While a lot of the credits sequences on this list have earned their position by hitting us with a tension-relieving shot of silliness from left field, COD4’s opening credits are a genuinely dramatic and affecting experience. Anyone who’s played the campaign mode will attest to what a visceral, brutal and uncompromising play it is, and they’ll probably do it while still shaky of hands and just that little too wired to stop twitching. And where COD4’s statement of intent really kicks you in the face and yells obscenities at you is in its opening titles.
You’ve completed basic training. The ship assault has taught you the hard way what an uncompromising upgrade this game is from its predecessors. (Did you make your first jump? Or find that right turn on your first go? No, us neither) You think you’re settling into the harsh reality of modern warfare and getting used to the pace of the game, but then everything changes.
Rather than going to the next mission, you find yourself dropped behind the eyes of the recently deposed president of the Middle-Eastern country undergoing a violent coup. You’re restrained by your captors, but still free to look around. That direct control makes the entire sequence far more involving than a simple FMV would ever have been, and that increased involvement makes what you see painfully harrowing.
You’re dragged into a car at gun-point. You’re driven across the war-torn city and witness beatings, fire-fights, and innocent civilians running for their lives. Your whole world is being torn to Hell all around you and you have to watch it happen from behind the windows of a car. Then you arrive at your destination. Your head is stamped on, you black out, and when you awaken, you’re dragged to a wooden stake and tied up. Then you’re shot in the face. Then you die. And all the time the opening credits roll. Cinematic, impacting, emotionally affecting, and a flawless way to pull you into the game’s world. COD4’s credits are all of these things, and we simply can't think of a better dramatic example.
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