Dads: the reason we're all here. Well, half the reason, anyway. That's a reason to celebrate in itself. It's all about the indomitable fathers out there who've done great things for the love of their offspring. They'd go to hell and back for their youngsters, and if necessary even put their own lives on the line. Some of them human, some of them octopi (maybe just one of them), but all of them have one thing in common: they're loving dads. Say Happy Father's Day to five great fathers of gaming. And pick up the phone to tell yours he's pretty swell too, eh?
Sam Fisher, Splinter Cell
Lieutenant Commander Samuel Fisher doesn't play games. The ex-Third Echelon member believed he lost his dearest daughter to a “drunk driver,” but that certainly wasn't the whole story. After uncovering some particularly incriminating information that lead Fisher to believe she may have been murdered, it's an all-out war against those who meant to do Sarah harm. Sam's journey is a long and tumultuous one, and isn't completely about his daughter, but you've gotta admit the lengths he's willing to go to are admirable.
Ethan Mars, Heavy Rain
How many times would a father call out his missing son's name in a variety of intonations in the middle of a crowded mall in real life? For Heavy Rain's dynamite dad Ethan Mars, the number is close to half a million. We kid, but only because even that instance isn't Ethan's most admirable paternal moment. When his son goes missing, Ethan's out for blood, even spilling some of his own in the process if need be. Contorting his body and climbing through electrified death pits, cutting off his own finger, and pretty much losing all of his human dignity are all stops on the road to finding his son. Some dads only stop at playing outdoors with their kids. Oh, that's right. Ethan does that too.
Harry Mason, Silent Hill
This unfortunate father spent an entire game and frankly what seemed like a lifetime in pursuit of his missing daughter Cheryl – who we later discover to be Heather Mason in Silent Hill 3. Mostly. With his wife deceased and only himself to look after his adopted baby girl, Harry plans on a vacation in Silent Hill. Things go horribly awry and poor Harry is left wandering through nightmarish worlds and faced with demons both real and personal, all in the name of recovering his lost daughter. Would you search the disgusting innards of Silent Hill if it meant getting your daughter back?
The titular star of this freaky indie game isn't technically a real father per se, but we think he does his absolute best to imitate one. Household chores are a pain with those tentacle arms, you know, and making sure his family doesn't see through his clever ruse is tough. Imagine taking on fatherhood when you can't even truly grasp how the human body is supposed to function. Takes real guts, man. Playing a game of catch suddenly turns into an endeavor only comparable to choreographing a Lady Gaga video. And you say you've got it rough being a dad!
Eli Vance, Half-Life series
The bond between Eli Vance and his daughter Alyx is certainly one to treasure, and that fateful moment of Half-Life 2: Episode Two quite likely brought a tear to your eye if you're anything like us. The two Vances were incredibly close – anywhere Alyx went gallivanting off with Gordon Freeman, Eli was there to offer his never-ending support. If it weren't for Eli, his creation of Dog, and the moments between the powerfully bonded father and daughter, Half-Life 2 and its subsequent episodes would have been a different beast entirely. We're still waiting for Episode Three, and though we know Eli is being an awesome dad somewhere we can't see, he'll always be looking down on his dearest Alyx, guiding her every step of the way.
Which gaming dads made their mark on you throughout your gaming career? Do you want to nominate your dad instead? Let us know!