Monday, December 27, 2021
The festive holidays are upon us, which means its that time of year where we look back at some of the best bits of 2021 in video games. And this year, we're kicking things off with something that's for life, not just for Christmas - dogs. These canine companions and furry friends were by our side through thick and thin during our gaming escapades over the past twelve month, so come with us as we take a W-A-L-K through memory lane, and celebrate the very best video game dogs of 2021. Oh, and beware, there might be a few spoilers to look out for in our list below.
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy – Cosmo the Spacedog
The answer to the question 'what would have happened to Soviet spacedog Laika, had it been zapped with cosmic rays, rather than left to die in its capsule', Cosmo the Spacedog is a Golden Retriever-Labrador able to speak telepathically. Decked out in a full cosmonaut spacesuit and sporting a gruff Russian accent, as well as a litter of adorable puppies, dogs don't come much better than Cosmo.
During the course of the narrative in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, Cosmo is a welcome sight from the moment you meet him in Knowhere, to the latter parts of the story, when he and his puppies just happen to be around at exactly the right time. Never too busy for a scratch or a quick sniff, Cosmo is, in short, exactly what you'd want from a very good boy, even one able to speak to you via his mind with a growling Russian accent.
Hades - Cerberus
What's better than one doggy head to give a good ol' cuddle? Well, how about three massive doggy heads! That's right, in Hades, the infernal watchdog of the underworld himself is your faithful companion. Far from being a gruesome hellhound of Greek mythology, Cerberus has a special bond with main character Zagreus, and there's nothing that he likes more than a good scratch behind one of his six ears. Luckily, there's a button for that - you can indeed pet the dog.
Between each and every escape attempt, you can return to greet Cerberus within the house of Hades. In fact, so fond of Zagreus, is the big red dog, that he tears apart the entire Lounge while the son of Hades is out on an escape attempt. Cerberus even turns up just before the final boss battle, guarding the entrance to the arena, and the game even tricks you into thinking that you might have to slay the giant pooch for a brief moment, but instead asks you to go track down a snack for him instead. Thank Zeus for that! He certainly deserves a treat for being such a good boy.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse Earthblood – Cahal
Ok, so this one isn't technically a dog, but it's pretty damn close. Werewolf: The Apocalypse Earthblood puts you in the shoes (and paws) of exiled werewolf Cahal, one of a clan of powerful shapeshifting creatures. Unfortunately, the game wasn't all that great, but it did offer up some interesting transformation abilities.
As a human, Cahal is a pretty dull character, able to hide behind cover and fire off crossbow bolts. As a giant, beastly werewolf, you'd think he'd be more fun to control, but clunky combat and endless waves of enemies help put a damper on things. By far the most fun to have in Earthblood, then, is in Cahal's more natural wolf form. These sections are easily the most satisfying bits of the game, as you stalk past security guards, pad through the forest, and instantly shift between wolf and human form. It's the closest we've gotten to being able to actually play as a dog in a game this year, and without a new Okami game on the horizon, it's not a bad substitute at all.
Far Cry 6 – Chorizo
Don't underestimate Chorizo. He might be a miniature sausage dog whose back legs have been replaced by wheels, but sic him on an enemy, and he'll fight to the death. In Far Cry 6, Dani can take Guapo the alligator, a violent rooster named Chicharron, ragged dog Boom Boom, or even Oluso the jaguar with them wherever they go, but the connoisseur's choice will always be Chorizo.
Endlessly plucky and energetic, Chorizo is the little dog that could, the little dog that invariably does, and the little dog who's impossible not to love. Of the Amigos you can enlist in Far Cry 6, Chorizo might not be the best on paper, but nothing beats rocking up to one of Anton Castillo's outposts, his little wheels squeaking, before you send him darting towards a soldier to nip at their legs. There's simply no better way to cause a rumpus – Chorizo rocks.
Lost Judgment - Detective Dog
Developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio could have added nothing but Yagami's detective dog to Lost Judgment, and it would be a Game of the Year contender for that alone. A loyal, constantly exuberant Shiba Inu, your detective dog is always on hand to help you sniff out clues, providing you happen to be in the right place at the right time.
Summon the canine companion with a keen nose for sniffing out crime, and he'll drag Yagami along, tugging at his leash as he guides you from pillar to post on a search for invaluable evidence. Not only is detective dog an indispensable part of the Yagami Detective Agency's toolset, but he'll happily wait for you in the foyer of your office in Ijincho, ready for whenever you need him. Forget the drone, the listening device, and the other sleuthing gadgets in your arsenal – it's all about detective dog. What a wonderfully good boy he is.
Monday, December 27, 2021 @ 03:57 PM
Monday, December 27, 2021 @ 08:01 PM