We’re going to be honest here, when a game forces us to pair up with an NPC on a mission, we usually do a little groan on the inside. We couldn’t count the number of times an AI character has given us away on a stealth mission, failed to save us as hunter claws our face off in Left 4 Dead, or just generally got in the way at every opportunity possible.
Let's not even start on AI partners who need our protection to avoid dying. Many games simply cheat by making your pal invisible to the enemy (we’re looking at you, Bioshock Infinite) rather than risk them dying at an inopportune moment. There are some games out there who’ve done better, however. In these rare cases we get partnered up with an NPC buddy who’s actually more help than hindrance. Read on to discover seven AI companions that weren’t total idiots:
Lydia - The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
“I am sworn to carry your burdens.” If ever an NPC understood their job well, it was Skyrim’s Lydia. A decent enough melee combatant and ally for your travels, Lydia’s true role was in playing the ultimate packhorse of The Elder Scrolls series. Elevated to the role of housecarl early in the game, Lydia is put under the command of the Dragonborn, bound to follow their orders, protect their life, and mostly to carry all of their junk.
Lydia was most memorable for the single line she’d roll out every time you traded with her. Delivered with the perfect level of sardonic resignation, it’s almost as if the devs knew we’d be dumping hundreds of pounds worth of dragon bones into her inventory over the course of the game. All those years spent training in the Jarl’s service to find yourself hauling some idiot’s crafting gear from Solitude to Riften. We’re sorry, Lydia.