Tutorial levels might often be thought of as the most hurried part of any game; the playable instructional manual with little more to offer than animated button prompts. And for the most part, that's true.
Far too many games throw up endless screens of text, pausing to let you do one exact thing before pausing again, giving you more instructions in a way that just makes you yearn for gameplay to start. Others flow together hands-on control with a steady stream of new information, and though we seldom talk about it, there is a true art to the tutorial sequence; something that eases you into the game without too many hiccups along the way.
Some games go above and beyond when it comes to teaching you the ropes, so let’s celebrate those today.
10. Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
If you’ve not had the pleasure to play this very strange, campy and violent game, I fully recommend it, as it’s so self aware of the vampire mythology it presents, it becomes an utter B-movie delight.
And it hits this tone straight off the bat when you engage in the game's tutorial mission, provided by the ever charming and possibly slightly smelly, Smiling Jack. What Jack tasks you with is very standard - "go take out a dude here", "sneak over there", "use magic/skills" etc.
However, it’s the WAY in which he discloses this tutorial and your responses that make it so engaging.
As you go through the motions, Smiling Jack is always there with a quip, a smarmy line or even just to punch a Sabbat so hard that he flies 50 feet down an alleyway, and your responses range from being blissfully unaware to downright Universal horror movie silly - like requesting a cape, now you’re a vampire.
And if this wasn’t enough, John Dimaggio provides the voice. And when you’ve effectively got Bender and Marcus Fenix guiding you through something, that’s gonna be great regardless.