the art of menus

Who doesn’t appreciate an awesome videogame menu? I’m goin to talk about some I’ve found especially cool.

(another unofficial list)

Both the Mirror’s Edge and Mass Effect menus are subtle and atmospheric, and I love them. Sometimes when I’m playing those games, I will just sit and enjoy the menu for a while ;) Mirror’s edge’s initial interface is sitting above a view of HD skyscrapers while and amazing menu theme plays. Mass Effect’s has the same greatness of music, but while glimpses of the game’s characters fade on and away from the screen.


The Hitman series has produced three great menus: First, Silent Assassin’s menu is amazing. It has very intense opera-style singing voices blasting at you with the image of 47 standing there stoic with his silverballers – an iconic menu.


Blood Money’s menu was quite something, too. It’s a revolving (foreshadowing) image of 47’s funeral while Ave Maria plays. It is definitely out-of-the-box in terms of game menus. And Absolution’s menu interface is totally different, but still really cool. It’s a layered feeling of different interfaces, each with its own style: it opens with a close up on 47’s eyes, press start and it moves to a voice over recording as you select either the story or multiplayer, selecting the story you are sent to the main menu where the music comes in and a nifty hd video plays of 47 killing people, diana showering, and snakes wrapping around his guns… There’s a lot going on with that one, but it excited me every time.

I also like Silent Hill 4: The Room’s title menu. It’s this really creep mariachi-style acoustic guitar music overtop an ominous and out-of-place dark atmosphere sound. All this while looking at the chained-up door is scary.

And Metal Gear Solid 4’s menu is nifty too. It’s another foreshadowing shot of snake at a graveyard where he is about to put a gun to his head. If you stay on the menu long enough, you’ll actually hear the gunshot. That’s after the camera has panned away from his person though.

On the other side of the spectrum, my very favorite game actually had the very worst menu ever. MGS 3’s menu is just a bland colorless digital interface that like a dull alarm clock.

If any readers have any at all thoughts on this subject, I encourage you to comment.


2 responses to “the art of menus

  1. Smackdown 2: Know Your Role. Not at all like a wrestling game menu should be like. The music is relaxing, like yoga music. And the color scheme is just black and blue. So un exciting but amazing.

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