valiantheartsbigWe all know that dogs are (supposedly) man’s best friend but they actually don’t show up a ton in video games. Valiant Hearts: The Great War recently provided players with an intense historically-driven experience via its cast of unique characters – including a medical dog. Seeing this dog utilized in the game made me think about other video games which have utilized dogs in some manner. What were some of the best dog sidekicks or playable pups? Here are the ones that stand out most to me.

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Brown – Rule of Rose

dogs-ruleofroseRule of Rose is a PS2 horror game that was woefully overlooked after a controversy barred its release in several countries. The game stars Jennifer as she is trapped in a sort of psychotic boarding school with a cast of creepy children. Things get a tad better once she discovers and saves Brown. This dog becomes her trusty companion from there on out, helping her to find special items or distract enemies by growling at them. Unfortunately, he has a habit of getting into trouble during boss battles.

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Willie – Deadly Premonition

dogs-deadlypremonitionIf you haven’t played Deadly Premonition, well, you’re missing out! This 360, PS3, and PC game is what can best be described as a “so bad it’s good” experience as players follow in the footsteps of FBI special agent Francis York Morgan. Willie is not York’s dog, but you come across him from time to time with his owner. It’s only near the end of the game that you get to chase after Willie as the dalmation sniffs away at a hot trail. The scene is incredibly memorable to me because of how long it takes as well as the wonderfully out of place samba music that plays throughout.

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Hewie – Haunting Ground

dogs-hewieWell, here’s another horror game for the list. What is it with dogs and horror, anyway? In any case Haunting Ground is also a PS2 survival horror title that employs a woman in the lead alongside a canine companion. Protagonist Fiona bonds with Hewie as the two work in tandem to solve puzzles, attack enemies, escape maniacs, and all that good stuff. Unlike Brown, Hewie can attack and also be praised or scolded depending on the white swiss shepherd’s attitude. Of course, don’t be too strict to Hewie as this is the only companion you get!

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Jake – Dog’s Life

dogs-dogslifeHave you ever dreamed of a Grand Theft Auto game – but all about animals? If so, your incredibly unique wish was granted in 2003 with Dog’s Life on PS2. This game puts players into the shoes of Jake who is just living his everyday life until his pal Daisy gets kidnapped. Dog’s Life brought strange, but fitting gameplay concepts to life such as a special sight called Smellovision that allows Jake to “see” scent trails. The sandbox-ish world is weird, but enjoyable and is worth a look even though adults weren’t likely the target audience.

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Shadow – Dead to Rights

dogs-deadtorightsOh, Dead to Rights, what a product of the time you are. Initially launched in 2002 it tried hard to be an extremely gritty game about a disgraced cop who must bring about justice on his own terms. Shadow is his K-9 companion and is far more violent than any other pooches on this list. In fact, players can even command him to perform a “scrotality” on enemies which, well, I’m sure you can figure out what that does. In Dead to Rights: Retribution you can control Shadow directly for stealth kill sequences.

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Given time there will only be more dogs in games both as lovable sidekicks and playable characters. But what about other animals? Do you think playable cats might be the next big thing? Games like Catlateral Damage just might be the next big thing…

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Where’d this come from?  Given that Valiant Hearts is our July “Not Crowdfunded, But…” game of the month, and it features a strong canine character, ten why not?  You can check out more of our Valiant Hearts coverage right here!

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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/marcus.jpg” ]Marcus is a fellow with a love for video games, horror, and Japanese food. When he’s not writing about games for a multitude of sites, he’s usually still playing one. One day when he became fed up with the way sites would ignore niche titles he decided to start his own site by the name of Pixel Pacas. Writing about video games is something he hopes to continue doing for many years to come. Some of Marcus’s favorite games include Silent Hill 2, Killer7, and The Sims. [/author]

Marcus Estrada
Marcus is a fellow with a love for video games, horror, and Japanese food. When he’s not writing about games for a multitude of sites, he’s usually still playing one. Writing about video games is something he hopes to continue doing for many years to come.
Marcus Estrada

@BackerMarcus

Writer for @Cliqist - This is my new ''PROFESSIONAL'' account. Yay, crowdfunded video games!
Glad to see the BL visual novel Sentimental Trickster was funded. How about those #Kickstarter stretch goals? https://t.co/AEU8LaeD6M - 4 years ago
Marcus Estrada