Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ten of the best hoods, helmets and headwear

Think of some of the most iconic characters in gaming and many of them probably sport some type of stylish headwear. Mario has his trademark red cap, Masterchief his helmet, and what of Zelda's Link, the most famous Hylian of them all? Forget his leather boots or green tunic, it's that elf-like hat that sticks in the mind.

Most of us focus on the weapons or superhuman abilities of our favourite heroes and villains but let's take a moment and give some thought to the often overlooked hoods, helmets and hats that proliferate our games.

There are plenty we could mention: Metroid’s shiny red headgear, Metro’s helmet/gas mask combo, Le Chuck’s pirate hat in Monkey Island, Nights into Dream’s jester hat, and what about Mega Man or Viewtiful Joe?

With so many to choose from, we limited ourselves to the current crop of consoles. So in no particular order, here’s our homage to hats...

10) Assassin's Creed 1&2/Altair & Ezio
Everyone’s favourite assassins can launch themselves from spires, scale tall towers and free run about the rooftops. But would they look quite so good doing it if it weren’t for their pointed hoods? Not only does it help them blend into the background when they’re hunting one of their targets, but when perched atop a building, they look almost eagle like. A coincidence? Nah.

9) Dead Rising 2/Chuck Greene
Note to self… in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, forget conventional weaponry to protect yourself from the ravenous hordes. Instead, just stick some antlers on your head and run about a bit. Carnage is guaranteed.

8) Brink/The Resistance
Set in the not too distant future, Brink takes us to a vast utopian city known as The Ark. Sadly it’s brimful of crime and violence, with two rival factions at loggerheads. Just goes to prove that even in the future, hoodies are the headgear of choice.

7) Captain America: Super Soldier/Captain America
Not so much a useful piece of headwear – besides concealing his identity a la Batman – but in a practical sense, it’s always handy to have your initials etched on your clothing. Can you imagine what would happen if he took his hat off while getting changed after the gym perhaps(!) and someone else thought it was theirs and picked it up by mistake? That giant “A” emblazoned on the front will ensure no mix ups. Nintendo’s Mario had much the same idea it seems.

6) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2/Ghost (spoiler ahead)
Sporting an eerie skull balaclava, Ghost is a tough bastard and firm favourite in Modern Warfare 2. Sadly, his headgear doesn’t make him impervious to gunshots as evil old Shepherd fills him full of holes. Pointless perhaps but the hat/mask combo sure looks cool and has become synonymous with the game. (Five reasons I'm dreading Modern Warfare 3).

5) L.A Noire/nearly everyone
Certainly we couldn’t run such a list without a nod to Rockstar and its love of all things hat-like. Red Dead Redemption had its fair helping of them and even included an achievement for shooting them off heads, while there were a few hidden in the mean streets of its Grand Theft Auto series too. But for us, it’s one of this year’s big releases, L.A Noire, that bigs up the hat best. You’re no one in 1940s Los Angeles if you don’t have a Trilby (as Kotaku noted in this article)

4) Halo/Masterchief
We could have chosen one of the cool helmets modeled in Crackdown or Iron Man but for its iconic status, we simply had to include Masterchief’s specimen. A nice green hue with its bright orange visor - nice.

3) Dead Space/Isaac Clarke
Isaac the engineer didn’t say much in the first game – he was the moody, silent type – but his helmet made him look like a badass that wouldn’t take any crap from those Necromorphs. Now this is a kickass helmet, the hulking metal look and blue slits getting it on this list ahead of Bioshock’s Big Daddy and Fallout 3’s Brotherhood of Steel.

2) Crysis 2/Alcatraz
The shiny nanosuit worn by Alcatraz just pips that worn by Sam Gideon in SEGA’s brilliant Vanquish. Its integrated HUD is nifty and the red visor sure looks cool too. It's certainly among the most sleek and stylish of our choices. (Check our Character skills you wish you had article).

1) Batman Arkham Asylum/Batman
Batman’s cowl is legendary and had to be included – shielding his identity from everyone and accentuating his vision with x-rays through “detective mode” to highlight the bad guys and clues. Who’s to bet that that smart-looking cowl won’t be crammed with even more gadgets and gizmos in the upcoming release of Arkham City? Check out our wishlist after the jump.


Why isnt Raidens helmet not in there?

No Megaman? Sorry sir but there is no excuse to leave that helmet out.