Over the years, video games have given us many memorable protagonists from Gordon Freeman to Commander Shepard. They’re all hero’s heroes and all that, but it’s often overlooked that they have a very competent team working with them to ensure their success.
I say it’s time to give some of these characters their due. Either through DLC, an expansion, or an entirely new game, I think these subcharacters have their own stories to tell, and it would allow us to experience the universe of these games in a way that we haven’t before. These are my five picks for characters who should be allowed to star in their own adventures. See if you agree, and post comments if you have any more suggestions.
1. Fawkes (Fallout 3)
When you first meet Fawkes in Fallout 3, he’s a mysterious creature that has magically retained the powers of speech and intelligent thought despite being a supermutant. He’s also kind of a game breaking companion who is practically immortal and wields one of the best weapons in the game.
We know a little about Fawkes time in Vault 87 which is where he learned everything he knows, but there are distinct gaps in before and after he met our hero as to what he did with himself during those times. Tell me it wouldn’t be cool to have an entire game based around his adventures. I also considered Dogmeat as a possible star of a very ambitious game, but I think his skill trees would be rather limited. “Dogmeat has learned ‘Bark Level 3,’ Dogmeat has learned “Poop Level 8.’ ” Not quite as exciting, though a game where you control a dog after the apocalypse is kind of an awesome idea, don’t you think?
2. Alyx Vance (Half-Life)
Vance is often lauded as one of the better females in video games, as she’s cute and useful while not being crudely sexy or annoying. As such, I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility for her to get her own game. It would be a very different version of Half-Life, and more stealth based. She wouldn’t have regenerating power armor or the heaviest of weapons, rather she’d mostly be sneaking around taking out Combine guards in an adventure that more than likely took place before meeting Dr. Freeman.
This, however, would be the unlikeliest game suggested. Not because it’s a particularly terrible idea, but Valve seems to have retired the Half-Life series indefinitely for reasons that remain unknown to everyone but Gabe Newell. Maybe once the third game is finished, Alex will have her due. Or maybe you could even play as her in some segments, a-la-Batman/Catwoman in Arkham City? Just a thought.
3. Garrus Vakarian (Mass Effect)
It could be argued that practically any crew member in Mass Effect is interesting enough to have their own game. It’s a testament to how rich the universe is, and how well fleshed -out the cast ends up being over the course of the games. That said, I think Garrus is the best candidate for his own title.
Why? There’s a very specific stretch of time between Mass Effect’s 1 and 2 where Garrus somehow grew into Space Batman, policing the criminal underworld while being known as “Archangel.” There’s definitely a story to be told there, though I would also consider characters like Tali, Jack or Miranda ripe for their own titles as well.
4. Augustus Cole (Gears of War)
When I saw that yet another Gears of War game was coming out that did NOT star Marcus Fenix, I was pretty pumped. “Now it’s the Cole Train’s time to shine at last,” I thought. Then as the teaser trailer concluded, I saw that the new star of the show was…Baird? Seriously, do we need another grizzled white guy as the star of game? Not to mention that Cole has ten times the personality of anyone else on the team.
One of my favorite moments from Gears 3 (there weren’t man) was when Cole reenacted one of his famous football punt returns as he fought off Locusts outside of the fantasy. I’d really love to see a game that starts immediately after E-Day where he’s still a football player, and what his character progression looked like on his path to becoming a full-fledged soldier and a member of Marcus’s team.
5. The Followers (Diablo 3)
Yes, I’m still playing Diablo 3 despite my best efforts to quit, but I had a sudden revelation as I sat down to write this article. It would be cool for Blizzard to release a mini-expansion of sorts that focuses on each of the three followers you acquire during the game. It’s hinted at that they all have backstories, but it’s never fleshed out and they’re all relegated to repetitive one-liners (that are funny the first ten times, but not the hundred times after).
There would only be three classes, the Templar, the Scoundrel and the Enchantress, and their levels would be much shorter than the ones we’ve played through in D3 so far. They would have a larger array of skills to use than they do now, and equip a full set of armor. As you reached certain benchmarks in the game with each character, your follower could get additional perks or stats that you could use in the main game as they assist your regular character. I think that would be a pretty damn cool idea.