Has a game ever made you go wow?

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kronixi

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#1  Edited By kronixi

What i mean is when we listen to a song or watch a movie and you are so engaged in that world you feel nothing but pleasure and feel detached from the real world. even for a moment.

For example when i first played Sekiro and went to fountainhead palace the music, the ambience and mood made me sit back and just enjoy everything about it and i lost myself in that zone. Ive had this with other games but i feel the game needs to be special in invoking an emotion from a person that it moves you.

Anyway just wondering if you guys ever felt this way about games and which games fall under the banner for you?

Thanks

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JohnLocke

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The last Sony F1 game on PS3 was a significant moment for me when seeing it run on a store demo stand. That was the moment where graphics started to look like a live real grand prix.

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willeffinfarrel

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Outer Wilds about a dozen different times. I cant think of any other game recently that has.

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sparky_buzzsaw

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The last game to really do that to me was Assassin's Creed Origins. The first time I saw the pyramids in that game, I was on horseback and the sun was just dawning. Absolutely one of my all-time favorite game moments.

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Efesell

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#5  Edited By Efesell

There was a lot of imagery in Ghost of Tsushima that really struck me.

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brian_

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It's the stupidest little thing, but in, I think it was Metro: Last Light, there's a character in the beginning of the game that holds a door open for you, who I gave a genuine appreciative head nod to for doing so, as if this was a real person holding the door open for me. I've never been the type of person that feels immersion in video games, and I had to stop and marvel at what had just happened.

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Justin258

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For all of its technical issues, Subnautica's environments still amazed me pretty much the entire time I was in the game.

Doom Eternal's everything looks amazing as well. Some of those backdrops and skyboxes are just awesome to stand there and take in.

Breath of the Wild, for all its faults, has an awesome sense of scale. There's something about climbing to the top of a mountain and looking out for miles that feels different from other games in BotW. It feels a lot like inhabiting a Ghibli film, specifically Princess Mononoke.

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Nodima

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Plenty:

Pressing A in Mario 64 for the first time.

Doing a loop around Mount Rushmore in Pilotwings 64 for the first time.

Growing old in Ocarina of Time.

My fear of crawling zombies in Resident Evil creeping into real life and creating a real fear of using public bathroom stalls for a full year as a child.

The feeling of doing anything in Blast Corps, a game I remember none of except a lot of brown and some very big trucks.

Roundhousing an impoverished Spanish villager in Resident Evil 4.

Succeeding against a hoard of mace-wielding vassals in some weird amalgamation of a church and an extravagantly funded public park while babysitting a helpless girl not more than a year older than me in just minutes after meeting a dwarf Napoleon in Resident Evil 4.

Kickflipping in Skate.

Killing the hydra in God of War.

Getting Real Big in God of War.

Doing a Marvel Movie with Baldur in God of War (4).

Every 30 minute interval or so of Red Dead Redemption II's environments.

When I got more emotionally invested in Peter Parker's life during Marvel's Spider-Man at age 31 than I'd ever been as a kid feverishly reading his comics and devouring his TV show again and again.

When I both hated and empathized with the Bloody Baron.

This one moment during GTA 4 Online that would take too many words to explain but involved motorcycles, sports cars, ocean piers, an unrelenting troll and a rocket launcher.

Most third rounds of Desert Glory, Rat's Nest or Frostfire in SOCOM II.

The first time I beat a player using the USC Trojans while I used the Nebraska Cornhuskers in an online game of, what, NCAA 2005 or whatever and talked all the trash because his team was so much better than mine.

When I pretty much never used a microphone in online video games ever again shortly after.

How difficult playing Halo at my friend's house was on its normal difficulty because of The Duke.

Using a sniper rifle in Goldeneye 007 and exclaiming, "Dad, they put Sniper Scope in this game!"

Colossi 1, 3, 5, 13 and 18 in Shadow of the Colossus and that's just off the top of my head so perhaps slightly inaccurate.

The music in Stormbringer's Lair in Genshin Impact, a game which to that point had mostly been a total(ly satisfying) time waster and suddenly had me just slowly scanning the horizon.

When I took off from one planet then landed on another in No Man's Sky.

When I realized tackling the universe was way, way, way above my pay grade in Outer Wilds.

Seeing Army of Darkness something like a full decade after playing Duke Nukem 3D's shareware at a friend with a PC's house and realizing everything I liked about that game both sucked and was awesome in another context.

Finally landing those giraffe and hippo jumps in The Lion King for SNES; I s'pose perhaps here I wowed myself.

Watching someone with no affinity at all for video games or animated films get totally emotional during certain scenes in The Last of Us Remastered.

The unbridled fun of two (to be frank, hetero) people dating and playing Until Dawn together as the opposite sex and building a deeper understanding of each other.

Driving 8Ball away from the ambulance in Grand Theft Auto III.

Hearing my uncle say "this is fucking bad for children" while showing Grand Theft Auto III off at family Christmas while my aunt cackled at Lazlow's radio banter.

Any random body crumpling after any random violent action in Grand Theft Auto IV.

When Pokémon Yellow made me excited to see one of my cousins from Arizona I was never that close with one Thanksgiving because he had Pokémon Blue and multiples of a Pokémon I wanted to trade for.

I can't necessarily understand how any single second of Grand Theft Auto V wasn't a "wow" for anyone, so if that's the case..."wow".

Opening the door into the hallway of P.T. for the first time.

The pistol physics for Revolver Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid 3.

The CODEC noise in Metal Gear Solid 1.

The tanker demo of Metal Gear Solid 2, which nearly killed me I was so wowed.

Shooting a digital duck on a cathode ray projection with a plastic pistol in a friend's bedroom and realizing I needed to own a video game console.

That backflip kick Marshall Law did in Tekken (1).

Exactly how much extraneous text the writers of Skyrim eventually kinda-forced Brian David Gilbert to read in order to entertain an increasingly fickle internet audience for an episode of Polygon.com's Unraveled.

That moment the Mission: Impossible Playstation game made me realize intellectual property does not equal quality, and yet it does equal my interest in seeing it through to the end if I had a preconceived notion of its positive value.

I had a really kinetic response to backflipping in Wave Race 64, to the point I ignored invitations fro my cousins to play some basketball outside in the driveway because I wanted to do at least a couple more backflips (and then maybe a barrel roll).

All the Michael Jordan career stuff in NBA 2K11.

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Chamurai

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Off the top of my head I would say Uncharted 2. The set pieces were just unlike anything I had seen in a game at that point.

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Whitestripes09

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I would say Journey has been the one and only game to really capture that feeling for me. There is a specific moment, but I think the whole game is just peak art at it's best and was the first game to really convince me that yes, games can be art.

The one moment that wow'd me was surfing the sands with my random game partner and there's this moment where the camera pans to the sun setting over the mountain and the sand is glittering in full brilliance around these two strangers surfing down this near infinite slope. The music drops its fast tempo and and lets you take that moment in.

If I had a top gaming moment, it would be that whole scene for sure.

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OtterChaos

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I'd say Quake 2 when it released, the colored lighting was so cool at the time.

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jagerxbomb

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You guys are gonna call be crazy but I'm being for real, the first time I went into a bunker in Mass Effect Andromeda I literally exclaimed, "Oh wow dude."

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Shiftygism

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My most recent "wow" came when I discovered that new free-to-play game Rocket League.

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Birtrum_Yonce

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#14  Edited By Birtrum_Yonce

The last boss in Doom 2016

Finding the church elevator in Dark Souls

Being able to fly around Talos 1 in Prey

Runners up: Wolfenstein TNC, P.T., and web-slinging in Marvel's Spider-Man

EDIT also the "Take Control" sequence at the end of Control

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doctordonkey

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Breath of the Wild, from the second I booted it up. It's sense of wanderlust and mystery it conveys with its post apocalyptical Hyrule was unbelievable. I had some time off work when it launched, and the first three days of playing it I had not experienced such immersion in a mysterious, unknown world since...World of Warcraft back in 2004, maybe? They managed to craft the most impressive, vast open world map I've ever seen, from both a design perspective and world building/lore perspective.

Every time I discovered a new town it was magic, especially Hateno with its music. I played until I couldn't keep my eyes open, and then had problems falling asleep because I couldn't stop thinking about waking up and exploring the world again. It genuinely made me feel like I was 12 years old again, which a game hadn't done since then, and likely won't for a long time to come.

Objectively, I think it's the most important game made in the last 20 years. Subjectively, it's the greatest game I've ever played. I'm never playing it again, because that feeling and wonder will never be recaptured again, it was a time and a place for me, mentally. It will forever stay like that in my memory, and also why I personally avoid discussing it much, because it's impossible for me to speak about it from an unbiased perspective. I know it's completely wrong and there's plenty to criticize, but my brain just won't allow it. It considers everyone who dislikes it absolutely insane and cannot be trusted.

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Teoball

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The last one I remenber was in The Last of Us 2.

When you’re riding a horse on the island and everything is burning around you. I was in a completely dark room on a 65’’ HDR TV with headphones. The combination of it all looking and sounding amazing gave me goosebumps and made me audibly go «wooow»

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Shindig

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The last Sony F1 game on PS3 was a significant moment for me when seeing it run on a store demo stand. That was the moment where graphics started to look like a live real grand prix.

Yep. I still think it's a looker.

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Omar_Comin

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Yeah, I have a terrible memory for this stuff but recently seeing the ray tracing in Control and the jeep section in Uncharted 4. Particularly the latter when you look round the landscape. It's quite breathtaking.

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Sweep

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#20  Edited By Sweep  Moderator

@whitestripes09 said:

I would say Journey has been the one and only game to really capture that feeling for me. There is a specific moment, but I think the whole game is just peak art at it's best and was the first game to really convince me that yes, games can be art.

The one moment that wow'd me was surfing the sands with my random game partner and there's this moment where the camera pans to the sun setting over the mountain and the sand is glittering in full brilliance around these two strangers surfing down this near infinite slope. The music drops its fast tempo and and lets you take that moment in.

If I had a top gaming moment, it would be that whole scene for sure.

Came into this thread to say the same. When the camera pans out to the side and you see the sunlight reflecting off the sand, it completely took my breath away.

No Caption Provided

I think the set pieces in Uncharted 2 are also "Holy shit I can't believe that just happened" moments.

Probably going to sound weird but I have distinct memories of playing PUBG and dropping into Military Base and before I land looking up and seeing 50 other parachutes around me and knowing that I'm about to drop into an absolute bloodbath. That's definitely an "Oh fuck!!!!!" moment. For me that's the current generation version of storming those Normandy beaches in Medal Of Honor.

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Amingo

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My first time playing the original Rome Total War immediately comes to mind. I had played Medieval previously, but this was on another level. The graphical fidelity and large scale of the battles blew my mind.

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cikame

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The game that always springs to mind is Max Payne, at the time it was astounding, and every time i've played it since i've gotten nothing but pure joy.
I would drop any game i'm currently playing to play through Max Payne again.

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gwms001

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Coming out of the sewers in Oblivion. Back when it was new and open world games weren't a dime a dozen, being greeted with open space and the ability to go anywhere was inspiring. They did a similar thing with leaving the vault for the first time in Fallout 3. I'm not sure if this feeling can ever be replicated again.

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Humanity

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#26  Edited By Humanity

I'm sure it has but as a combination of getting older and games just generally raising the baseline of quality these moments have been a lot more rare. I can't recall the last time I was truly wowed by something. Plenty of games over the years that I enjoyed but nothing that comes close to that feeling when I was around 6 and my older brother showed me Contra for the first time. Most recently I can say that Last of Us 2 really surprised me with how great it looked and how well it ran on my base PS4. There was a ton of detail to that world that you don't tend to see in most games - which as we all know from various reports comes from unhealthy levels of work that went into that title - but the end results are impressive.

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Shindig

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The first time an enemy crawls under an obstacle to get to you in FEAR. Recently it's been the wide-open vistas of Red Dead Redemption.

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aktivity

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Morrowind comes to mind. It was my first open-world game and I had to save up an entire year after buying the game to get a pc that could run it. The first time I walked into Stormwind and saw all the players in WoW was also really memorable.

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NameRedacted

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#29  Edited By NameRedacted

Sure...

First time I played:

RE4 on PS2 (after not touching video games for... years)

Silent Hill 2 on PS2 (I've NEVER been scared of a video game like that, before or since)

Skyrim on PC (years after launch, after modders basically fixed that game for free). The music...

Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection + Uncharted 4 + Lost Legacy on PS4 Pro (I missed the entire 360 / PS3 era of gaming, due to school)

Control (loved Alan Wake, was happy they got to make such a great game)

Arkane's Prey (love that game)

Journey... Nuff said. I replay this game at least once a year, and it still wows me.

Horizon Zero Dawn (the environment, day / night, weather and lighting are bonkers for a console game).

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redwing42

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The intro to Persona 3 FES (technically the original P3 intro, not the FES gameplay one). I was late to the PS2, and even though I had a Saturn and Dreamcast, the combination of the slick anime opening and modern music was something I had never seen before.

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wollywoo

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@willeffinfarrel:

Outer Wilds about a dozen different times. I cant think of any other game recently that has.

Yep, this. I was going to list some, I won't even mention them - if you've played the game you can think of them, and if not, you should experience them for yourself.

Other examples...

- First merging on Tallon IV in Metroid Prime. The rain effects blew me away. I felt like I was truly investigating an alien, untouched world.

- Any of the colossi in Shadow of the Colossus.

- Any number of moments in Ocarina of Time.

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octavis

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The Bowser sequence in Super Mario Galaxy comes to mind for me.

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Rejizzle

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A few times in Breath of the Wild for me. Seeing a dragon for the first time was a big moment. Kind of a bummer when I realized that it was just on a set pattern to farm collectibles from

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tp0p

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Original gears of war. Just being introduced to cover mechanics for the first time blew me away and the graphics.

The lens flare in halo 3 when one of the doors opens and you take a ghost out for a spin for the first time in the game.

Maybe the first time I climbed a tower in breadth of the wild... just felt like I had so much freedom leading up to that moment and then looking out at the surroundings.

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mellotronrules

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hmm- i'm quite sure i've had plenty wow moments of varying degrees over the years- but the two that (perhaps tellingly come to mind immediately are-

-walking into afterlife for the first time in mass effect 2. it simultaneously felt like the culmination and unfurling of the limitless potential of that dev team's world building.

-that serenade from the last of us part 2. no other game has made me feel quite like this one- and i think that such a quiet, subdued scene that's overflowing with subtle humanity can have such a profound effect, especially given the context of a violent, zombie game- is really an achievement. but also this scene because holy fucking shit that whole museum sequence.

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Ravelle

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Astrobot Rescue Mission.

At every level.

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hatking

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Wow, maybe I’m easier to please than most but I feel like I experience this a lot. Usually early in a game when the mechanics and themes coalesce into what the game is trying to do.

The most recent game I played, Pumpkin Jack, had that moment during the escape sequence in the first level. The combination of Halloween art, tight controls, and throwback focused design all came together in that moment.

A big one of those moments I go back to a lot, was when I booted up Forza Horizon 4 on my then new 4K tv with HDR. Seeing all this tech work together in the absolutely beautiful environment design of that game, with the weather effects, and the real world analog of realistic looking cars made a lot of things click at once. It’s still the peak of realistic looking game art and tech performance, as far as I’m concerned.

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innacces14

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First moment I can remember was the commercial for Star Fox 64.

Most recent was taking the 5 hour flight from where I live to my parent's native country and seeing the familiar landmarks when I was about to land in MS Flight Simulator.

One of the moments I shared was at someone's house with a bunch of buddies and watching them run Doom 2016 on an original Xbox One console and all of us collectively going "wooooow" when the game first exits into the Mars surface. All of us are mostly PC users so seeing it running at 60fps was shocking.

First wow that came to mind, and the biggest/most personal, was the intro to Forza Horizon 4. It'll take a day for me to write a blog about why, but the tldr is that decades of love for music and games collided in that moment.

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Ares42

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I know most people poopoos the game, but at the end of Ancestors there's an unscripted sequence that's one of the most memorable experiences I've had in a game. It's really hard to explain it without it sounding super plain, but it's something about the journey you've taken through the game and all the tribulations you've gone through (both in the world of the game, but also it's frustrating parts as a game) and then finally at the end you break through all the gamey bullshit just at the same time as the game introduces you to this magnificent in-world experience. It's just this perfect symphony of the game illustrating it's concept through art, sound, game design, story-telling etc etc.

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FancySoapsMan

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Persona 3, especially the ending.

I've never felt so satisfied yet so sad to see a game end like that. I still think about how I felt finishing it over 10 years ago.

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Milijango

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I definitely had the same reaction to Fountainhead Palace. Incredibly unique. Other times I've felt this way recently include any time I made a big discovery in Outer Wilds, basically the entire first 15 hours of Breath of the Wild (though unfortunately I don't think the rest of the game held up), and honestly some of the grander environmental spaces in Genshin Impact as well.

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Raven10

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Tons of great answers here. Obviously the scope of earlier Bethesda games, the scale of the God of War games, the level of detail in Naughty Dog’s games, the raw beauty of thatgamecompany’s games, and the sense of wonder and discovery I’m Zelda games are all great answers. A couple that haven’t been mentioned:

The Xbox resurrection of Ninja Gaiden. For a console game to both look and run that well was kind of insane. It was maybe the last generation of games that saw consoles each be so dramatically different from one another.

The physics and character animation in Half Life 2, or even the scripting and storytelling in The original Half Life.

The destructability of environments in Red Faction and then a decade later in Red Faction Guerilla. Also the destruction in Battlefield Bad Company.

In any of Looking Glass’ or Ion Storm’s immersive sims (the Underworld, Thief, System Shock, or Deus Ex games for example) how reactive and open the worlds were. The idea of running into a locked door and just blasting it open was this mind blowing revelation that to this day continues to be something that I love.

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Shindig

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Actually, the E3 (I think it was E3) showing Half-Life 2 was given was legitimately awesome.

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ToughShed

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They used to. Not to sound too jaded or burnt out, but flat out you'd see big leaps come game to game that you just don't see anymore.

For me, the biggest I can still remember is playing the original Far Cry and being so wowed by the scope of the levels and the physics. I still remember vividly racing down a river in a boat and blowing up a helicopter with a canon and watching it break apart in air and the individual parts drift down from the explosion across the river because it was so mindlblowing for that time. Hell I remember just being amazed by how logs rolled down hills and stuff.

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wollywoo

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@sweep@whitestripes09 re: Journey. The best moment I can recall from this was not anything the developers put in, but an interaction with another player. As I recall, there's only one way to communicate, which is to do a little glow and make a sound. When I first encountered a stranger, we would make these pings at random, but after a little bit we got into a groove where we would alternate pinging on a regular rhythm, and we kept this up for 5 minutes or so as we progressed. It felt like I had made a genuine connection. Who were they? Where did they live? How old were they? Doesn't matter. All that mattered was that we were on this journey together. I was genuinely sad when we split apart. I remember arguing with a friend about the value of video games as a medium, and this was an example I gave of a meaningful moment that could only be had through games.

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OurSin_360

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Street Fighter 2, Final Fantasy 7, Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear solid 2, Metal Gear solid 4, Metal gear solid 5, Bioshock Infinite, Mass Effect, The witcher 2, the Witcher 3

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wollywoo

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First moment I can remember was the commercial for Star Fox 64.

That commercial is pretty funny. It strikes me as a bit of a relic of the 90's, when products from Japan were increasingly popular and American culture didn't quite know how to handle it. Ad execs knew that this could be a big game, but presenting the game as it actually was wouldn't work. The N64 game's intro is so straightforward and completely un-ironic that it wouldn't mesh well with the kind of cynical, detached things that were popular for teens on TV at the time. So ad execs always went with a "cool" tone that was completely different from the lighthearted tone of the games. Compare to the Japanese commercial, with smiles all around and that iconic theme music. I feel like as the years passed American publishers started to get a better handle on Japanese culture.

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bludgeonParagon

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#48  Edited By bludgeonParagon

Most recently, the final boss of Ori and the Will of the Wisps ends with a phase where the boss straight up deletes all the platforms and the player has to simultaneously attack the boss while leapfrogging off bullet hell projectiles raining from the sky to stay afloat in the air.

In hindsight it was a simple test of a basic, frequently-used ability picked up in the first hours of the game but it never occurred to me that the game built around the joy of its platforming would escalate by straight up removing the platforms - it took me up to 5-10 entire minutes of very dumb, continuous dying for me to realize and I yelled "holy shit are you serious" at my screen, out loud.

That game fucking rules.

The first one that actually came to my mind though, was a (kinda mild, in hindsight) moment in Halo 4 where the player turns the corner of a cave tunnel and sees a bunch of floating Forerunner structures out in the open space inside the weird bubble planet, so tall they disappear into clouds at the top of the skybox, and it's accompanied by a synthy vocal track backed by a swelling orchestra going completely apeshit.

I like the game but I consider it kinda mid overall, but I do remember just panning up to the sky and going "damn I'm kinda small huh", which is the right feeling to cultivate in a sci-fi series like Halo.

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pweidman

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Yep, and it's happened so many times, it's too hard to remember them all. And I'm thinking about more than stunning visuals(hello Forza Horizon 4 in 4K/HDR). Three though that came to mind quickly:

1. Playing Halo CE for the first time, and multiple times on the entire first playthrough. It was like my 3rd videogame I had ever played so it was extra mind blowing.

2. Last of Us hit me really hard. I found myself astonished at how much I cared for the two main characters and how desperately I wanted them to make it. I'd never experienced such insistent powerful emotions before playing a game.

3. Pretty much the entire ME series. The dialogue, companion missions, and hefty decisions like who to save at the end of ME1 especially. I fell in love with so many of the characters; remember Mordin? I do. Those games got me to invest in their stories full force...I said wow many, many times through all three games.

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VincentVendetta

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Tetris Effect and Killer7.