Blowing up shit in video games has been fun ever since...well, forever I would wager, though my personal memories would narrow the experience down to the crazy ass techno-organic monstrosities that reared their ugly heads in Contra. It obviously goes back much longer, but it's progressed much further now that technology allows gamers to destroy damn near anything.
I recall Jackal and other top down shooters as some of the first to let gamers blow up all manner of incoming vehicles, friendly or otherwise, be they tanks, cars, jets, choppers, and everything in between, which was later expanded on with EA's Strike series (Jungle, Desert, Urban, Soviet, etc.). But one very specific type of vehicle seemed to always escape a fiery destruction, now more than ever with recent games.
Ten tons o' steam powered terror, the video game incarnation of these things will run you over as easily as a penny, and with the same effect. Even if you don't face off against them directly, levels just set on them are torture. Consider Resident Evil Zero's Ecliptic Express, or the Nightmare Train level of Tekken 6's Scenario Campaign.
This is especially relevant in more recent (and upcoming) games. Let's look at Battlefield 4's, Golmud Railway map. As the name alludes, the map is home to just such a nefarious train as the map's Levolution feature, and is mounted with 50 caliber machine guns, so whichever team is controlling the change also gets some heavy firepower. Countless players have tried to derail this thing, but this damn thing is nigh indestructible.
So, just to put things into perspective, certain Battlefield 4 maps allow players to blow up hotels, dams, guard towers, an entire skyscraper, and the whole of one map can be entirely flooded. But one train? Not in your wildest dreams.
The phenomenon isn't limited to first-person shooters either. Take Grand Theft Auto V for example, where players can rob stores and pedestrians alike, get an apartment, customize characters with an entire wardrobe, explore the deepest oceans with a submarine, or do a drive by from a Harrier Jet and parachute to safety with nary a bruise. Granted, you can ride on and even drive a train all you like in certain cases, but you're S.O.L. if you think you can stop that diesel powered pulverizer in any honest manner.
But why go out of your way to destroy such a thing so thoroughly enjoyed by the majority of this nation's sticky fingered five year olds? What'd a train ever do to you? As long as you leave trains alone, then they'll leave you alone...right?
Far from it. This manner of thinking is a fool's dream. Trains are dangerous, and not just because they're the choice vehicle from people to throw their mommas from. The most predatory of all of locomotives isn't bearing the Bombadier Transportation namesake, but it does call the tundras of the frozen north its home. If you value your life, you'll stay far and away from Skyrim.
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