Weekly Thread! Favorite Mounts and Vehicles

While many video games are happy to make your character walk for miles and miles around their sprawling cities and countries, some give the player other ways to get around. From animal companions like horses and chocobos; to planes, trains, and automobiles; and across the seas and stars in a wide range of ships. There are a lot of ways to traverse our favorite worlds.

So this week - whether they’re fun to control, or just cool to look at - tell us about your favorite mounts and vehicles in video games.

I have already talked so much about Subnautica on this site but I can’t pass up this opportunity to talk about what it does with vehicles. I feel like, in games, vehicles and mounts are usually a straight upgrade of some sort — you move faster, have more power, get more maneuverability, are able to go places you weren’t before — and that’s often very fun. But Subnautica’s vehicles — the Seamoth, Cyclops, even the Prawn Suit — come with a tradeoff. Despite being able to go deeper, and having a barrier between yourself and the leviathans, piloting a vehicle (most apparent with the Cyclops (this huge, base-sized submersible) restricts your visibility and ability to turn and view the world around you. So now you have protection from the Reapers and other beasts, but ocassionally you’ll hear a cry, and then a loud banging and gnashing against the side of your ship, and you’re way up in the cockpit without the ability to turn and see what’s attacking you. Which is really cool — and finds a way to balance vehicles in the design ethos of a game that wants to keep you on edge, focused on survival, and always a little scared.

…oh, in other news, the Breath of the Wild motorcycle rocks. I just wish you didn’t have to play through essentially the entire story and DLC to unlock it, but oh well.

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God, this thread is starting out too strong. It’s gonna be tough to top the Cyclops. The Seamoth and Prawn feel like mods that change how Ryley moves while conserving O2. The Cyclops is a capital-V Vehicle.

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Halo CE’s WARTHOG will probably always be my favorite videogame vehicle. fun, flippy and floppy, indestructible, infinite ammo machine gun. humanity’s #1 weapon.

so many swell memories of slip sliding around in that thing with friends.

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Finding out I could ride a bear in Breath of the Wild (or a rhino, or a deer, or a spirit creature) was pretty magical. The horses in that game are great, too. Usually I hate mounts, too! What a special game.

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Another thing I love about the Subnautica vehicles is how funny they are. Slamming around rocks and fish in the seamoth, over and under shooting jumps in the prawn, running around the cyclops cockpit trying to solve three problems at once; you never feel powerful in them, just like a Fool trying your best.

Their also characters in that way and while you’re alone on the planet, I felt like the seamoth was my best bud and co-explorer by the end. Another way that game is brilliant.

Speaking of mounts that are buds, shout-out to all the Roachs out there. Terrible at racing… following directions in general, but always there to listen and support in even the gnarliest situations.

Questions for anyone interested; what makes a good or bad mount to you? Are there games where you totally ignored the vehicles/mounts entirely?

What is your mount use case? When do you use one vs fast travel or going on foot?

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I’ve always had a problem with “optional driving sections” in first-person games (possibly because I don’t drive myself, but I really do find them awkward - one of the reasons I disliked the end of HL2:E2 is because it’s set up to expect you to use the buggy to drive around the map between contact points, which just was an exercise in frustration for me).

As such, it’s weird but I’m going to put in a vote for one of the few vehicles in driving sections I didn’t hate: Mass Effect’s Mako.
(Yes, I know, but really, I actually enjoyed all the driving sections with it!)

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I always enjoy the tank section in Halo games. Being able to vaporize things with a very satisfying explosion is never not fun.

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A friend and I once spent about an hour getting a Banshee into the boss battle with the big ape in Halo 2, made that fight hilariously easy.

As for my favorite vehicle, I might have to go with the ADF-01 FALKEN from Ace Combat 5.

Its a ridiculously over powered plane that can fire a solid beam laser from its nose. If you are good enough with it you can take out entire enemy squadrons in a single shot. Instead of a traditional glass cockpit the area around the plane is recorded by cameras and then transmitted to screens around the pilot, giving them a 360 degree view of whats around them.

In Terms of favorite mount I have a soft spot for Shadowmere the invincible horse from Oblivion. In classic Elder Scrolls goofiness style if you needed more inventory space you could knock out the horse, put items on its corpse. Then when it revived ride it to the nearest merchant, knock it out again and get the items back off it.

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This is a way call-back to an old game, I always loved Bart’s cars in Simpsons Hit and Run. His base space shuttle car, The Honor Roller (which I think he stole from Martin in the show) is a real solid vehicle and is pretty reliable basically all game, and you get it super early. And it looks cool!

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gotta be a skateboard. skate 3 specifically.

i’m also a fan of the ships in wind waker and black flag, moreso the latter because there’s actually room to walk around on it. it feels like driving a house around in all regards. except the part where it has cannons i guess. and there’s even the sense in those games that the ship is home.

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How on Earth did I forget about Black Flag? Matt Ryan calling out “How 'bout a song, lads?” and then just cruising to shanties was one of my favorite ways to spend the back half of 2013

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I think this thread needs more mech game representation!

I don’t particularly like the story and progression of Daemon x Machina, but boy is it fun to fly sideways at high speed firing two guns and missiles simultaneously. You are pushing/holding so many buttons simultaneously that it really feels like you’re controlling a complex machine as opposed to how other third-person action games feel. Also, because of the super generous diegetic auto-aim, you both get to move as fast as you want in a fight and don’t feel like the game is holding your hand, like I sometimes feel with aim assist.

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A brief shoutout to the Silt Striders in Morrowind just for their design, even though they are not technically a mount.

I think that Agro in Shadow of the Colossus is, for me, the quintessential video game mount. So much of the traversal in that game is dependent on him and it was the first time I had ever played a game in which a horse felt ‘alive’. Having those moments where he refuses to go certain places or walk certain paths did so much for me in establishing him as a character and not just an extension of the player.

Also, Sea of Thieves is just incredibly fun to just hop in with some friends and sail on a boat and play music together which is good since that’s the crux of the game.

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I have a fondness for JRPGs that introduce flight to the overworld at some point mid-late in the game and the way it controls is just ‘the overworld is basically now a flat jpg and you are just zooming over it’. Airships in Final Fantasy, the Rheairds in Tales of Symphonia, Tengri in Ni no Kuni, that sort of thing. They are fast, completely bypass most if not all obstacles, and so, so satisfying after hours and hours of tedious backtracking and slowly hiking miles around these huge maps.

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the ace combat planes in general all feel really fun to play as. i’ll add on the classic battlefront 2 starfighters

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Buell, the veteran’s horse in Red Dead Redemption 2

Buell was a good boy.

I will say, bonus marks to me for the very arcadey plane feel of (Amiga era) Jetstrike! and the very similar feeling [if more ridiculous] planes in Luftrausers.

I feel like I am one of the few people who enjoyed the gummi ship segments of Kingdom Hearts. I also just really like building space ships so that could be it.

This very good pal:

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