When you launch a boot up game for the first time, it needs to grab you. Just like a book, movie, or any other form of entertainment, a good opening scene is critical to keeping the consumer interested. After all, if a game starts off poorly, players will probably bail to play something else.
Today, we are going to look at examples of video games that nailed their opening scenes. Just playing the first few minutes of these games are guaranteed to suck you in. There is no way you can play through these fantastic introductions without wanting to see the rest.
SPOILERS: I am going to spoil the introduction sequences of these games, both with written word and video. If you don’t want to know how a game starts, make sure to skip the ones you have not played.
Bioshock is a game that’s all about the story. As such, it was critical that it grabbed you right away, and grab you it did. It starts off with you, the main character, surviving a plane crash in the water. You barely make it to the surface without drowning, and are greeted by fire all around you. You swim to safety, which just so happens to be the entrance to an underwater city known as Rapture.
From there, the first person view takes you down an elevator where you are shown a brief video explaining the city (set in period style), and then you see Rapture for the first time. Then, you encounter your first enemy, and from there, the game has you, hook, line, and sinker.
Metal Gear Solid 2
This starts off with one of the coolest credit sequences you will ever see. It features plenty of shots of Snake being awesome, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love seeing some cool example of the things you will be doing in the game. Of course, that’s not enough to make it worthy of this list, as from there we move to a scene of Snake walking down the George Washington Bridge while smoking in true Snake fashion.
Suddenly, Snake takes off in a sprint and jumps off the bridge. He transforms from his trenchcoat into traditional Snake espionage garb and ends up on a boat. It ends with Snake rising from a crouch, and running to cover. While it’s not as story driven as some of the other intros included on the list, the pure style and flair of the intro makes it worthwhile. It’s simple, and it sets the tone of the game perfectly.
Half Life 2
Half Life 2 grabs gamers in such a way that people are still begging for the third entry into the series. Okay, well maybe it’s not just the intro, but the fantastic game that comes after. Still the intro is certainly impressive. It starts with a mysterious man (who will learn plenty about later in the game) waking Gordan Freeman (the main character) up from a slumber. From there, Gordan ends up on a train under the player’s control. The other riders on the train say a few ominous words to Gordan, and as the player, you can’t but notice the disarray of the train. It gives a sense of what’s to come.
Once you arrive at your destination, you realize just how messed up this place is. Guards are shoving workers, a video tells you the place is called “City 17,” and things just don’t feel right. A man tells you not to drink the water, because they put something in it to make you forget. From there, things just keep developing, and the player quickly realizes that this is going to be a really fun ride.
The Last Of Us
This is, by far, my favorite opening sequence in any video game. To start with, you play as a young girl, waking up in the middle of the night to find her father is not around. Things start to get bad from there, as the world starts falling into disarray with the outbreak, which will eventually lead to the main plot of the game.
Finally, your father (who ends up being the main character of the game), comes home, and you are forced to go on the run. As you arrive in the big city, things go from bad to worse, with people becoming infected all around you. It feels like playing through World War Z. I will not spoil the end of the intro (but the video above will), as this game is still new, but just be prepared to be blown away.
If you want some games that will grab your attention right from the beginning, these are the ones for you. From minute one, each of these games are so compelling, that it’s impossible not to want to keep playing. As an added bonus, these particual games maintain a high standard of quality throughout, so your time will be well-spent.
What games do you think feature the best introductions? Hit the comments section below and let us know!