Tuesday, December 28, 2021
2021 has been a rather strange year. The world began to open up once again, but with many of us still working from home, there’s still been less need to travel by plane, train, and automobile than ever before. Luckily, video games have been picking up the slack this year, offering up all sorts of magnificent machines to take control of. So, if you’d be so kind, please join us for yet another one of our festive features, as we take a look back at some of the very best video game vehicles on offer in the year 2021. Oh, and as usual, be warned that there will be some spoilers in our list down below.
M15 Razorback - Halo Infinite
Halo Infinite saw the return of plenty of beloved vehicles from all across the Halo franchise. Warthogs, Ghosts, Wasps, Banshees, and more are all available to pilot, with players finally given a big open world in which to really test them out. However, it’s one of the newly added vehicles that’s proven to be one of our favourites - the Razorback.
This Warthog variant seems a bit boring, at first glance, with no actual weapons of its own and a somewhat more realistic design. However, this sturdy four-wheeler truly comes alive in campaign when you load it up with five additional marines. Suddenly, you’re a six-person death squad on wheels, tearing about the Zeta Halo and taking out all that oppose you. Things get even better when you realise that marines have basically infinite ammo, and you can swap weapons with them to give them their own loadout. Equip each marine with a deadly special weapon, like the Volatile Skewer, and there’s almost nothing the enemy can do to stop you. Oh, and it’s pretty good in multiplayer as well.
Chainsaw Tank - Resident Evil Village
A fantastic vehicle, armed to the teeth with a machine gun and explosive cannon, Ethan's ridiculous tank he uses to take on Heisenberg towards the latter part of Resident Evil Village, is the height of silliness. The icing on the cake is the chainsaw, perfect for getting up close and personal with Village's cocky master of magnetism, able to carve through flesh and steel alike, in a shower of white-hot sparks. Emblematic of Capcom really letting itself run wild, the chainsaw tank marks a tipping point, where Village dispenses entirely with any sort of subtlety, opting instead for a boss battle with infinite ammunition.
And yet, I can't help but have a soft spot for the chainsaw tank. The moment you find it, and face the prospect of riding it into the fray, regardless of how daft it might be, it offers a spark of excitement at the action sequence to come. The showdown that ensues doesn't disappoint, even if it feels like a bit of a low point for Resident Evil – it's not remotely scary; it's far too stupid and fun.
Mekafingro – Biomutant
Biomutant offers up a surprising amount of vehicles to pilot over the course of its adventure, from a giant mech-suit, to an underwater octopus-shaped submarine. While some of these vehicles can only be used in certain areas of the game, or in specific boss fights, the best vehicle of all can be freely used anywhere you want - the Mekafingro.
This bizarre mount is basically a mechanical hand, which scuttles across the ground like a giant clockwork version of Thing from The Addams Family. This by itself would be grounds enough to make it one of the best vehicles in video games this year, but it comes with its own unique attacks which really secure its spot on this list. Not only can it flick enemies up close to deal damage, but it can fire off an explosive shot from its index finger - it even makes the ‘finger guns’ hand gesture to do so! We give this one a big thumbs up.
Underpants Plane - It Takes Two
Like so many of the games on this list, It Takes Two’s selection of vehicles was so good, that it could have had multiple entries. Whether you were sailing on a pirate ship, or flying through the sky on a mechanical bird, It Takes Two was full of imaginative and exceptionally fun ways to travel.
We do have to pick a favourite, however, and none of the vehicles in the game stood out quite as well as the Underpants Plane. You’re given control over this slightly crude crate while on the run from a bunch of warmongering squirrels - but not complete control, that is. In one of the game’s most memorable set pieces, you and your co-op partner must split your responsibilities between, with one serving as the pilot, and the other as the gunner. Dodging and weaving throughout the inside of a giant tree, with gliding squirrels nipping at your feels, is more exhilarating than it has any right to be, and turns out to be one of the best vehicles sections in any game this year. Good thing it wasn’t a bit pants, eh?
The Mako - Mass Effect Legendary Edition
Now, here's something we thought would never happen. The Mako from the first Mass Effect, in a best vehicles list? Get the eff outta here. Nonetheless, here we are, BioWare managing to transform the slightly stubborn and unwieldy planet reconnaissance vehicle into a remarkably drivable, even enjoyable thing to rag around the place. Or to run over or blast space monkeys with.
Memories of the original Mako getting stuck in awkward places or struggling with a-bit-too-steep inclines were swept away, as a helpful turbo boost meant you could not only get around much faster, but also overcome any terrain that would have been otherwise problematic back in 2007. If you craved the controls and handling of the original, you could have them, but for our money, we'd take Mass Effect Legendary Edition's version of the Mako over the old one, any day of the week. Now, I should go.