The problem with dogs in videogames is that their presence inevitably changes the parameters of the mission. No matter what The Sarge says in the briefing, it's your second priority: Job number one is always—always—ensuring that your canine companion doesn't get smoked.
This is a problem compounded by the fact that AI-controlled dogs are even dumber and more aggressive than their real-world counterparts. Dogmeat of Fallout fame was notorious for driving players absolutely berserk with his penchant for charging powerful enemies and environmental hazards with great and reckless enthusiasm, usually forcing a quick reload no matter how well the fight was going.
Digital doggo deaths were so heartbreaking/enraging that Bethesda made Dogmeat unkillable in Fallout 4, and Ubisoft has elected to do the same thing with Boomer, the furry friend of Far Cry 5. He will go down when things get hairy, but PR rep Alex Monney said on Twitter today that a little bit of affection will bring him right back.
Confirmed Boomer can't die. You just pat his belly and he comes back to life. Far Cry 5 launches in four days! pic.twitter.com/0AvptWWk3KMarch 23, 2018
The crusty old man in me wants to make Ned Stark noises about coddled gamers these days—"If they die, you'll bury them yourselves"—but really, it's an elegant way to handle a sticky problem. Animal companions are always going to be more trouble than they're worth, but an awful lot of players just can't seem to leave them behind. The result is a huge, not-at-all-fun headache, especially in shooters, where bullets are flying and tactics rarely extends beyond hiding behind a rock while your health recharges.
Correction: The post originally listed Alex Monney as a designer, but he is in fact a PR rep.