The last game that made you say "...WOW"

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I was cleaning out some old boxes today and found an issue of PC Gamer from 2004, detailing the upcoming Half-Life 2.

I looked through the article and suddenly remember that feeling of wonder I had when I first read the article back in 04. I was just awestruck by the game.

When I finally got a new computer and bought the game in 05, it blew me away. Even everything I'd read up to that point didn't prepare me for the scale and the mood of the game.

Now, I know there's been a lot of talk lately about "what's so good about Half-Life 2 anyway?", but that's not what I want to discuss here. What I want to discuss is that feeling of wonder and amazement that just seems to be... GONE.

Yeah, there have been plenty of truly great new games, plenty of games that are beautiful and have amazing moments, but none of them seem to have that same "magic" that Half-Life 2 did, at least for me.

I was enamored by Perfect Dark, I couldn't get enough information about it and I could not wait to get out of school to go home and play it for the first time.

I waited in line at midnight to get San Andreas so I could be one of the first to play it.

Grand Theft Auto III sold me a PlayStation 2, Grand Theft Auto IV sold me a PlayStation 3.

But even when a great game like Red Dead Redemption was announced, I couldn't get very excited for it. I LOVE RDR, I think it's an excellent game, but... there's just no magic there.

I really enjoy the Uncharted series and was very excited for Uncharted 3, but again, there was just no magic.

Portal 2 is the only game in recent memory that was truly a classic experience for me - wanting a game for so long, and that feeling of enchantment when finally playing it...

But it's so rare these days... and a lot of it has to do with innovation and creativity.

I wasn't so excited about RDR because it basically was just going to be Grand Theft Auto with horses, and I knew that. Uncharted 2 and 3 didn't really excite me a whole lot because they were basically just Uncharted 1 with some fancier locations, set pieces and graphics.

What's the last game that truly made you say "WOW", before you even got to play it?

Do you think we'll see many more of those games in the future, or will the gaming industry continue its path to being "the new Hollywood", where the majority of games are created because someone in a suit and tie wants to buy another Ferrari?

World of Warcraft XD

Walking into Black Reach in Skyrim was a pretty big "Whoa" moment for me. Also, EVE Online, while in many ways fantastically boring has some pretty downright fantastic moments...just google search 92D January 21 for one of those moments (or rather hours long battles) I was there =D

Very few games really made me go "WOW!", especially before playing them. Portal and Half-Life 2 come to mind. I also remember Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines - I read a preview and I wanted the game there and then - a game with vampires? Yes! And you can choose what kind of vampire you are? Yes! And you can also choose different ways to go about tasks (talk your way through, sneak past, murderize everybody, etc.)? Yes! I didn't know anything about VtM at that point but I was interested in vampires an supernatural beings.

But most recently, I think it was Magicka - I've always waited for a good game when magic is involved. The Elder Scrolls formula of "make your own spells" was a step in the right direction but it didn't give me enough feeling of magic. Magicka, however, really did what I wanted - a good magic system where I could really feel as if magic was...magic, not just a list of fancy abilities my character does. And Magicka was funny to boot, really loved the story and the humour.

Also, Amnesia the Dark Descent - when I saw the trailer I really went "WOW!", I could practically feel the intense horror experience the game had to offer. And I wasn't disappointed. It really made me feel vulnerable and afraid.

Other than that, I suppose there E.Y.E. Divine Cybermancy - still haven't played it but I was suitably impressed by what I saw - a cyberpunk-ish setting that really reminded me of Shadowrun. And since it's dead cheap anyway, I immediately bought it.

Upon reflection on that, I think it's the atmosphere of the game that really matters to me. If it's something that offers immersive and interesting experience, I would be impressed, but most games don't really emphasise on that.

Minecraft. Not a good wow, but a very pissed off, couldn't believe this bullshit, "WOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooow..."

Hours upon hours upon hours mining, fighting off monsters, and searching for things.

Entered the Nether multiple times on a quest to find a fortress to kill some Blazes and get Blaze Rods. Then I spent hours trying to gather up Ender Pearls to make Eyes of Ender to lead me to a Stronghold, then more Ender Pearls to open the portal to The End.

I had stacks upon stacks of cobble for climbing those Obsidian towers to destroy the dragon's healing stones.

I had three Golden Apples for healing.

A Jack'o'lantern so that I could scroll over Endermen without having them attack me.

A Diamond Sword, enchanted with Sharpness II.

Iron Chestpiece enchanted with Protection II, Diamond Helmet, Diamond Boots, Iron Greaves.

Two buckets of water that I would use to water-elevator myself back down to the ground from atop the Obsidian towers.

Three stacks of arrows I slowly gathered by killing countless skeletons. And a bow.

I enter The End, dig my way to the surface, "LOLOLOL HI, MINER!"

Dragon flies THROUGH the solid ground, hurts me, launches me through the air, out into nowhere, and I fall into nothingness and die, respawing with all of my shit gone back at my home.


Xenoblade Chroncile (seriously you got to buy that game).

The map/area in that game is huge, really huge. If you see something in the distance you CAN reach it, heck it can take an hour or two for just exploring a single area!
What make this even more shocking is that the game is on the Wii, of all console and no the graphic isn't bad well probably less than average compare to your fancy HD super realistic graphic.

THe last level of Braid, seriously. Just WOW.

Mortal Kombat 9. Took several years to return to it's roots, and it did, with even more gore than you can shake a stick at.

X-men :Destiny, but that was WOW, what a piece of shit.

Apart from that, Maybe Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, really think its under rated and its pretty mind blowing in terms of visuals.

Serious Sam 3, the part after you get the Minigun on serious -.- I thought something is wrong when I saw the amount of ammunition they were giving me and boy did I had to kill a load of Kleers... Enough to populate a small country.

And in all good Serious Sam on serious facion there was not nearly enough ammunition there... had to kill the last ones with my hammer!

Last time a game made me go 'Wow!' was yesterday when I bought Mount & Blade (the original, I already own Warband) to play the Lord of the Rings 'The Last Days of the Third Age of Middle Earth' mod. It's simply amazing what the modders have done adding completely new models for orcs, trolls, dwarves, cities, weapons, the map, the battlegrounds, cut scenes, everything.

I just wish I was more into LotR because as a M&B player this mod is amazing but I don't really know the universe and how the different faction are supposed to be towards each other. But it's still good. If you don't have the original M&B already buy it now. This mod alone makes it worth it even if you own Warband or WFaS.

Official Forum
Download Link and install instructions. It's a little trickier than the usual copy-paste with this mod.

inFamous 2, I really enjoyed the first, but when I saw the second, then got into the story, that was a "wow" moment.

I just bought Shadow Hearts and it made me go wow. As in wow this looks like PS1 graphics, the writing is corny and the VA is laughably bad. I love it.

I'm going to have to say the end of Dead Money...there was just something about the ending credits for that DLC that left me feeling oh so satisfied...and then I heard the radio transmission...I think I teared up a little.

Batman Arkham City did get me some Wow

Half-Life 2 was the last one that really did it for me. It came out right before the next generation of consoles launched, so it looked way better than anything else out there, and it was another 2 years before anyone matched the presentation quality of the opening hours. Plus, it was a hell of a lot more fun than the other FPSes that had come out that year (barring Butcher Bay, which I didn't play until later).

It made me all the more pissed that I had a Steam problem that locked me out of the game after the first 4 hours. I actually gave my copy away and swore off Valve games until 2008 after that.

Batman: Arkham City


Well, there was Skyrim which made me say 'Wow' while reading about it. It was pretty huge and, featured dragons. Also all of the screenshots and, videos looked absolutely beautiful but Bethesda's RPGs always looks great in screenshots.

Mass Effect was another beautiful looking game which I was drooling over in the run up to release. When the game finally came out it was everything I expected from a Bioware RPG mixed with the best combat I'd ever experienced in a Bioware RPG. The second one was a bit underwhelming though and the third...I'm just not feeling it.

Shadow of the Colossus. I had an Xbox last gen so at this point I'm playing catch up. I only just got Colossus and it's lived up to every good thing I've heard about it over the past...what, 6 years? I'm playing the original and for the PS2, it's still a beautiful looking game but the one thing I don't remember reading was how right now, days after killing my first Colossus, I still feel like an asshole for having done it.

Although they are similar to the first game, the graphics in FFXIII-2 are pretty mindblowing. I had been playing Skyward Sword on the Wii and I popped FFXIII-2 into my 360 and my face exploded.

Batman Arkham City did get me some Wow

Yeah, the whole gliding around a fairly open city taking out bad guys really made me think *gruff voice* "I'm Batman."

I suppose the last game I played that really made me go "wow" was Child of Eden. Ok its not the deepest game you will ever play being a rail shooter and all that. But the combination of visuals and music is truely hypnotic and a pretty unique experience.

Skyrim of course. But the wow factor came about 10 hours in, when I realized just how much fun I was having and how awesome and improved everything was. I was completely immersed. I didn't have that much fun with the game in a long time.

Before Skyrim it was Bioshock. Completely immersed, and wow factor came after realizing that I was playing for 12 hours straight. That never happened to me before or after.

Mafia 1 ending was a huge wow moment.

Everything about Vice City and San Andreas made me WOW!

Honorable mentions: Mass Effect 2 ending, Assassin's Creed 2 ending, first time I played Just Cause 2 since I knew next to nothing about the game, Metal Gear Solid 3 ladder sequence, Escape from Butcher Bay (no one expected it to be one of the best action/adventure games ever made).

I said "Wow" today while playing Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand when I saw how huge one of the maps is.

Uncharted 3, the cargo plane scene. It's a shame that the moment is so short.

Say the Dead Space franchise did it for me. Eventually somebody figured out that aliens are only scary if you are outnumbered at every turn. Really like the enviroments and the way they use sound effects. Guess some people are to dumb to realize that the Necromorphs are a infection and are trying to spread it. "Every 5 minutes I am being attacked," thats the point asshole.

At least for me, I felt that way about Mass Effect, Portal 2 and Knights of the Old Republic. All of those games I got really excited about, and I've enjoyed all of them.

Only one game ever impressed me that much: Guild Wars 2.

I finally got to play Grim Fandango recently. Made me go Wow...they need to re-release it, but I think lucasarts is just sitting on the licence.

Probably Minecraft, have a few projects on a server that we came up with, when I realised what it would look like I had a 'holy fuck' moment. 200 block long ship... it's going to be awesome.

Walking to Bleakfalls Barrow in Skyrim. Seeing the ruin engulfed in a blizzard giving on overwhelming sense of foreboding was definitely a WOW moment for me personally.

I think that "wow" factor is always going to wear off...once you expose yourself to a medium enough

Portal 2 probably

but also the intro to Deus Ex...really got me in the mood

Shawn MacDonald:
Say the Dead Space franchise did it for me. Eventually somebody figured out that aliens are only scary if you are outnumbered at every turn. Really like the enviroments and the way they use sound effects. Guess some people are to dumb to realize that the Necromorphs are a infection and are trying to spread it. "Every 5 minutes I am being attacked," thats the point asshole.

I love Dead space...Dead space 2 especially looks gorgeous, particually when you ahve to re-align the solar array..amazing

First time walking across Ash Lake in Dark Souls, just blew me away, it's such a beautiful place.

I was cleaning out some old boxes today and found an issue of PC Gamer from 2004, detailing the upcoming Half-Life 2.


I think you may be making the mistake of substituting your own experience for fact

oh sure half life 2 is and was amazing

but I think you have nostalga goggles, or youve just played alot of games, because there are plently of games thease days that hold that special apeal for gamers (like me and Bioshock)

half life 2 isnt inherintly "better" than "all" games that have come out in recent times

I think that "wow" factor is always going to wear off...once you expose yourself to a medium enough

Very true. After years of playing games, it's quite difficult for one to make me say "wow." Graphics don't count.

I think maybe Mirror's Edge was the most recent/last one that made me say "wow."

MW3. That game's campaign is a visual spectacle.


I think that "wow" factor is always going to wear off...once you expose yourself to a medium enough

When I first played GTA3 I thought how amazing it was to have a whole entire city to explore in 3D. I was completely blown away at the time.

Fast-forward several GTA games, and my reaction has changed to - "meh".

exactally, and I think it also means your taste in games (and what you want/expcet from them) might change

for example I was also amazed when playing Vice "HOLY SHIT I can run from the cops! its like real life"

I would have (and did) spent an entire day screwing around in san andreas because it was just so much FUN

but nowdays screwing around doesnt have lasting apeal, hence why I loved saints row 2 because there was actually an itneresting story (and awsome charachter customization)

story has always had apeal for me after Bioshock showed me YES games can have amazing stories

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