There’s nothing worse than feeling overshadowed by your sidekick as you blaze through an epic tale filled with spectacular warfare and comradery. Even if they know how to keep you out of trouble in your worst moments — none of us ever want to feel second-best in our own story. Of course, when we usually do decide to hang up the pad and let the little guy tackle the world as if it’s their individual goal — it just kind of defeats the point. I mean, it’s good to have a loyal follower clutching at your ankles as you wade through worlds of bullet furies and everything. But then, it’s also nice to feel that almighty grasp on the enemy as we step forward as an army of one.
Sidekicks are useful in video games — providing they know when and how to act. Although, a balanced proportion of both skill and convenience are somewhat rare in most platforms these days. Either they distance themselves from the goal entirely and barely make a dent in the story, or they show you up every step of the way from beginning to end without a care in the world. And, it’s the latter which we’re attempting to cover today. That’s right — the ones that make the hero look like the roadie.
5. Aiden (Beyond: Two Souls)
Although without a script to follow or any physical appearances throughout the game, Aiden pretty much stands as the main protagonist in Beyond: Two Souls. Without the entity and the remarkable superpowers that keep Jodie (the supposed hero) safe, this epic quest would fall flat at the first hurdle. That’s pretty much because throughout ninety-percent of the unfortunate events that take place throughout the journey — Aiden is the one to tackle the obstacles. Jodie, on the other hand, stands idle and allows the ghostly presence to pick up the pieces.
Beyond: Two Souls is a fantastic story that features a remarkable roster of actors and stunning chapters. With a gripping tale featuring a young girl who possesses a link to an entity (Aiden), Jodie is inducted into a world of experimentation and an endless cycle of cat and mouse games. Only, Jodie only wishes to be a regular girl with no boundaries to hold her back. Aiden, on the other hand, has the powers to relieve her of her stress or continue to guide her in all the wrong directions. And that, my friends — all depends on how you play. Jodie’s life is in your hands.
4. Elizabeth (BioShock: Infinite)
There aren’t many sidekicks out there that can even toss you a clip for your weapon without suffering some sort of consequence. Elizabeth, on the other hand, is more than capable of not only providing you with endless rounds of ammunition — but also money for upgrades, advice, and a form of entertainment in the darkest moments. Oh, and she can also manipulate the world as she sees fit and grant you opportunities to snatch the advantage on the enemy. Probably should’ve mentioned that, too.
BioShock: Infinite is as much of a wondrous exploration game as it is a jam-packed action extravaganza, and Elizabeth usually sits at the forefront to both. Whether it’s coursing you through the city skies in search of your next objective, or giving you a leg up on the rival over countless battles; Elizabeth always overshadows poor old Booker DeWitt. But, without her — we wouldn’t stand a chance of escaping Columbia alive.
3. Ellie (The Last of Us)
Although we only share a few playable scenes as Ellie in the first instalment to The Last of Us, we can’t ignore the fact that, without her, Joel would’ve died on more than one occasion. Admittedly, from the beginning of the long and gruelling road, Ellie isn’t the most streetwise kid in the world. But that mind of hers only continues to grow as you progress through the zombie-riddled world in search of the infamous Fireflies. Before long — it’s Ellie who overshadows Joel and becomes the summit. Who’d have thought?
The Last of Us provides some spectacular gameplay that never strays away from the fresh-cut narrative. And, although we adore Joel and the many skills he brings to the table, we’re always in awe of Ellie as she delves deep into the world of danger and retrieves impeccable amounts of courage en route. It’s because of that, that Ellie always manages to swoop in and rescue our hero at the nastiest of times.
2. Dom (Gears of War)
It might’ve been a decade or so since we saw the rise and fall of Dom, but we still can’t shake the thought of his iconic personality from the first few games. Even after several additional chapters to the Gears of War universe — the original trilogy of Marcus and Dom still stands as the most memorable to date. Only, it’s Dom that stands out as the more well-rounded character that almost cloaks over the almighty Marcus Pheonix.
Gears of War takes brotherhood to a whole new level — in ways we’ve never really seen before. During the darkest of days where the world is crumbling around us, it’s the relationships between certain people that keep the bullets rolling and the motivation thriving. Dom, thankfully, was the real hero that took the reigns from the moment he releases Marcus at the beginning of the journey. Since then, we’ve only gone on to witness moments of heroism, devotion and raw emotion. And, as beautiful as that may be — it still sort of slaughters Marcus’s frontline buzz, don’t you think?
1. Atreus (God of War)
Okay, so before a riot emerges — we just need to clarify something. In no way, and I put that bluntly — are we saying that Atreus overshadows the wrath of Kratos. No, we all know that the Ghost of Sparta himself is most definitely the kingpin to the God of War throne. Atreus, on the other hand, is still only the heir to the kingdom. But boy — what an heir he is.
As the overpowered Kratos, it’s fair to say that finding a challenging battle can be somewhat rare. Even the most daring enemies to boot — there isn’t usually anything that we can’t really handle as players. And so, having a little helping hand from the background can almost feel embarrassing at times. That is — until it doesn’t — and we genuinely need the likes of the sidekick to come marching in and rescue our behinds. Combine that with a vast knowledge of the lore on our surroundings and a carousel of emotions that Kratos lacks — and you’ve got yourself a worthy successor.
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