If there is one thing that needs to be an instant certainty it’s the look of a main character. Not only have video game armors protected the lives of our protagonists through sequels but its helped them look good doing it. Here are a list of super cool sci-fi armors you’d be silly not to witness, or remember.
Warhammer: Space Marine
The Warhammer content empire is no stranger to iron clad warriors, be it from the past, or future. The Warhammer 40k space marine has to be one of the most iconic in modern gaming. This is power armor lasted the test of time from the late 80s but without a single re-imagining it has held its place as one to never be forgotten. It breathes its imperial inspirations but this isn’t some Star War’s storm trooper punk armor. The armor itself is so ancient even its wearer can’t link its origin but this zeal covered tomb empowers the already super human wielders to be one of the coolest to grace the battlefield.
Halo’s Master Chief has come along way since the early days of the original Xbox. Since its birth Halo has tweaked and refined the Master Chief through title to title from bulky green tank to slim-line cyborg warrior. Halo 4’s take on the Mjolnir armor with its Gen 2 variant added a ton of details that brought its protagonist to the expectations of next gen visuals.
What Bungie and future studio 343 have succeeded in doing is making a suit that became the character. The armor in of itself is in many ways the face of a franchise. It doesn’t need emotions and a voice to portray it. The Mjolnir armor speaks for itself by dripping in the energy of its own ever evolving history.
Dead space 2: Advanced Suit
Isaac Clarke was a seasoned necromorph killer by the time of Dead Space 2. Not only did the narrative get a massive upgrade but so did the space engineer’s survival suit. The Advanced Suit was in many ways developer Visceral Games attempt at Master Chiefing Isaac in its own way. The steam punkesque clunkiness of its predecessor replaced with a sleek, scuba gear in space looking iteration taking up the wardrobe.
Not only did it look really awesome when animating the wax on/ wax off helmet but it helped staple Isaac Clarke as a true poster child. No longer was the series’ protagonist a severed hand on the front cover, he is the front cover and thanks to the Advanced Suit he owns it.
Vanquish: Augmented Reaction Suit
Sega’s Vanquish was a fantastic game that made every attempt to turn the player into a metallic power ranger of Casshern level badassery. The ARS evolved its main lead Sam Gideon to not only a super soldier but one that danced like a butterfly and stung like a bee. Its energy levels one thing to keep an eye on but when you have that slow mo down to perfection, the suit spoke for itself.
This suit lets you rapid punch and hip rocket slide the user to victory and once it engages its overdrive mode you have one hell of an ultimate weapon that few can overcome.
Gears of war: Coalition Armor
Gears of War has had many a sequel but its take on futuristic video game armor is what helped Xbox’s secondary franchise excel the Xbox 360 into stardom. Marcus Fenix and his COG brethern have survived many a stray bullet and chainsaw glance thanks to this piece and whats cooler is that there are tons of different types across the franchise’s games and characters.
It doesn’t matter if its the Onyx variant to Gears 5’s new snow inspired version, they all have helped sell us on the dangers that humans face and what is required in Gears of Wars world. You need to be a body builder to wear it but for good reason. It keeps your butt alive.
DOOM: Praetor Suit
You only have to look in the direction of Bethesda’s E3 to know that whenever this power house of a battle suit shows its face, it will get the cheers it deserves. Doom for many is the birth game of the shooter genre and what better way than to own that title but with the Preator suit. The original suit was nothing more than a helmet and chest piece but over last few years we have watched the Doom Slayer punch his way to having one of the coolest armors in games through one modernized iteration.
Doom Eternal will bring a brand new take on this legendary armor but it all had to start somewhere in this current gen and what you are seeing is it. Hail to the king.
Starcraft: CMC Combat Suit
For a standard infantry unit in a strategy game, the Terran soldier definitely dies on the field looking good. Starcraft 2’s upgrade of humanity’s combat armor against Zerg forces is bulky, mechanical and on par with the brain children that Tony Stark only hopes to one day dream.
Back when Starcraft 2 was initially revealed we were treated to the suit becoming the entire point of its cinematic return to gaming pcs around the world. We watched as space criminal Tychus was surgically embedded into the behemoth.
The cool thing about the CMC armor is just how well Blizzard were able to make the suit actually seem like it made sense. Its underbelly of wiring, exoskeleton and those shoulder mounted reactors just to power the thing makes us totally believe that something like this can one day be reality.
Titanfall: Assault Suit
Titanfall is an interesting beast where its pilots are just as deadly as the 3 story mechs they ride into battle. The IMC and Militia pilot kit is a new staple in video game armor that takes the modern inspirations of real life body armor and flips it on its head with hip mounted jet packs and a pretty cool helmet to boot.
The suit itself is based on more mercenary variants you might see in movies and games but the art design put into its many light and heavy variations help players look their finest when rodeoing a titan to its final resting place.
Crysis 3: Nanosuit
The Nanosuit from tech-benchmark Crysis has gone through as many upgrades as has the games visuals. If anything though when someone points it out you will instantly know where this muscle suit of human augmentation comes from. This video game armor lets protagonists Nomad, Alcatraz and Prophet switch between strength, cloak and speed and is a weapon in of itself.
It is just that powerful that Crysis 2’s main character is literally kept alive just because the suit wills it. If Skynet was every to become a pair of pants then these were the ones you wore to prom. The initial nano suit started out as pretty much a black stealth suit, but over the years it has evolved and improved itself to make itself and the user combat perfect.
Warframe: Ember Prime
Digital Extremes Warframe has more player characters than a jar of peanuts. To pick a favorite is like getting into an argument about what topping is the best on pizza, but early in its launch one frame stood out over many.
The Ember Prime skin was a slick re-imagining of the fire based warrior. Its selective adornment of gold on leather body suit with carved gauntlets made any player the talk of the time once sporting it in-game. What’s more is the super awesome helmet that was literally a flaming mohawk that protruded from your face.
Sure it gave slight boosts in power to players that likes to shotgun flames from their hands but if you want to talk to talk you damn sure needed to walk the walk in this.
These are just some of video game’s coolest armors on show. There are tons out there and to list them all would be a page too many. What are some of your favorite video game armors though? We would love to know in the comments below.
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Josh has been all across the industry as a writer, interviewer, video editor and game artist. You can usually find this fellow sat in front of his laptop with a coffee in one hand and a pet hedgehog being petted with the other. The guy has too many favorite games to count, so don’t ask him unless you came prepared with a packed lunch.