For many games it’s the first few moments that really determine how excited a gamer is going to be to start their journey. A solid opening sequence generates excitement and helps the gamer to truly want to immerse themselves in that world. Throughout the course of gaming, opening scenes have become much larger and a more important component in the gaming world. The following are what I think are some of the most memorable openings in gaming.
I used the scene from Fallout 3 because it is beautifully haunting. Fans of the series have gotten used to a sort of pattern with the series. A slight introduction showing a destroyed world and then the familiar voice narrating the general setting of said world. “War, war never changes” is something that is burnt into gamer’s minds. The intros are all unique, shocking, dark, and wonderful, and they stick with you once you’ve seen them.
Technically, the scene that I picked is not actually the opening. However, it is your introduction to Rapture and the man behind it. Andrew Ryan’s reasons for creating Rapture set the stage for what type of place it is and the people that live/lived there. Not only that but hearing Ryan say “I chose Rapture” and then seeing the massive underwater city rising up is just mind blowing. It’s a breathtaking moment that was really one of the highlights of that generation of games.
Red Dead Redemption
This is slightly less awe-inspiring than some of the more epic openings out there. Nonetheless it establishes a lot of the themes of this game in very cinematic ways. Starting with the city and showing the new technology that is coming in during this time, then slowly riding out to where people are still trying to be a part of the old west. It shows the vast differences as well as showing that the old ways dying out isn’t exactly the best thing. It may be more contemplative than some faster moving openings, but it’s still interesting and important. Not to mention it’s also beautiful from a graphical standpoint.
When Halo first arrived on consoles, it was during a time when grand opening cinematics weren’t the standard for games. Those that were doing them though made sure that they were memorable. Halo was no exception. It established a game with advanced graphics and large scale battles between major factions. With each game Halo has made sure to follow that theme with its opening sequence, showing off the graphics, and reminding us that the story goes far beyond just Master Chief.
Left 4 Dead
This stretches the definition of what counts as a opening scene, but it’s pretty darn amazing. Valve found a great way to introduce the various details of how to play the game without making us suffer through a tutorial. You see who the characters are, the various special infected, and how teamwork is key for this game. It’s also amazingly well done and extremely interesting. For a game without much in the way of story or cutscenes, it manages to have one of the best introductions ever.