What's The Most Intense Moment You've Had In Gaming?

Now that my wrist has improved and I'm not wearing a brace as much, I've been spending the last few days getting to know PUBG's desert surroundings a little better. And given that part of the PUBG experience is the intensity of the final 10, it gave me a thought for this week's Tell Us Dammit.

For this week, I'd like you to share the most intense gaming experience you've ever had.

It doesn't necessarily have to be in-game, mind you. I can remember plenty of long, overnight gaming sessions at LANs or friends' houses where people mainlined games of COD4 zombies well into the night. Intensity can also come from surprising quarters.

For instance, the very first online game I ever played from home was Heroes of Might and Magic 3. It was over the MSN Gaming Zone at the time - back in the days when automated matchmaking was rare, the domain of only a few developers - and the family internet was good old unlimited dialup. Remember those days when you needed a separate phone line for your internet, so you didn't get disconnected every time someone called the house?

Anyway, I decided I'd give that a go after beating up on the AI mercilessly. And it went for hours. I played for about seven straight until I realised: oh shit, the internet's going to disconnect soon.

One of the fun things with our dialup internet was the fact that there was an eight hour hard cap on how long the connection would be open. I think that was really just a limit on how long the connection could be open for, rather than a limitation of the internet itself. But if I disconnected, the game wasn't coming back. This wasn't a PBEM match or anything: it was live, and we were nearing the end.

So, foolishly thinking I was in a decent position, I began forcing the issue to end the game before my internet ran out. And when you're sitting there, staring at darkness, not able to see your enemy's every move, the waiting is the killer. So I plotted. Waited my turn. Then frantically performed all my actions as fast as possible (using my enemy's time to think).

And then I took one step too far.

Two minutes before the timer was about to drop, it became clear how hopelessly overextended I was. My enemy's heroes and armies began to roll in, and there was simply no answer. I'd probably lost the game about six hours prior, because I was a dumb little kid and everybody sucks when it comes to their first online game.

But there was enough time to witness my home castle get absolutely romped, only to see the flags change colour and hear the modem drop out. "Wow," I remember thinking at the time.

What's your most intense experience while gaming?


    In the late 90s, playing Alien vs Predator for the first time on the Atari Jaguar, after hours at work in the presentation room.
    The office was already creepy, 8 floors of empty cubicles, out in the wasteland that is North Ryde.

    We had a projector that threw a 3 metre wide picture, and a massive Bose sound system,we took the Jag in at night when the office was completely quiet, coming in through the basement carpark, and ringing security to say we were working late.
    All you could hear was the building creaking and the air-con running.

    We went into the presentation room, cranked up the sound and the projector, closed off the room, turned out all the lights, and put a pair of stools about 2 metres back from the screen.
    After starting up the game as a marine, the tension built up with the sound of doors opening and the drone of the air conditioner. We could hear something in the room, we crept around and then in front of us a 6ft tall alien burst forth, we started sprinting backwards firing crazily, with my friend screaming kill-it Kill-It KILL IT!
    We leaned further back on the stools as it gained on us, both of us yelling, then it struck at us and we both toppled backwards off the stools in perfect synch.
    We decided to turn the lights on and go have a drink before continuing.
    It was the most scared we'd ever been in a video game, this was the 90s when gaming on a big scene meant a 27" telly, we were totally immersed and overwhelmed in the big room with the big screen.

    The ending sequence in Until Dawn on PS4 when **spoilers** the Wendigos are in the house and you have to get each surviving character out of the house one by one - holding the controller perfectly still has never been so hard, likewise the choice between, "make a break for it" and "hide" - just so intense and such a relief when the credits roll.

      This. Though after several botched attempts it became far easier to focus.

    I played Everquest for about 7 years when it first started. The guild I was in (shoutout to Frayed Knot on Rathe) was a mid range guild when I joined, but pushing through content to get out of that pack. As part of that, we were smashing through various raid zones, with the main one at one point (NToV for old EQers), seeing one of my best gaming moments ever.

    Going through the zone, up against one of the raid bosses, we were doing badly. These were 72 player raids, so not a small exercise. Anyhow, all the healers were dead, all the tanks were dead, crowd control was dead, DPS was dead. It was just a few paladins, and a couple of rogues.

    Call was made to simply wipe and reset, those 4 or 5 still standing thought otherwise. Somehow, amazingly, one of the paladins was able to resurrect a cleric, then others, and others, and others, and eventually we got enough of a force to regroup and win the fight.

    From the sideline, waiting to get rez'd (bard class, wasn't integral to the fight during this) it was an incredible experience just watching the comments in guild chat fly. Doesn't sound like much, but in the heat of the moment it was truly epic.

    Helped cement the guilds reputation as one that did things differently, which we continued to do for years as we went up through how the guilds were ranked, ultimately being just the second guild on server to finish Plane of Time (one of the best expansions and raids I've seen in any game). Which was another experience at the time.

    The NToV raid though was easily my favourite, just for the comeback from the brink situation.

    Killing the Nameless King for the first time and the water section of Amnesia: TDD

      Water section!!! Guess I'll be having nightmares again tonight now you've brought that up...

      Oh yes, the nameless king! I literally jumped up, yelled at the top of my lungs and did a little dance.
      My brother who was living with me at the time gave me a very bemused look haha.

    Battlefield 2 playing 21st Century Warfare 30 v 30 tournament. Was doing Jihad buggy's out of Taraba Quarry in order to harass enemy armour pushing down. Driving thru a small enfilade on the road, beginning to take cannon fire from T-90's and BTR's, a SU-35 Frogfoot (similar to the A-10) swoops, with rockets and cannon fire strafing all around me. He tries to pull out of his dive about a 1m above me when he blows up just in front from a friendly F-35, sending debris everywhere. I burst thru this cloud of fire to be about 20m to the enemy armour formation, hit the middle T-90, taking that T-90, another T-90, and a BTR out in the resulting explosion.

    Or the first time I won a solo match in PUBG. That shit was tense.

      Hah that battlefield one sounds similar to what I was going to post about the time I ran company command for 2 platoons in Arma3. There were 60+ players doing a massed town assault against a heavily entrenched enemy with armoured support and emplaced weaponry, we were laying down heavy suppression, popping smoke grenades everywhere and dodging autocannon fire as we charged in, halfway through I realised that this entire process was all happening because I issued the attack order.

      It was a fucking amazing experience which admittedly almost got me killed because I slowed down to appreciate it all... I really wish it was one of the ones I'd recorded. Depending on the mission, I might take company command on Saturday, it's been too long since I did it.

        That's pretty cool. I'd like to say I had similar experiences commanding in 21CW, but in reality it was mostly me spamming enemy spotted.

        Although it was always nice when you manage to engineer movement just right, or time a flank to leave the enemy exposed and confused.

        ... Or just being a petulant squad leader and taking initiative with something, and when you inevitably heard 'wtf are you doing' over comms, being able to reply 'we just took it' :P.

    Competitive Starcraft - Far too intense. Too much on the line. Inability to pause.

    Bloodborn - can’t pause.

    PT - “OK, walking, walking, open door, nothing, walking, what the hell was that sound? AAAAHHHHH GOD GET ME THE FUCK OUT OF HERE.”

    The original RE1 - God damn that anxiety inducing music...

    Yeah... I’m a wuss.

    The finishes to both Red Dead Redemption and Last of Us.

    Some great tense moments playing playing competitive BF2/2142 a few years back. Haven't experienced anything close until PUBG came along. Water section the Amnesia and Alien Isolation were very tense / frightening.

    Playing Resident Evil 1 for the first time at age 14. Middle of the night, brilliant atmosphere. Like nothing I’d played before.

    More recently, finishing The Evil Within on the hardest difficulty (one hit deaths) was extremely intense and very rewarding.

    Actually, the second part of Operation Pegasus in Call of Duty (y'know, the very first WWII one). We were defending the bridge and being overrun by zee Gemans and I had run out of ammo in one of the pill boxes. I had to resort to smacking the enemy on the head with my colt 1911!

    When's the HD remake of that one coming?

    This is a long one and may not be worth your time reading, but it is a gaming moment that I'll hold dear to me for a long time.
    Back in 2016 when Tom Clancy's The Division was released me and 2 mates from Sydney (Butcher and Cootelion) were roaming the Dark Zone hunting for loot. We stumbled into a stranger from the US (Hensley) who was wearing similar cosmetic outfit to us and he asked if he could join us. Of course we let him join our squad. We were farming in DZ06 and had a blast fining heaps of 'yellow' (High-End) gear.

    We initiated an extraction and there were a few fellow agents who decided to tag along. However in the ensuring battle with NPC mobs Butcher fell and dropped all his loot (he had a pair of 'yellow' gloves which he was very fond of) before he was able to extract. One of the agents who tagged along was snooping near his body. We warned him not to take anything, but against our advice he took the loot and made a run for it. He got the better of us and escaped the building and a foot chase ensured.

    The chase was intense with high level NPCs getting in our way around every corner. We were at an inherent disadvantage as with the chase, he will alert the NPCs and run pass then and we will have to try to run past the same NPCs, however they were now closing in and ready. We then decided to split up to try and cut him off as we noticed he was going south along the western boarder.

    He needed a place to extract and he seemed to be heading to the DZ01 West extraction point. Hensley stay on his tail, Cootelion went a little bit east to flank him and I decided to jump out of the Dark Zone through the closest western gate and fast travel south to re-enter the Dark Zone. That way I will be waiting for him at the extraction point.

    I got there and there were 30-40 other agents congregating waiting for an extraction. I thinking this is going to get bloody as we'll become rogue and everyone will try and take us down. I'm trying to tell everyone there that there's a guy my squad is hunting down as he stole some 'yellow gloves' and to please take it 'easy and don't shoot us'. All this time Butcher had just respawned and not far behind me. Next minute Hensly is telling me he's coming down the road from the north towards me.

    I see our target, I take him down and all hell breaks loose.

    I grab the 'yellow gloves' and get taken down immediately by the collective of agents that witnessed my deeds, just before the rest of my squad arrived. Some random takes the 'yellow gloves' and I tell my squad who it was and they punish him. In doing so everyone else there wiped us and a bloody gunfight ensured as we respawned over and over again to hunt for these 'yellow gloves'. the gloves passed so many hands that by the end of the gunfight we had no idea who had the gloves anymore.

    Those that cannot handle the gunfight dispersed and we started to wreck havoc asking everyone that were still there if they had the 'yellow gloves' and then taking them down to check if they did.

    The extraction has clear out and we started roaming the Dark Zone in pursuit for the 'yellow gloves' and taking down everyone that got in our way. It got to a point where word must have spread on that server that evening as we came across a few agents who surrendered immediately upon seeing us and asked us if we were the guys looking for the 'yellow gloves'. They will the proceed to tell us he didn't have them and that we can just kill them anyway and take their loot as they didn't want to fight us.

    War of the Lance, friend of mine was playing hotseat Multi player and after about 12 hours of swapping in and out having our turns, the battle was getting huge and the game just ends in a draw. We didn't know of the time limit to end it all at the time.....we never went back.

    Completing the Witcher 3 and experiencing the desolation of no longer interacting with the NPCs.

    Not long after the 360 first came out, a friend of mine and I rented Condemned: Criminal Origins, a launch title for the system that's an odd mix of first person melee combat and survival horror. It's a dark game with a lot of scary moments.

    At the time, one of our neighbours was a drug dealer (dope, mostly, but I think he might have also dealt in stronger stuff), and another was a violent psychopath who constantly heard noises (which he often blamed on us, as we lived above him).

    While my friend and I were playing, the drug dealer came home with some mates and, for whatever reason, the psychopath neighbour decided to yell at them to shut up as they were walking up the stairs to their flat. I think one of the drug dealer's friends yelled something back, and suddenly it was on.

    So there we are in my flat playing this scary, intense survival horror-ish game while outside our psycho neighbour is goading our drug dealer neighbour into 'coming down and having a crack'. The shouting match went on for the best part of an hour before someone (not us) called the police. Something about the atmosphere of the game, mixed with the violence going on outside made for a perfectly intense experience.

    A few nights later, my friend and I were playing the game again when a cop knocked on the door and asked both of us to go to the local police station to give statements about what happened, which we happily did (and discovered that an old high school friend of ours was now one of the cops at the local station).

    About a month later, the psychopath neighbour moved out suddenly and very angrily-- literally throwing funiture into the trailer he'd hired. I never found out for sure, but I suspect he got evicted for being, by far, the most unpleasant neighbour anyone in the building had ever encountered.

    The drug dealer stayed around for another year or so, though. He was a pretty good neighbour, all things considered.

    Playing the original Cave Story on a laptop with the keyboard. I got my ass handed back to me several times by the Heart of the Island and I was getting frustrated but kept trying. All of a sudden, I started playing perfectly, dodging through the projectile maze while landing every shot. It was so perfect that it felt as though I was an spectator to my body playing the game perfectly. I even managed to steal a glance at my fingers on the keyboard moving with uncanny precision and efficiency. I laughed and laughed and not even that broke the moment; it broke shortly after when, of course, I started thinking too much about it, but by then the Heart was almost dead and I managed to finish it normally.

    I normally get into "the zone" with videogames, but never like that, before or since.

    3 times in particular come to mind.

    The first is when myself and my older brother completed Captain Comic (it's a really old platform game). In the days before walkthroughs and the like, we somehow figured out what items we needed, strategies to stay alive and to avoid making contact with enemies since you only have 3 lives and 3 hit points per life.

    We got to the final castle, it was the first time we had ever made it that far and completed it that night. It was glorious.

    The second time was playing through King's Quest 4. Long story short, we'd lost the copy protection so we had to guess what the answers were from the manual and somehow we managed to put the right word from a random part and it let us into the game. It was finished in a few hours.

    The last one was actually on the original Xbox (the black and green one, not the Xbone) playing Ninja Gaiden. I spent an hour or two stuck on a particularly difficult platforming sequence and i kept falling into the lava and dying, i just couldn't get it right. After a few more hours i finally managed to nail it and stomped the final boss on my first go.

    I swear my heart felt like it was beating outside of my chest!

    That and beating the Nameless King and Ornstein and Smaugh in DS3 and DS1 respectively.

    Last edited 18/01/18 9:33 pm

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