Remember, remember the 5th of November, as the old saying goes anyways.
Bonfire night is the UK’s annual tradition of ‘celebrating’ Guy Fawkes and his plot to bomb the Houses of Parliament. It’s typically a joyous occasion as communities come together for food, drink and, of course, fireworks.
All this is a lot of fun, unless you suffer from anablephobia, the fear of looking up. Of if you are a dog. Well, fear not because we can help by presenting to you the best Fireworks from the gaming scene!
So stay inside, grab yourself a Pumpkin Spice Latte, a slice of parkin, and a nice hot bowl of pork pie and mushy peas and watch these digital fireworks instead. It’s warmer inside too!
Forza Horizon Series
The Forza Horizon series has had three entries now and continues to go from strength to strength, rivalling its bigger brother in many aspects.
The premise is that every Horzion Festival takes place in a new location and brings together the best drivers in an open world racer set in a festival setting with music and parties galore.
Each Horizon game has a central hub and it’s from here where you can access the garage, tuning centre, showroom and more. It can always be highlighted on your map or you can fast travel to it, but if you choose to drive there in the evening, above it will be a spectacular fireworks display reaching high into the sky. And with an Xbox One X update in the pipeline for Forza Horizon 3, this display looks set to get even more pretty.
Not a display so much, but these fireworks are a celebration every time you score a goal in this football/car hybrid.
Once the ball crosses the line then a glittery explosion spouts out from the goal. And with recent updates, this can now be customised so you can choose your favourite cascade to really drive the point home to your opponents.
Be warned though, the fireworks explosion is a paid-for addition, but there are plenty of free ones that produce colourful celebrations, and several others completely different altogether.
Final Fantasy XIII
I’m going to try my hardest now and attempt a restrained version of myself talking about Final Fantasy, the greatest gaming series of all time. Not least because XIII’s plot can be very confusing. Wish me luck.
In a nutshell, Final Fantasy XIII is a game revolving around six main characters, all united in battle as they have recently been branded as l’Cie by the fal’Cie known as Anima. The main protagonist, Lightning, has a sister, Serah, who was also was turned into a l’Cie and completed her mission, which then resulted in her turning into a crystallised form.
Days before this, Serah and her fiancé Snow, enjoyed a rather beautiful moment flying around an enclosed firework display. Snow is another playable character in the game who teams up with Lightning, and while this cutscene occurs chronologically before the events of the game, it is only shown part-way through the game for maximum poignancy.
Final Fantasy games have always prided themselves on their graphics and back in 2009 when XIII was released this was no exception. The fireworks scene was CGI but still looks absolutely gorgeous now and is a real moment between two characters that were central to Final Fantasy XIII and its sequels.
Bully: Scholarship Edition
Before we continue, a quick disclaimer: Fireworks shouldn’t be used as weapons. Don’t be stupid.
Bully: Scholarship Edition is a remaster of Bully/Canis Canem Edit – depending on which side of the Atlantic you are on – that originally released on the PlayStation 2. Developed by Rockstar Games, it is very much a Grand Theft Auto-style experience, but this time set in a private boarding school.
Players control Jimmy Hopkins who must rise through the social climate of the school. Much of this involves attacking enemies using a variety of melee attacks and weapons. Amongst the selection of weapons included are – yep, you guessed it – fireworks and firecrackers.
Bully features two different versions: one is the Volcano 4000 Firework which acts as a cascade until it explodes causing high damage, and a regular firecracker that Jimmy himself can make using his Chemistry set as you progress through the story. Both of these can cause high damage to your opponents, but also to yourself, so best to use at a distance.
Hitman features a couple of different uses for fireworks: a pretty display in the Paris episode that you can actually trigger yourself or, much more in keeping with Hitman, used as a method to kill your target.
The 2016 reboot of Hitman is one of the best-looking games on the Xbox One but due to its episodic nature was foolishly overlooked by many people. These episodes gave the player access to massive playgrounds with tons of routes to enact their kills and boasted huge replayability as a result.
Paris is the first episode so those looking for a pretty display do not have to play into the game for too long – simply complete the training mission and bright lights will be yours. While this display is meant to be used as a distraction to allow you to continue to stalk your prey, it’s a gorgeous looking distraction that may just distract you as well as the others.
For the more sinister, death by fireworks is found in the Summer Bonus Episode pack. Another gorgeous fireworks display but a hugely different outcome. Found at the end of a pier, entice your target to them, then detonate remotely. Make it look like an accident. A very loud and colourful accident.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Picture this: You’ve just had the night from hell chasing your arch enemy throughout a psychiatric hospital, facing off against most of the other people you’ve locked away in there, and then he finally gets bored and challenges you to a final showdown on the rooftops. You wouldn’t be happy would you?
Don’t worry though, The Joker knows he’s been a bit unfair, so he arranges some little fireworks on the rooftops to entice you to come up. He’s even managed to find some that produce smiley faces and the bat-symbol.
Batman: Arkham Asylum is the first – and best – of the Arkham series, completely blowing everyone away when it first released, showing arch rivals Batman and The Joker at their cat and mouse best. It’s true what they say, one cannot exist without the other.
This display occurs near the end of the game, where The Joker has finally finished toying with you and has decided to face you one-on-one. Of course, things are never that simple, and the fireworks prove to be a minor distraction compared to what is round the corner. Still, a bit of colour in this bleak atmosphere never harmed anyone.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
This may be a bit of a stretch as there is no explosion necessarily, but if I refer to the confetti flying out like a firework, then I can put this in the list. And any list needs some form of Halo on it. Doesn’t it?
Grunt Birthday Party. For me, this is the one skull I must have on at all times. The satisfying pop, explosion of confetti and the accompanying ‘Yay!’ is something that I will never get bored of.
Pop any Grunt in the head with a precision weapon, whilst this skull is turned on, and you will have endless amounts of fun too. I’m including this in the list of fireworks because every headshot causes the confetti to cascade out of the head, but no one bats an eyelid at it. Using the pistol at a group of Grunts and you can easily get multiple headshots and all produce confetti, covering the battlefield. Sadly, this is only very temporary, as it is gone as quickly as it appears.
So there you have it. There were plenty of other games I could have included but this is a list that offers many different examples across multiple genres. This is not intended to be a definitive list of fireworks within video games, it’s just a bit of fun. Feel free to leave a comment with any other examples you can think of!
Remember, remember, the 5th of November. But don’t worry if you forget, as we will no doubt rinse and repeat this list for 4th July.