The medium of video games has come a long way since its inception, and modern technology has enabled developers to craft experiences and visuals that rival that of movies. There’s no shortage of high-action moments in video games; moments that make you feel that you’re in a movie scene – and here, we will be looking at 15 such moments:
Uncharted: Lost Legacy – Train Sequence
The Uncharted games have always been marketed as high-action cinematic thrill rides, and the series has no shortage of moments that would leave anyone awestruck. But Uncharted: Lost Legacy’s train sequence has to be one of the better ones of the bunch, simply because of how it weaves an element of emotion into the action. Chloe, Nadine, and Sam try to catch a moving train as they offroad and get through hordes of enemies just to get into the grappling vicinity of the train. As Chloe and Nadine board the train, Sam gets left behind – and the following section sees you jumping on trucks and switching tracks amidst plenty of explosions and gunshots. It all culminates in a 2-on-1 boss fight against the final baddie, following which Chloe and Nadine make a last-ditch escape from a collapsing train.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater – Car Chase
Despite being almost 18 years old at this, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater’s Shahogod escape sequence is one of the most high-octane cinematic experiences in the franchise. This section sees our protagonist Naked Snake make an escape from the military base as he rides shotgun alongside EVA – all while Shahogod chases them around the battlefield. With seemingly no way to defeat the mech with pure firepower, the duo decides to lure it towards a bridge and rig it while the mech is crossing. Of course, it’s easier said than done – since you have to cut through hordes of guards all while Shahogod closes on you. It ends with you sniping away at the C-4 charges on a bridge, which rounds out this amazing chase sequence.
Detroit: Become Human – Connor Chase
This sequence sees our protagonist Connor chasing down a deviant through buildings, rooftop farms, and highways. As is the case with most Quantic Dream games, the chase sequence is incredibly cinematic – all thanks to great direction and astounding visual fidelity. As Connor, you get to choose between different paths during the chase sequence – which can significantly alter the results. But either way, it’s a really fun sequence through and through.
Death Stranding – The Ending
While Death Stranding’s ending cinematic might not be as action-heavy as others on the list, it certainly packs an emotional punch. After connecting the entirety of America on the Chiral Network and facing off against Clifford Unger, Sam makes his way to Amelie’s beach wherein it is confirmed that Amelie and Bridget are indeed one and the same – and that extinction is inevitable. Just over the beach, we see a flaming planet, which hints at impending doom. Shots are framed and directed with great precision and care, and during these moments – the game doesn’t look any less than a big-budget Hollywood movie.
Battlefield 4 – Shanghai Mission
Battlefield 4’s Shanghai Showdown is an absolute thrill ride through and through, and you are subjected to situations that constantly escalate in intensity. You start the mission by arriving on ground zero with your buddies in a van, and after an unfortunate accident – you make your way to the top of a skyscraper to retrieve some high-ranking VIPs. Multiple ambushes later, you arrive at the site only to escape through the roof on a stolen helicopter all while your squad takes out the opposing forces one by one.
Medal of Honor: Frontline – D-Day Mission
The D-Day Invasion of Normandy was easily one of the biggest events in World War 2, which saw the allied forces storming the beaches of Normandy through land, air, and the sea. Many military shooters have showcased the invasion in video game form, but Medal of Honor: Frontline’s representation is easily the most memorable. Everything from the introductory cutscene to storming the beaches and clearing bunkers is quality stuff, and it all feels like a part of a well-scripted war movie.
Yakuza Zero – Nishiki Tries To Kill Kiryu
Set against the backdrop of a dark forest, this cutscene can make anyone invested in Kiryu’s story teary-eyed. Kiryu’s long-time buddy Nishiki tries to kill him by pointing a gun at his head, but is unable to pull the trigger due to his relations and history with him. The writing and performances are absolutely on point, and while there isn’t any gameplay during this section – it doesn’t make it any less memorable than others on the list.
Ghost of Tsushima – Ghost Awakens Power
Ghost of Tsushima takes place in a picturesque landscape, which provides for a bevy of cinematic moments – but undoubtedly, one of the better ones is the first time when Jin earns the Ghost stance. After defeating General Temuge, the colour fades away and we see an enraged Jin absolutely slaughter any and all resistance in front of him. It looks really cool, and the fade to the black and white colours is a great reference to old Kurusawo movies.
A Way Out – Getting Out of Prison
By all means, A Way Out feels like the video game adaptation of Escape Plan, and no scene in the game is a better testament to that comparison than the actual prison escape in the game. After carefully plotting the entire escape, Vincent and Leo finally manage to smuggle a wrench from the prison workshop – and through co-operation, the duo sneaks out of their prison cells and into the outer compound. The escape isn’t the smoothest since the alarm gets triggered before they make it out of the premises, but it’s really fun and ends up being a successful escape despite all odds.
The Order 1886
The Order 1886 might not have been the most well-received game when it was released back in 2015, but credit where credit is due – it certainly feels like a true cinematic experience for the entirety of its runtime. Of course, many things are required to fall into place for that to happen, including but not limited to smooth animations, high-quality visuals, and well-directed cutscenes – and The Order: 1886 delivers on these aspects to some great results.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales – Bridge Sequence
Insomniac Games polished its already amazing gameplay foundations with Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and much like the original – Miles Morales also features some really well-directed quick time events. Undoubtedly, the best in the game is the sequence where Miles has to save hundreds of citizens from drowning in the water by preventing the bridge from falling. With very little time to spare, Miles smartly uses his webs to keep the bridge afloat – and we get to witness all the slick action in high-definition – which isn’t any less than watching a Spider-Man movie.
Mass Effect 2 – opening sequence
Mass Effect 2 is a massive space opera that has swaths of interesting missions and characters, and while there aren’t a lot of cinematic sequences in the game – the introduction is one that is really memorable. After a brief glimpse of the Illusive Man, the shot cuts to Shepard’s Normandy ship which is soon attacked by a hostile ship. As the crew make it out through escape shuttles, Shepard tries to convince Joker to leave before the ship goes down. The slow walk through the destroyed pathways and corridors of the ship is as memorable as it gets, and it’s all accentuated by the complete lack of music during that section – making it as cinematic as it could be.
WET – Car Chase
This particular sequence sees our protagonist making her way to her target as she jumps and slashes on cars all while they speed through the highway. As you shoot down targets and partake in quick time events, plenty of explosions occur and gunshots fly – many of which are cinematically dodged at the very last second, all while distorted guitar riffs play out in the background. It all culminates in a cinematic showdown, where Rubi burns down her target as she majestically walks away from the scene like a true gangster.
Star Wars Battlefront – Speeder Bike Chase
While this is just a tutorial mission that’s meant to ease players into getting used to Speeder bikes, it’s an amazing one nevertheless. Set against the planet of Endor, you need to hunt down rebels all while riding on a speeder through the forest. The sheer sense of speed that you get while riding the vehicle alongside the incredible visuals and the majestic soundtrack, all come together to make this sequence a worthwhile representation of Star Wars in video game form. It’s a shame then that the same cannot be said about Star Wars Battlefront in general, or its sequel for that matter.
Red Dead Redemption 2 – Assault on Braithwaite Manor
Despite some low points such as Guarma, Red Dead Redemption 2 has an impressive number of missions that make you feel like part of a movie set in the Wild West. The assault on Braithwaite Manor sees the Van Der Linde gang storming the manor in search of Jack, and it remains one of the highlights of the experience. After reaching ground zero, the gang proceeds to the manor in unison with loaded guns – all of which are framed perfectly and coupled with great dialogue and appropriate music. After Dutch and Arthur fail to find Jack on the premises, they burn the whole place down to the ground – which closes out this amazing and undoubtedly, cinematic mission.