Many games nowadays are about spectacle, those amazingly honed set pieces that wouldn't look out of place in a Hollywood production. But what about those quiet more contemplative moments in games, moments that stay with you long after the end credits roll? Well I'm sure we all have them but these are some of my favourites in no particular order. If you can think of some more let me know. Oh and BTW Spoilers alert!
Red Dead Redemption- John Marston entering Mexico to that Jose Gonzales track. When I played the game the sun was slowly setting in the horizon and I had my horse at a gentle gallop to take in the beautiful scenery.
Superbrothers Swords and Sworcery- This game has many moments like sitting at the Moon Grotto or going to the Concert in the Woods but for me the ending as you float down the stream dead sticks out. Perhaps it would have been insincere to have the Sythian survive her wofeul erand.
Fallout 3- This is one of the most breathtaking moment I have ever experienced in a game. You open the vault door and with the sun blinding you, your eyes adjust to the light. Then you look out and you see the Washington Monument with huge chunks missing and the Capitol Building with part of the dome caved in- you realise just how fragile the world really is...
Assassins Creed 2- It's a-me Mario! Nuff said.
Ico- In a game about friendship and love the moment that most sticks with me is sitting down with Yorda. A moment of respite and peace in a hostile world.
Bioshock Infinite- This game upped the ante from the original Bioshock. The opening when you ascend into the sky and enter Columbia will stick with me for a long time. The scene with the candles and baptism is really spellbinding.
Journey- This game is full of moments but the ending where you die, just before reaching the mountains zenith is heartbreaking. However the journey is not over, you come back and travel the world as a spirit- this game is transcendant!
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons- This game is beautiful to look at, rather like those strange Eastern Block country animations and Jim Henson's The Storyteller style art prevalent in the late 70's and early 80's in particular. The ending is a real heartwrencher, I completed this game with my cousin and we both sat there in shock and full of despair. Get the tissues ready!
Final Fantasy 6- The opera scene where Celes poses as the Opera singer Maria and turns in a legendary performance. At the time this blew my mind!
Links Awakening- The Windfish waking up is a masterpiece on the Gameboy. This is one of my favourite Zelda moments of all time!
Monument Valley- In Monument Valley you'll guide Ida, the silent princess, through many levels that are filled with optical illusions, mysterious Crow people and more. You are all alone in this hostile world until you befriend a totem, then he dies.... slowly... in front of your eyes. Gaaaah the feels, the feels!
Proteus- This whole game is beautiful and full of wonderful imagery but I particularly remember the sunsets. Magical. In the video it starts at 12 minutes)
Okami- This is one of the most beautiful and underappreciated games of all time. The art style is unique and will never age but the thing that sticks with me is the marraige of the visuals to the sound, especially when the world is in bloom.
Thomas Was Alone- This game has some wonderful dialogue but Level 7.9 has some of the most honest writing in gaming; "James still felt weird, but he realised that everyone else was too. They were a crew of weirdos." It's difficult to convey the humanity of this game, especially because everyone in it is a quadrilateral, but trust me, it will get to you and make you think about friendships, relationships and your past and formative years. It's that good!
Deadly Premonition- Out of all the games this was the one that will stick with me forever due to the pure weirdness and brutality of the deaths. For those who don't know a homicidal maniac known as the 'Raincoat Killer' is murdering people ritualistically. there are many horrible deaths but this one of Becky Ames is tempered with moments of beauty as she becomes a Goddess. A twisted masterpiece that needs to be played, especially for those who are fans of Twin Peaks and David Lynch.
So these are the moments of gaming that will stick with me, not all are wonderfully cheerful but they do have a beauty to them that I like. So are there parts of a game that will stay with you?