Tell Us Dammit

Tell Us Dammit

I’m currently playing through Gears of War 3 at the moment, which I am enjoying very much. My favourite part so far – and I’m halfway through the third act – was the first couple of hours. And it got me too thinking: what is the best opening for a game ever?

I can think of a few great examples – God of War II’s battle with the Colossus, the opening level of Halo – but what about you guys? What have been your favourite openings?

Let us know in the comments below.


  • oh man, that’s a good one… I’m stumped. I’ve played too many games, I’ve enjoyed too many games… I’m not even sure if I have a standout opening level/chapter.

    If I had to pick one, the one coming to mind is Borderlands. On the bus, picking your character, getting off the bus, meeting CL4P-TP, then straight into fighting bandits… great amount of humour in the opening of that game.

  • I think the beach-head level from one of the World War 2 games (and the Killzone copy of it) will get a few mentions… but I’m going to choose the cinematics from the Mechwarrior games.

  • BioShock was all kinds of atmospheric. I loved swimming through the wreckage of the plane, finding the light house, taking the bathosphere down to Rapture, seeing the city, meeting my first splicer… I could go on. 😀

    Mass Effect 2 goes without saying too.

  • I’m there have been plenty of modern 3D extravaganzas with explosive openings, but none are springing to mind. Strangely the one that does is the opening to Landstalker on the Mega Drive. It starts you in a massive, mysterious temple, like you’re in an Indian Jones movie, with the credits rolling. It turns out that they’ve actually started you at the end of the game, and then you spend the rest of the game playing up to that point!

  • As D.C. said, BioShock’s opening was brilliantly atmospheric and was a great way to introduce to the world of Rapture.

    Also, Planescape: Torment. Waking up in a morgue with autopsy stitches and not knowing who you are? Awesome.

  • While I wasn’t a huge fan of the game when it was all said and done, Mass Effect 2’s opening sequence was amazing.

    BioShock’s would have to be my favourite though. Good call, D.C.!

    • I’m Commander Batguy and this my most agreed with post in the Tell Us Dammit (except for the bit about not being a fan of ME2).

  • I still can’t pick between Half Life and Half Life 2, they did such a great job of creating character and immersion.

    Portal did a fantastic job of introducing people to a new concept, and Portal 2 did a wonderful job of twisting the commonplace tutorial.

    But my all-time favourite opening would have to be Full Throttle. From meeting Malcom Corley to Ben riding over the hover limo and crushing the cherub hood ornament to the music of The Gone Jackals, even to waking up to Maureen in a gas mask.

  • I liked the beginning of Morrowind.
    ‘You are a prisoner’
    Um… okay…
    ‘Describe yourself’
    Sure thing…
    ‘Leave this building’

    Now where the hell do I go?!

    • There are so many contenders, but I found this intro to be profoundly exciting! Agreed: Uncharted 2 is the best.

      All in favour: AYE!
      All opposed: …

      There we go. Discussion over.

      • agree x100000000000000000000
        uncharted 2 was amazing, the camera work where they swing you around when nate realises he’s hanging off a cliff was amaxxxxing

  • Yer, im with the other dude regarding Uncharted 2! That was EPIC! Aside from that, the original Gears of War was pretty darn cool.

  • The opening for Brutal Legend is my hands down favourite. That opening cutscene, then breaking apart that temple with METAAAAAAL and seeing this giant metal world was awesome. Then going down on that giant metal spider thing and breaking out with Ophelia! AWESOME.

  • Oblivion, Patrick Stewarts monologue with the overview of the imperial city was pretty awesome… Halo 3, ODST and Reach were all pretty wicked…

    Mass Effect 2 would have to be a personal favorite walking through the half destroyed normandy is pretty amazing

  • The opening of the original Dead Space. I had no idea what I was getting myself into and after being chased by necromorphs down a dark hallway with no way to defend myself, I was hooked.

    • Yeah, actually, I love the ‘drop, now you’re in the world, do whatever’ and you’re all ‘awesome, cut down trees, build a penis, walk around, hey, night time, FUCKING ZOMBIES AND SKELETONS AND I’m dead.’

  • The first one I found memorable was Day of the Tentacle. It was pretty special seeing that as a youngin.

    Of the others, getting your first pokemon in red and blue, Harli mentioned FF8 and I actually enjoyed Lost Odyssey’s opening. I’m sure there is heaps more.

  • Say what you will about Heavy Rain (I personally loved it…), the opening with Ethan’s day-to-day life contrasted awesomely with what was gonna happen next. Really immersed me into the world. Stepping off the train in Armadillo in Red Dead Redemption was great. Looking around seeing this huge world in front of you.

    • And then there’s Fahrenheit. Committing a murder and covering it up while you see the approaching cop on the 24-like split screen. That moment in the demo basically sold the game to me instantly. I’ll stop now before I list all my favourite games… like Beyond Good & Evil when-

      I’ll stop.

      • I was waiting for someone to say Farenheit…

        by far the best start to a game ever, original xbox (ps2 i guess also?)

        ***Spoilers i guess, but please play this game!***

        literally no instructions, you just killed someone (you think?) and you are just left standing there, in a cold, damp bathroom, covered in blood.


        do you cover it up, do you hide the body, do you walk out of the diner, run, stop at the door when you are asked to, talk to the cop????

        *** end spoilers***


        Seriously the best start to a game ever. It was this start of a game that made me buy a ps3 specifically for heavy rain. I honestly only bought the console when HR came out and actually owned the game before i even bought the console!

        best start to a game even in Farenheit for sure.. everyone else is wrong^^^ lol.

  • hehehehehe… hey Mark, you really love GAF don’t you! :p

    Though, I think you are right, all the opening sequences to the God Of War games have been bigger and better than the last.

    Hydra, Colossus of Rhodes, Poseidon

    They really did grab you by the nuts and make you want to continue on.

  • My fav opening has got to be Final Fantasy X.

    the whole blitzball in Zanakand was awesome, and sin coming to totally destroy it all.

    cool music too 😀

  • Will have to think about this a bit more but as far as character generation goes I really liked the way that fallout 3 did this.
    Build it in as part of the gameplay rather than a static, removed from the world choice

    • I loved how Fallout 3 began. This may well be my pick.

      The whole sequence in the vault was phenomenal, and ramped up perfectly to that moment when you stepped out into the open world.

  • You don’t get much more epic than the original Mechwarrior 2’s intro. Why? In those days, that sort of intro was nigh on unheard of. It set a new standard. It was brilliant. Unfortunately, no matter how good it was, MW3’s intro just couldn’t cut it in comparison 😉

  • Another World.
    The whole opening level really establishes just how hostile the entire world is. From the moment you are given control the game is telling you ‘run like hell, because everything here can kill you’.

    And that beast, that horrid black beast!

  • There have been heaps of amazing game introductions this generation…

    Uncharted was a bit naff but the introduction made me fall in love with the characters instantly.

    Mass Effect 2 is the pinnacle of gaming introduction perfection…

    Borderlands, as others mentioned, had a great introduction.

    God of War 3’s introduction was absolutely ridiculous. I mean seriously, climbing up the side of Mount Olyumpus o the back of a titan while fighting off a God by gouging his eyes out? Seriously.

    Arkham Asylum introduced us to Rocksteady’s Batman world almost perfectly… exposition to characters, locales, and style. All by walking behind a clown tied to a stretcher.

  • A lot of my favourite openings have already been mentioned. Borderlands, Halo CE, Bioshock, Uncharted 2, Dead Space, Mass Effect 2 and Fallout 3.

    I’m also going to chuck Portal, Portal 2, F.E.A.R, Bioshock 2, Fable and Fable 2 on to the list.

    I’m probably forgetting a bunch of awesome openings.

  • There’s a lot now that I think about it. I assume this is because the early hours of a game are the most important to hook a new player in so they don’t turn the game off and exploit EB’s 7 day return policy 🙂

    Hell I might just have to list a bunch of my faves as detailing each one will take aaages 😀

    Chronicles of Riddick – Prison break baaabyyyyy!!!

    Full Throttle – Ride your bike over a limo to souther rock, end up in a dumpster

    Bayonetta – Fighting everything while standing on the face of a clocktower, that’s falling off a cliff, then explodes

    Farcry 2 – I’m a merc hunting the Jackal and OH GOD MALARIA and oh hey mr Jackal standing over my sick bed :S

    Super Metroid – Space Colony. Enough said.

  • Definitely the original Chronicles of Riddick. The game was pretty good, but the intro, where you’re getting shown around the prison in handcuffs and then all hell breaks lose, was totally awesome.

    I agree that Alan Wake had a great intro too…

    Also, I’ve got to give props to the original Mario on the NES. I couldn’t even begin to imagine how many times I’ve stomped on that first goomba.

  • The opening of NBA 2K11 was pretty amazing. Waiting in the tunnel, with Michael Jordan right in front of you, then coming out to verse the Lakers in the first game of the 90-91 NBA Finals. I’m not the hugest basketball fan, but I could tell that from the outset, 2K11 had made a game that definitely paid respect to the legacy of ‘His Airness’.

  • These are my favourite.

    Half Life

    I would like to mention Brutal Legend for having an awesome intro that in no way was backed up by the rest of the game.

  • Even though Uncharted 2 got me into it like no other game has, I will give out an honourable mention to Metal Gear Solid. The cinematics in and around the first scene ending with the elevator ride – incredibly COOL.

    Really gives you a great taste of the cinematic treats to come.

  • I have to agree with the others, Uncharted 2’s ‘in medias res’ playable opening is breathtakingly epic! The best opening yet! Then Modern Warfare 2’s credit sequence that sent chills down my spine. Then Fallout 3, probably the best designed opening for creating a character, memorable too.

  • I know it’s been suggested already but the intro to Half-Life was glorious.

    The train ride, the just another day at the job vibe, and then BAM! Shit gets real.

    • Yeah, through out the ’90s I was a huge adventure game fanboy, but that opening made me smile at the future of FPS and other genres.

  • The Dig! The cool montage of news reports and interviews intercut with scenes of the shuttle taking off and approaching Attila – then the brief playable section where you go down to the asteroid and find the artefacts – then BAM THE ASTEROID IS ACTUALLY AN ALIEN SPACECRAFT.

    I know it’s actually part of the game but as far as I’m concerned, the real game doesn’t begin till you’re on the alien world.

    No game has replicated the feeling I got the first (or even second) time I played The Dig.


  • I really liked the first part of Wind Waker. Exploring that island without a care in the world and then being pulled off to a grand adventure. No cinematics, it was all in the gameplay.

  • Agree with a lot of the games mentioned already, but surprised no one has added NBA 2K11 to the list…. dropping you straight from the intro into the opening game of the Bulls vs Lakers playoff series felt epic… and then just continued to get better from there!

  • Baldur’s Gate II was pretty sweet…until I realised I had to spend the next hour escaping this boring-ass labyrinth.

  • Shadows of the Empire. Hoth!

    For it’s time probably Marathon 1 & 2. But then there was Fallout 3 as well…

  • Halo 3: ODST’s drop scene was absolutely breath taking!

    The score was beautiful, the view was literally atmospheric, and it was topped off by a wee little easter egg from H2.

  • The World Ends With You. – Awesome awesome intro.

    Fallout : NV – The game was rigged from the start.

    Borderlands – The bus ride

    There’s definately more. Will post as I think

  • Ahhhh, can’t believe no one seems to have mentioned Batman Arkham Asylum! Great beginning!

    Also, I know it has it’s fair share of critics, but I still loved the opening of Assassins Creed the first time I played it. I was pretty much hooked into that whole world from the get go.

    But yeah, like everyone else has said, so many bloody games to choose from. I would say, whilst it may be outdated by now, Half Life definitely deserves credit for setting that standard for cinematic, interactive intros.

    …….Also, Portal 2 = Excellent intro 😀

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