Jaw-dropping moments and intense action are the hallmarks of the blockbuster gaming scene, and making crazy concepts even crazier with tons of bad guys, awesome weaponry or insane speed is just one of the many ways set pieces can be the action pinnacle of a game. This week, we take a look at some of Xbox’s best moments of gleeful madness.
GTA V was well worth the wait, actually inspiring this feature, with some of the most insane stunts I’ve ever seen in a game in the ‘real’ world. From chasing down an aeroplane as it nosedives across the island to driving a quad bike off a skyscraper and many, many more, you’re never far from a jaw-dropping scene in Rockstar’s opus, and the radio blaring Elton John’s ‘Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting’, or Queen’s ‘Radio Gaga’ only adds to the awesomeness against a backdrop of a stunning sunset, towering skyscrapers and distant mountains.
Similarly, Bayonetta is a game that takes all its predecessors’ ludicrous style and awe and cranks it up to eleven: one scene features a fight on a clock tower spinning as it tumbles down an enormous cliff face, and that’s just the intro! The eponymous witch battles angels, serpents and gargantuan demi-gods in a variety of impossible settings, mundane, heavenly, and infernal, making Bayonetta one of the most stunning games on the 360. Now, if only the sequel wasn’t a WiiU exclusive. *grumble*
Halo is a series that has prided itself on the dynamics of ‘standard’ infantry and vehicular battles, but it’s not without its jaw-dropping set pieces either: on the 360, Halo 3 replicates the intense final Warthog run of the original game with astonishing spectacle and bombast, and prequel Halo: Reach features the series’ first foray into space, with an incredible zero-G battle above the planet complete with combat at all angles and muted sound effects.
Another spectacular Xbox (360) staple is Gears of War. Jamie says: ‘That final ending against General Raam couldn’t have been more memorable. The light fades away and darkness suffocates into what turns into a difficult battle on Insane. The train continues to plummet forward and the side latches go down revealing a lit route of safety and providing an angle to flank and finally take down Raam. Not only is the original Gears of War one of the best titles I’ve played on the Xbox 360, but it’s also got a lot of unique memorable moments including that tear-inducing Carmine brother departure.’
Parody blockbuster Bulletstorm features more irreverent hilarity than perhaps even GTA, and as many insane moments too, including a titanic grind wheel obliterating everything as it follows you down a train track, chased by bad guys on trucks, gyrocopters and a second train car. In another crazy-awesome set piece, an enormous Godzilla-like creature wrecks the city as you pepper its face with hot lead from a helicopter above. Not happy with trying to run away, developer People Can Fly instead tasks you with bringing the behemoth down, before it annihilates the skyscraper your friend and the objective are on.
Finally, Rayman Legends’ crazy, colourful worlds feature a handful of music levels, where a famous song plays in a unique style, such as a mariachi Eye of the Tiger; as you dash through the level, each attack and jump is in time with the beats and melodies of the tune, resulting in a delightful feast for the senses. Prequel Rayman Origins also features awesome boss battles against enemies such as gigantic carnivorous plants, monstrous budgies and even the appetite of a ravenous dinosaur. It has to be played to be believed.
What are your favourite blockbuster moments on the Xbox 360? Perhaps something we’ve missed, such as Call of Duty 2’s beach-storming at Pointe du Hoc, or BioShock Infinite’s epic finale. Let us know below!