Video games often provide players with captivating stories and memorable characters. While many focus on epic battles and intense rivalries, some games also offer heartwarming friendships that resonate with fans. With characters like Johnny Silverhand or Garrus Vakarian it’s not hard to see why players become so invested in the relationships that these characters provide.
After all these characters also experience the game’s story along with the players themselves and understand the situation from a similar viewpoint. These bromances, characterized by deep bonds of brotherhood, add an extra layer of emotional depth to gaming narratives. Without these bromances the games themselves would not be the same.5 (Cyberpunk: 2077) Johnny Silverhand & V
In the dystopian future of Cyberpunk 2077, V and Johnny Silverhand has a very strong but also complicated friendship. Their first meeting goes very poorly due to a cybernetic implant called The Relic, the two characters end up sharing a V’s body and consciousness. Silverhand, being the unhinged rocker boy that he is, tries to take control of V’s body immediately, resulting in a struggle between the two. From here the two negotiate an uneasy alliance for the common goal of separating themselves and fixing the Relic.
What makes V and Johnny’s relationship so compelling is their unique situation. The idea of two people sharing one body is an interesting concept and how the characters interact makes it so entertaining. While V is the main character and primary decision-maker, Johnny acts as an advisor or commentator on the world around them. Over the course of the game, players witness V and Johnny engage in heartfelt conversations and confrontations, revealing layers of vulnerability and shared humanity. Silverhand’s destructive past and V’s uncertain future become entwined which forces the pair to confront their inner demons and make difficult choices.
Over the course of the game’s story and side missions, players see V and Johnny become closer as their situation becomes more desperate. Though it is not a traditional pairing, seeing the two characters become friends through their mutual struggle is certainly one to experience.4 (Telltale’s The Walking Dead) Lee & Kenny
Telltale’s The Walking Dead series captivated players with its gripping narrative, moral questions and memorable characters. Chief among the amazing relationships is the bromance between Lee Everett and Kenny. From the moment the two characters cross paths at the beginning of the series their friendship becomes a source of strength and support. Both men are thrust into the chaos of a world of survival, one infested with walkers and raiders. As Lee and Kenny navigate the dangers of the apocalypse and protect their loved ones they rely on each other for support and loyalty.
A defining aspect of this classic friendship is the characters’ shared experiences of loss and grief. Both Lee and Kenny suffer tragedies and the loss of loved ones, leading to reliance on each other. Over the course of Season One the two share burdens that deepen their connection and foster a brotherly bond. As their journey continues Kenny’s emotional stability begins to crumble under the weight of this grief and Lee acts as a pillar of support for him.
Lee and Kenny’s friendship leaves an enduring legacy within The Walking Deadseries. As Clementine’s story pushes forward in the series she is often confronted with the memories of Lee and Kenny’s friendship. It reveals to both the characters and the players how impactful their bond is and how it shapes the games going forward.3 (Disco Elysium) Harry Du Bois & Kim Kitsuragi
From the moment Harry and Kim embark on their investigative journey in Disco Elysium, it is evident that their friendship is built on a foundation of mutual respect. Harry, a troubled detective with amnesia, finds solace in Kim’s calm and patient demeanor. Kim, a seasoned detective, recognizes Harry’s potential despite his flaws and becomes a steady presence in his life.
Harry and Kim’s friendship thrives due to their complementary personalities and dynamics. Harry’s erratic and introspective nature is balanced by Kim’s rationality and pragmatism. At first, Kim is thrown off by Harry’s amnesia but is surprisingly patient with his lapses in judgment. This patience turns into appreciation as Kim begins to see Harry’s quirks as a strange but effective detective strategy. As the pair navigate the mysteries and challenges of Revachol, their contrasting approaches converge to form a harmonious partnership.
By the end of Disco Elysium, both characters have developed a deep friendship. Kim and Harry have fought together, investigated multiple cases and even risked their lives for each other. In the game’s final scene, Harry’s stability is questioned by his former partner, and Kim demonstrates his respect and admiration by defending Harry to the last. The development of this relationship is what is truly at the heart of Disco Elysium and is what players enjoy so much about the game.2 (Detroit: Become Human) Connor & Hank
Connor and Hank start as reluctant partners at the outset of Detroit: Become Human. Hank is initially skeptical of working with an android, while Connor must navigate the delicate balance between his programming and his growing sense of autonomy. However, as they delve deeper into their investigations and face perilous situations, a connection begins to form.
As the game’s story progresses, players witness a father & son bond form between the two characters as they work together to solve the case. It is revealed that Hank had lost his only son in a car crash years before the game takes place and after this realization, it becomes apparent that Connor is filling the role of a surrogate son for the old detective. Hank quickly acts as a mentor towards Connor as well as an emotional rebuff for the android. Connor is focused on completing his mission by stopping the android uprising but as the two partners get deeper into their investigations Hank begins to question the morality of the situation. As Hank’s sympathy for the android cause grows Connor is faced with challenging questions about his purpose and if he is truly alive.1 (Mass Effect) Captain Shepherd & Garrus Vakarian
The Mass Effect Trilogy is considered to be one of the best video game series of all time. It’s known for difficult choices, great character dynamics, and amazing friendships. Garrus Vakarian is especially known among the fanbase as being the Shepherd’s best friend, and if played as the male character makes it the best bromance.
In the first edition of Mass Effect, the players can recruit Garrus to be a member of their crew very early on and throughout the game, the characters grow as friends. Garrus often asks Shepherd for advice and insight about justice and law. It is evident right away that Garrus respects Shepherd’s opinion as the player’s choices can change how Garrus’ life turns out in the sequels. In Mass Effect 2 and 3, their bond has solidified, and the two have clearly become best friends. Garrus often makes remarks about their past missions and all the dangers they have faced together as well as the impossible odds they have beaten in an almost meta fashion. Garrus as well is one of the few characters in the series who stays with a part of the Normandy crew in each game entry.
While other characters have other duties or responsibilities that call them away from Normandy, Garrus will always return to fight by Shepherd’s side. In conclusion, the impact of these bromances in games has shaped the fanbase of their respective games. Players have fallen in love with these characters and their relationships as they have forged epic bonds that have shaped the world of fiction.
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