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The Deadliest Duos in Gaming

January 30, 2010

The Deadliest Duos in Gaming
By Nick Akerman

When you go into battle, it's nice to have a partner along to share in the butt-kicking

The time of the lone-wolf is over. Tackling an alien threat single-handedly is no longer in fashion, as allies everywhere double up to create some truly formidable resistance. We delve into the archives to look at some of the deadliest duos in gaming - and explain just why each team strikes fear into the eyes of enemies across the virtual galaxy.

War and Ruin (Darksiders)

As one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, War is a force to be reckoned with, even without his steed. For much of Darksiders he fights alone, rampaging through the legions of Heaven and Hell with an assortment of gadgets to get the job done.  Mammoth-sized swords, deathly gauntlets and even a portal gun are all well and good, but it's the arrival of his flame-riding horse Ruin that provides the boost to overcome terrible odds.  

Once sitting atop his trusty beast, War's strength increases phenomenally. Huge enemies that previously needed a calculated approach to take down now become nothing more than a trot in the park. Ruin's ability to burst with a dash of speed, combined with War's bulk and god-like power, adds up to a recipe that serves up dismembered demon limbs in abundance.

Master Chief and The Arbiter (Halo series)

Although it's the Chief and Cortana who may be the most recognisable duo from the Halo series, the Spartan's partnership alongside The Arbiter in Halo 3 is by far the deadliest. The addition of the Elite leader to the assault against the Covenant not only allowed for some excellently balanced co-op play, it galvanized the weakening ally force. Master Chief is certainly one of the toughest protagonists to grace the virtual world by himself, as his celebrity style popularity pushes him to the front line from the very first scene in Halo: Combat Evolved.

The fact that, in the final push of his quest, he teams up with the disgraced Arbiter means that the mission becomes far more personal. While Master Chief protects humankind, The Arbiter defends his own civilisation. As many of us know, both possess the kind of weaponry that can blast your head off in a second, or give you a few nasty splinters at the very least.

Sonic and Tails (Sonic the Hedgehog series)

They're brightly colored, remarkably cute, and hardly induce danger at first sight, but Sonic and Tails have been crushing enemies with their bodyweight for years. The blue hedgehog's famed turn of speed is powerful enough to crash through walls, annihilate leaping piranhas, and most importantly, tackle the evil Dr Eggman. Tails' ability to fly short distances helped the duo bridge previously unassailable gaps, and added to the notion that 'two cute but oddly human-like animals are deadlier than one'. Always side-by-side, this pair may be the deadliest characters available as cuddly plush toys across any market in the world.

Dom and Marcus (Gears of War series)

If there was an award for the manliest, most testosterone-fuelled men in gaming, Dom and Marcus would surely be grunting their way to the top. Utilizing fluid and adaptable team work to overcome the Locust threat, these hulking COG fighters love to watch the enemies blood splatter like a sadistic firework display. Whether they're tackling the explosive Boomer, a menstrual Beserker, or even the dreaded Brumak, Dom and Marcus' efficiency when using cover always gives them the advantage. And when things turn nasty, they aren't afraid to get 'hands on' with the job. The Lancer's now iconic chainsaw provides one of the most satisfying results in recent gaming history: an explosion of everything crimson.

 

Mario and Luigi (Super Mario Bros series)

Despite a mundane profession, these two Italian plumbers are more than a match for any enemy. Both can be seen storming Bowser's Castle, taking part in sporting tournaments of Olympic difficulty, and even racing through horrifyingly haunted houses. Although a well-placed banana skin or a splosh of ink are deadly when driving, it's out of the kart that these two strike fear into baddies across the galaxy.

Aside from having a killer 'tache, both have been consuming a wealth of narcotic substances to transform into landscape shattering giants, or to utilise elemental powers for years now. They may look harmless, but just like their aforementioned animal counterparts, Mario and Luigi have proven their deadly instincts against increasingly strengthened opponents. And when there's a girl involved, who'd bet against the chirpy chaps?

Wander and Agro (The Shadow of Collosus)

There's little you can say about a duo who have surpassed the physical challenges of tackling sixteen collosi, but Wander and Agro are often forgotten about when analysing deadly gaming partners. A relationship of sheer beauty that is built on trust, Wander and Agro were a huge reason for The Shadow of Collosus' success, as Team Ico nailed emotional attachment in their spiritual successor to Ico. With that said, you only have to tackle the first giant to understand how efficient the pairing are.

Agro, although not always threatening to the behemoth boss, provides a mode of transport and stability that enables her rider to get the job done with minimal fuss. Wander, on the other hand, possesses superb climbing skills and agility to manoeuvre across his lumbering foes. His main strength, however, comes from pinpointing and obliterating the weak spot of each collosi: no mean feat when you consider many of them take minutes to scale. If ever there was a duo that highlighted how the killing power of the main protagonist needs a reliable partner to full back on, it's surely this.

 

Big Daddy and Little Sister (Bioshock)

The relationship between the Big Daddy and Little Sister is remarkable. Trained to extract ADAM from the dead, the Little Sisters' are shadowed by one of the bulkiest enemies that gamers will have come across this generation. Their clambering footsteps are enough to turn a quick scavenging mission in down town Arcadia into a matter of life and death. And if their stomps don't scare you, their groans will.

Blessed with pneumatic drills that'll make light work of human flesh, the Big Daddy's ruthless protection of the ghastly little ladies often forces players to strike with a plasmid attack. Although many more than one Big Daddy and Little Sister exist, it's their influence on the balance of power in Rapture that makes them so deadly. Whether you choose to harvest or save each Little Sister, you're sure to meet their father figure face-to-face, and he's not pleased to see you.

 

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