Top 10 beaches in games
Now that the summer’s drawing to a close, if you want to spend quality time at the beach you have to either go on an expensive holiday somewhere, or hit the virtual beaches of your games collection. Here’s 10 of the finest places where sand meets sea in the history of gaming…
Colin McRae Rally
Every new stage in the original Colin McRae game was a revelation because every driving surface felt so different to drive on. The sandy beaches of Indonesia were especially challenging, and picturesque to boot.
You never actually saw the sand of the beach itself in California Games’ surfing mini-game, but you knew it had to be one of the greatest surfing beaches in the world, judging by those incredible tubular waves.
The Curse Of Monkey Island
The sand of Plunder Island’s Brimstone Beach is so hot that clean, fluffy towels placed upon it will immediately burst into flames and disintegrate. Only by first being immersed in ice cold water can towels be used as ‘stepping stones’ to traverse the sands.
Medal Of Honor
Both Medal Of Honor: Frontline and Medal Of Honor: Allied Assault open with pretty much the same level – the Omaha Beach landing. At the time, this was the most intense, cinematic, terrifying sequence ever seen in an FPS and PS3 owners will be able to relive it in HD glory if they buy the Limited Edition version of the new Medal Of Honor next month.
It’s easy to forget how revolutionary Virtua Fighter was because it got made obsolete so quickly, but believe me, at the time those blocky, texture-less pugilists battling away in the middle of that seemingly infinite stretch of beach were easily the coolest thing that had ever been seen in an arcade.
Call Of Duty 2
Infinity Ward took the Omaha Beach landing sequence from Medal Of Honor (that several members of the IW had worked on while at EA, of course) and made it even better in Call Of Duty 2. Shifting the action four miles west to the Pointe du Hoc artillery battery, the action is somehow even more intense than before.
Like the Curse Of Monkey Island, Half-Life 2 features a beautiful, picturesque beach that you absolutely do not want to set foot on. It’s not the heat of the sand that’s a problem here, it’s the antlions lurking beneath. There are no towels soaked in ice cold water to walk across either, but with careful use of your Garvity Gun, it’s possible to make it through the whole Sandtraps chapter without touching sand.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Vice City boasts a huge, wide, long, straight beach, which is absolutely perfect for speeding along in a sports car, smashing through hapless sunbathers and lifeguards. What more do you want?
Every Mario Kart game has a beach world. Not having one would be like not having a fat Italian plumber with a big moustache. There are various different beaches in various different games, but they all look much the same. Blue sky, blue sea, white sand, crabs, palm trees – you know the drill. My favourite is Peach Beach because it rhymes.
Dead Or Alive Xtreme 2
There are two main beaches on Zack Island – Niki Beach and Tranquil beach – but it doesn’t matter which one you go to, you’re guaranteed to find impossibly proportioned girls in tiny bikinis frolicking around on them. That’s why they’re my favourites. I make no apologies for being so shallow.