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The 10 Greatest Videogame Robots

Nick Jones

Feature


How do you give guns personality? This is how.

It is the future. It is the year 2000.

Published on Jun 25, 2010

One day in the future robots will rise up against their masters, killing most of us and enslaving the rest. If we’re to combat this mechanised menace then we need to learn as much about it as we can. Thankfully, games are here to help...

Metro Protectron
Fallout 3

In our rail stations we get rude, overweight, wheezy middle-aged men and abrupt, worryingly androgynous women wearing ill-fitting uniforms. In the rail stations of the future there will be awesome-looking robots equipped with lasers. Woe betide anyone who doesn’t have a valid ticket, especially if they happen to be a Super Mutant.

Clank
Ratchet & Clank

Clank is a classic midget sidekick robot in the vein of R2-D2 from Star Wars and Nono from classic Eighties cartoon Ulysses In The 31st Century, which had a brilliant theme tune by the way, but you’re probably far too young to remember that. Crank is very silly but, like all robots of this small and cheeky kind, can actually be incredibly useful when called upon.

Steve
Dark Chronicle

Like KITT from Knight Rider, another classic Eighties TV show you might not remember (although it’s coming back to our screens), Steve is a robot who doubles as a vehicle. Although he’s an extremely customisable ‘ridepod’ rather than a Pontiac Firebird voiced by Mr Feeny from Boy Meets World (which you also don’t remember).

HK-47
Knights Of The Old Republic

This psychotic, murderous, amoral, meatbag-hating assassin droid has found something of a cult following since his appearance in KOTOR back in 2003 – so much so that’s he all set for an appearance in BioWare’s upcoming MMO Old Republic. We’ll leave it up to HK-47 to explain just why he’s such an awesome robot: “Suggestion: Electruction work well. Evisceration and decapitation are also effective, or um, so I've heard.” We think he should get his own game.

Legion
Mass Effect 2

Legion may have the mind of 1,183 Geths, but he’s been single-minded in his mission to find Commander Shepard after the Battle of the Citadel in the first Mass Effect. He even has Shepard’s armour, so we reckon that he’s something of a robot groupie. He call also do a mean robot (dance) – just go to the AI core with Shepard and stand still for a bit to see Legion’s moves.

Thursday
Disgaea: Hour Of Darkness

Like Fallout’s Metro Protectron, the robots of the Fifties and Sixties inspired Thursday. Back then, the people who created sci-fi for comics, TV and movies assumed, for some reason, that the technology of the future was going to be big, clunky and cumbersome, and not sleek, compact and sexy, like an iPod or something.

Dog
The Orange Box

There are some pretty awesome robots in this list, but Alyx Vance’s pet robot, Dog, has to be our favourite. He doesn’t speak, or even have a face, yet he has about a million billion times the personality of your average game character. Plus he’s very good at lifting and throwing things, and therefore very useful indeed.

R-One-Oh-Seven
TimeSplitters 2

Robert One-Oh-Seven (or R-107 for short) is not a robot, but rather a man wearing cardboard boxes with crude drawings of rivets and dials drawn on them. He’s a joke version of TimeSplitters’ own R-109. Technically he shouldn’t qualify for this list, but he’s so utterly convinced that he is a robot that we let him in. Mostly because we feel sorry for him.

Jack
Tekken

Every beat-’em-up needs at least one big, slow, lumbering character with basic moves that does tons of damage, and in Tekken that character is Jack. Apparently he was built by the Soviet military and entered into the Iron Fist Tournament because the Russian military thought that would help bring communism back… or something.

Aperture Gun Turret
Portal

GlaDOS may have all the best lines, but these guys sum up perfectly Portal’s ironic, euphemistic sense of humour. When they spot you and fire it’s, “dispensing product”, when they lose sight of you they ask, “are you still there?” and when you deactivate one they bid you, “Good-bye,” all in a brilliant child-like voice. How do you give guns personality? This is how.

 

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