Your first hands-on interaction with a new game is the opening cutscene or gameplay sequence. Sometimes it’s full of action, and sometimes it’s an emotional appeal. Whatever device the developer uses, a great intro grabs your attention and pulls you into the game. Our community picked these eight opening sequences as some of the best they’ve seen.
Think we missed one? Tell us what it is in the comments!
First mentioned by Pyrian
Despite the dated graphics and voice acting that is somewhat wooden by today’s standards, the intro to Deus Ex is pretty much pitch perfect. It lays out the intrigue, the factions, and the conflicts going on in the world. Once you take control, you’re infiltrating Liberty Island and learning how the game controls and plays. It’s a great setup for a great game.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2
First mentioned by stormtrooper9091
The FMV cutscene intro to Red Alert 2 was nearly perfect. It established excatly what we were dealing with: an invading Soviet force without regard to alliances or treaties. Recognizable actors like Ray Wise and Udo Kier fdeatures heavily in the game, and they’re instrumental to setting up the conflict. Sure, it was cheesy, but it fit the game perfectly.
First mentioned by Zhukov
Like the two games that came before it, Bioshock Infinite starts out by showving you into unfamiliar territory. As Booker DeWitt, you’re in a rowboat listening to a man and a woman argue back and forth in a most cryptic way. After climbing to the top of the lighthouse, you’re shot into the air, landing in a city in the clouds. It’s a confusing, disorienting way to open a game, and it fits perfectly.
The Witcher 2
First mentioned by Sassafrass
One of the coolest (and best produced) intro cinematics of recent years appears in The Witcher 2. If you start the game wondering why it’s subtitled Assassins of Kings, the cinematic will clear that up for you. It also brings you right into the world of swords, sorcery, and intrigue in less than four minutes. It looks amazing, and it sets up the events of the game perfectly. You can’t ask for much more than that.
First mentioned by tippy2k2
The intro to Borderlands (and for that matter, Borderlands 2 as well) is masterfully crafted. You’re introduced to the main characters in a quick, succinct manner, and you get a bit of a look at the world of Pandora as well. The music is great, the presentation is solid, and you know what? The game’s not bad either.
First mentioned by Casual Shinji
Half-Life 2 begins much as Half-Life ended. The G-Man tells Gordon Freeman that “The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference,” and drops him into City 17. As you wander the area, you get a first hand look at just how the Combine is enforcing their will on the people, and it helps motivate you to take them out. It’s almost like looking into an occupied city during World War II.
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
First mentioned by Chester Rabbit
The story of Kain and Raziel is a favorite of many gamers, and despite the success of Blood Omen, Soul Reaver was the breakout title in the series. The game opens with little explanation, and the betrayal of Raziel is the first thing we see, setting up the conflict that the game is built around. The voice over by Michael Bell is compelling, and you come out of the intro with both questions about who Raziel is, and a desire to avenge yourself on Kain.
The Last of Us
First mentioned by Johnny Novgorod
One opf the most moving intros of any game I’ve played was in The Last of Us. It introduces us to Joel, the main character, as he was the day before the outbreak happened. As chaos spreads, Joel and his brother try to escape with Joel’s daughter Sarah. It hits all the notes from paranoia to sadness to anger, and makes it clear why the relationship that develops between Joel and ELlie later is so important to him. It’s a powerful, moving piece of work.