Top 5 Most Surprising Moments in Console Gaming

Most Surprising Moments in Console Gaming from LIMBO to Star Wars!

From dodging shadowy arachnids to building your own lightsaber, here is the second half of the list of games that, for me, include moments of legitimate visceral enjoyment. Beware readers, as spoilers certainly follow.

In Part One of the Top 10 Most Surprising Moments in Console Gaming, we left off with Uncharted 3’s Cargo Plane Sequence at #6. And now:

5. Limbo – Meeting The Spider

As short and simple as LIMBO seems to be, it is still one of the most continuously creepy gaming experiences ever.

Simply put, you play as a young boy that must search for his missing sister after awakening inside a threatening and monochromatic world. How did his sister get there? How did you? If this place is indeed limbo… I shudder at the thought.

After a few minutes of jumping and climbing through the inky terrain, the first of many dangers becomes evident… the darkness behind an old tree yields the hairy limbs of what can be only be a gigantic arachnid. You don’t have a lot of time to marvel at the site, however. It rhymes with impaled.

4. Portal 2 – Learning Aperture Science’s Past (and your own)

My love for the Portal games is no secret. Challenging, clever, and fascinating, they represent the best that console gaming has to offer.

The developers have also woven a fantastic lore into the games that is tangentially related to the Half Life series. As Chell, the silent but tough protagonist, you are treated to the history of Aperture Science as you descend deeper into its cavernous, long-abandoned facilities.

Most importantly, we are clued in to Chell’s past as well. There is one small, shocking detail to be found in the remains of an abandoned science fair on one of the office levels of Aperture’s seemingly endless facilities: What would it be like to spend your entire life inside a ruthless company as a test subject? Now you know.

3. Mass Effect 2 – Kicking the Eclipse Mercenary Out of a Window

I considered making the infamous Mass Effect NPC hookups an entry on this list, but that would have been too easy. There are a ton of great moments in this series, and Mass Effect 2 has its fair share of them with every Renegade decision you make.

When trying to find and recruit a dangerous assassin known as Thane, you get closer by shaking down various shady characters, and sometimes you have to play hardball.

At this particular moment, you encounter an Eclipse mercenary that may know where Thane is. You can play good cop or bad cop here, but the guy is a smart-ass and he’s standing in front of a giant window overlooking a thousand foot drop.

When the Renegade option pops up, it’s decision time… and you aren’t playing this game to to be a boy scout. Plus, Shepard’s parting shot would work in a Die Hard film.

2. Dead Space 2 – Self Eye Surgery

Another fantastically creepy game that combines sci-fi and horror better than most attempts I’ve seen.

The music is moody, the jump scares are plentiful, and the death scenes are really shocking. Case in point: the self-inflicted eye surgery scene.

You play as Issac Clark, an engineer that must again survive necro-morhic attacks, navigate austere environments, and maintain sanity through debilitating hallucinations. Late in the game, you find out that you possess information that can only be extracted through the use of the NoonTech Diagnostic Machine.

The extraction happens via a huge needle that you have to guide into your own right eye. Tense enough, but one mistake… Ugh.

1. Star Wars: K.o.t.O.R – Building Your First Lightsaber

Assuming you could get through the damn thing without your XBOX freezing up, Knights of the Old Republic was a truly great RPG.

It also holds the distinction of being one of the few Star Wars games that truly makes the player feel that they inhabit the Star Wars Universe (albit 1000 years before The Battle of Yavin).

Developed by BioWare, the makers of Mass Effect, the game has a dense mixture of action, dialogue and choose-your-path decisions on your way to becoming a Jedi. And that journey involves building a freaking lightsaber.

The fun of collecting the crystals, assembling the saber, then finally turning it on pales in comparison only to the moment you first use it in turn-based battle.

From fighting with it to blocking laser blasts to throwing it for a boomerang effect, it is exactly how wielding a lightsaber in a game should go.

We hope you enjoyed:

WeRinCtrl’s Top 10 Surprising Moments in Console Gaming.

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Brian Edward Smith is founder and editor of


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