Cinematic takedowns are relatively new to video games, only having gained popularity over the last decade. After all, Pac-Man only ate the ghosts; he didn't grab them by their ethereal appendages and proceed to tear them in half while you violently mashed a button. But now cinematic finishing moves are common, ranging from humorous to stylish, and even disturbingly violent. Check out a little from each of these categories as we tackle our top ten takedowns. These are so graphic we can't even show all of them.
Even if you don't have any firsthand experience with Rockstar's over-the-top horror series, there's a good chance you're familiar with its brutality. The game was controversial for showing the myriad of ways you could violently dispatch your enemies. It even managed to get an Adults Only rating, essentially a kiss of death for video games since most retail outlets refuse to sell AO games. After some light censoring of the more violent bits, the game came out and showed us just how harrowing it is to be a man who's being hunted by psychopaths. It wasn't a great game, but one of its strengths was the inclusion of almost-too-disturbing-to-watch kills that—unless you're a little psychotic yourself—made you a little sick after seeing what you were capable of.
Splatterhouse was not a good game. It was frustrating, buggy, and all the wrong types of gross. But at least it made you feel like a complete badass. You were fighting some terrifying creatures, spawned from the festering bowels of Hell itself, but with a mask that granted you obscenely large muscles and a thirst for blood, there was nothing that could stand in your way. The Splatter Kills were some of the coolest ways to violently kill your enemies, allowing you to crush an enemy's skull with your bare hands or opentheir mouth King Kong-style so you could reach in and pull out their lungs. These may not have made the slightest bit of sense, but they were fun to watch and caused enough bloody mayhem to please even the most insatiable of gorehounds.
For the unfamiliar, MadWorld was an arena-based arcade-style fighting game that took the "what's black and white, and red all over?" question and turned it into the concept for a video game. Unfortunately, Platinum Games made a poor choice by making it Wii-exclusive, and it ended up selling poorly. (Apparently, soccer moms, young children, and the elderly aren't necessarily into killing people in the most violent ways imaginable.) MadWorld had some takedowns that were as gory as they were hilarious, like the High Colonic, which had you lifting an enemy into the air so you could shove your gun into its bum and fire until its insides were nothing but hot lead and squishy red giblets.
Platinum Games has a pretty solid grasp on killing enemies in violent and crazy ways, as evident in both MadWorld and Bayonetta. MadWorld may be pretty great in the takedown department, but Bayonetta takes the cake for her arsenal of truly crazy Punishing and Torture moves. There were tons to choose from, including an iron maiden, guillotine, and even a massive spiked wheel that would spin in place and grind an enemy into the ground. But by far the best of her moves was grabbing an injured enemy, throwing them over your knee, and spanking them violently. Classy.
(Gears of War series)
Gears of War is all about burly soldiers who wear bulky armor, carry big guns, and aren't afraid to chainsaw you in half just for looking at them the wrong way. Obviously these guys are going to have some pretty vicious ways to finish downed enemies. In Gears, when you're incapacitated you can crawl around on the floor to try and reach a friend who can pick you back up. However, if an enemy comes by, they can curb stomp you, beat you down where you lie, or pick you up and use your body as a meat shield. Without these savage moves, the Gears of War series would be just a little less bloody, and no one wants that.
(Honorable mention goes to the chainsaw duels, because if you've ever found yourself in the middle of one, you're undoubtedly aware of how intense they can be.)