Top 10 Video Game Armor Suits
In reality, military-grade body-enhancing exoskeletons are plausible, but they're currently too expensive to be practical. Video game characters, thankfully, have wardrobes not limited by anything but their development studios' collective imaginations. Any character can stumble across a suit that'll take them from man to superman with a few zips, and some examples are more super than others. Here are ten of the greatest armors video game characters have ever donned.
10. Batsuit, Batman: Arkham City (PS3 / Xbox 360)
As one of the greatest martial artists on the planet, Bruce Wayne shouldn't need armor to help him dispatch enemies. However, he's incorporated the bleeding-edge research he appropriates from WayneTech into his Batman costume, utilizing chemically treated fabrics as light as cloth but as tough as steel. Features woven into the Batsuit seen in Batman: Arkham City include a cape that can be used both as a melee weapon and a hang-glider, a sophisticated radar array in the cowl, and the ability to convert kinetic energy into devastating electrical attacks. And this isn't even touching everything Batman has in his utility belt.
9. Falcon Armor, Mega Man X5 (PS1)
Dr. Light is such a thoughtful creator that he continues to support Mega Man from beyond the grave, his digital ghost designing armor upgrades for the Blue Bomber's use. By far the greatest of his designs is the Falcon Armor from X5, which allows Mega Man to fly in all directions. Once players find all the parts to this suit, the game's difficulty drops substantially, as they can now move freely through levels designed for mere running and jumping. The other features of the armor, such as the in-flight forcefield and the armor-piercing charge shot, are just icing on the futuristic cake. It proved so overpowered that Capcom reduced its flight to a mere mid-air dash in X6, with the convenient excuse that the armor was damaged between games.
8. RIG, Dead Space (PS3 / Xbox 360)
Like Isaac Clarke himself, the Dead Space RIG was meant for mundane engineering tasks, but ends up a battlefield powerhouse. Though less flashy than other examples on this list, the Resource Integration Gear bears several invaluable features, such as an enemy-freezing Stasis module, the long-distance lifting Kinesis, and boots designed to move in zero gravity. The suit also monitors the wearer's health while instantly transmitting navigation data from the space station computers. It even increases physical strength, so that even Isaac's "flailing in panic" style of self-defense can do serious damage to an unwary Necromorph.
7. Iron Man, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii)
One of pop culture's most famous armored heroes is Tony Stark, the womanizing, alcoholic corporate raider who designed a suit of robotic armor to keep his heart beating and atone for his sins. Unfortunately, given the quality of licensed games and the characters' relative lack of popularity (until recently, at least), there aren't many examples of Iron Man's prowess in video games. But when he appears, he makes a spectacle, as seen by his starring role in Raven Software's Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. With enough experience, Iron Man's arsenal expands to include plasma blasts, rapid-fire pulse bolts, electric surges, and the destroy-everything chest laser that is his uni-beam. Not bad for something built in a cave from a box of scraps.
6. Flying Suit, Starsiege: Tribes (PC)
Halo may be the most famous example of powered armor in video games, as Master Chief and the other Spartan soldiers wear powerful exoskeletons that protect their bodies and carry their gear. The cult classic Starsiege: Tribes has characters with the same kind of equipment, but with one significant advantage: flight. Each character's armor is built with a jet pack that allows them short-range flight in all directions. The armors come in multiple sizes as well, with larger and heavier suits that soar through huge boot rockets. While not as popular or streamlined as Halo, Tribes retains its unique charms for granting the freedom of true three-dimensional movement to the multiplayer shooter genre.
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Neil Kapit is a freelance writer, cartoonist, and "La Li Lu Le Lo" agent based in Los Angeles. His work can be seen on www.therubynation.com.
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