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Best Game Openers

AvenueWinning

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Jun 14, 2017
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Starting video games is so important to keeping the gamer bought in, recently I feel like games are slow to start as we've seen with Grand Theft Auto 4 (Fresh off the boat, finding apartment etc.) to BOTW (discovering weapons, areas etc., real build up) etc. etc.

There's a chance that video game openers can be great (God of War 3, or Detroit Become Human and immediately solving a crime scene, real intense ) lets list some good game openers.
 

Northeastmonk

Member
Mar 18, 2013
11,398
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Omaha, NE - USA
A few come to mind: Assassin’s Creed 2. “It is a good life we lead my brother”. It was the perfect feel good moment to start with a new Assassin.

Gears of War had that awesome female narrator voice during the intro.
Then you get to come out of a cell. It may be nostalgia, but it’s still a good game to have played. At the time there was so much hype around it and everything felt so important to consume.

Metal Gear Solid 2 is great, like @molasar pointed out. Hideo Kojima makes some awesome openings to his game(s). I still think about the female poster and going around the bunkers.

Final Fantasy VIII’s water scene is still something to witness. I have booted the game up just for the intro. Then winding up in a hospital. Things felt small and easy to manage. Squall’s fight with Siefer was somewhere in the cutscene and all you did was witness all this cool looking CGI. The music was very soothing too.
 
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Dragon_Rocks

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Jul 12, 2013
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470
God of War 2 - Colossus battle throughout the first level
God of War 3 - Titans invasion of Olympus
Uncharted 2 - Train wreck
Darksiders - Destruction of humankind. War rides amidst chaos and confusion.
Until Dawn - The fate of the sisters.
 

molasar

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Jun 20, 2018
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The elevator sequence in the first Metal Gear Solid game is still one of the best for me:
The first MGS is my favorite one. I have considered best game openers here as first episodes with enough gameplay (not much of it in the first installment) to make you want more of it.
 

JoeyWestSide

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Aug 20, 2018
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I like DA Inquisition. Things have gone to shit and you're already prime suspect for causing it even though you just woke up. Also, wwii games landing on Normandy. Will always be harrowing and epic.
 

Belmonte

Member
Nov 6, 2018
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Final Fantasy VII is the first thing I think when people talk about game openers.

It feels like a Indina Jones movie opener. Direct to the action with enough story to contextualize it. The player slowly understands who these characters are and what they are doing with dialogs with near perfect pacing. The awesome Akira-like visuals of the reactor tells a story of its own.
 
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MrCunningham

Member
Jan 12, 2012
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BC Canada
The first MGS is my favorite one. I have considered best game openers here as first episodes with enough gameplay (not much of it in the first installment) to make you want more of it.
I mean, everything from the submarine ride (inspired by Escape from New York and Escape from LA) to the cargo dock to the elevator is a great opening as a whole. It was a great way to introduce the core play mechanics to the player, while setting up the main plot. It is simple, but that is what makes it great.

Also, I have to add, the original Half-Life tram ride. This scene has been copied and imitated a lot in FPS games:


I love the slow burn of half-Life 1's intro. All the way to the test chamber.
 
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GreyHorace

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Jun 14, 2019
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Batman Arkham Asylum's intro is great because it does so many things in just a few short minutes:
- It introduces us gamers to the titular setting, which is a cramped, poorly lit madhouse populated with psychos, many of whom are part of Batman's rogues gallery.
- It sets up key plot points that appear later in the game, such as Killer Croc, Warden Sharp, Frank Bales, the Arkham guard who gets rough with Joker, and of course, the Joker himself full of glee at the thought of returning to the Asylum, which...
- makes Batman nervous. As he knows the Joker wouldn't be so estatic unless he had something up his sleeve. Which turns out to be true as the Joker gets free and the game proper begins.



Another great one is Soul Edge.

Trascending history and the world. A tale of soul and swords, eternally retold...


Still gives me goosebumps.
 

Greedings

Member
May 23, 2016
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So many games have such shit openings. I hate when I start a game and have to sit through an hour of cut scenes and exposition.

Stuff that’s good? A lot has already been mentioned. My favourites:
BotW is great. Immediate control.
Nier Automata treats you like a pro for the whole introduction. So satisfying.
Rome total war. You’re in charge of Rome. GO!
 
Jan 25, 2018
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Can't beat Solid Snake smoking and walking through the rain on the George Washington Bridge in MGS2, but MGS1's opening intro with the submarine never ceases to give me goosebumps as well, so atmospheric.

Silent Hill 2 with James looking at himself in the mirror, the incredible music, his "I got a letter" intro and the slowwwwwwwwww trek into town, the tension mounting and mounting and "what the fuck was that down the street?" and your first confrontation with a monster, just amazing.

But by contrast, Silent Hill 3 throwing you right into the terror as soon as you start was cool as well, but what was really amazing was simply the "You're Not Here" music video introduction, one of the absolute best tone setters ever.

And of course, Bioshock, the moment when you realize you're not watching a cutscene, but can actually control the game!
 

Contica

Member
Feb 1, 2016
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Legendary. Shit was, well, legendary. Walk into the street, watch the entire city pretty much just blow up as mythological creatures swarm into our dimension. Never been hooked so fast in all my life.

Rest of the game was okayish, but that opening was killer.
 
Jan 18, 2018
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Batman Arkham Asylum's intro is great because it does so many things in just a few short minutes:
- It introduces us gamers to the titular setting, which is a cramped, poorly lit madhouse populated with psychos, many of whom are part of Batman's rogues gallery.
- It sets up key plot points that appear later in the game, such as Killer Croc, Warden Sharp, Frank Bales, the Arkham guard who gets rough with Joker, and of course, the Joker himself full of glee at the thought of returning to the Asylum, which...
- makes Batman nervous. As he knows the Joker wouldn't be so estatic unless he had something up his sleeve. Which turns out to be true as the Joker gets free and the game proper begins.



Another great one is Soul Edge.

Trascending history and the world. A tale of soul and swords, eternally retold...


Still gives me goosebumps.
"TO GO!"....*diiidididiiiii...*

Just thinking about that song has me goosebumped all over!
 

SonicVolcano

Member
Apr 16, 2011
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Hitman Codename 47

'Wake up, wake up, my friend'.

It was kind of scary actually. It wasn't a great game, but I thought the story was very fascinating.
 

intbal

Neo Member
Apr 19, 2019
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The intro mission for Deus Ex is great.
Emerging from the Vortex Rikers in Unreal 1 is pretty awesome.
The beginning of Dishonored, before the prison cell, is a great way to kick off the story.
 

sephiroth7x

Member
Jun 27, 2013
568
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England
Some greats in here:

MGS2 - Bridge Jump
Bioshock - Plane crash
Broken Sword -Paris in the Fall monologue
FFVIII - Cut scene with Liberi Fatali playing
Prey - In the bar with Dont Fear the Reaper

For me though nothing beats:

FFVI - Walking towards Narshe in the armour, with 'that' music playing with the snow coming down and the credits rolling. Still manages to make me smile after all these years.
 

CJY

Member
Jan 8, 2016
1,103
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Best of all time, in terms of:

- Getting out of the way and being unobtrusive
- Completely seamless to the point where you don't even realise the game has begun
- How little time it takes to get to gameplay

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker on Switch, Handheld mode. I was shocked and very pleasantly surprised by the intro of this game.
 

Harry Tung

Member
Jun 1, 2018
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Final Fantasy VII is the first thing I think when people talk about game openers.
Yeah, the bombing mission in Final Fantasy VII really set the bar high when it comes to opening a game. That whole intro set the tone for what you can expect from it, introducing the story and the main players in a fantastic way. And that music too, really gets the juices flowing.

Actually, the whole section with Midgar is a fantastic introduction and you know you are in for a grand adventure like nothing else when you escape the city and look over the horizon, ready to discover new lands. The atmosphere and world building in Midgar is second to none, with detailed environments, lore and characters that all play an important role in setting up an interesting premise that lays the foundation for the entire story to come. Can´t wait for the remake, gonna be so good returning to Midgar again.
 

IKSTUGA

Member
Jan 9, 2019
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- Sonic Adventure 2 (it's all downhill from there, like get it, you're literally going downhill 🤡 )
- Symphony of the Night. I mean first you kill Dracula and right after that you get Dracula's castle, the song. Still gives me chills.
- DMC3

Most games actually start kinda slow. The opening videos have always been amazing in Smash Bros.
 
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MrCunningham

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Jan 12, 2012
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Pretty much changed gaming and how intros were made.
It really did for FPS's, for better or worse.

The Half-Life 1 intro was all about immersion.

The developers really wanted to put the player in the mindset of Gordon Freemon by starting the game off in the most mundane way possible. The game has no cutscenes, and puts the player in control of Gordon Freeman right from the beginning. The Tram ride also highlights the scale of the Black Mesa complex, and gives the player a chance to soak in the atmosphere. Once the Tram ride is over, the player is given free reign to walk around the complex, and your only task is to put on your hazard suit and walk all the way to your first assignment of the day.

It is a good build up that does not rely on exposition. The entire beginning of Half-Life was copied to death, to the point where it almost feels cliche. I remember playing HL1 for the first time in 1999, and there was nothing else like the intro to this game.
 

RydonStarLives

Neo Member
Jul 31, 2019
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I'll echo that FF VII intro with the train is awesome. Especially the start of the galaxy/stars, then going into a mako "well" with Aeris, which then all panes out to show Midgar (one of the best cyberpunk cities, next to Cyber City Oedo). Then quick flashes of the train, and a zoom back into the train coming up to the Mako Reactor, and BAM! instant siege and fight scene. So killer!