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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GregHorrorShow’s Top 100 Games: 50-41

Resi2

So we’re into the Top 50 already!!

You guys know the drill by now:

I decided, 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) 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 🙂

Let’s crack on with No. 50…

 

50. inFAMOUS (Playstation 3)

inFAMOUS

inFAMOUS is a great game that sees you take on the role of Cole MacGrath – a man who develops mysterious electrical superpowers after being caught in an explosion while delivering a package. From there on out it’s up to you how you go about finding the people who caused the explosion to get answers / revenge. Throughout the game you’re greeted with good or evil choices that shape your powers and the way the general public view you. The story in this game was one of the main highlights for me. Brilliant, brilliant gaming.

 

49. ALIEN TRILOGY (Playstation)

AlienTrilogy

This was a brilliant game. A first person shooter based on the first three Alien films. Although I don’t think you actually played any of the plotlines from the film, it was just the settings etc. Best bit was if a facehugger got you – it actually took up the whole screen, leaving you unable to see where you were going/what was going on. And it even had the scanner with it’s creepy bleeping, signalling imminent danger. Great stuff.

 

48. RESIDENT EVIL 2 (Playstation)

ResidentEvil2

Ok, ok so I never finished this (I hardly finished any games back in the day, content to just play until something new came out 😥 ) but it was all about the opening anyway. After the slow paced survival horror of the first game being dumped in amongst lots of zombies right at the start of this one and effectively told to ‘get on with it’ was something of a shock. Certainly a big ‘what the hell’ moment and the game grows in strength from there.

 

47. ALIEN 3 (Sega Mega Drive)

 Alien3

Another Alien game in the same ten game stretch? What madness is this? Well that’s just the way the list worked out and Alien 3 certainly beats Alien Trilogy on merit. Despite being based on only one film this side scroller for the Sega Mega Drive was really impressive at the time. The “photo-realistic” shots of the Aliens between levels was a highlight and I simply never got tired of using the flamethrower to fry the critters! It was a pain to keep rescuing the cocooned hostages though 😮

 

46. ROBOCOP VS TERMINATOR (Sega Mega Drive)

RoboTermScreen

I wrote a piece on how Robocop deserves a decent next gen game and after playing Terminator Salvation I wasn’t impressed with the latest Terminator effort. Looking back this was the last decent game for both franchises. And what a game. The story was pretty convoluted – basically Robocop’s cybernetics hold the key to building Terminators or something 🙂 Going round shooting Terminators as Robocop. COULD THIS BE ANY COOLER? Yes it could – you also faced off against ED-209 😎

 

45. SUPER MONKEY BALL (Nintendo GameCube)

SuperMonkeyBall

Many an hour spent perfecting Monkey Target (Hi Hollow Snake! 🙂 ) and Monkey Golf made this a favourite during my short time as a Gamecube owner. Super Monkey Ball featured monkeys in big balls and you were tasked with navigating them through several tricky puzzle like courses. Or various multi-player ‘sport’ events. All great fun but there was something tragic about not closing the ball on Monkey Target – which left your monkey friend terminally injured, twitching on the floor 😥

 

44. HORACE GOES SKIING (ZX Spectrum)

HoraceGoesSkiing

Another old classic. This was requested by myself and my brother every time my Dad busted out the ZX. “No money no ski’s” became a family catchphrase. In this gem of a game you had to guide Horace across a busy road to hire some ski’s, get back across the road and then actually navigate the slalom on the ski’s. Such a simple concept but we got literally hours of fun out of it.

 

43. FIFA 95 (Sega Mega Drive)

FIFA95

I think this has to be one of the games I’ve played the most in my gaming life. I used to rack up the seasons on this quality title. The follow up to the original FIFA game this was the beautiful game at it’s best. Even back then EA was all about the presentation – whenever you scored each button corresponded to a celebratory noise like fireworks or a klaxon. The best by far was a commentator saying ‘Gooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaalllllll!!!!!!!!!!’ For as long as you held the button down. A lot more arcadey than the football games these days but certainly as much fun.

 

42. GAUNTLET (Arcade)

Gauntlet

“Wizard needs food badly” – If there is a sampled piece of speech in a game that raises the blood pressure this is it. That booming voice. You felt like you were being told off the whole time. Heaven help anyone who shot the food by accident! This was 4 people multi-player action at it’s best and it literally ate 10p pieces for breakfast in the arcades. I always went Wizard as he looked pretty badass on the arcade artwork but in reality he was a bit crap. Oh well maybe I’ll just shoot some food. 😆

 

41. SPEEDBALL II (Sega Master System)

Speedball2

No top games list would be complete without this seminal classic. Brutal Deluxe – it brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it. I remember when a friend and I got them to the playoffs. God this game was bloody hard. It was violent and addictive – you could have your opponents stretchered off seriously wounded if you hit them hard enough. All you had to do was chuck the ball in a goal – sounds easy right? But there were all sort of multipliers dotted around and power ups available. We’d never played anything like it and I doubt we will again.

 

So there you have it, another ten games down and plenty more to come!

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