The world can be divided into two camps: Dog people, and cat people. While I do love our furry kitty friends, I’m a dog person through and through. Many game developers seem to be on the same wavelength, which is why good puppies show up in so many of our favourite games. Here’s a short and not at all biased list of some of the absolute best good doggos in video gaming.
Dogmeat (Fallout 4)
Dogmeat’s been knocking around since the very first Fallout game came out in, what, 1862? I first met him in Fallout 4 though, and instantly fell in love with him. In game, he’s meant to be an important ally. When you have him as your companion, he’ll happily jump into the fray and bite bad guys, holding them down so you can pick them off. He’ll also bark when he finds anything useful, and carry anything that you don’t want to carry yourself.
In practice, he’s not as useful as he should be. He’ll dive into the path of your grenades, blowing himself up in the process, and is forever bounding off, barking that he’s found yet another piece of junk that you don’t need. Then there’s the infamous Bethesda bugs, that have him happily floating down after you whenever you jump off a ledge. Plus, he LOVES getting in your way. Having been a dog owner, I can with authority call Fallout 4 an accurate dog simulator.
Hewie (Haunting Ground)
I missed Haunting Ground when it first came out, but now that I’ve seen it I can confidently declare Howie, the white dog that accompanies protagonist Fiona as she attempts to escape Belli Castle, a good boy.
The game requires you to actively develop your relationship with Hewie, on order for him to protect you properly. When you order him to do something, whether that’s collecting items or attacking Fiona’s enemies, you’re required to praise him to make him more likely to do it again in the future. You’ll also need to heal him when he’s injured. You build up a partnership that’s genuinely moving, and you’ll want to look after Hewie throughout the game. He’s a brave dog, diving in and attacking monsters with ease, and generally being very cool.
Dog (Fable 2)
The Fable games have their fair share of problems, but one of the best things about them is the dog companion your character has. Throughout the game he’s always by your side, helping you out and protecting you. He’s also good at sniffing out chests that are filled with treasure.
What’s really interesting about him though, is that he’s directly influenced by your actions. If you’re good, he’ll gain a pure white coat, and children will love him and want to pet him. If you’re evil, he develops glowing red eyes and people will be scared of him.
Whatever you do though, you probably won’t want to do the final mission in the game if you love your Dog. Just, trust me on this. No, I’m not ok.
Okami is probably one of my favourite games of all time. It centres around Amaterasu, the Japanese sun god that’s come back to Nippon in order to defeat the big bad that’s ruining everyone’s lives. She’s come back as a white wolf, and she travels the world with her little bug friend Issun, solving problems and fighting bad guys. She uses shields, swords and more to beat them up and make the land safe again.
When she’s not fighting, she’s talking to the locals. She takes a lot of crap from them, as almost no one recognises her as the goddess she is. She’ll even fall asleep if they go on and on in classic JRPG style. She goes around collecting Praise, which restores the land in a rush of colour and floral explosions.
What’s great about Amaterasu and Okami in general is that the game is GORGEOUS. It uses a watercolour style that you just won’t find anywhere else, and looks incredible. It’s a game that you’ve just got to see for yourself.
Koromaru (Persona 3)
Now I’m biased, as I’ve just finished Persona 3 (yes, I’m playing though the Persona games backwards, sue me), and I think Koromaru may be my favourite video game dog ever. He finds his way into your team when he fights Shadows, the enemies of the Persona series, at the shrine where his master used to live before he died to them. The team quickly discover he can summon his very own Persona, and so add him to the team and let him live in the dorm with them.
Koromaru is brilliant in so many ways. In battle, he not only summon magic via his Persona, but attacks directly with a knife clamped between his teeth. When he initiates an All Out Attack, his text box literally just reads ‘Woof, woof!’ He’s just as intelligent as a human though, as evidenced when robot girl Aigis translates for him. Plus, he’s just adorable! Look at his little armband!
That’s my list of best video game doggos. Is there anyone I missed? Let me know!