Published on August 12th, 2012 | by Shawn Long, Features Editor
GAMINGtruth.com’s Favorite Game Intros
A game with an impressive introduction can leave a lasting impression on you. It sticks in your mind, makes you conjure up warm memories and leaves you in shock and awe when you recall seeing it for the first time. A few of the GAMINGtruth.com editors decided to get together and talk about their favorite game intros and we wanted to share our thoughts with our readers. Be sure to tell us your favorite intros in the comments section or post on our Facebook page.
Greg Bargas: Resident Evil 2
I remember watching the introduction to Resident Evil 2 and being nothing less than petrified. Even though, back then, my thoughts might be a bit different now considering most recent attacks in the news, zombies were nothing more than science fiction horror that intrigued the living.
The game opens up with our first introduction outside of the former mansion setting and we get to know our two main characters right off the bat. Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield are introduced and the Raccoon City scene was marked by seemingly empty streets–later filled with the zombie plague. Even though some parts are openly cheesy, Capcom still had me believing some old goofball truck driver could make his way from the outskirts of town after being bit, coincidentally barreling down the street towards the two main characters of the game.
I’m sure everyone has played out that scenario in your mind. You discover a zombie outbreak and survival is the only thing on your mind. Discovering the reason for this outbreak will only come with some discovery and you sure as hell better arm yourself. Even so, the introduction does more than just bring back memories of blood thirsty brain-dead beings.
I can’t help reminiscing back to when I first popped in the first disc and watched the cinematics start. I’ve always had a fascination with graphics and gameplay. My thoughts were always, “Man, games are one day gonna look like this!” Even now, graphics are better than I could have ever imagined and the Resident Evil franchise is still alive and kicking. It still trumps the adventure that waited in Resident Evil: Code Veronica, even after my obsession with early hints at the Biohazard continuation title.
Andre Gamble: Metal Gear Solid 2
The first eight minutes of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty hold a special place in my heart. Not only is Sons of Liberty the sequel to the game that made me a gamer, but it also takes place in my hometown: beautiful New York City. In this intro Solid Snake bungee jumps head first from the iconic Verrazano Bridge onto a passing tanker.
But to truly understand why the MGS2 intro is so important we need to take a looked back at when it was released.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was released on Nov. 13, 2001, a little more then a year after the PlayStation 2 launched. At the time MGS2 was a PS2 exclusive, and was the system’s graphical showpiece; the water that rained down on Snake and bridge looked amazing at the time; the character models were unbelievable. This intro was the closest we had gotten to a Hollywood action film.
What’s even more amazing is how well it holds up. Even 10 years later the intro and game are beautiful. I still remember unwrapping my PS2 on Christmas and seeing Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty taped to that blue box. I can still feel the joy that was on my face as I watched the opening for the first time, and this intro still brings that same joy to my face first ten years later.
Danny C : Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
I’m not sure where I sit on the “cutscenes vs. gameplay” debate. Thankfully, MGS2’s intro supplies a heavy dose of both. Things kick off with some fan service as a trench coat-clad Solid Snake jumps off the Verrazano Bridge, complete with some dramatic camera angles and slow motion. Otacon then provides a rundown of what’s going on, and the game quickly sets you loose aboard the tanker.
Metal Gear fans feel comfortably at-home after a few minutes of sneaking around, snapping necks and tranquilizing mercenaries (with first-person aiming) as they please, all while answering CODEC calls. In short time, they’ll understand almost all of the game’s mechanics, meet new characters, and will have to time to experiment with the game’s environments and enemies. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty’s intro does a great job of satisfying Metal Gear vets with fan service, introducing new players to the game’s mechanics, and showing off the game’s new features and technical advancements.
Cameron Woolsey: Bioshock
I had quite a list to go over in my head regarding the top of best video game intros. After all, who could forget Snake’s stealthy ship infiltration in Metal Gear Solid 2, Commander Shepard’s supposedly final moments in Mass Effect 2, the bus ride in Borderlands, or the hair-raising rail car climb over a frozen cliff in Uncharted 2? But even among these greats I would have to give my most memorable intro to a video game—at least in recent years—to Irrational Games’ BioShock.
Where some games would feel content with starting at surviving a plane crash, BioShock delivered an enigmatic narrative spoken by the main character as he recalls an important phrase spoken to him by his parents.
What followed was a midnight swim in the ocean while surrounded by burning wreckage, to an alluring and mysterious lighthouse and to an undersea ride in a bathysphere. As the player sank beneath the waves the silky, metallic voice of Andrew Ryan spoke of abandoning the conventional and meaningless governments of the world to embrace a utopia borne of scientific advancement and harmony among your fellow man—two noble goals that the player finds have been severely warped, much like the minds and bodies of the inhabitants of Rapture.
Don’t even lie by saying that you didn’t get chills when the curtain drew open to reveal the incredible underwater city. It was like looking upon an alien world and, for a short time, appeared as a paradise under the sea. That is until the bathysphere surfaced and the player stepped out into the darkness and destruction that the once thriving utopia had become.
Shawn Long: Parasite Eve
This was a tough choice for me, because I’m not the biggest Parasite Eve fan in the world. I still remember playing it for the first time though, and watching the intro. CGI was really coming into it’s own on the PlayStation, and Parasite Eve had some fantastic scenes.
You are a rookie cop who decides to go the opera with a friend at Carnegie Hall in NYC, which is also where you work. As you sit and watch the singing and dancing, all of a sudden everyone catches on fire and dies. Everyone except you. The carnage to this day is still pretty raw, and I don’t recall seeing anything as gory and graphic as this at the current time. Even Resident Evil seemed tame compared to the disgusting burning of people in Parasite Eve. As a horror fan, I loved it, and it hooked me on the game.