Mates. Buds. Compadres. Amigos.
Videogames have taken a stab at true love, but when it comes right down to it, there's no deeper connection than two best mates who look out for each other through thick and thin. Allow me, therefore, to take you through ten of the greatest Bromance stories ever told.
10: Mario and Bowser [Every Damn Mario Game]
Conventional logic dictates that this pair should be the deadliest of enemies, but nothing could be further from the truth. Every time Mario needs some more disposable income or some time away from the missus, Bowser's always happy to hook him up with a princess kidnapping and go through the motions. In an awesome display of taking one for the team, Mario was also willing to go deep inside the digestive tract of his erstwhile foe to save the world... which is quite frankly further than even the tightest of bros are willing to go. Even on a stag night.
9: Shepard and Garrus [Mass Effect]
When Commander Shepard is forced to go off the books and recruit a crack team of surly ne'er-do-wells to save the universe, there's one Turian that he knows that he can rely on time and time again. Garrus always has his back. Whether he's doling out sage advice or devastating sniper cover fire, this is one partnership that survived two games and will hopefully make it into the third.
8: Ghost and Roach [Modern Warfare 2]
This is a classic example of a budding bromance that was cruelly cut short. It took a .44 magnum round and several cans of petrol to drag these two apart, even after the steadfast Ghost heroically dragged his comrade in arms out of a deadly firefight and was pivotal in securing each and every objective that Task Force 141 threw at them.
A tragic end to a solid bromance that was forged- and severed- by fire.
7: Sam and Max [Duh]
Videogame partnerships don't get any tighter than this anthropomorphic duo. Despite Max's borderline psychopathy, his stalwart canine companion has stuck by his side through thick and thin; solving mysteries and wreaking untold havoc on countless innocent civilians to get to the truth. Turner and Hooch have nothing on these guys.
6: ToeJam and Earl [Also Duh]
These two funky friends are as dedicated as they come. Despite having overtly different parentage, these two are brothers in everything but DNA; relying on each other to survive the bizarre planet that we call home and return all of Lamont's precious vinyls to their rightful, righteous place. You know their funk is bottomless... much like their Bromance.
5: Master Chief and Sergeant Johnson [Halo]
Much like a brick, the relationship between these two iconic characters flew pretty good. MC and Johnson always had each other covered, whether they were engaged in hectic firefights, leaping from ship to ship in Earth orbit or bringing the rain to Delta Halo. Johnson was always ready with a bit of choice banter, but when it came right down to it, the Spartan always knew that the ornery sergeant would support him through thick and thin. Smile, would ya?
4: Solid Snake and Otacon [MGS]
The jury's out on whether love can bloom on the battlefield... but there's no doubt that Bromance can. Snake and Otacon have been inseparable ever since the master infiltrator freed his geeky sidekick from a urine-soaked cupboard; demonstrating a degree of tenderness and camaraderie that the veteran mercenary never thought he could find. Plus, Otacon's too classy to let a little thing like Snake killing his one true love get in the way of a beautiful friendship. Bros before Hos, I guess.
3: Cody and Guy [Final Fight]
When Cody's girlfriend was kidnapped by the vicious gangs of Metro City, he instantly knew who to turn to. Guy, his sparring partner, had absolutely nothing to gain from helping his buddy out... but when a bro's in trouble, you'd better believe that his best mate will drop whatever he's doing, pick up a knife (and some dusty floor food) and get involved. That's what bros do. Good effort, lads.
2: Marcus and Dom [Gears Of War]
You knew this was coming. Marcus and Dom's close friendship defines the conflict between the Locust and humanity, with Dominic willing to sacrifice searching for his long-lost wife to spring his old mate out of jail and follow him into the blighted depths of Sera. Sure, things got slightly strained when Dom caught up with Maria... but a little banter and a manly offscreen hug soon got the two amigos back on track. Nothing brings two guys closer than sharing the same chainsaw extermination!
Gears 3 will apparently use "Brothers To The End" as a fitting tagline for the action. In our opinion, it should have been "bros."
1: Rios and Salem [Army Of Two]
This is it: a Bromance that makes most videogame relationships look forced and superficial. Rios and Salem are the Army Of Two. Their cooperative manoeuvers and back-to-back shenanigans are unparalleled in combat- but they're not shy of displaying their affection with manly bear hugs, ass slaps and fist pounds once the last body has hit the ground. I love you, man!
Rios and Salem's Bromance is so awesomely infectious that it breaks the fourth wall. Put two distant acquaintances on a splitscreen session and you'll soon see them bantering away like old army buddies... even though they'll mainly be talking about how great Army Of Two would have been if it wasn't ruthlessly rushed to deadline. For the record, we'd love another sequel- because true BROmance never dies.