Games come and they go…..but some moments remain.
The vast majority of games have a limited life span, in the worst case scenario that may only be a few hours, before you’ve completed it and put it to the side to gently gather dust among the other vanquished titles.
In extremely rare cases a game may give you years of unbridled joy, generally due to an unparralleled multiplayer aspect or numerous story playthroughs.
But even after a games demise and subsequent trip to the ‘trade in store in the sky’ or ‘the shelf of the forgotten’ it has the power to make your eyes glaze over and your mouth crack a smile as you wistfully look back on the moments you shared.
The memories and moments a game leaves you with can be glorious, maybe it’s an entire level maybe just a fleeting few seconds of jaw dropping awe, but the best ones will remain, nestled snug in the recesses of your mind and every now and then like a Sunday afternoon on the BBC they’ll repeat.
What moments have set up home in my mind? Let me dig deep and tell you.
First, and it has to be first, is a level that to my mind is the single greatest level in videogame history. A work of sheer genius, so beautifully crafted and so perfectly formed. It’s a level that is ridiculously easy to completely lose yourself in, no longer sat in the armchair, you’re in there, living and breathing the character, and take a lungfull because this deserves to be savoured.
Ghillies in the Mist, the game, Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare.
Two men, deep behind enemy lines, one target.
Everything within ‘Ghillies’ just seems perfect, there are moments of high tension coupled with moments of gung ho gun blazing bravado, there’s crawling through the advancing troops, bringing the helicopter down and watching it hurtle towards you in an uncontrolled fury of twisted metal and shattered blades, there’s bracing, finger on the trigger for the assassination attempt, all the while Cpt. MacMillan’s voice guiding you like a modern day Obi Wan, and when the level reaches it’s climax in a crescendo of gunfire and blood, MacMillan on your back, wounded, bullets raining down like hail from a seemingly unstoppable force you find cover, lie back, peer down the scope, ready on the trigger and pray.
And back in the room, you sit the edge of your seat, controller tight in sweaty palms, ready on the trigger and pray……and you know you’ve just had a taste of gaming Nirvana.
There are other fleeting moments stored away, none quite up there with ‘Ghillies,’ the ‘Daddy’ of the memory banks but all special & all worthy of their place, like seeing ‘Rapture’ for the first time in Bioshock, leaving the Vault in Fallout3, racing down the side of a frozen Mountain as a snowstorm hits, fighting the enemy and Mother Nature, desperate for a source of heat and shelter in Battlefield Bad Company 2 and I swear I almost felt the warmth flow through me at every heat source or the incredible opening of Uncharted 2 as you climb slowly through the train wreck that dangles precariously over the Mountainside every move threatening to send the train plummeting to earth. All these and so many more moments are in there, tucked up neatly waiting to remind me of their greatness and the pleasure they brought.
My mind is filled with these wondrous things, maybe that’s why I have such a bad memory for the mundane things in life, because there’s only room for the fantastical and if you’re not on that list you’re not coming in.