This week saw the release of BioShock Infinite, a game that's notable for many things, but mainly for essentially being one long escort mission that isn't awful. In fact, the game tells you right away to not worry about your escort, and that she can take care of herself. After years of horrible escort missions where you have to protect incompetent bullet-magnets who would sleepwalk through the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, it's hard to express what a joy this is. As a reminder of how well BioShock Infinite pulls this off, let's take a look back at some of the not-so-good escort missions in videogame history.
13. Emma Emmerich (Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty)
So what's the only thing worse than escort missions? Ah yes: water levels. "Stop!" screamed Hideo Kojima. "Let's have a water level escort mission!" Between this and the entire Raiden/Snake switcheroo, Hideo Kojima seems to have made this game in an act of extraordinarily elaborate trolling. Since Emma is also terrified of water, you have to carry her through most of the level, then hold her hand, and get her past bugs (by either getting rid of the bugs while Emma cowers and cries, or more fun option knocking her out, because c'mon who is THAT afraid of bugs?). And if she's caught by guards, she will literally curl up and scream as loud as she can while being murdered.
Luckily, if you manage to get through the mission, you'll be rewarded with
Emma dying anyways. A great reward because you hate Emma a lot by the end, yet still a great slap in the face, given what you put up with to get her this far. In other words: WELL TROLLED, KOJIMA.
12. Peter Puppy (Earthworm Jim)
Say what you will about annoying, idiotic, borderline mentally-handicapped escorts at least they usually don't try to brutally murder you if you mess up. The same can't be said for Peter Puppy, who transforms into a raging purple monster if you let anything happen to him as his skips through the alien terrain. That might be the worst part the dude just skips along, without a care in the world, unwilling to even jump without you whipping him in the butt with your own body. At least he cools down a little in the sequel, and only gets mad at you once you've allowed a couple of his kid brothers and sisters to die horrible deaths plummeting to the ground. Like someone who just heard "Hot in Herre" for the first time in 10 years might have said, "Whoa Nelly."
11. Sheva (Resident Evil 5)
Resident Evil 4 shows a pretty solid way to handle making the whole game an escort mission: Ashley isn't entirely useful, but you can hide her somewhere away from harm while you go off and kill whatever abomination is threatening you this time. Resident Evil 5 decided to show you the flip side of that mostly. When playing single player, Sheva is not a very good companion at all for the reasons Ashley was great she tries to do things. She uses weapons (poorly), she wastes your equipment and items (frequently), and she is generally a huge headache to manage. The only saving grace of all this is that you can have someone control her by playing co-op, which eliminates the problem entirely. The only problem then is trying to find another human being who wants to play Resident Evil 5.