15th Jan, 2007
The end credits of a game are usually by far the worst part. We're not talking about the game's ending here. Those can be spectacular. No, what we mean is the actual credits themselves. Not only are they the visual death toll of another game over, but all they offer you in consolation is the boring visage of a lot of names scrolling up the screen. And these days it's a lot of names. Back in the 8-bit home computer days we usually got away with one guy's signature on a title screen, but in this modern era of mega-budget videogame blockbusters they usually last long enough to make Lord Of The Rings look like a local amateur dramatic production. It's a thoroughly depressing affair all round.
But there are devs who realise that. They've played enough games and been bored by enough credit sequences themselves to want to free us from that burden, and we don't just mean by adding a 'skip' option. No, there are actually developers around with the benevolence and lack of ego who know that we want more than to sit on our sofa in reverence of their names, and they've taken steps to make sure their credits are just as fun and engaging as the game itself. Intrigued? Read on.
The Movies | 2005 | PC | Lionhead
Proof, if ever it were needed, that British game designers are as mad as a tree frog dancing to N Sync while wearing velvet slippers in a thunderstorm. Who murders people in his spare time and makes trophies of their bones. A mere list of names at the end of The Movies was too impersonal for Lionhead. They wanted us to be able to put names to faces. They wanted us to be able to imagine their designers smiling at us benevolently from on high as we enjoyed our favourite parts of the game. They wanted to form a bond with their players. Or perhaps it was just Friday afternoon and they wanted to arse around on camera for a bit.
Either way, at the end of The Movies we got a gleefully silly video montage of the entire development team mugging up like pantomime pros as the credits rolled. Peter Molyneaux as a Bond villain. Mark Webley flapping around the office as a low-budget Batman. Programmers driving through cardboard boxes, Starsky & Hutch-style, as other programmers look on packing guns and huge ‘70s moustaches. We even got bomb defusing and an epic car crash which has to be seen to be believed. Affectionate movie-themed nonsense from start to finish is what it was, and we thoroughly approve.
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