There’s a lot to be said for a thrilling video game opening sequence; it sets the tone for what is to follow, and even in the instance of a game that doesn’t live up to it for the rest of its course, it can make the title a whole lot more memorable. Whether it’s the cinematic style it presents, the characters it introduces, or the way it defies genre convention, these 10 games had opening sequences – whether cut-scene, gameplay or a combination of both – that are simply unforgettable, and as a result, they’re simply the most awesome that we’ve ever seen.
10. Heavy Rain
David Cage is a pioneering video game creator, opting to emphasise the cinematic potential of games and attempt to blur the line between them and movies. Heavy Rain made huge leaps in this regard, and it also had an extremely memorable opening segment not merely during its first 10 minutes, but really, the first hour and a half of the game, because it dared to trust viewers to be patient and get immersed in the story.
Heavy Rain begins as a slow burn, introducing us to Ethan Mars and his sons Jason and Shaun, favouring character over incident; we see him wake up, he plays with his kids, and it’s a long while before his first son Jason ends up being hit by a car and killed. Even then, Cage continues to build his characters up, as we see Ethan taking Shaun to the park, resulting in an unexpectedly moving scene where the two play on various rides, strengthening the bond between them. This is a rare instance of a video game that trusts players to appreciate characters taking precedent and not rushing to the action, and it’s one that discerning players the world over totally appreciate.
In fact, it’s almost 2 hours – at least on a first play – before Shaun is kidnapped, accounting for around 1/5 of the game’s play-time. To say that Cage’s approach is daring and brave, then, is an understatement.
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This article was first posted on December 8, 2012