Top 8 Game Changing Moments
Every so often, you’ll come across a moment in a game where everything changes. Those game changing moments can be disastrous, or they can provide a new perspective that elevates a game to another level, as our list of the most striking examples amply demonstrates.
8. Mirror’s Edge
What made Mirror’s Edge interesting was that it was so different to other first-person games. Rather than confronting enemies with a gun in hand, you had to avoid them, using your acrobatic parkour skills to clamber up walls, move swiftly across rooftops and slide under obstacles. That is, until you //did// get a gun, which completely changed the way the game played. The introduction of guns in Mirror’s Edge gets a place on our list because of the significance of the change, not because it was a change for the better.
7. Brutal Legend
This is a title that, like Mirror’s Edge before it, gets a spot on the list by virtue of the fact that its game changing moment was so drastic, not because that change necessarily made the game better (it didn’t). Brutal Legend starts off as a third-person hack and slash. Then, suddenly, mid-way thorough the game, RTS sections are brought into the equation. That change was a jarring one for many of its players and, indeed, those RTS sections failed to win most of them over.
6. MGS 2
Admittedly, the game changing moment we’ve picked out from MGS 2 doesn’t really represent a major change from a gameplay perspective, but it undercut expectations so radically that we had to include it. We are talking, of course, about the moment in which Solid Snake is replaced by Raiden as the main character. If we think of game changing moments as confronting us with something we didn’t expect that forces us to reevaluate what’s to come, MGS 2’s famous swerve fits the bill.
5. Final Fantasy XIII
Certain things are expected from a Final Fantasy game. It was no surprise, then, that Final Fantasy XIII was heavily criticised for its incredibly linear nature, described as it frequently was as a glorified corridor simulator. Those that stuck with it for about 20-25 hours, though, where rewarded with a game changing moment. Once you reach Gran Pulse, Final Fantasy XIII flings the doors wide open and finally lets you free in the kind of open world that Final Fantasy veterans expected in the first place.
4. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
We’ve mentioned one or two moments in this list where our expectations were turned upside down. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night does that quite literally. If you beat Richter with the correct item equipped, you’ll be transported to an inverted version of the castle in which the game takes place. The sudden realisation that the game has been designed to work as well upside-down as well as it does in its normal perspective is mind-blowing. What you’re essentially presented with is a second game, complete with its own enemies, area names and bosses.
3. Devil May Cry 4
In the first half of Devil May Cry 4, you play as Nero, a character with one melee and one ranged weapon. Then, you step into the shoes of series’ stalwart Dante and suddenly find yourself with four styles to switch between and multiple weapons to use. Not only does Devil May Cry give you a completely new character to play with, then, but new mechanics, such as weapon switching, to suddenly get to grips with. The switch to Dante is also taken as an opportunity to suddenly make Devil May Cry 4 bastard hard, yet another reason that the switch to Dante is a game changing moment.
2. Discworld Noir
A noir satire set in the Discworld universe, Discworld Noir is a point and click adventure in which you play as a PI called Lewton who has become embroiled in a murder investigation. Gameplay revolves around hunting for clues and interviewing suspects in order to try and crack the case. That is, until the latter stages of the game where you end up as a werewolf. From there, you have the ability to transform into your bestial form in order to pick up smells that are visualised as different colours. Connecting scents to particular items and individuals adds a whole new dimension to your investigation.
1. Half-Life 2
The top game changer on our list is the introduction of the gravity gun in Half-Life 2. Allowing you to pick up items that litter the world around you – barrels, circular saw blades and whatever else you can find – and fire them towards your enemies, the gravity gun changes the way that you think about your environment and brought something completely new, not only to Half-Life 2, but to first-person shooters in general. You gradually start to think of the gravity gun not so much as a weapon, but as a tool to manipulate your world and it is that fresh perspective that makes it such a significant introduction. A supercharged version of the gravity gun returns towards the end of the game shaking things up yet again as you embark on an epic set piece where you are able start lobbing your enemies around as well as firing beams of energy towards your foes.