It's the Fourth of July, and we are feeling patriotic! Fireworks! Barbecues! Eating meat! Shooting guns! Video Games! Games have a lot of profound moments, but there are some that represent this great country to the fullest that'll make you scream FREEDOM at the top of your lungs while riding an eagle over Michael Bay's mansion.
The moments on this list aren't just memorable parts of our favorite video games. They are a testament to truth, justice, and the American way, featuring things like football, military, and even burgers. Before you fire up the grill and light the M-80s, let this list get you in the mood to celebrate this great country. AMERICA! F YEAH!
Skydiving in Saints Row the Third
Many times throughout Saints Row the Third, our guy is forced to put his skydiving and parachuting skills to the test. One time he crashes a pool party while Kanye West's "Power" sets the scene. Another time he's flying through plane windshields, killing a target, then coming out the other side to save his girl who's plummeting to the ground without a parachute of her own. Every time, however, is pure America.
The adrenaline and action of these scenes is almost unmatched, explosions lining the sky like Fourth of July fireworks. Also, Kanye West's "Power" should accompany everything we do, from making a sandwich to walking down the street. Saints Row basically gives us the American dream in skydiving form.
Duke Nukem's field goal with the Cycloid eye
Ah, football. Nothing makes an autumn Sunday afternoon better than sitting in front of the big screen, cracking open a cold one, and watching our favorite gridiron gladiators beat the crap out of each other for a few extra yards and six points on the board. Day of rest? Please, football is more stressful than our jobs most of the time.
Sure, there are actual football games like Madden and Mutant League Football. Yeah, they get the job done, but simulations schimulations; watching Duke punt that big moron's eye through the uprights is better than any Super Bowl-winning field goal. Hell, Duke Nukem himself is a true American, with his gum-chewing/butt-kicking attitude and penchant for attractive women. Hail to the king, baby.
D-Day in Medal of Honor: Frontline
The Fourth of July is the day our nation became free, but as the old adage goes, "freedom isn't free." Many have fought and died to maintain that freedom, both successes and failures, and no other war can compare to the campaign of World War II. America was a big part of the fight against those stubborn Nazis, and gaming never forgot about it.
When thinking of America in WWII, arguably the most iconic battle is the way the US entered the war: at the shores of Normandy on D-Day. If games like Medal of Honor: Frontline don't present the horrors of this day enough for you, go ask your grandfather about it. If he was there, get him a beer. He deserves it.
The Signing of the Declaration of Independence in Assassin's Creed III
The birth of America was made official with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. All of our founding fathers gathers in Philadelphia to put their names on that declaration, signifying our separation from the Queen. When Assassin's Creed III showed us this momentous occasion, our hearts swelled with patriotic pride.
Washington, Franklin, and more are shown writing their names on the sacred American parchment. We don't get why Connor didn't sign his name though, we wouldn't be able to resist being remembered as a founding father. Regardless, without this specific moment in history, nothing we know today would be the same. This may not be the most action-packed part of our list, but it may very well be the most important one.
Punching the reporter in Mass Effect 2
Sometimes, people just won't go away. They nag, they annoy, and they persist. Proper conflict resolution says we should walk away or talk about the issues at hand, but this is America, and sometimes it's easier to just shut the offender up with a shot to the jaw, and when Shepard makes his or her point, we listen.
Paparazzi are annoying to begin with, sure, but when one of them is plainly trying to smear Shepard's good name, even after continued attempts to be civil, sometimes physicality is inevitable. We're not sure we wouldn't act the same way, given what Al-Jilani was trying to do. We don't normally condone random face-punching, but we can't help but sympathize with Shepard here.
Being a bad enough dude to see the ending
The Bad Dudes saved the president from the bad guys, and they're rewarded with a ceremony at the White House from the Commander-in-Chief himself. "Hail to the Chief' plays in 8-bit glory as our heroes join the President in front of the White House for pictures. The leader of the free world even offers free burgers for a job well done!
Free burgers, White House, "Hail to the Chief," and stars and stripes all over; we're not sure if a video game's ending could be any more American, except if George Washington himself showed up and asked the Bad Dudes to add their name to the Declaration. It makes us feel like WE'RE bad enough dudes to save someone from trouble...as long as there's free burgers at the end.
Killing Hitler in Wolfenstein 3D
Apparently the boys and girls at id Software didn't think Adolf Hitler on his own was bad enough. They decided to put Der Fuhrer in a giant mech suit and give him two gigantic chainguns. No matter, it just makes killing the Nazi scum that much better.
The moral of the story? Taking down the big bad guy is what Americans do. No matter who or where you are, we will find you and we will get you if you wrong this great country. America is essentially the Liam Neeson of countries, and yes, we know he's Irish--this is the melting pot, baby. Also, while the real death of Hitler was a moment to celebrate, we prefer killing the jerk this way. Sieg heil, huh? Sieg HELL.
Being Guile in Street Fighter
Blond crew cut, army fatigues, penchant for style with those aviator shades...William Guile may be the most American video game character out there. Hearing "Sonic Boom" or "Flash Kick" is akin to hearing the Pledge of Allegiance, only with more ass-kicking. He fights for freedom and family, with his wife Julia and daughter Amy waiting for him to come home.
Yes, this great American has gone to war with the evil Shadaloo time and time again, but think about what he's done for the population of not only America, but the entire world. How many countless opponents has he convinced to go home and be family men? While he's beating down the forces of evil, he has time to teach the goodness of family values. William Guile is a true American. We salute you, soldier.
Dueling in Red Dead Redemption
The Old West duel has been a part of American culture for ages. Few movie scenes can emulate the tension and suspense of a duel; watching a hero risk his life to take the bad guy down in one shot is exhilarating. Watching screen legends like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood duel with the bad guys will get any American's heart pumping.
Gamers got a taste of this in Red Dead Redemption, as there were plenty of ruffians trying to take John Marston down. Of course, none of them succeeded, and opponent after opponent would fall victim to Marston's quick trigger finger. The Wild West is a big part of American history, and Red Dead Redemption made gamers remember why.
Turning the Statue of Liberty into a Bikini Model in Twisted Metal 2
Twisted Metal 2 may have been called "World Tour," but the spirit of America is coursing through it. Modifying cars into death machines? Fighting through the streets of major cities around the world while only fighting on American rooftops? Sounds like America to us.
The Statue of Liberty, a symbol of American freedom, was not exempt from the mayhem. Sometimes, after firing some missiles at the famous statue, Lady Liberty would lose the robe and don a sexy red bikini. Who knew the bronze bombshell was always ready to hit the beach? Also, a statue of a pretty lady in skimpy swimwear is a golden idea, and we're surprised there isn't a real bikini model statue out in the world somewhere. Can someone get on that?
Any moment in the Call of Duty or Battlefield series...seriously, anything
Modern first-person shooters are full of high action sequences, blazing guns, and plenty of explosions, but few present the current ways of the American military like Call of Duty and Battlefield. Using real military technology and real locations around the world, the fictional wars these two series fight can teach just as much about war as any textbook.
There are a few moments that don't represent America properly (Modern Warfare 2's "No Russian" comes to mind), but the majority of scenarios in Call of Duty and Battlefield give us a window into the lives of the men and women fighting for the USA overseas. Hopefully soon, the world's wars will be purely digital fiction, and our people can come back home safe...
Oh beautiful, for spacious skies...
These games are America in a nutshell: we like women in bikinis, we like sports, we like burgers, and we like explosions. Are there any American moments we forgot? Let us know in the comments below. Enjoy the holiday everyone!
If you want a Canadian take on games, check out ten reasons Animal Crossing is the most Canadian game ever made, and for weird science, take a look at the mysterious biology of video game bad guys explained.