It's that time of the year again. Whether you've faced wave after wave of chocolate treats, or had to put up with family members from a far, the best way to wrap up one of the most chaotic weekends of the year is with a nice, hard-earned video game binge. Go on, treat yourself. To celebrate the extra long weekend, we've put together a list of our favourite Easter Eggs of 2015, so far...
The Order 1886: PlayStation All-Stars Reunion
Love it or hate it, PlayStation 4 exclusive The Order: 1886 certainly caused a lot of buzz earlier this year. But one things for sure, The Order is a stunningly detailed game and if you look a little closer you’ll find a number of smaller details that reference some of the most iconic characters from PlayStation history. Firstly, there is Little Big Planet’s huggable hero, Sackboy. This cameo is the easiest to find in The Order. You can even interact with the plush doll, rotating it to observe its finer details.
But, did you know Ready At Dawn also tips its hat to Jak’s better half, Daxter, and the son of Zeus himself, Kratos? Below London, somewhere along the subway tunnels, you can spot an advertisement for Kratos Bicycles. If you look a little closer, you’ll also notice the brand’s fitting slogan, “Ride like a god!”
Then, during the fourth chapter, Whitechapel Underground, you’ll come across a hospital. Look for an eye exam chart. There are a number of icons, including the silhouette of a lycan from The Order, but if you look to the top of the chart you’ll surely notice the outline of everyone’s favourite ottsel, Daxter.
Ori and The Blind Forest: Courage, Wisdom, Power… Meat?
The beautiful Ori and The Blind Forest is obviously inspired by some of Hideo Miyazaki’s most heart-wrenching masterpieces. But, Ori also gives its players a few hidden clues that reveal other influences. It seems that the ever-agile Meat Boy couldn’t handle the punishing difficulty of Ori’s challenging platforming sequences. As you can see from the image below, he’s been left a little battered and bruised by Nibel’s treacherous pitfalls.
Whether you’re bounding about the blind forest, or completely and utterly bewildered by the puzzles in the Lost Woods, power, courage, and wisdom will guide you through.
Axiom Verge: Return Of The Mysterious Nintendo Code
Axiom Verge, Tom Happ’s love letter to Metroid, released earlier this month on the PS4. As many anticipated, it’s gone on to received a range of wildly positive reviews and succeeded in stepping out of the shadows of its inspiration and becoming a completely unique game in its own right. However, Axiom Verge gives its NES predecessor the recognition it deserves in more ways than one. One nod that might not be immediately obvious is the inclusion of the mysterious Metroid code, “Justin Bailey.” Back in the original Metroid, entering “Justin Bailey” at the password screen would remove the iconic power armour Samus is known for rocking, and replace it with a pink leotard.
Fast-forward 29 years, enter the same code into Axiom Verge’s password screen and you’ll see a similar effect.
Dying Light: Crawling with Video Game References
It seems that Techland had a roaring time making its recent open-world survival horror, Dying Light - the only thing that rivals the intimidating number of living dead in this world is the absurd amount of in-jokes and nods to video game history. Not only does Dying Light pay its respects to previous zombie games, with a clicker from The Last of Us appearing in “The Bunker” side mission, and this breadful pun…
…but, it also features some more elaborate jokes aimed at other big-name games. After entering a certain cave in Dying Light, you will find a note that reads, “Your destiny is to build your legend (and get loot).” Sound familiar? A number of zombies will spawn in the cave, and if you’re brave enough to take them all on a message will appear: “Enough! Patch 1.0.2 activated. Better do some quests.” For those still scratching their heads, this is a shout out to Destiny’s infamous loot cave. The original loot cave in Destiny spawned an endless stream of low-level enemies to kill, resulting in an avalanche of precious loot.
But, out of all the Easter eggs in Dying Light, the most interesting is without a doubt this hidden level:
That’s exactly what it looks like, a first-person recreation of the first level from Super Mario Bros. featuring bricks, goombas and instadeath from falling off the stage. There’s even blueprints to be found that allow you to glide through the stage, much like a certain tanooki suit allowed you to in various Super Mario titles.
Resident Evil Revelations 2: A Throwback to One of RE’s Corniest Lines
The original Resident Evil, while being one of the most influential survival-horror games ever, undoubtedly features some of the tritest lines of dialogue ever written. One particular line spoken by fan-favourite character, Barry Burton, has gone down in history as one of the worst. After saving Jill Valentine from a room where the roof is rapidly descending, he remarks, “that was too close. You were almost a Jill Sandwich.” After spawning countless memes and some hilarious fan-art, the line was ultimately altered in this year’s Resident Evil HD remake to “That was too close. A second later, you would have fit nicely into a sandwich,” which, in my mind, is even weirder.
But, that didn’t stop this year’s episodic series, Resident Evil: Revelations 2 from paying homage to the line. In one scene, main character Claire Redfield remarks, “Yeah. I was almost a Claire sandwich,” to which her companion, Barry’s daughter Moira, replies, “does Barry tell everybody that story?”
Battlefield Hardline: Couch Potato
One of 2015’s most widely publicised Easter eggs, Battlefield Hardline's couch gag has to be one of the most bizarre vehicles to ever feature in a video game. This mobile sofa can be found on the Dustbowl map in Hardline’s Hotwire mode and it seats up to four players and prompts a kill message, “MERICA”, when bowling over other players.
For all its bizarre qualities, the Hardline couch was actually a pretty formidable vehicle. Unfortunately, a little too formidable and a recent patch sets out to reduce its health and repair rate.
Life Is Strange: Breaking Bad, The Wire and Parks and Rec?
The developers of Life Is Strange sure are a bunch of cinephiles. In episode one of the interactive drama, there are many references to popular television shows to be found on the license plates on cars. From PRKSNRC (Parks and Recreation), to TWNPKS (Twin Peaks), and there’s even a very familiar camper van with the number plate “BRKBD."
And the second episode keeps up the trend, with a number of plates paying their respects to some fantastic indie movies like Another Earth (NTHRRTH), Donnie Darko (DNNDRK) and Elephant (LPHNT). Life Is Strange developer, DONTNOD Entertainment, also makes an effort to reference the work of one of its founders, Alain Damasio. In Life Is Strange, protagonist Maxine Caulfield comes across a strange glyph.
She responds to seeing the odd graffiti by stating, “weird, those glyphs remind me of… the wind." Each glyph represents a character from Damasio’s epic sci-fi novel, La Horde du Contrevent. In this story, a team (or horde) huddles into a triangular formation to combat the harsh winds that exist on their home planet, hence the triangular configuration of the glyphs. La Horde du Contrevent looks to be getting a video game adaptation in Forge Animation’s Windwalkers, and although it had an unsuccessful plea for Kickstarter funding, the studio is still committed to finishing the game.
Legend of Zelda: Majoras Mask 3D: Multiple Nods To Nintendo’s Past
The Legend of Zelda series has a long history of hiding Nintendo related Easter eggs along Link’s many quests. There is the Mario brother doppelgangers, Talon and Ingo, in Ocarina of Time, and the Yoshi plush and Princess Peach photograph in Link’s Awakening. The teams behind each Legend of Zelda title will take any chance they get to weave Nintendo’s past into the world of Hyrule and the 3D remake of Majora’s Mask is not exempt from the tradition. There are many brand-new Easter eggs to be found scattered about Termina that pay tribute to toys and consoles from the Nintendo’s eclectic catalogue.
In the bomb shop you can find an Ultra Hand and GameCube:
A Ten Billion Barrel inside the Town Shooting Gallery:
The notorious R.O.B can be seen beneath the counter in the Curiosity Shop (through a peep hole on the other side of the wall):
A classic Wii Remote amongst the toys in the playroom of the Goron Elder’s Son:
And a Love Tester in the Marine Research Laboratory:
It’s hard to believe the wave of quality titles 2015 has brought us already, and there’s many more on the way. So, amongst the chaos of the Easter weekend, do yourself a favour - avoid the shopping centres, load up on treats and get to work clearing out that horrific backlog sitting underneath your TV. And if you’re in the mood for another list featuring Link’s latest handheld adventure, be sure to check out Grab It’s Top 10 Masks.