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5 Epic Battles That Made Video Game History



There's something awfully satisfying about going to war with a character you in your right mind know can banish a whole army in a heartbeat. Having attained such power over the course of a story, taking that very pawn and watching it flail across a series of battles that are shrouded in smoke and haze emits a feeling like no other. To know that we, the player, was behind the development of such a flourishing hero is epic, beyond belief.

Anyway, the point is, we've been able to experience that sensation numerous times over the years. Time and time again, we've built our heroes and given them all the righteous abilities and street smarts to constitute an entire army, and not once have we grown tired of doing so. Certain battles, however, have stuck with us over the years, and for all the right reasons. But what are they, and why do we still sing their praises years after the drums of war stopped beating?


5. 1000 Heartless (Kingdom Hearts 2)

Initially, having a Disney-based game included in this list didn't cross my mind. That is, until I recalled the battle of 1000 Heartless, where Sora went to war with an army with nothing more than a Keyblade and a whole lot of courage. That, to me, was when the Kingdom Hearts protagonist passed from being an aspiring warrior, to an all-out Keyblade master.

After Hollow Bastion succumbs to the mounds of Heartless forces, Sora, Donald, Goofy, as well as all friends of the beloved trio, all band together to drive back the army and turn the tide of war. However, it all boils down to one major confrontation, where thousands of enemies storm a central plain to bring down the Keyblade-weilding hero. 1000v1? Cue the fifteen-minute battle music.


4. Opening (Ryse: Son of Rome)

Ancient Rome was never exactly short on confrontational events. Ryse: Son of Rome, also, was not shy when it came to showcasing war in its rawest form. Like being thrown into the deep end without a paddle, the game immediately submerged us in a tsunami of bloodshed and vengeance, barbarity and corruption. And in all honesty, it was one of the greatest openings in video game history. Or, at least in the action-adventure genre, anyway.

With the barbarians throwing an all-out attack on the inner sections of Rome, its remaining defenders are left to hold the fort and drive back the assault. However, with all odds stacked against the allied soldiers of Rome, only swift strategy-based attacks can hold the power to turn the tide. Fortunately, you, the player, posses all the resources Rome has to offer. Victory is near, providing you utilize the knowledge the city has spent generations acquiring.


3. Prologue (Battlefield 1)

Battlefield is built on battles that go beyond epic, and that's partly the reason why we love them. They also bring a bittersweet narrative with every entry, forcing us to open our eyes and witness the horrors of war from our own homes. The opening segment to Battlefield 1, of course, showcased this in the most horrifying way imaginable. And then some.

With all odds stacked against the allied forces, the remote collective come together to make one last-ditch effort against their oppressors. Over the relatively short but incredibly powerful prologue, players are able to see the struggles that entwine with battling on the frontline. Bullets, brutality, and brothers in arms falling side-by-side; a woeful way to kickstart one of the greatest war-based video games ever created.


2. Wu Zhang Plains (Dynasty Warriors 5)

The battle of Wu Zhang Plains has played a crucial role in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms tale for generations, and has been a defining moment for the Shu army since the series' inception. With the faction on the precipice of collapse, and an impending doom lurking on the battlefield against power-hungry rivals Wei, the believers in benevolence meshed together to make one final push for peace.

With a memorable battlefield consisting of two hillside encampments and a central plain that saw thousands of soldiers thrash it out for the upper hand, the encounter became an instant classic; a benchmark to which every future game aimed to surpass, but failed to achieve. Four instalments and a boatload of spin-offs later, and the series has yet to recreate the perfection that was Dynasty Warriors 5‘s Wu Zhang Plains story arc.


1. D-Day (Call of Duty: WWII)

The battle of Omaha Beach, also known as D-Day, has been used in video games more times than we'd like to count. Let us not forget Medal of Honor, Battlefield, as well as the earlier Call of Duty games, all of which included the tragic event in each narrative. And as much as we'd like to give a nod to all games that came before it, Call of Duty: WWII just captured the days on another level entirely.

The beach landings and the miserable odds are two things every single person knows about. And yet, the CoD chapter managed to tap into each and explore both enough to conjure twice as many emotions. Over a rough 30-minute opening chapter, players could witness horror in its harshest form. Plus, with clean visuals and stellar gameplay, it resulted in one of the most life-like war simulations of all-time. Say what you will, but Sledgehammer Games really hit the nail on the head with this one.


So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.

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Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.