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Top 10 Intense Gameplay Sequences

I know everybody is all into the “casual” game thing these days, but I still love it when a game gets my blood pumping.  Sure, you can hop online and experience some heart-pounding competition, but the beauty of a high-powered, scripted event that leaves you on the edge of your seat can not be overstated.  Here are 10 Gameplay Sequences that are sure to send your ticker into overdrive.

 10.  Metal Gear Solid-Torture Sequence:  One of the marquee early PS1 titles, Metal Gear Solid was an awe-inspiring game for those still used to Super Nintendo.   Story was also becoming more and more important in video games, and MGS presented a mature and complex narrative to absorb players in its world.  In one of the more memorable parts of the game, Snake is captured by Revolver Ocelot and subjected to torture.  For people expecting this to play out in a cutscene, something MGS fans know a thing or two about, you were in for a rude awakening.  The fact that you could actually fail the torture, and change the course of the game, was mind-blowing at the time.

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9.  Guitar Hero III-The End Credits:  Back before Guitar Hero had jumped the shark, and it was still actually fun, tackling and beating a hard song was a reward in its own right.  Guitar Hero 2 introduced us to Buckethead’s “Jordan”, and although it proved to be a test, it had nothing on what was awaiting players once they beat the third installment.  As the end credits roll, you are greeted by Dragonforce’s “Through the Fire and Flames” as it kicks your ass up and down the fret board.  You can’t fail it, but simply having clear proof that you are not as good as you thought you were was motivation enough for some gamers to give up their social life in pursuit of that five-star rating.

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8.  Mass Effect 2-Unshackling EDI:  The Mass Effect series has no shortage of heart-pounding scenarios.  Facing down Wrex, choosing between Ashle and Kaiden and assaulting the Collector Base are all excellent experiences, but the sheer helplessness you feel while evading Collectors as Joker is perhaps unmatched in the series.  Joker is no Shepard;  this is one situation that the player can’t shoot his/her way out of, instead being forced to skulk around in an attempt to unshackle your shipboard AI EDI, which could have a whole set of side effects in its own right.    Of course, Shepard rolls back in and immediately chastise Joker for not killing every enemy in sight.  Talk about a tough boss.

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7.  Uncharted 2-The Train:  The intro to Uncharted is one of the most cinematic and exceptional beginnings to a game you’ll ever find.  As cool as it is, it takes on a whole new meaning when you encounter the train level, and you realize what is in store for you at the end of it.  Naughty Dog’s physics engine is incredible, and making your way up the rolling train is an exercise in video game genius.  The whole tone of the level is colored by the epic game intro, and it adds some great emotional weight to the already stellar technical skill of the level.

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6.  Condemned 2:  Bear Attack!:  You know you’re in for some trouble when the only advice the game gives to you is “RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!”  What is said situation?  While exploring an abandoned building, a strange rumbling alerts you to a large presence in your vicinity.  All of a sudden, a giant grizzly bear bursts through the wall and does his best to turn you into dinner.  Conventional guns do nothing to this monster, leaving you little choice but to flee and hope a better solution comes along.  Condemned isn’t exactly light in the scare department, but something about the overwhelming brutality of your opponent here makes this sequence stand out among other similar situations.

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5.  Dark Souls-Enemy Phantom Invading:  Dark Souls is plenty intense enough in its own right, as any of its hardcore fan base could gladly attest to.  However, the unique online mechanics make for a much more sinister problem than any boss could ever be.  You can’t exactly see the other human players just walking around, but you know they are there by the markings they leave around the world.  While sometimes friendly phantoms will appear to help you, but, every now and then, a dark phantom will invade your world, thirsty for your blood.  Survival takes on a whole meaning as you are forced to not only deal with the myriad dangers the game already throws your way, but try to handle a powerful equal that is hell-bent on murdering you.

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4.  Heavy Rain-Madison’s Nightmare:  Games don’t get much more cinematic than Heavy Rain.  Kind of half-game/half-movie, Heavy Rain puts your four protagonists in ever-more-dangerous situations.  Your introduction to one of the characters, one Madison Paige, begins with somewhat of a rocky start, namely a group of burglars breaking into her apartment and subsequently trying to kill her.  Unfortunately, no matter how good you are at QTEs, Madison always ends up dying in some terrible way, making you think that perhaps you slipped up somewhere.  Taking a page out of storytelling 101, though, Quantic Dream reveals that it was all a nightmare, and then promptly introduces you to the real terrors of the world…like Madison’s dancing.

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3.  Arkham Asylum-Scarecrow:  One of the surprise  hits of the current generation, Arkham Asylum deftly turned Batman into the superhero we always wanted to be, taking a few hints from the stellar animated cartoon.  While the Joker may get all the spotlight, it was the Scarecrow that provided Arkham Asylum with its standout moment.  After inhaling some of Scarecrow’s terror gas, Batman steps into the morgue at the Asylum.  From there, things get a little…weird.  After some geographical mind games, Scarecrow draws you into an illusionary world where he tries to literally kill your sanity.  Trying to stand up against this fearsome foe, and Bruce’s own demons, is a moment I’ll never forget.

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2.  Dead Space 2-Inserting the Needle:  As good as the original Dead Space was, I felt like the sequel stepped it up in almost every way possible.  The nightmare-inducing intro was one of the best sequences I had ever played, but the terror was cranked up to a whole ‘nother level in a bit towards the end of the game.  For reasons I can’t quite remember, protagonist Isaac has to insert a needle into his eye to move the plot along.  As the frightening-looking machine whirs to life, control switches to the player, who then poops his/her pants at the realization that they themselves will have to perform the procedure.  Dead Space vets know the horrible deaths Visceral Games loves to inflict on Isaac, and many gamers, myself included, purposely messed it up to watch Mr. Clarke die a horrible, agonizing death.

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1.  Resident Evil 4-Welcome to Town:  Whenever a beloved franchise reinvents itself, someone somewhere is bound to call foul.  While I’m sure somebody didn’t like what Capcom did with RE4, it was met with universal acclaim and huge critical and commercial success.  If gamers needed a reminder that this was not our fathers Resident Evil, they got it upon entering the first village and getting a taste of the murderous Las Plagas.  As they swarm you and pelt you with random farm implements, you better hope you can find the shotgun in one of the buildings, because Chainsaw Bagface is coming, and you are going to need it.  The pure chaos that is going on, along with that growing sense of tension the game so expertly creates, puts RE 4 and that first stand-off on top of the list.



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  1. Top 10 Intense Gameplay Sequences - thegodofwine7 Blog - www.GameInformer.com

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