The most kickass video game levels of all time: Part II
| by Nachiket Mhatre
Continuing our series of absolutely kickass video game levels of all time, this instalment takes the best from three of the most loved video game franchises. All three examples cited here veer off the beaten path of level design and incorporate varied approaches to creating levels that don't just push the plot forward, but deliver memorable experiences. We have levels ranging from those employing the abstract to ones that dial ingenuity and cinematic flair all the way to 11. Let's start off with the crazy one.
As you wade through the river, all the men you have killed chronologically appear as revenants. This is especially creepy because the game keeps a track of exactly how you've murdered them. Those who've had their throats slit will be seen clutching it, whereas if you had shot someone in the gentleman's area, you'll hear them scream about how they won't be able to have kids anymore. The more disturbing examples include ghosts accusing you of cannibalism if you've eaten a vulture that's, in turn, feasted on an enemy you'd killed earlier. Sorrow's River's sheer ability to keep a track of all you have done through the game and surprise you by reminding you of your misdeeds in the most morbid manner sends its bizarre and hence awesome quotient through the roof.
The levels start with you and Captiain MacMillan donning ghillie suits and making your way as ghosts undetected through the outskirts of Chernobyl en route to the sniper's nest deep in the abandoned zone. The entire level is marked by a thick air of tension as you stalk enemy soldiers while moving through the outgrowth. Kills are fast and coordinate surgical strikes, as you clear the perimeter one enemy patrol team at a time. You encounter plenty of heart-stopping moments where you're at spitting distance from an enemy platoon, with only the blades of grass and quick thinking keeping you from getting discovered and subsequently Swiss cheesed.
As you move further towards the goal, you come across hazards ranging from radioactive zones and pack of deadly feral dogs to battle tanks replete with foot soldiers for escort. Survive long enough and you are treated to a satisfying sniping segment, where you take a shot from a mile across. This is the kind of level that makes your palms sweat invariably. It's easily the highest point in a game otherwise filled with truly brilliant cinematic sequences.
Unexpected Turbulence involves a typical Cold War routine of escorting a scientist who has defected from the post-war Berlin. What starts out as a safe flight back home after a successful extraction turns into a mid-air hijack. Soon enough, your aeroplane starts falling to pieces and you're left with no choice but to dive out of the burning wreck. What happens next is quite shocking to an FPS gamer who's, until that point of time, used to linear level design comprising long corridors and warehouses brimming with crates.
Tags: best video game levels , most memorable video game levels , top video game levels , best levels , top levels , call of duty , call of duty modern warfare , no one lives forever , cate archer , metal gear , metal gear solid
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