Hot on the heels of Halloween and my post about creepy gaming urban legends, yesterday saw the UK celebrate Guy Fawkes Night. We burn bonfires and light fireworks, to remember Britain’s most notorious traitor after he planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605.
Whether we’re celebrating Fawkes’ execution or honouring his attempt to do away with the government, I’m not entirely sure; but what better excuse to write about the best explosions in video games? With a big thank you to my blogging buddies for their suggestions for the following list, let’s get ready to light the fuse…
Warning: some spoilers are included below so if you haven’t played a title, you may wish to skip forward to the next entry.
Dragon Age: Inquistion
By the end of Dragon Age II, the tense situation between the Templar Order and mages had descended into rebellion. But here are both groups marching side by side towards the building in the distance in the title screen for Inquisition, indicating that perhaps a treaty has been reached. Things aren’t so simple however: as soon as ‘New Game’ is selected, a huge explosion sends the scene into chaos. Players then take on the role of the lone survivor of this catastophy and embark on a storyline that starts from the first press of a button.
In ‘The Power of the Atom’ side-quest in Fallout 3, players are given the choice of disarming or detonating an atomic bomb and therefore deciding the fate of an entire town and its inhabitants. Mister Burke will give you the ‘honour’ of pushing the detonation button if you choose the latter and head to Tenpenny Tower after rigging the device. Blowing up Megaton is considered one of the most evil acts in the game and instantly lowers your Karma by 1,000 points – you might end up with a guilty conscience but damn, is that explosion pretty.
Just Cause 3
Suggested by Chris from OverThinker Y: “You can make a lot of crazy explosions in the Just Cause games (I was particularly proud of the explosives I put in a boat, which I tethered to a plane, which I flew over the sea and jumped out of, hit with an RPG on the way down and then detonated the explosives).”
I spent a number of evenings watching Ben stream this game when it was released back in 2015, many hours of which involved him being kicked by elephants, yelling ‘Eagle!’ or getting attacked by honey-badgers (good times). But what was just as entertaining were the explosions: planning them, making them, watching them and then being thrown into the air by them. Just Cause 3’s iconic brand of destruction is nothing short of beautiful, as can be seen from the video selected by Chris above.
If your time has come, what better way to face it than in a blaze of glory? Mega Man’s death explosions may have evolved since the first title was released, as can be seen from the video above, but one thing has remained consistent throughout the past thirty years. He’s always shown us that a true hero bows out in style (and generally in a pattern of blue flashing orbs).
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
Towards the end of Resident Evil 3, former Special Tactics and Rescue Service (STARS) member Jill Valentine learns that the US government is planning to launch a nuclear missile into Raccoon City to eradicate the T-Virus infestation. Regardless of the actions taken by the player and the final ending received, our heroine narrowly escapes by helicopter before a thermobaric missile strike vaporises the entire place and its infected populace. The zombies never knew what hit them.
Now I have to admit, I’d never heard of Split/Second before Lucius suggested it for today’s list but this arcade racing game looks pretty cool. Players take part in a fictional reality-television program where participants race for money and glory, and their ‘power play’ metres can be built up by performing stunts or precision driving such as drifting. Speed around the airport terminal and you’ll have to keeps your wits about you while driving through the destruction caused by a plane crash.
Star Fox 64
Known in Europe and Australia as Lylat Wars, Star Fox 64 was released 20 years ago and was the most successful entry in the franchise; it was even given the honour of being named as 45th greatest game of all time by the Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition in 2009. We gamers enjoy watching the bad guys go ‘boom’ and this title features some of the best boss explosions: big, fiery spheres of destruction followed by epic victory music.
For the past few years my stepson has participated in GameBlast with us, a gaming marathon to raise awareness and funds for SpecialEffect. This year he did something extra special for the charity: for every £1 donated, he placed a block of TNT on a tower in his Minecraft world. A number of hours of gaming and 872 blocks later, the video above shows the resulting explosion. I dread to think what he’s going to come up with for 2018’s event…
Hope you guys had a great Guy Fawkes Night yesterday! 💥
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.