When you have a year full of great games, you no doubt have many epic moments spread out amongst them. So even selecting a list of nominees for this category was a daunting task. Arguably the biggest heart-stopping moment in a game this year came in Batman: Arkham Asylum. Each Scarecrow encounter in the game was a memorable one, but the third one in particular really stands out because (without spoiling it for anyone who is yet to play the game) it made you question what you were experiencing in a way games seldom manage to do.
The stunning opening cinematic from Halo 3: ODST deserves a mention as well, as do the final level from Flower and the conclusion to Assassin’s Creed 2, which raised as many questions as it answered and set up the third instalment in the series rather well. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was a game where you just seemed to jump from one epic moment to another and we could very well have filled up all the nominations from this game itself. But we finally decided on two that stood out the most, and these were the two nominees that picked up the most votes.
The first of these was a short interactive cutscene titled ‘Where Am I?’. If you watch it on YouTube, you probably won’t be too impressed by it. But what makes it special is how drastic a change of pace it is from the frantic and explosive action of the levels immediately before it. It’s the first opportunity you get in the game to really catch your breath and although you have limited control over Drake through this segment, his interactions and the overall feeling of calm as you walk through the peaceful Himalayan village are brilliant.
But while all of the moments above were epic in their own way, the IVG members and the staff both decided that there was one clear winner here – the Nepal chopper chase and subsequent building collapse from Uncharted 2. It’s easily the best set piece in any game this year and everyone who watched it during Sony’s E3 presentation was surely impressed. But what really makes it epic is that throughout this adrenaline-pumping segment, as everything around you is being blown up or torn down, you have complete control over your character. That brought in a level of immersion that no cutscene can, and that’s why this is IVG’s Most Epic Gaming Moment of 2009.
IVG Spaff Pick: Nepal chopper chase – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves