There’s nothing quite like a great video game action scene to get the blood pumping and adrenaline flowing. Perhaps with the exception of horror, action plays to the strengths of video games as a medium better than any other; transporting you into the midst of the fray and making you feel like the larger-than-life hero you always wished you could be.
While there is certainly no shortage of action games and action sequences to populate them, the best achieve a synergy with the player to the point where - if only for an instant - you forget where you are; engrossed in the scale and scope onscreen.
As the technology powering video games continues to grow more powerful, action scenes will continue to push past this threshold and engage players in ways we could once only dream of. The following titles contain some of the most immersive and visually compelling action sequences to ever grace our screens; important milestones in the ever-evolving march toward perfection.
Resident Evil 4 marked the franchise’s first major change in direction towards a greater focus on action, and the results were, well, nothing short of miraculous. Suddenly a series that was running out of steam was rejuvenated with a game that merged action and horror to near perfect results, and perhaps no moment better encapsulates this merging than the assault on the cabin in Chapter 2-2.
The situation is classic horror. Held up in a cabin with an army of Las Plagas infected villagers bearing down on them, Leon, Luis, and Ashley Graham are forced to hold them off. Your scarce resources in the face of such an overwhelming force is what makes this sequence so nerve-wracking. You have to manage your herbs and ammo despite countless enemies, and try as you might to cover windows and knock down ladders, they just keep pouring through until you are literally backed into a corner with no way out.
Just as you feel like you’re at your wits end, the villagers inexplicably pull back, to which you are guaranteed to exhale in release. The whole sequence is survival horror at its finest; claustrophobic, intense, and action-packed. It may not have the visual flare of your typical action scene, but the effect it has on your heart rate is proof in RE4's ability to thrill, just as much as chill.