Festive Feature: Top 5 Cutscenes of 2009
Written Tuesday, December 22, 2009 By Dan WebbView author's profile
We all love a good cutscene. It’s the way in which the vast majority of developers decide to deliver their story and we don’t know about any of you, but we sure love our stories around here.
Oh yeah, this one is pretty much spoilerific as well, so unless you’ve played all the year’s top titles, you may want to wait and come back here when you have. You’ve been suitably warned.
Slipping in at 5th for the second time in our festive Top 5’s is Resident Evil 5. The cutscene in question took place near the beginning of the game and it wasn’t long after you took on the crazed chainsaw Majini for the first time.
Our choice cutscene from Resident Evil 5 involves some crazy motorbike Majini, Chris & Sheva in a spot of danger and BSAA agent, Josh, makes a stylish appearance to save the day. This scene is the only one in the top 5 that makes the cut entirely on action alone. It’s too early in the story to have a lasting impact on us in any other way, but the cinematography in it and camera angles are the stuff of Hollywood. It’s got explosions, suspense filled clichéd gun jams, a bit of gore and of course, a happy ending. Hollywood would be proud.
For our fourth favourite cutscene we move from the intense action of Resi 5 to a more emotionally engaging scene from Rockstar’s latest downloadable GTA IV adventure, The Ballad of Gay Tony.
The scene in question takes place towards the climax of the game’s main story and after being left to pick up after club mogul, Anthony “Gay Tony” Prince, for so long, Luis has been offered an easy way out... to kill Tony and defect to a more grateful employer. Someone who can make his dreams of being more than a two-bit hitman come true.
Luis, a self confused nut job, goes through the notions of killing long time business partner and friend Gay Tony to save his own back, and at one time, you thought he might actually pull the trigger. Thankfully Luis's inner puppy got the best of him and Luis opted for a more fitting response instead. A tense and equally as gripping scene.
The third Arkham Asylum Scarecrow encounter was the scariest cutscene of the year, but not for the usual reasons, something entirely new. If you played Arkham Asylum on a 360, then it’s probably a fear that you didn’t want to face again. We’re talking about the illusion of Arkham Asylum crashing your console and instantly making you look at the rings of the 360, praying to the gaming gods that those red rings hadn’t returned. Thankfully they hadn’t and it was all a clever tool by Rocksteady. A devious, evil, ploy to introduce the third Scarecrow cutscene... and we loved it.
Granted, we panicked at the time, but watching it back, all the signs are there; the cough, and the voice asking whether you’d caught the game are huge giveaways. The scene itself was quite a surreal one after the initial panic has subsided and Rocksteady did a fantastic job in switching the tables. Kudos.
Halo Wars is the only title to feature in both the opening cinematic Top 5 from yesterday and today’s Top 5. I suppose that’s what you get though when you employ the animation specialists, Blur Studios, to work their magic on your cutscenes.
Whilst the Halo Wars Elite and Spartan showdown is mostly in for its action, it does have another, more touching side to it. Whilst the Spartans are kicking Honor Soldier ass, Sgt John Forge is facing off against the Arbiter in an equally as epic battle. After he uses his trusty combat blade, Lucy, to take down the Arbiter, Forge sacrifices his own life to stay behind and manually detonate the FTL engine to destroy the Covenant's Shield World.
Touching stuff and a valiant end for a combat-ready soldier. Did we tell you how awesome it looks as well?
I’d go out on a whim here and say that the Shepard betrayal scene of Ghost and Roach towards the end of the Modern Warfare 2 would probably have shocked everyone. We didn’t see it coming and there was no indication at all that this was on the cards.
What ensued after Roach and Ghost got to the LZ after searching for Makarov at his safehouse on the border of Georgia and Russia was an emotional ending for one of our favourite characters. If the shock of the betrayal wasn’t enough to move you, then watching Shepard’s men toss a limp Ghost towards you with his eyes rolled back into his head and then watching them douse you in petrol and set you on fire will surely have done it.
To heighten the atmosphere of the event, the music of Hans Zimmer roars in all its glory whilst Captain Price discovers Shepard’s dastardly deeds, but all too late. Seriously emotionally engaging stuff.
Check back tomorrow for our penultimate festive feature where action takes the front seat.