We all know that Easter eggs are at their absolute best when they’re big, brown, and made out of chocolate. However, just because you can’t beat a sugary oval filled with Cadbury’s finest fondant, doesn’t mean that the tasty treats stashed inside video games aren’t also entertaining. We took a look back at 12 of the very best secrets stored in several PlayStation releases last year, but in order to celebrate the season – and poach an ancient idea – we’ve compiled our clan in order to discuss some of our personal favourite classified gaming inclusions.
Sammy Barker, Editor
My favourite gaming Easter egg is not especially well hidden – it’s quite brazen, in fact – but it resonates strongly with me because I reported on it when it was discovered. A few weeks before Sony announced The Last of Us at the Spike VGAs, everyone was trying to decipher why exactly the platform holder had been promoting clips from David Attenborough’s documentary Planet Earth. The videos – which focused on the cordyceps infection – appeared to be hinting at some kind of exclusive, but no one knew what. Around the same time, an outlet uncovered a newspaper article on the bar in the opening section of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, which mentioned some kind of “fungal infection”. It was, of course, referring to developer Naughty Dog’s other upcoming game, but no one put two-and-two together until the title was actually announced.
Robert Ramsey, Associate Editor
When asked about Easter eggs, only one tends to spring to mind because of how much time and effort it takes to complete. In Mass Effect 3's often hilarious Citadel DLC, muscle-headed squad mate James Vega comes over for a look around Shepard's classy new apartment. After a lengthy chat, you can find him exploring the home's fitness area, where he'll challenge Shepard to break his pull up record of 182. What follows is a gruelling test of patience, where you tap L1 and R1 over 182 times across the span of about 15 minutes as the Commander burns some serious calories. Not the most enjoyable Easter egg, then, but it's perhaps worth the trouble just to see James' ego taken down a notch.
Jamie O’Neill, Retro Editor
My favourite Easter eggs are retro classics included as secrets, and Konami's original 1989 arcade game concealed within my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus disc on the PlayStation 2 was an appreciated reward. The idea of a retro game hidden inside a retro game may be "meta", but it's not new; for example, Pong can be played in the 1993 Mortal Kombat II coin-op. Konami already explored this concept in earlier games, like The Legend of the Mystical Ninja on SNES, which included the first level of Gradius. However, in 2004 it was a gift to enjoy the four-player Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game in my living room. The coin-op was massive in 1989, and it was a long fifteen year wait for arcade perfect graphics on the PS2.
Brett Young, News Reporter
The Max Payne series has some brilliant Easter egg television shows scattered throughout, ranging from the genius to the downright strange. Indeed, the original Max Payne camped it up in the 'Lord and Ladies' serial, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne gave us the surreal 'Address Unknown', and the third instalment threw us the bizarre 'Adventures of Captain BaseBallBat-Boy'. And it's in the third game where one of my favourite Easter eggs is nestled. If you turn on a certain TV in the football stadium, an episode of a schlocky Brazilian soap opera ends in a cliff hanger where a demon baby is born on a dining room table. Yes, a demon baby. You didn't see that one coming did you?
Edwin Garcia, News Reporter
Back in the PlayStation 2 days, when dynamic duos were Sony’s bread and butter, there were two franchises that always seemed to pop up in each other’s games. Jak & Daxter and Ratchet & Clank had a tendency to appear in their opposite half’s titles, and it was always entertaining looking out for these cameos. Personally, as a fan, I always longed for some kind of collaboration, but that didn’t really happen until PlayStation Move Heroes and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, which didn’t offer the experience that I craved. Still, that will never take away my enjoyment of hunting for the Easter eggs in said classic games.
Kell Andersen, News Reporter
inFAMOUS: Second Son plays host to a metric ton of fun little Easter eggs. From franchise in-jokes, to jabs at Naughty Dog, and even a sneaky Zelda reference, the title truly runs the gamut when it comes to hidden secrets. But far and away the best Easter egg in the game is an inconspicuous schoolyard mural that hints at Sucker Punch's storied past. If I'm honest, this one's getting my vote purely because it's so darn adorable.
Nicola Hayden, News Reporter
While some Easter eggs go undiscovered for years, others are so accessible that anyone can unlock them. And one of these well known secrets is Lara Croft’s iconic handstand from the original Tomb Raider on the PSone. Instead of trying to struggle up ledges in an uncomfortable manner, simply by pressing R1 while climbing up, the haughty heroine will perform an elegant handstand much more fitting of her persona. Seeing as you can use this trick through the entire game, why would you ever want to climb normally again?
Graham Banas, Reviewer
The Borealis is/was an important naval vessel in the Valve collective universe (Half-Life, Portal, etc), and the mention of its inclusion in Portal 2 caused quite a stir when the title’s Trophies first deployed. Sadly, its inclusion – which amounted to little more than a branded life ring and a deserted construction area – brought us no closer to Half-Life 3, which made it a bit of a disappointment by default. However, subtract the astronomical expectations attached to this secret, and it was a delightful inclusion that reaffirmed the intertwined nature of the Portal and Half-Life plots, affirming that Valve titles are pretty much the gaming equivalent of the Marvel movie universe.
Joey Thurmond, Reviewer
I may be in the minority, but Call of Duty: World at War remains one of my favourite games in the series to date. It also has arguably the best Easter eggs in the franchise, too. I’m mostly referring to the slew of secrets and surprises that are stashed in the Nazi Zombie maps, but I still think that the greatest one is hidden in the ‘Little Resistance’ campaign mission. After calling in an artillery strike on Peleliu Island, you can storm its beaches and slowly regain control of the landmass. However, if you take the time to stand in several puddles on the beach, the screen will shake, ancient statues will rise out of the sand, and the infamous Ray Gun will be yours to command. I love World War II shooters, but come on – how cool is it that the game gives you the opportunity to fire a futuristic, alien weapon?
Marcello Apostolico, Reviewer
Whether it’s a chocolate Easter egg or an in-game Easter egg, there's always a sense of mystery and excitement to be found inside. I can't forget the moment that I discovered a secret treat in Devil May Cry 3 – the original release, not the Special Edition. In Mission 19, during the boss battle with Arkham, if you had the Doppelgänger style equipped and a second controller plugged in, the other player could press start and take control of Vergil during the boss battle. This hidden feature was brief, but had "awesome" written all over it. After all, Dante’s brother was a badass character – and Capcom even listened to the squeals of fanboy delight by creating a mode strictly based upon him in the aforementioned reissue.
What’s the tastiest PlayStation Easter egg that you’ve ever tucked into? How do you think that developers decide on which secrets should get hatched? Crack open your thoughts in the comments section below.