If there's on thing i've always liked, it's a game with awesome cut scenes. It's like seeing a movie, where a huge boss gets introduced, except instead of carrying on watching the ensuing fight, you get to control it yourself. Sometimes, especially with older games, the graphics in the cut scene are of a much higher quality than in the actual gameplay, adding to the gleeful feeling I get when i can put the controller down and enjoy seeing what's going to happen next in the story.
Yep, games just simply wouldn't be the same without them. So without further ado, let's take a look at some of my favorite cut scenes of all time, shall we?
Note: obviously, the following list contains spoilers for the respective games, so tread carefully. If you see a game that you really don't want spoiled, then just skip it. Also these selections do not necessarily represent my favorite games, just the specific cut scenes themselves. So grab some popcorn (or whatever, I don't actually like popcorn), sit back, and enjoy some awesome scenes.
#10 - Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Nuke sequence
To start us off, we have the nuke scene in Call of Duty 4. Whilst not exactly a full sit-back-and-watch cut scene, it still provides an interesting and entirely unexpected twist in the story. After blasting your way through a battlefield for the entire mission, you finally reach the safety of the extraction helicopter. Over the radio, you hear something about someone somewhere trying to disarm a bomb, but you pay no mind to that, because you're safely on your way back home. Countless missions in countless games having ended this way have lead you into this false sense of safety, and you're just waiting for the mission to end so you can jump into the next one. But, wait, what's happening? A nuke? Oh man, that's pretty wild, I guess i'm not done here yet, I must have more people to shoot. Wrong. I'll shutup now and let you watch the rest for yourself, but I will say that the sudden elimination of a main character in the middle of the game, especially a Call Of Duty game, was definitely a "woah" moment for me.
#9 - Fallout, opening cut scene
Like i'm sure many others, I had not previously played the older Fallout games, instead starting at 3. I fell in love with the atmosphere and themes, and just assumed that because of the limited graphics, the first two could not properly portray these features that I so loved. I was wrong. Starting off with the creepy, old fashioned music commonly heard in the Fallout series, this scene builds tension fantastically. As the scene progresses, you begin to hear the narrator set the scene for the fictional, near-future universe in which this game takes place. But then, I began thinking; is it so fictional? Are the things he's saying really so unrealistic? I then realized that the brilliance of this scene lies in the chilling look into a very possible future for our world. For an opening cut scene to set the atmosphere to the game in such a thought provoking and effective way, it has earned a place on my top ten list for sure.
#8 - Portal 2, end scene
Valve is famous for many things, but not their cut scenes. Mainly because they usually don't have any. However, this final scene in the second installment of the Portal series wraps things up in a way that leaves you with a great feeling of closure, as well as an awesome musical number from the game's robotic turrets. As is becoming the trend with these games, there is also an irritably catchy song at the end, as well as a monologue from the hilarious villain, Wheately. This scene sums the game's hilarious dark humor, of which only valve's Portal can provide. Also, as a side note, if you look closely at around 4:50, you can see the infamous "rat man" creeping along to the right of the screen.
#7 - Metal Gear Solid 4, Vamp vs. Raiden
Let's face it, this had to be on here at some point. I may have watched it dozens of times, but I never tire of seeing these two badass characters go head to head. It's not the most thought provoking scene out there, nor will it make you shed any tears (unless you're REALLY into Raiden), but the action here is so undeniably beautiful that it makes for an incredibly entertaining watch. Not much else to say here, it's just a straight up incredible fight scene.
#6 - Gears of War 3, Goodbye Dom
I've always been an avid fan of the Gears of War series, which is perhaps why this particular scene hit home so hard. Having taken years to get invested in the story and characters, playing the games, reading the books, the comics, etc., I found myself literally screaming "NO!" at the screen as soon as I realized what was happening. Despite this, I really thought I could hold it together.... until the music came on. It was such an obvious and simple thing, to play the music from the trailer for the first game, and yet it hit me out of the blue and was incredibly effective. After this, going back into playing the game without your right hand man was very jarring; another fine example of the effectiveness of cut scenes.
#5 - Shadows of the Damned, What are you fighting for?
Shadows of the damned is easily one of my favorite games of all time, and this scene is a perfect example of why. For those that don't know, SOTD is about a demon hunter named Garcia, whose girlfriend is taken into hell by a demon, and so he follows them in an attempt to try and get her back. Throughout, the game maintains a steady dark wit, but through the use of Garcia's girlfriend, emotion manages to seep it's way in, and it's awesome. Scenes like this made me become attached with the main character, and made me want to get the girl back, not just to finish the game but to actually save her. This scene serves to remind the player that a midst all the boner jokes and goat head shooting, there is still an end goal that is emotionally significant to the character. Another great thing about this scene is that it features arguably the most interesting boss, the bird who can't seem to stop dropping f-bombs. If you take the time to actually read into the history of this boss (the game gives you a chance to read up on how the bosses became what they are now), it is incredibly entertaining.
#4 - Dante's inferno, Circle of Gluttony
I'll be honest here, choosing the spot for number four was a tough decision between Shadows of the damned and Dante's Inferno. They both have a very similar story; a man literally going into the depths of hell in order to save the woman he loves. Dante's Inferno, however, takes itself a little more seriously, which I feel lends itself better to the cut scenes. So here we have my favorite from the game, the scene you are presented with upon entering the third circle of hell, gluttony. If you look closely, the gory detail in the monsters and surroundings is amazing. What really makes this scene worthy of number four though, is the conversation had with the smokey demon, who makes for an incredibly interesting villain. To me, the cockiness of this character, coupled with the revelation of how the main character's wife actually died, only served to engross me further into this wonderfully atmospheric game. Also, it's really pretty.
#3 - Twisted Metal: Black, Mr. Grimm's story
I remember playing twisted metal on the playstation. There was very little in the way of backstory and setting; it was just about shooting up the other cars. Well that's all changed now. Every main character has been given a series of cut scenes explaining their journey into the insane asylum, and what their specific prize was upon winning the twisted metal tournament. They are all very interesting and worth a watch, but the Mr.Grimm story is by far the most enthralling. I truly believe, given a decent budget and a good director, this cut scene could be adapted into a damn good movie. Now that's saying something for an in game cinematic. The reason this one is so high up on my list is that it provides an unexpected and yet darkly engrossing backstory into a once plain character. I'll let you find out for yourself why this story is so chilling.
#2 - The Last Remnant - Emma's last stand
As soon as i came up with the concept for this list, I knew straight away this scene would be high up. I had actually only watched it once prior to writing this, and yet it has stuck in my mind as one of the best. Sure, the graphics are a little dated and the voice acting leaves something to be desired, but the effect of this scene is unchanged. For the uneducated, the woman in the scene is the mother of the main character, Rush, and the big hairy guy is known simply as "the Conqueror". What I especially love about this fight is the David and Goliath situation. It is obvious right from the get go that there is no hope in Emma defeating this infamous warrior , and yet she doesn't hesitate in facing him head on. This is made more effective by the way the Conqueror is lazily parrying and avoiding Emma's attacks, which to me is reminiscent of a number of fights in the Dragon Ball Z series. If the varied character designs and intricate story have caught your fancy, then I strongly recommend picking this game up; it's one of the best RPGs i've played to date.
#1 - Final Fantasy IX - Vivi vs. the Black Waltz
So here we are, at number one. There was no question, no debate in my head as to what this would have been. The first cut scene I ever truly enjoyed, and still to this day my favorite, I remember being jaw dropped that a playstation 1 game could entertain me so much visually. This is the first point in the game that we see a darker side to the childish, lovable black mage Vivi. Throughout the story, Vivi is constantly looking for others like him, and searching for his own purpose in life. Then at last, he finds other black mages, and suddenly he's not so alone. But not all of them are on his and his friends' side, however. The sudden death of his new brothers enrages the young mage into an awesome display of black magic, and ends up saving the party from the clutches of the Black Waltz. For this alone, this scene has not yet been topped for me.
So there you have it, Cartman's top ten video game cut scenes. I highly recommend, if you haven't already, playing all of the games I have listed, as they not only have great cut scenes but are all also incredibly fun. So there's mine, how about yours? What is your favorite cut scene, how did it effect you, did it change your stance on that particular game/series?
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