Throughout the evolution of gaming, the emotional impact of linear story-telling has allowed companies to create more vivid, realistic portrayals of events. We have come such a long way that in the end, game creators and art directors have realized the sheer capacity and potential of video gaming is a medium that will one day live up to the standards of the film industry; and what better way to flaunt that style then fuck with your audience and try to freak them out in the best way possible? Like any good What The Fuck moment, it's got to have a pazaaz of complete lack of censorship, and it's got to make even the player put down the controller and head to the toilet to pick up some weepy-paper to deal with the e-horrors of this e-disturbing e-world.
1. MAX PAYNE: I DREAMED A DREAM.
Being a gamer, it's not easy to dodge the discussion of Max Payne. Before going under the wing of Rockstar, Remedy's initial 3D run-and-gun had something that most shooters lack; good story, great atmosphere, and interactive disturbing shit that made you freak out. It wasn't all rooty tooty, point and shooty.
Still more emotion than Kristen Stewart, hardy har.
What really makes this one of the top three is simply put; interaction. Unlike other games where we're thrust into a prologue, the gameplay takes place after a turn of events, we witness the horrific murder of Max's wife and child up front. You examine the house, you pull the gun out, you shoot the people crazy enough to step up to Max Run-and-Gun Payne, and then you walk in to find this:
Baby blocks with reverse numbers on them; haunting, truly haunting.
A game that starts out like this means to go on so. It isn't all go here, shoot there, right, RIGHT?
Wro--right! One of our top three is the dreaded dream sequences set in Max Payne's head. These had everything; long winding hallways, the demented sound of demonic laughter against the crying pleas of your dead baby, blood-soaked nurseries, and who could forget the blood in the dark? Precisely why this hits home with a top What The Fuck moment!
2. FALLOUT 3; Dun, dun, Dunwhich!
Fallout 3 was a brilliant achievement by Bethesda Studios. Something that it mastered was its ability to throw us into a world we knew nothing about. From there, it was your choice whether to be the prodigal white knight, complete with Geiger-counter and an unwavering trait of volunteering for everything, ever while everybody thinks you're the tightest shit out there that can get stuff done. Since daddy went missing you have a choice to follow him in his footsteps or make a left turn into nowhere and live your life away from the responsibilities of being a sacrificial dummy to save the world. Sometimes the game just straight up discarded logic :
"You must go in there and get radiation poisoning so I can pull you out for the $5.99 DLC!"
One of Fallout's greatest additions comes in the form of The Dunwhich House. In a far corner of a map, away from any settlements, the Dunwhich house looms over the dead area. There are so many What The Fuck moments that I'm counting the whole experience as one; from ghost flashbacks, to moving objects, to demonic backstories, and a looming mythology of H.P. Lovecraft.
I traded in all of my caps for a big ol' bag of NOPE.
3. SPEC OPS: THE LINE: EVERYTHING'S GONNA BE ALL WHITE.Military shooters nowadays are a time a dozen, from Call of Duty XIII: Dark Ops, Special Combat DLC VIII to Medal Of Honor: Rebooty Shooty, it seems clear that they're a marketable genre. Spec Ops: The Line pushes the boundary of morality and choice in a way we haven't seen much when it comes to hashed out shooters. Our What The Fuck moment arises when you as the protagonist are given the choice to reign over the enemy with a white phosphorous mortar strike.
Bu--but...how could anything American soldiers do be wrong?
It isn't the act itself which makes us freak out here, but when we're sent to examine the remain, our protagonist walks through the charred and frozen remains of the enemy and discovers something bleak, and horrifically disturbing:
It turns out the orders were wrong, and the protagonist has just horrifically eviscerated a large group of civilian refugees. All's good in love and war, right? Am I right?
Spec Ops: The Line was made to mimic such works as Jacob's Ladder and Heart of Darkness. Where once military shooters cared more for the run and gun rambo hero with the enemy's head on a stick routine, you constantly question your ethics and morality as a soldier in this game. And of course, with this What the Fuck moment, it's shown to be a very emotional, and classic game.
"Don't look, sweetheart."
Do you agree with my choices? Are there any moments out there that you think tops these?