Gaming On A Grand Scale
So I went to watch this little tiny old movie this weekend dubbed Pacific Rim.
To juxtapose what I said in the line above – the movie’s scale was astronomical. One may see in the trailers for this film that the scale is quite mountainous and somehow I still feel that that description might be putting it lightly. I won’t spoil something by saying the following: A monolithic Jaegar mech will slam an equally sizeable monstrosity with a cargo ship. (It was in a trailer, so don’t hate me for stating this.)
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There were several instances where the scale of what was currently happening on screen had me overwhelmed by the sheer amount of Jaeger-on-Kaiju erotic action with metal giblets and Kaiju juices spewing all over the screen. I recommend this film to anyone that enjoys science fiction dabbed with several touches of awesome.
This, however, had me following an inevitable train of thought about the various degrees of scale we have experienced in gaming.
The following contenders may not be equal in regards to their own respectable variations of scale, but it is noteworthy nonetheless.
Warning: I shall not discuss any story spoilers, but the appearances of some gigantic entities might be spoiler-worthy.
I present to you my candidates:
Just Cause 2
There is simply no denying the fact about the sheer size of this game’s island(s).
It is up to Rico Rodriguez to save the day in this sequel to Just Cause. The game itself may not have great voice acting and the story is just there, but boy, is this one fun to play or just fool around with the many different murder devices and killing methods at your disposal.
I’m quite confident in saying that you’ll travel so many miles that the game may be a perfect training aid in the training for the destructive travel agent camp.
There is plenty of destruction, travel and chaotic action to go around, but believe me; this map is HUGE.
Gameplay issues aside – this is one damn fun game.
Lots of humour to go around and there is plenty of quirky situations and dialogue to enjoy for Suda 51 fans or the folk that is just looking for a laugh with lots of rainbows and stars spewing from the beheaded corpses that still had their thinking-appendages before you arrived.
This is a linear game and many of you may think about how this one carries a sense of scale anywhere. It is in the final boss battle where the scale is to be had. Take a look at the picture – you’re fighting a fat, skyscraper-sized zombie Elvis. Read that again till you’re convinced.
God Of War III
This one will not be a big surprise for most. (See what I did there?)
We are yet again in the blood-soaked world of Kratos and this is the instalment where, according to me, he has the least patience and compassion. I feel those words do not fit in quite well alongside the name Kratos and to avoid my head being ripped off; I’ll stop here.
The battle with Cronos is one that no gamer will forget if they have played this game and soaked in the astounding scale. He’s so large in size that you may climb on and around him and he’ll frequently lose track of where you are. I didn’t think it was possible to beat a boss character when I’m the size of a gnat when held between two of his fingers. The game is full of awe-inspiring set pieces, but this is one scenario to experience.
God Of War: Ascension
Yes, I know – a second God Of War entry. (Please put down your respective bricks and cinnamon-scented torches.) The first instance of the game takes place on the Hekatonkheires – the fifty-headed, one hundred armed creature used as a prison after it being cursed by the Furies. He will break apart the prison that is built upon him and he will smash and rotate rooms to the degree of it being difficult to see what exactly is going on and yet being so awesome.
The peak of this encounter was when he commenced to eat the platform you are fighting on. That is all I’ll leave you with.
There are numerous reasons for this one landing among my candidates.
Late in the game Dante will ride an astronomically sized Phlegyas to help him on his quest to rescue his love – Beatrice. (As seen in the butterfly-ridden and lovely sunshine-inspired picture above.)
The scale may not be something you think about the whole time, even though there are plenty of greatly-sized demons on your journey, but the whole idea of where you are and what your destination is at the end of the game is, according to me, a grand scale.
Lucifer also adds a lot in terms of scale. (No, I’m not referring to his gigantic phallus.)
Far Cry 3
You make your way across a vast terrain that certainly feels mountainous with hidden caves everywhere, but the one aspect that made this one appear here doesn’t even take place on the current islands.
Jason Brody – our protagonist and player character takes one to many acid-addled mushroom cocktails and we’re off fighting an office building-sized creature called the Ink Monster with nothing more than your trusty bow and arrow. You may see his passionate demeanour and award winning smile above. P.S. That mask comes off as the fight progresses.
Do yourself a favour and go outside one night. Look at the starry sky and realise the scale of everything around you.
I hope you’ve done your homework when you get to this point in the article, because your assignment for this week is to name your own beloved monumentally-scaled scenarios in gaming. And GO!