Nitpick: This is the intro?!
First impressions are a big thing no matter what the situation is. When you’re meeting your boyfriend or your girlfriend’s parents for the first time, you don’t want to give a bad first impression. The same can go for teachers. However, it doesn’t have to be restricted to just social meetings. The same can be said for movies. After all, you don’t want the first 5 minutes of a one and a half hour movie to bore you, right? Books are similar as well in that the introduction should grip you. Games are no exception to this principle. If your game is six hours long then you however-long introduction should be damn good.
While introductions don’t apply to certain games, it does to most because there is a narrative behind it that matters. Dead Space 2 is a game that has one of the most memorable introductions in a video game to date. It’s insane use of cinematography and vivid imageries to induce fright, horror, and some sort of psycho-insanity is pure genius. From the moment you see visions as you are being interrogated to the point where a Necromorph is trying to claw at you from a closing door is truly remarkable. To this day if there is anything about Dead Space 2 I remember, it is that introduction scene. It’s just that memorable and remarkable.
For me, introductions that are good whether in representation of gameplay, cutscene, or whatnot helps me to enjoy the game better. After all, if you go into something with a good mood, you’re more likely to enjoy it. Dead Space 2 was a perfect introduction in that its visuals were so compelling that it was hard to eject it from your mind. However, that’s not the only merit the introduction deserves. It also sets the narrative foundation for which the game takes place. Isaac is having a psychotic breakdown and the colony is suddenly infested with Necromorph. The game quickly reveals the current predicament that Isaac is in. There’s no time wasted in explaining or a long drawn out introduction. Rather, the game wants to get the player quickly into all the action without any problems.
Consistency is pivotal when creating an introduction that needs to be compelling as well as great. If this pinnacle point falls apart, or doesn’t exist, then the game’s intro will suffer immensely. Record of Agarest War 2 is one game where the introduction is full of problems whether technical or something about the actual gameplay. The game immediately throws the player into a long-winded dialogue sequence with a convoluted premise that hardly makes sense. Immediately afterwards the game throws the player into a combat sequence but it doesn’t really make sense as to why you are fighting. It’s odd that the developers opted for a confusing, convoluted, and complicated introduction when the rest of the game is so straightforward and self-explanatory.
The introduction is very inconsistent with the rest of the game. Even the parts of the introduction are inconsistent from each other as the combat is extremely simple but the narrative premise is complicated. Agarest War 2’s intro doesn’t even set the proper mood for the game in the beginning. What appears to be an action packed adventure for killing gods and other mythical deities actually ends up becoming a quest to gather multiple female companions and eventually choose on to marry. The game’s introduction is simply bad and fails to guide the player into the game.