Titanfall 2’s campaign is one of the biggest surprises of the year, and part of what makes it so enjoyable is the dry humour of Cooper’s personal titan, BT-7274. Robots in games, and a lot of fiction for that matter, are usually of the murderous, malfunctioning, human-hating type. But there are actually some nice ones out there, and here are some of our favourites on PC.
Dog (Half-Life 2)
Dog is the ‘pet’ of Alyx Vance, built by her father Eli to protect her when she was young. Your first encounter with him is playing a game of catch with the gravity gun. Then, in Episode 2, you watch in awe as he wrestles with a strider and single-handedly destroys it. Dog is a charming, loyal robot who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty when trouble arises, which it often does.
Legion (Mass Effect 2)
Yes, Legion is actually a gestalt consciousness formed by 1,183 geth programs, but it inhabits a mechanical ‘mobile platform’ and that’s robot enough for me. Legion, unlike most geth, wants to help Shepard stop the reapers. It’s part of a faction of the AI race that doesn’t have a burning desire to destroy all organic life, which is a good trait for any robot. Great too.
BT-7274 (Titanfall 2)
The newest robot on this list. Early in the surprisingly excellent Titanfall 2 campaign, a lowly rifleman called Jack Cooper finds himself being promoted on the field to a titan pilot, and taking command of BT. Their friendly relationship, and BT’s wry sense of humour, is a constant delight. But when it comes to doing battle, BT becomes a ruthless mechanical killing machine.
Gray Fox (Metal Gear Solid)
When they first meet, Gray Fox—a man who has become mostly machine, taking on the identity of the mysterious Cyborg Ninja—tries to kill Solid Snake. But later, after a brutal battle, he suddenly appears to save the day, sacrificing himself to stop Metal Gear REX and save Snake in the process. He’s one of many tragic figures in the Metal Gear Solid series.
Wheatley (Portal 2)
Poor Wheatley’s entire reason for being was flooding GLaDOS’ mind with an endless stream of terrible ideas to inhibit her intelligence. But despite his lot in life, he attempts to help you escape Aperture Science. Er, at least until he ends up in GLaDOS’ body and decides to kill you instead. But it’s not his fault: he was designed to be a moron. Deep down I think he has a heart of gold.
EDI (Mass Effect 3)
In Mass Effect 2 this advanced Cerberus-developed AI is a glowing orb that sits in the cockpit of the Normandy, bickering with pilot Joker. But in the third game she gets her very own robot body, complete with stylish hair. She may have been created by Cerberus, but EDI is on Shepard’s side, blocking The Illusive Man’s attempts to track the ship after he defects from the organisation.
Blade Wolf (Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance)
Another robot that initially wants to kill you, but eventually becomes a valuable ally. With a railgun, a back-mounted chainsaw, and extendable claws, he’s a formidable force on the battlefield. Raiden saves him, and the two form a bond based on their past lives. “Like me, he had been forced to kill,” says Wolf. “But he continues to fight for what he believes in.” Such a wise robot dog.
Yeah, Claptrap is annoying. Every second he’s on the screen or talking or doing anything I’m wishing he’d go away. But he’s a constant helpful presence in the Borderlands series, and maybe there’s something endearing about his goofy sense of humour. Maybe. Although his helpfulness has its limits, especially when it comes to ascending a simple set of stairs.