Sometimes, a character's choice in apparel can be the difference between life and death. Whether power armor enables players to breathe in toxic environments, move at sublime speeds, or deflect bullets, it's always helpful. In this article, we'll be covering the seven best power armors in popular video games.
For the sake of clarity, power armor in this list follows certain criteria:
- Worn, not driven. In other words, no mech suits, titans from Titanfall, or Gundam suits, for example.
- Provides standard blunt force trauma protection. We are talking about armor, after all.
- Physically affects the wearer. To be plain, it must grant the character within some sort of ability that they wouldn't regularly have.
#7: COG Armor - Gears of War Series
The standard issue infantry armor for the Coalition of Ordered Governments (COG) Army is tough enough to withstand multiple gunshots. Only with sustained fire can this armor be broken. Armor seals on the chest provide added protection to vital organs, but don't hinder limb movement, allowing for maximum mobility.
The back-plate of the COG armor features a magnetic holster allowing soldiers to carry multiple weapons at once.
Variations on the suit include the Onyx Guard Armor which covers its wearer more carefully, features extra armor plates, and is black in color.
#6: CMC Powered Combat Suit - StarCraft Series
Terran forces in the StarCraft series often don the classic Confederate Marine Corps exoskeleton. This suit practically doubles the size of its wearer and is immune to most small arms fire. The massive shoulder pads house extra ammunition and sensor arrays.
But wait! There's more!
The CMC Armor comes equipped with a ton of special features, dependent on which model players are using. Most suits feature a life support system and NBC (nuclear/biological/chemical) shielding, allowing soldiers to fight in almost any environment. Newer models feature built-in heads-up-displays, increased structural support, and a range of enhanced perception abilities for use on the battlefield.
#5: Augmented Reaction Suit - Vanquish
The most notable ability of the Augmented Reaction Suit, or ARS, is extreme mobility. The use of built-in magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters allows for rapid evasive maneuvers on the battlefield. Powered actuators in the suit provide incredible speed and strength to its user.
The ARS features a futuristic weapon retrieval tool dubbed BLADE, short for Battlefield Logic ADaptable Electronic weapons system. Essentially, BLADE can be used to scan enemy munitions, and then configure itself into any weapon housed in its memory on command.
The suit also reduces firearm recoil, deals devastating damage in hand-to-hand combat, and can withstand a decent amount of damage itself, only giving way after sustained gunfire.
#4: T-51b Power Armor - Fallout Series
The advanced power armor worn by factions such as the Brotherhood of Steel and the Enclave in the Fallout series is probably one of the most widely recognizable suits of armor in video game history. Unfortunately, this suit really doesn't provide the wearer with any supernatural abilities; it's all pretty standard stuff... as far as video games go, anyways.
Made of poly-laminate composite, the T-51b is lightweight for its bulky size and can absorb over 2500 joules of kinetic impact. I'm no scientist, but that sounds like a lot. A coating on the shell of the armor reflects laser and radiation emissions.
#3: MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor - Halo Series
Another highly recognizable super-suit in video game culture is the MJOLNIR assault armor from the Halo series. This suit is so advanced, regular humans can't even wear it without injuring themselves. Only surgically modified Spartan soldiers can control the suit's reaction time in order to use it to the best of their ability.
Named after Thor's mythical hammer, this suit/operator combo is not to be trifled with. Increasing the wearer's reaction time by a factor of five and doubling their strength only scratches the surface of the abilities provided by this suit. It is extremely resistant to EMP and radiation and seals out harmful toxins from the environment. It provides users with a rechargeable refractive coating (an energy shield) to disperse a limited amount of incoming damage.
The MJOLNIR assault armor itself is designed with an alloy of incredible strength allowing for extra damage to be taken before failing on the battlefield.
#2: CryNet Nanosuit 2 - Crysis Series
The feature suit of Crysis 2 and 3 is my personal favorite on this list. Able to send energy to one of three different "modes" at a time, the armor is fully versatile with cloaking capabilities, enhanced defense, and super-strength. The Nanosuit 2 allows its wearer to leap great distances, run at astounding speeds and perform on the battlefield like no other.
Much like the Sword of Godric Gryffindor in Harry Potter, the Nanosuit 2 only takes on that which makes it stronger, absorbing energy in forms such as radiation, static, kinetic, and carbon emissions. The shell's Ionic Electroactive Polymer Liquid Armor makes the suit extremely resistant to harmful radiation and blunt force trauma. Wearers of the Nanosuit experience an advanced reaction time of 0.08 milliseconds, and the armor is EMP resistant.
#1: Chozo Power Suit - Metroid Series
Samus Aran's Chozo Powered Armorsuit is the classic video game advanced armor. A brief glance at the abilities of this suit reveal life support, augmented strength, personal energy shielding, damage reduction and more.
Samus' armor has too many upgrades and variants to count, including alternate suit styles such as the Varia, Light, and Dark suits. Upgrades found throughout the Metroid series drastically alter the abilities of the power armor but there are some consistent attributes:
- Power Beam - Samus' standard, built-in launcher.
- Oxygen Supply for outer space survival.
- Energy Shielding
- Damage Reduction
- Augmented Strength
- Life Support
- Extreme Temperature Protection
- Exterior Toxin and Parasite Negation
- Rapid Movement Speed
- Extended Jump Height
These are just the basic attributes of this super-suit. Different weapons and abilities can be equipped including one where Samus tucks into a ball and uses extreme speed to roll like Sonic the Hedgehog through her enemies.
The opportunities of this suit are endless, and it's a video game classic; very deserving of the #1 spot.