GREAT GAME OPENINGS (VOLUME 1)

A strong opening can define your experience with a medium, whether that is a film, a book or indeed a game.

What follows here are some of the best openings in games I have experienced. That could be an opening cinematic or even the beginning of the game that you play through.

This is volume 1 as, quite frankly, I could’ve had a ton more in here but will do a follow up blog at some stage in the future with more additions.

These are as spoiler free as possible athough obviously bear in mind some sequels may recap the events of the first game!

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Dead Space

One of my favourite ever openings. A great start to a great game. Just watch it :smile:

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Bioshock

This is one of those openings that stuns you completely. The game paces it perfectly, taking minutes where others would take seconds, and provides you with the rich setting of the world you’re about to inhabit for many hours to come.

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L.A Noire

L.A Noire spent so long in development that we wondered whether the game would ever actually make it out of the door and onto shelves. Eventually we got our hands on Team Bondi’s great work and while it certainly had some issues, I don’t think anyone can deny it’s a game that all gamers should at least try. The opening sets the scene and helps to create that feeling of a time gone by.

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Borderlands

Borderlands was one of the more surprising games in the year it came out – having played it a bit at Eurogamer the previous year I wasn’t blown away but the game turned out to be great when you were getting inolved right from the start. This intro sums the game up perfectly – big, brash and fun.

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Prototype

*WARNING CONTAINS SCENES OF FAIRLY EXTREME VIOLENCE*

This doubled up as a trailer as well as an intro video for the game – looks amazing and gives you a good idea of the carnage you can cause in the game itself.

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Killzone 2

Ah Killzone 2. I must’ve watched this a hundred times. Graphically one of the best looking intros on this list, the tone is set early with Visari’s speech and the great music enhances the overall experience. One of my personal favourites.

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Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Drake’s adventures continued in Among Thieves, with the game blowing away most of the competition when it was released. This should give you an indication of why – we hadn’t quite seen anything like it.

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Battlefield: Bad Company

The first time we were introduced to Bad Company and immediately we fitted right in – “the new guy’s dead?” :lol:

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Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City remains my favourite of all the GTA games. The 80′s setting and a memorable (if not *entirely* original) story were high water marks in gaming style. This opening gets you in the mood to take a trip back to the 80′s.

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Resident Evil 2

This is one of those openings that doesn’t quite look as good as you remember when you see it now but the punch it packed remains the same, especially as at the time we were expecting a more sinister, slow paced game.

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Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty

As Snake walked across the bridge, I remember thinking that rain couldn’t look more realistic. As he got himself onto the boat it was the character animation that stood out for me. Metal Gear Solid 2 remains a fantastic game and if you were interested in playing it a Metal Gear collection of games on one disc that features this title is coming in February 2012.

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Red Dead Redemption

As a way of setting the tone this is top notch from Rockstar – managing to cram in some thoughts/beliefs of the time all the way along the train journey John Marsden finds himself on him.

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Medal Of Honor: Frontline

As an opening to a game this cut and paste of Saving Private Ryan, while not original, caused gamers to sit up and take notice. A truly immersive experience at the time.

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Homefront

*WARNING CONTAINS SCENES OF VIOLENCE*

While the game failed to live up to the hype this opening remains a slightly unsettling watch. If only the game could’ve carried this feeling through it might have been something special.

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So there we have it – hopefully if you haven’t played some of those games the clips above may give you enough of a taste to give them a try. (Though maybe skip Homefront :lol: )

As I said at the start of this, I’ll be doing a follow up piece with more great openings at some stage so feel free to suggest your favourites (spoiler free please :smile:) and I may add them in.

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GregHorrorShow’s Top 100 Games: 20-11

Dead Space

We’ve made it down to the Top 20!!

A quick recap on how I decided who came where:

I thought, as so many games mean so many different things to me, I should come up with a fair way to judge them.

This is what I came up with:

Time Spent Playing

Storyline

Difficulty

Fun

Ground Breaking?

A few provisos before we hit the next ten games…

Firstly this is my list of my Top 100 games. I certainly don’t expect you guys to agree with it (though hopefully you’ll agree with some of the choices :smile: ) and would welcome any comments.

Secondly, I’m not planning on putting the scores or totals up, just listing the games in the order they came out in.

Lastly, I never owned a Nintendo or Microsoft console so my experiences on these games were limited to friend’s houses etc – bite me :lol:

So here’s number 20!

 

20. GOD OF WAR: CHAINS OF OLYMPUS (PSP)

God Of War (PSP)

Quite simply the best PSP game out there. This hack n slash is a prequel to the previous two God Of War titles (on PS2) and sees Kratos halfway through his service to the Gods. The thing that impressed most about this title were the graphics – for a PSP game they were brilliant. The development team really squeezed everything they could out of the hardware. As usual with these titles the story was great and it was brilliant to step back into the character of Kratos. It was short, 5 hours or so, but I’d rather play an amazing 5 hour game than a mediocre 8 hour one.

 

19. GUITAR HERO (Playstation 2)

GuitarHero

I remember first playing this and being blown away. This soon became an office favourite and with the arrival of the second game it was cemented as lunchtime fodder. I’m sticking with the first game here though as it was groundbreaking and, despite the fact most of them are cover versions, I prefer the tracklist. Bark At The Moon? Cowboys From Hell? They really found a great mix of tracks and the joy at nailing songs 100% is very satisfying. Activating ‘star power’ by tilting you guitar upwards? Absolute genius! :cool:

 

18. MORTAL KOMBAT (Sega Mega Drive)

Mortal Kombat

I still remember the date clearly: September 13th 1993 – ‘Mortal Monday.’ The day Mortal Kombat was released on the Sega Mega Drive. We arranged to go to a mates after school as he was getting a copy (no idea if his parents knew what they were buying him?). We were only 13 but that didn’t stop us. We played it and played it and played it. With the aid of a move list from a game magazine (this was pre-internet for me folks) we got stuck in. I think we all nearly wet ourselves with joy when the first fatality struck. Scorpion burning someone to death. Never mind video nasties – with this we could beat the hell out of each other and then finish the match in style. Sub Zero pulling someone’s spine out? Ouch. Particularily gruesome but this wasn’t just about the shock value – Mortal Kombat was a well designed beat ‘em up that threatened the crown of Street Fighter II for some time.

 

17. GOD OF WAR II (Playstation 2)

GodOfWar2

God Of War II followed the events of the first game, set a while afterwards. It was the sequel we’d all wanted. The first game was epic and the follow up didn’t disappoint with plenty more carnage and lots of new enemies. The battles seemed even bigger than before. The descent into hell is such a great sequence and overall this is a game that is reminiscant of a Hollywood blockbuster but doesn’t suffer for it. With the third installment coming soon, I’d recommend anyone who hasn’t played this to give it a whirl.

 

16. GOD OF WAR (Playstation 2)

GodOfWar

Coincidentally both PS2 God Of War games came in right next to each other, with the original just pipping the follow up. Both these games really pushed the PS2 in terms of graphics and running on the machine. Some of the epic landscapes and battles were like nothing I’d ever seen. And while QTE’s (Quick Time Event) are common now, they weren’t back then and God Of War used them superbly. The beginning of the game set everything up perfectly. Kratos commits suicide by jumping off a cliff. What a way to start a game! :cool: The combat was awesome and the use of Greek mythology was well handled – a must play.

 

15. UNCHARTED: DRAKE’S FORTUNE (Playstation 3)

Uncharted

One of my favourite PS3 games. Forget the dodgy demo and get stuck in from the start. The tale of Nathan Drake hunting the treasure of El Dorado is fantastic. The game uses all the tricks possible and you really feel a part of it. The cover and shooting mechanic work well and the puzzles are just the right side of annoying. The production values are really high and the voice acting is briliant. On the easier difficulty settings this is a perfect game for someone who doesn’t play much to enjoy and on the harder settings it’s a real challenge for the hardcore gamers. Uncharted is like an Indiana Jones film, in my opinion this is the game Tomb Raider wanted to be.

 

14. PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 5 (Playstation 2)

ProEv5

We knew it’d be in here somewhere and I’ve plumped for PES 5 as my favourite in the series. This version had just the right mix – the AI was clever but not too clever, the shooting was excellent and it felt a lot like hard work (for the right reasons) to bag a great goal. The series as a whole has been great for me (PES 2008 on PS3 pushed it’s luck though) and the hours I’ve ploughed into Master Leagues, Become A Legend Mode and playing with friends has to be the majority of my gaming time. Here’s hoping PES 2010 can regain some of the magic they had with those last few games on the PS2.

 

13. METAL GEAR SOLID 3: SNAKE EATER

MetalGearSolid3

We wondered where Hideo Kojima would go with the series after Metal Gear Solid 2 and we were pleasantly surprised to find out the third game would be a prequel, set way back in 1964. It follows the exploits of Naked Snake (the man Solid Snake was cloned from – don’t ask :smile: ). This setting and the fact the action took place in jungle areas meant that players had to get used to whole new way of playing. Less gadgets more foraging for food and laying basic traps/camoflage. Featuring some legendary boss battles: The End, The Fury and of course The Boss. Not my favourite in the series but a great game nonetheless.

 

12. DEAD SPACE (Playstation 3)

Dead-Space

This is one of my favourite games ever. Check out my full review for an indepth look. The story of Dead Space is so cool that I love discussing it with others who have played it. No spoilers here so I’m not going to talk about the story more than I need to! Graphically the game shone in HD – for some of the bits outside the spaceship I actually stopped what I was doing to take it all in. The makers could’ve gone for the jugular with jumps and shocks (of which there are some) but chose the braver and more impressive route of creating a real sense of tension and unease. There were plenty of times I’ve have preferred a shock than something that completely creeped me out. The dismemberment combat – going against everything you’ve ever been taught in games (ie headshot = kill) – leaves you panicking: “Yes! Headshot!… It’s…. it’s still coming at me WITH NO HEAD.” *crys like a baby* If you can stomach games of this genre this is up there as one of the best. I’m looking forward to the sequel already…

 

11. METAL GEAR SOLID 2: SONS OF LIBERTY

MetalGear2

Ah the return of Solid Snake… for about two levels before we switch to whiny ass Raiden. After the success of Metal Gear Solid on the PSOne everyone was clambering for the follow up and while it teased us with Snake what we actually got was a new ‘hero’ that pretty much everyone hated. Raiden was a blonde haired fop compared the Snake’s Kurt Russellesque character. However it says a lot about Metal Gear Solid 2 that even with a badly chosen lead character the game was still excellent. Although the story was somewhat confusing this was the first game to feature Vamp as well as some other great boss battles. It sure felt great to be back in the MGS universe.

 

And now we get to the Top 10! Games 10-6 up next!

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