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 🙂

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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?” 😆

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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 😆 )

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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Where should Rockstar go next?

Rockstar Games are one of the greatest publishers in recent game history and have tackled plenty of eras and different settings in their games.

They always seem to have a fresh take on things whether you are controlling a modern day criminal (Grand Theft Auto IV), a cowboy (Red Dead Redemption), a Scarface type gangster (Grand Theft Auto: Vice City), a schoolboy (Bully) or even the reluctant star of a snuff movie (Manhunt).

We know of at least two more genres they attempting to capture with the forthcoming L.A Noire (a 1940’s detective) and The Agent (1970’s spy).

                                                                                  L.A Noire looks set to take gamers somewhere different.

But where else can they go from here?

After pondering the question for a while I’ve come up with some suggestions that I think Rockstar could do a great job on. So here you go in no particular order:

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PIRATES

We’re not talking about the poncey Jack Sparrow pirate type of recent years – I’m thinking Treasure Island style pirates, real pirates. Starting out as a hand on the ship you work your way up at sea and on land until you’re assembling your own crew and sailing your own ship. Knowing Rockstar your old captain left you marooned for a crime you didn’t commit and somehow you’ve been rescued and must hunt him down for revenge.

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VICTORIAN LONDON

While similar in timespan to Red Dead Redemption, setting a game in Dickensian London would make for a fantastic experience. There are plenty of stories (Jack The Ripper/Thames Torso Mystery etc) that they could base a plot around – or just come up with something unique of their own. I believe a game set in this era would be something a lot of people would be interested in.

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ANCIENT ROME

I know ancient Rome has been done before in games but I don’t feel it’s ever been done a great justice. I’d like to see Rockstar give us a chance to experience the treachery and gluttony of the Roman Empire – whether that’s as a skilled gladiator or perhaps a soldier close to one of the great figures of the time.

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FRENCH REVOLUTION

There is plenty of great material from the era of the French Revolution that Rockstar could go with. The masses rising on the street, overthrowing the monarchy. Would be great to storm the Bastille! Or possibly viewed from a different perspective you could take on the role of a Monarchy sympathiser who has to escape the wrath of the uprising.

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WORLD WAR 1

The second World War has been a rich basis for games over the years, what with the almost cartoony villainy of the Nazis. But what of the original conflict? I’d like to see them approach it from a different perspective – perhaps as part of the Black Hand assassination group that murdered Franz Ferdinand? So not necessarily would you fight in the war itself but you would certainly get a feel for the time.

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EGYPT

Egypt isn’t a setting I recall for a lot of games but it is fertile ground for a game. Of course there’d be a lot of sand (:lol:) but I think the civilisations of the time would also be of great interest. Perhaps a little artistic licence could be used to have the player solve (or even cause) the death of a Pharoah such as Tutankhamun, who is rumoured by some to have been murdered.

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RUSSIAN REVOLUTION

There were actually numerous revolutions in Russia during 1917 with the Tsar deposed in February and then the government that replaced him overthrown in October by the Bolsheviks. I’d like to see you maybe play as a member of the Bolshevik party who works his way up and has a hand in the revolution.

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U.S CIVIL WAR

This is one I’d love to see, though I’m not sure whether it would be too sensitive for a US audience? Would be great to play through campaigns as a character from the North and a character from the South to see it from both sides. Perhaps the stories could converge at some stage in the final act of the game.

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CHINA

The fall of the Ming Dynasty began around 1630 and lasted until 1644. Again, this could be a rich environment and world for Rockstar to play in. You could take control of the rebels or the dynasty as the collapse happens around you.

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NORMAN CONQUEST OF ENGLAND (1066)

Would like to see this set in the build up to the Battle of Hastings. Would be brilliant to take part in that, from either side to be honest. Maybe even a character who is ‘on the fence’ so to speak and then you choose which side to allign yourself with before the battle begins.

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JAPAN

 

There is plenty of scope for this one, whether you’re looking at the origins of Samurai or perhaps when they were at the height of their power. With the new Metal Gear game showing it can be done with some crazy sword cutting antics this would be a welcome addition to the Rockstar roster.

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So there you have it – a wealth of places Rockstar could go next. But what do you guys think? Agree with the above or have any other suggestions?

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