10 WTF Unplanned Moments In Video Games –
Over the years, video games have taken huge strides towards plots full of moments that shock, impress and occasionally even bring a tear to the eye. The modern video game narrative can be as good as any lauded novel or film, but it’s not always the scripted moments in these experiences that are the most memorable.
With the mechanics of many games being so detailed and varied, gamers often find themselves immersed in completely enjoyable and regularly unpredictable worlds. This is especially prominent in games that take place in an open-world setting, where combinations of environment and population can consistently surprise.
Whether for sheer shock or a hearty giggle, these unscripted moments become memorable for all of their own reasons. They may lack the styled dialogue or overt flashiness of a predetermined cut-scene, but many are even more effective for their often genuine nature.
Modern gaming is full of such instances, and here I’ve gathered 10 of the greatest unscripted WTF moments from recent games…
10. The Call Of Nature – Tom Clancy’s The Division
In the dark, devastated streets of post-apocalyptic New York, moments of carefree enjoyment are few and far between. With rival gangs all vying to take death squad control of the city’s ransacked districts and newly-activated Division agents trying to restore order, players won’t often have found themselves in a position to stop for a laugh.
That is, unless you’ve stumbled across a wandering dog which appears to be doing something a little bit unclean. Different to the usual action of barking madly or dashing off in fear, certain animations make the dog look like it’s leaving a deuce on an abandoned street.
While the world is falling apart around it, all this dog really cares about is dropping its waste and recommencing the search for food and shelter.
We could all learn a lot from such a simple life…
9. Plane Vs. Horse: Grudge Match – Battlefield 1
The game itself may not even be available just yet, but Battlefield 1’s open beta has been extremely popular with its demo players… when the servers are online, that is. But, regardless of my sour griping about the lack of access I’ve had to the game this week, the signs are certainly positive for Battlefield 1’s thrilling World War 1 simulation.
Yet for all of the realistic weapon-play and sweeping battlegrounds, it’s an unpredictable grudge match that’s sticking in the mind right now. The time in which this game is set offers up a unique mixture of transport options – with players able to take to tanks, planes and even horses as they look to gain the upper hand in combat.
It’s in these final two that some of the most intriguing moments can occur, and players have started up some pretty intense grudge matches between their horse and a listing plane. Of course, the stallion is dramatically disadvantaged in these exchanges, but that doesn’t mean seeing someone swoop down and bash a horse to death with the nose of a plane is any less enjoyable.
The game even gives you a ‘Roadkill’ prompt for doing so.
8. Love At First Sight – Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
It’s been a staple of the Metal Gear Solid series for years, but the trusty cardboard box always has potential to throw up a few remarkable moments. In Metal Gear Solid 5, however, this was taken to whole new levels with even more tools and techniques available with the cardboard box.
Additional disguises became available with the box in MGS 5, meaning players can take on ever more daring distractions and diversions. Most notable was the image of a bikini-clad woman that could lure enemy soldiers towards the hidden Venom Snake.
If you manage to pull this off successfully enough you’ll have your enemy virtually begging this woman for attention, and the love story that ensues can be both touching and tragic if you wait long enough before striking.
7. Pure, Unadulterated Chaos – Just Cause 3
The Just Cause series has made a name for itself by allowing its players access to more and more destructive capabilities as each new entry has been released. With Just Cause 3, the potential for chaos became greater than ever and the game rode in on a wave of obscene explosions and death-defying stunts.
In truth, it’s likely that every single Just Cause 3 player has a favourite unscripted moment based on the unadulterated destruction they’ve wreaked over the island of Medici.
For my example, the option to strap boosters all over a motorcycle and seeing where the propulsion takes the vehicle has to be one of the best for its sheer unpredictability. God only knows if the bike miraculously managed to take the player to the distant waypoint.
It’s also worth noting that no landing is shown in the example, but it’s fair to assume that there wasn’t going to be a comfortable one at the end of that!
6. May The Force Be With You… All Of It – Star Wars Battlefront
Finding the token to take on the role of a hero or Jedi in Star Wars Battlefront can be both a pleasure and a chore. While the extra power and resilience is a helpful boost, the responsibility to use their abilities effectively is palpable as soon as you enter the field anew.
It’s fortunate, then, that you don’t always have to be a hero to grab a little extra power. Odd glitches and boundary issues across the various maps are regularly exploited by players, leading to illusions like the one above where the player in control seems to essentially be invincible.
The enemy stuck on the other side of a barrier and unable to strike, our player somehow finds a way to be both protected by and able to surpass the shield.
It’s said that Kylo Ren’s ability to stop Poe’s blaster shot early in Star Wars: The Force Awakens proves him to be immensely powerful, but even he wouldn’t stand chance against this guy.
5. It’s Still A Contact Sport – FIFA 16
As football simulations go, EA’s yearly FIFA series has positioned itself steadily at the top of the genre for a number of years now, albeit against limited competition. But while the FIFA series may be the best at what it does for now, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s anywhere near perfect.
However, although its flaws may be a major issue for some, they’re a surprising positive for some others. The glitches within FIFA’s painfully simple physics and movement engines have led to some simply ridiculous scenes over the years, all of which make each game an unpredictable spectacle.
In the example above, one team’s striker seems intent on maintaining the old adage that football is still “a man’s game” and that over-zealous referees simply will not neuter the physical side. Your guess is as good as mine as to what happened next, but I’d say a front flip celebration is more likely than a yellow card.
4. They’ll Bite Your Head Off, Man – Fallout 4
The games in Bethesda’s Fallout series put players into a world that’s been devastated by a nuclear war and surrounds them with resilient survivors and ambitious prospectors. Every character in these games is interesting in some way, but some are more important as they are written in as quest-givers or people of interest.
But while many of these are protected from game-breaking harm thanks to their importance for the story, several others aren’t so lucky. The wasteland is a truly dangerous and unpredictable place, not least when someone who’s enlisting your help for a task or mission is suddenly blown up or set upon by raiders.
Moments like these that occur right when the player least expects it are remarkable and often unique to each person’s game: A Fallout 4 community about broken quests is likely to contain all manner of stories about dead NPCs and missed opportunities that people have suffered.
Never experienced one of these instances for yourself? Well check out companion Cait getting very suddenly cut-off in conversation to see what it’s like!
3. The Circle Of Life – Red Dead Redemption
In 2010, Red Dead Redemption introduced a generation of GTA players to a whole new open world prospect: the Wild West. The adventure of the outlaw-turned-family man told a terrific tale in a game that captured so much feeling and enjoyment with the sum of its parts.
And although the scripted scenes that led to John Marston’s devastating and brutal demise are certainly some of gaming’s most memorable moments, RDR still contained plenty of off-the-cuff elements to keep us on our toes.
None are more effective than those containing the frontier wildlife, with all manner of beasts inhabiting the plains and valleys. Moments where a pack of wolves are seen to be harassing careless travellers or where a mountain lion can be witnessed tearing after a stray rabbit will never fail to get your attention, and the genuine food chain that exists in the game is one of its unsung triumphs.
Red Dead Redemption’s frontier is a David Attenborough voiceover away from a Sunday evening slot on the BBC.
2. Residents (Are) Evil – Grand Theft Auto V
When Rockstar aren’t programming naturally-hunting animals and fraught, Wild West-themed lives, they spend the majority of their time on their mammoth Grand Theft Auto franchise. GTA V was the biggest instalment for the series thus far, and the newly engorged state of San Andreas was chock full of wonderful experiences.
For every rant from Trevor or one-line diss by Franklin, there are myriad possibilities for events and occurrences that will catch your eye. The civilian population in San Andreas is certainly an active one, and they’re all looking to stand out one way or another.
So whether you’re cruising through Vinewood and witness a random car-jacking or passing through Sandy Shores to see a redneck shooting maniacally at someone’s trailer, there’s always something to see.
A personal favourite will always be the moment where a poor, unsuspecting cat is scared enough to dash into moving traffic and meet it’s untimely end. Poor thing; no one is safe in San Andreas!
1. That One’s Outta Here – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
With a world as big and heavily populated as the one in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, there was always bound to be plenty of scope for some pretty unbelievable moments to occur. Roaming the snowy landscape is an epic adventure all on its own, and Skyrim offers players the kind of rewarding exploration that so many people hoped No Man’s Sky would be able to deliver.
But even outside of all of the caves, dungeons, ruins and camps that can be discovered, there are still virtually endless sights to see thanks to the massive population in the land. You can encounter anything from civilians and soldiers to beats and monsters at nearly any point, with the vast majority of these already engrossed in some action or another.
Joining a skirmish or helping out with a hunt is the kind of unexpected activity that makes a game like Skyrim so richly rewarding, and that’s even before its trademark glitches and bugs take the events to whole new levels.
While the vertically climbing horse will always be a popular memory, hitching a ride on a giant’s club is a moment so quintessentially Skyrim, you have to wonder whether Bethesda intentionally screwed with the physics in the first place.