More than ten years later, it still hasn’t been topped: Resident Evil 4’s opening remains the yardstick by which all others must be measured. No doubt some will make a compelling argument for The Last Of Us, though repeat plays reveal how Naughty Dog ensures the player’s arms and legs are kept firmly inside the ride at all times. Inside this spartan Spanish village, however, you’re the one pushing things forward: barricading doorways, leaping through windows, sprinting, spinning, shooting, kicking. Three, four, five plays later this exhilarating fusion of scripting and player-prompted mayhem still has the capacity to unsettle, from a glimpse of the immolated corpse of the policeman who drove you here to that first yelp of “un forastero”, through to the insistent revving of a chainsaw motor to the pealing bells that cause los ganados to (quite literally) down tools and trudge off to their place of worship.
And then, of course, that wonderfully absurd wisecrack – “Where’s everyone going? Bingo?” – invites you at last to take a breath. Such is the intensity of the ordeal that it’s a shock to discover that it’s only about five minutes of game time. It feels like a landmark moment, and it is. So why, then, given the advancements in technology and game design since, have we seen nothing to match it?