Festive Feature: Top 5 Easter Eggs of 2009
Written Thursday, December 24, 2009 By Dan WebbView author's profile
Today’s Top 5 is the only topic to make a triumphant return from last year. That’s partly because of how popular that turned out to be, but mostly because we love fiddling with stuff that’s way off the yellow brick road.
Easter eggs are a good sign that the development team are not only enjoying their job, but that they’re having fun with game they’re working on as it's effectively fan appreciation because it does nothing in terms of the gameplay. That being said, we love fan service and we love easter eggs!
Let’s get on with the show, which this time, is spoiler free. What we lack in spoilers though, we make up for in awesomeness.
It’s not very often you see a movie tie-of the superhero variety that contains such attention to detail and so many easter eggs, but Raven Software and Activision’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine did.
Whilst the nod at the World of Warcraft sword gets credited with the award, truth be told, it’s a combination of all the cool things the dev team added throughout the title, which included a “secret” cake and a tip of the hat to Lost with its very own hatch (which had a humorous achievement called “Found!” that went with it).
I wonder whether Activision’s Bobby Kotick will be happy that Raven aren’t adding stuff into their games that makes them money and the developers are having fun with their games... you know, since he wanted to “take all the fun out of making video games” and all that jazz.
Arkham Asylum was a really rich comic book experience off the beaten path and anyone who was interested in expanding the experience outside of the main campaign, the Riddler’s riddles were a perfect solution to that.
One of these riddles involved scanning the dead body of DC supervillain and Batman archnemesis, Ra’s al Ghul. It’s a nice little easter egg on its own, right? Yeah, but go back to the same spot where you see his body after the game and the body is gone. Not only does that fuel speculation that he’ll make an appearance in the recently announced sequel, but it’s a great and subtle bit of fan service that Batman fans will be appreciative of. Kudos Rocksteady.
Last year we had a huge pink bunny emerge from the depths of the sea in Saints Row 2 and whilst this isn’t as epic as that, Assassin’s Creed 2’s ancient octopus does more than enough to make our list this year.
When discovering the wonders of Visitazione's Secret Assassin's Tomb in Venice, if you spend the time staring deep into the bottomless water that surround the tomb’s puzzle, you’ll be in with a surprise of the eight tentacle variety. Stare again to see whether you’re eyes were just playing tricks on you and the cheeky bugger will raise a fist at you, I mean a tentacle. It's a shining example of how Assassin's Creed 2 did everything right this year.
Splosion Man is in fact the only Xbox Live Arcade game that’s made any of our Top 5 lists to date, which is testement to indie studio, Twisted Pixel and their ability to create fantastic games.
In their latest 2D original platformer, Twisted Pixel made sure that they gave their other previous character and Xbox Live Arcade title, The Maw, a fitting nod. Not only did they tie this mini easter egg in with one of the game’s achievements, but they also included a short cutscene to go along with it.
Somewhere near the beginning of level 3-17, players can race through many of the level’s opening traps and stumbling blocks and free the Maw who’s been captured by the evil scientists. One quick explosion later and our purple headed monster friend is floating off into space, finally free from his captors. A well deserved second place and something we hope to see more of from the studio.
It would be rude of us to not give the award to Valve and Left 4 Dead 2 this year. Why you ask? Because they did the noble thing of bringing back Gnome Chompski from outer space so we could save him once again, but this time, from the zombie apocalypse.
Those of you not familiar with Chompski, this was exactly the same gnome that many people sent into space in Half Life 2 Episode 2 in The Orange Box a few years back. Now if bringing him back isn’t fan service, what the hell is? We’ve not only captured the freeing of Chompski below, but we’ve also included a few of Valve’s other Left 4 Dead 2 easter eggs in the form of some fairground games from the Dark Carnival chapter of Left 4 Dead 2, featuring Moustachio.
The question is though, where are they going to send our little gnome friend next? I'd be surprised if he didn't make a cameo in the next Portal title.
How do this year's Top 5 easter eggs stand up against last year's? Take a look at last year's here and let us know what you think in the comments.
That’s it for us this year in terms of Top 5’s though. Be sure to keep an eye out in the next week for our Game of the Year awards. Happy holidays folks, have a good one!