Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Top Ten Robots in Gaming (part one)

Everyone loves robots, even when they’re trying to take over the world and slaughter all organics because we forgot Asimov’s three-laws (not that they worked properly anyways)... So here's our pick of the greatest robots in gaming - and I'm defining ‘robot’ as a non-organic creation designed to serve a purpose through programming which is vaguely humanoid, so no GLAdos (AI) or Adam Jenson (cyborg), OK?

Let’s begin:

10) Hollow Children (Binary Domain)
Sure, robots covered in skin to disguise them as human isn’t a new idea (see Arnie’s “cybernetic organism”), but the Hollow Children of overlooked-yet-enjoyable shooter Binary Domain managed to both creep me out and make me question my character’s actions – even as I mowed through reams of their more-robotic cousins. The fact that the Children believed themselves to be human – and broke down when they realised they weren’t – was a very poignant idea, especially for a Japanese blast-em-up.

9) Jack (Gears of War)
Sure, he’s not that useful in a fight – apart from Gears 3, when he was finally given an electroshock attack – but little robot Jack is a useful companion to the ‘roid-raging soldiers of Delta squad. The diminutive bot can open doors, project holograms and act as a workstation, as well as turn invisible on command – and he makes cute beeping noises too.

8) R.O.B (NES)
Like some dreadful apparition, the shadow of the Robotic Operating Buddy hangs over gamer’s rose-tinted memories of the Nintendo Entertainment System. The peripheral was designed to work with only two games, and those barely worked at all – and looked terrible. Plus, with a price-tag of £100,000,000, it was the biggest payout any young NES gamer would live to regret. Having been lampooned in many games since, R.O.B deserves a spot on this list (albeit a low one...)

7) Unknown (Vanquish)
There are many fine robots in the excellent shoot-em-up Vanquish, and though many are bigger or louder, the robot that slithered its way into my memory was the ‘Unknown’ - a curious amalgamation of scrap which moves with one mind, producing lasers or killing claws seemingly at random. It was bloody hard to beat – until you discover that the Unknown’s single, red eye is actually the core of the beast, and once you strip its scrap armour away, it’s kind of cute, running around on its little legs. Just... Don’t let it rebuild itself...

6) ROB-64 (Starfox)
The robotic pilot of Team Star-Fox’s  mothership, the Great Fox, Rob-64 (named for the Nintendo 64), proves to  be both an able pilot and a reliable member of the multi-species team. Always  on hand to dispense advice – or bombs – should the team need them, he  holds a soft spot in many 20-something gamers’ hearts, and has made  appearances in many Ninty games since.