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Thread: Article: "The Ten Best PC Game Intros"

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    Call my Slappy galahad05's Avatar
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    Article: "The Ten Best PC Game Intros" Cool

    The ten best PC game intros | PC Gamer


    I tend to agree with this list....


    Here it is, in all it's (ugly, ungainly) copy-paste glory.


    The ten best PC game intros

    Lewis Denby | Features | 19/09/2010 10:42am
    28 Comments


    We lead busy lives. We humans can no longer be expected to trawl through endless exposition, reams of scene-setting text, hours of tedious tutorials. No, sirry: we demand instant excitement. If the introís no cop, it ainít worth playing. So hereís a roundup of the best intros in the history of PC gaming Ė choose these, and youíll make sure you wonít end up asleep at the keyboard before the first big ísplode.
    Unreal

    What happens: You awake on a crashed prison ship. Exploring, you notice something moving up ahead. You follow it through the corridors, readying yourself for a fight against whatever this alien thing might be, before eventually escaping the ship.
    The crashed prison ship is an unnerving place to escape from.

    Why itís awesome: The fight never comes, even though itís always hinted at. Youíre expecting your alien foe to strike at any moment as you stalk it around the crashed prison. It keeps showing itself for a brief second before disappearing again. And at one gruesome point, you hear a fellow prisoner being ripped to shreds on the other side of a door. But actually, all itís doing is leading you on a natural path to the outside world Ė and back in 1998, the view you were presented with upon escaping was spectacular.
    BioShock

    What happens: Youíre on a plane. It crashes. You survive, but everything is on fire. Conveniently, thereís a lighthouse sticking up from the ocean, with nothing else around. You enter, and find yourself in a bathysphere, descending for fathoms below the waterís surface, listening to the voice of one Andrew Ryan talking about his political and social ideologies, and then bam Ė the screen lifts, and you catch your first glimpse of the remarkable underwater world of Rapture.
    There are few more amazing sights than your first glimpse of Rapture.

    Why itís awesome: Itís all in the timing of the reveal. The build up has been perfect Ė the plane crash genuinely startling, the slow swim to the waterís surface suffocating. And then, having listened to this strange man talk about sweat and brows for a while, the curtains drop on this spectacular city just as he speaks its name. ďRapture,Ē he roars, just as the city appears in front of your very eyes.
    Fallout 3

    What happens: Youíre born. And then, over the next half hour or so, you play through a montage of your whole childhood, seamlessly defining your character along the way. Now thatís roleplaying.
    OHAI.

    Why itís awesome: It just makes perfect sense. Every roleplaying game Ė of the traditional ilk, at least Ė starts with some form of character generation. So why not weave that into the narrative? Some of itís a little tenuous Ė the fact that a baby gets to choose its own name, for example Ė but much of it is very smart, and allows you to understand some of the fictionís history without a big hulk of sloppy exposition. Besides, there are few things as wonderful as crawling around as a little tot while inside a post-apocalyptic bunker.
    Pathologic

    What happens: After a truckload of scrolling text which makes barely any sense, youíre dropped unceremoniously into a theatre. Onstage stand three ďactorsĒ: the gameís three playable characters. They argue about who is best suited to the job, then when youíre ready, you walk through a door to the right and select which one of them you want to play as.
    Not the most conventional character selection screen.

    Why itís awesome: Talk about setting the tone. Pathologic never did stray away from the meta-commentary, but this staggering display of theatrical detachment as about as big a mission statement as they come. Hereís a game that straight-up acknowledges that its world, its characters and its narrative arenít real: the point, then, becomes the layered metaphors and interesting ideas that Pathologic plays with throughout its uncomfortable and bleak duration.
    Deus Ex

    What happens: Thereís a nice intro cinematic, then youíre thrown into your first mission. It begins on the docks of Liberty Island. Thereís a robot stomping around. You meet your brother, who presents you with an interesting choice.
    This robot is incidental to everything, but sets the scene perfectly.

    Why itís awesome: Two reasons: the choice, and the robot. The choice is of which weapon to take from your brother Ė a sniper rifle, a nonlethal minicrossbow, or a giant bloody rocket launcher. Itís a statement of Deus Exís willingness to allow you to make broad choices at every turn, and whichever weapon you choose can drastically alter your experience of the opening level. And the robot is just wonderful. Itís just there, happily plodding about, not referenced by either character. Itís a glorious piece of incidental imagery that completely cements the feel of this day-after-tomorrow universe, without a single drop of exposition required.
    Dragon Age: Origins

    What happens: Depending on your chosen character, Dragon Age could begin in one of six different ways. And weíre not talking slightly different opening cutscenes, either: thereís a drastically different hour-or-so to be played through depending on your decision.
    The Human Noble intro. Yours could well be very different.

    Why itís awesome: So many games proudly boast multiple endings. In reality, theyíre rarely more than a quick cutscene switch-around based on an arbitrary moral choice a few minutes earlier. But in Dragon Age, you get to live through your entire history. It makes your position in this world feel so much more credible having lived through it Ė but whatís most remarkable is how the different origin sections contain unique sides to the story, causing you to sympathise with different characters based on your own character choice. A very smart touch.
    Fahrenheit (aka. Indigo Prophecy)

    What happens: Youíre sitting on the toilet. A classic intro. But wait! Thereís more. A gentlemanís washing his hands. And youíve got a knife. And all you can do is watch as your character wanders over and stabs the poor fellow ítil heís dead. Then the game starts, and itís your job to escape without anyone suspecting a thing.
    It kinda looks like the protagonist is taking the mick behind this guy's back.

    Why itís awesome: More games should throw you straight in the deep end. Fahrenheitís opening sequence and the ensuing puzzle are brilliant for this. But moreover, itís a snapshot of exactly the sort of puzzle the game should have stuck with all the way through: a frightening, panicky situation with several possible resolutions. Unfortunately, Fahrenheit decided to forget the intricacy of its opening, and went plain batshit mental by the halfway point.
    Braid

    What happens: The intro screen launches. And then nothing happens. Itís frozen. Oh, what a great start. You have to just- hang onÖ you can move! Itís not an intro screen at all Ė youíre in-game!
    This is Tim. Not PC Gamer UK's editor, but another Tim. As far as I know, anyway.

    Why itís awesome: Something of an anomaly on this list, Braidís introduction is memorable simply for how unexpectedly stylish it is. It strips away all the unnecessary faff and drops you straight into the first section of the game in a sort of interactive menu. You wander to the right, into a house, and select your level from there Ė nothingís extraneous, and it gives you an indicator of how refined Braid is right from the start.
    Mass Effect 2

    What happens: The Normandy blows up. You, as Commander Shepard, are trying to save the day. But ultimately thereís nothing you can do: as you run through the exploding ship, it tears to shreds, and youíre eventually sucked into the void.
    An extraordinary view. A bit dangerous, mind. Don't get too close to the edge.

    Why itís awesome: After the original gameís lacklustre opening hour, Mass Effect 2ís introduction is like a glorious punch in the face. Action-packed, fast-paced and utterly extraordinary to look at, itís exactly what the opening to a good space epic should be like. The sequence ends on what would be a nice twist, as well Ė if the trailers hadnít spectacularly spoilt it for everyone.
    Half-Life

    What happens: You go to work. Shit gets real.
    Your first glimpse of the ever-sinister G-Man.

    Why itís awesome: It was the first time an action game truly took scene-setting and storytelling seriously. By placing you in a world that was initially working as normal, and sending you on an uneventful train journey to your sector of the Black Mesa facility, Half-Life sucked you into its extraordinarily complex environment. Then, when you managed to blow the place up and cause an alien invasion, the effects of the disaster resonated far more than if youíd have been dropped straight into the shooty bits. 12 years later, itís still among the finest intros ever crafted.
    When I was 5 years old, my mom always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ďhappy.Ē They told me I didnít understand the assignment and I told them they didnít understand life.
    --Anonymous

    Love is like racing across the frozen tundra on a snowmobile which flips over, trapping you underneath. At night, the ice-weasels come.
    -- Matt Groening

  2. #2
    may the Bruce be with you CoffeeShark's Avatar
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    Re: Article: "The Ten Best PC Game Intros"

    good stuff

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    Re: Article: "The Ten Best PC Game Intros"

    Unreal was awesome. Excellent beginning and the action, and pixel-wow-factor, quickly ensued.

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    Re: Article: "The Ten Best PC Game Intros"

    Needz moar Myst.
    0118 999 881 999 119 7253

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    Re: Article: "The Ten Best PC Game Intros"

    Needs better descriptions. "I liek this intro cuz itz got robots"

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    Re: Article: "The Ten Best PC Game Intros"

    I feel good that despite serious gaps in my gaming time, I've played at least half of those games. ME2 is great, by the way. And some of the FF games should be on that list.

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    Re: Article: "The Ten Best PC Game Intros"

    Reminded me to check... Real Myst is on Steam. It's the original Myst game redone in 3D instead of the slide-show style. This was my first modern PC game. Just repurchased... $5 I still have the CDs, but they don't work after XP.
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    Re: Article: "The Ten Best PC Game Intros"

    Deus Ex, HL and Unreal are the only ones on that list I've played.

    Deus Ex is still amazing.

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    Re: Article: "The Ten Best PC Game Intros"

    KOTOR? But that was a port...

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    Re: Article: "The Ten Best PC Game Intros"

    i rememeber the intro movie to starcraft 1 blew my mind in 1998

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