This Generations Most Jaw-Dropping Levels

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Like everyone in every God of War game, Cronos has a bone to pick with Kratos. Like everyone else that feels that way, he’s greeted with a grisly death.

The relatively minscule Kratos picks the titan apart as he battles his way up Cronos’ mammoth body, before ending him by stabbing him in the head in two different places. Ouch.

Normandy SR-1 – Mass Effect 2

This is the very beginning of the game, but I’ll say it anyway: if you haven’t already played this on Xbox 360 or PC and are waiting until January to play it on PS3, please skip to the next entry. It’s OK, we won’t hold it against you. Mass Effect is too good for us to spoil.

Cruising through space cleaning up leftover Geth after the end of the first space, a massive ship that turns out to belong to the Collectors comes out of nowhere and absolutely devastates the Normandy. Just forward to 1:45 in the video below and see for yourself.

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Joker, being the stubborn bastard that he is, refuses to leave the Normandy. This forces you to trudge through an exposed part of the ship — where it gets eerily quiet amongst all the chaos — to drag him away from the helm. Shepard manages to stuff Joker into an escape pod, but the commander isn’t so lucky.

While Dead Space did the “no one can hear you scream in space” thing before ME2, the original Normandy held a lot of weight — it was a symbol of everything you and your crew accomplished in the first game. To see it destroyed within a matter of minutes was affecting.

The train ride – Uncharted 2

OK, this didn’t come out this year, just the last 12 months. Also, this is a broad area to focus on, because it encompasses three chapters of the game. As a game, however, Uncharted 2 doesn’t care for our silly conventions and it’s entry into this list is no different.

It starts in a lush green jungle, and by the time you exit the tunnel you’re making your way up a snow-capped mountainside. Along the way you battle helicopters and more armed goons than we care to count. At the end, you’re met with a hell of a train wreck, barely keeping yourself from falling off a mountain.

It actually makes you wonder how the hell Naughty Dog could possibly top the train ride in the inevitable Uncharted 3. If ND’s development history is anything to go by, then we’re safe in assuming that they’ll find a way to do it.

And damn, look at that snow! Just pure sexy.

Readers Comments (7)

  1. Not much of an epic game but dodging the Stay Puft marshmallow man in times square then fighting him from the roof in Ghostbusters was epic. Killzone 2 had a few great levels, some hard ones too. Shadow Complex also comes to mind too.

  2. The Chernobyl level in Call of Duty 4 was awesome. Still one of the best looking levels of all time as well.

  3. The windmill level of World of Goo

  4. That train… that incredible train…

  5. I thought the train in motion was much more fun than the dangling train. As for the rest, I can’t argue, but I would also like to throw in the first time you leave Vault 101 in Fallout 3. It’s so breathtaking.

    Also, every environment in FFXIII was beautiful.

  6. Well, I would go with the New Sun’s explosion in killzone 2. When Templar has to crash the ship on helghan and you see the explosion coming to you……………the wind and the ashes, the dark atmosphere…….

    That’s one memorable moment too.

  7. Final Fantasy wins it for me, almost took me back to the days of VII and VIII. totally amazing.

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