Heroes are needed in every game to save the day, but being courageous and having a good set of skills is not always enough. Heroes need equipment that provides them with information or power helping them in their mission. When we play games we might take this equipment for granted and we forget to think about how important is to us and how much more difficult our experience would be without it.
Here is a list of some of the most important pieces of equipment (not weapons) I have seen and used in video games.
Omni-tool - Mass Effect Series
The Omni-tool is a holographic gauntlet with many different utilities. The Omni-tool allows the player to hack into computers and decrypt codes, repair damaged devices and can even be used as a close combat weapon and on top of everything it makes your character look soo(o) much cooler!
If you are out there in the galaxy hunting cybernetic aliens that want to extinguish life, the Omni-tool is the right gadget to take with you as it will help you in lots of situations.
Motion tracker – Alien versus Predator Series
When you are a marine on a planet full of deadly aliens which outnumber and outmaneuver the army you are part of, good equipment might make the difference between life and death.
The motion tracker is not really an advanced or futuristic piece of hardware, but it gives you information about what’s moving in the next room or nearby, giving you time to prepare (usually for your death). When the tracker screen is filled with dots and beeps without stopping you know that it is time to pee your pants in real life and run as fast and as far as possible in game. Some think that they can be heroes and gun the aliens left and right, but those are the people you usually see on the floor without brains or hanging on the sealing without a spine. The motion tracker cannot make the difference between enemies, allies or rats and this is its biggest weakness, as sometimes you see one dot moving on it and makes you think is another marine, but after you notice the three dots on your chest followed by a scary sound and a blue light your realize that you were wrong all along.
The motion tracker can save your life in many situations throughout the AvP games and it is also a very good device to test your heart.
Detective vision – Batman Arkham Series
A good detective needs useful tools to help him solve cases, but most of them don’t have any because of budget reasons (blame the government). But when you are a billionaire who hunts bad guys in his spare time, having the right tools is not that hard, not even if these tools defy the laws of physics.
The Detective vision is an awesome device (power!) which allows Batman to find clues, see through walls and even receive hints on how to deal with a situation. It is clearly one of the most powerful devices used by a hero in a game and it is so useful that it makes the player use it more often than the normal vision of Batman which allow you to see the world with its true colors and beauty (if there is any left in Arkham).
Pipboy – Fallout Series
The Pipboy, Personal Information Processor, is a retro looking device with many functions, some of them similar to a smartphone.
This device allows the players to keep track of their health status by providing information on the damage taken, it tracks the capability of your body, can keep notes on your progress and even store audio and text files. Some of the newer Pipboys have radio incorporated and even a Geiger counter which in a nuclear post-apocalyptic world can be really handy.
The Pipboy is an indispensable device that survived in a world where most of the technology has gone to hell (because, you know… humans…) and makes your life easier in your quest through the post-apocalyptical wastelands.
Nanosuit – Crysis Series
The Nanosuit is an armor based on nano-technology, stolen from aliens, which grants the user some insane powers. The Nanosuit becomes like the skin of its user, absorbing and regenerating from the damage taken, but this is just one of its cool utilities.
There are three standard powers the player receives once equipping this badass piece of combat hardware:
- Enhanced strength which allows you to kick cars or throw heavy objects, jump high in the air, make you more resilient to damage and chock ugly aliens to death;
- Enhanced speed which allows you to run fast from one place to another (who would have thought!);
- Invisibility which allows you to sneak undetected on the battlefield and avoid combat or silently take down your enemies.
All of these powers rely on the energy of the suit which is regenerating and this is one of the few weakness this equipment has (op!).
The Nanosuit doesn’t make the player unstoppable, but it does make him humanity’s last hope! (or at least that’s what the Crysis 2 trailer says).
Portal gun – Portal Series
Even if it has the word gun in its name, this gadget is not really a weapon, it can be used as one in some situations but that’s because crazy AIs force you to do it.
At its core the Portal gun is a scientific device which allows a person to open two portals by shooting the walls in two different places. When stepping into one of the portals the player gets out through the second one, this makes for very fast and sometimes dizzying traveling.
This device gives you such cool powers that some super-heroes would envy you (sorry DareDevil!), but as any powerful device it has some weaknesses, for example you can shoot the portals only on a particular type of surface which have to be in your visual field, but more importantly if not used in the right way this gun can get you stuck falling through portals forever.
The Portal gun is the most interesting and powerful device I have used in a video game, if you don’t believe me ask GLaDOS!
There are many other useful gadgets in games, but this is a list of those that made the difference for me and without which the hero would not be able to succeed.