirdly enough.
So, what did we miss? What companions have tweaked a few of your nerves over the years? Let us know over on our socials here.