Gaming the first half of 2009

In January I wrote a piece on the games I was looking forward to the first third of 2009. I intended to follow this up for the second third of the year as well but the spring and the summer has been rather quiet when it comes to new must-have games (at least for me). Nevertheless, during the last month or so we have seen some titles I might pick up at some point if I have time.

Even though there has been a lack of new titles I have been able to put in some time with a few old games. Before I look forward to the games to arriving this fall, I’ll go through some of the things I think are worth mentioning from the previous months.

Some of the anticipated ones

I was not really psyched about that many games the first half of the year. I previously mentioned that I was waiting for the likes of F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin and Company of Heroes Tales of Valor but none of these got that great critics. Then we had Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned and we will soon see another add-on to GTA IV, The Ballad of Tony Gay. I guess I at some stage will get my hands of both of these DLC as I really liked GTA IV.

Resident Evil 5 - Screenshot

Resident Evil 5 - Screenshot

Finally, we had Resident Evil 5 which got a pretty good reception. I recently got my hands on it and it was a fair game. However, I am not sure if I liked its boss fights. It was fun and sometimes a bit chaotic to blast away zombies. A thing which I liked was that the game had coop, even though this could have been implemented a lot better. Why not use the whole screen?

Social gaming is fun

Army of Two - Wall paper (Gamespot)

Army of Two - Wall paper (Gamespot)

I have also been enjoying several co-op and social games lately. I have gone through first of all, Kane and Lynch. This game was rather shitty and I cannot believe that Jeff Gerstmann got fired for giving this game a low score. Army of Two on the other hand was a rather positive surprise.  I have in fact played through it three times now. It is not Gears of War 2, but it is rather enjoyable, particularly with a friend (or a girlfriend).

Probably the biggest gaming success is that I have managed to get my girlfriend somewhat interested in gaming. Games like Guitar Hero: Metallica and Lego Indiana Jones have appealed quite a lot to her. Guitar Hero was really a blast. Getting both a game and Metallica in one package is quite incredible.

We have also tried Worms (downloadable), Scene it Lights, camera, ready (she kicked my ass), and Facebreaker. Facebreaker looks kind a fun, but it was one of the most boring games I have ever tried. I am no fan of fighting games partly because I really hate loosing, but this one was really bad.

On-line multi-player mayhem

Team Fortress 2 - Wallpaper

Team Fortress 2 - Wallpaper

I have really never played any games on-line until Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare. Lately, I have however gotten my share of both Left 4 Dead and Call of Duty 5 World at War. I recently picked up CoD 5 WaW for the third time and it is still great fun. I have in fact played a bit of Team Fortress 2 as well during the last months. All four games are really good and something you should own if you consider yourself a gamer.

All quiet on the strategy front

I have had Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 and Sins of a Solar Empire a quite long time but I have really never found any time to play them. Earlier this year, Men of War came out as well and when it was on sale on Steam for €7 I had to get it. However, now I have three really good strategy games which I have not played yet and there are a couple of other ones out there which I would like to get my hands on.

First up is Anno 1404 or Dawn of Discovery as it is called in the US. Then we have Empire Total War which is another title I really would have liked to have time to play. I have not bought any of these yet but I assume I will when I find some time to play them.

Buggy games

Empire Total War leads me to think about some of the buggy experiences we have had lately. Empire Total War was according to the ones who have played it not exactly a bug free experience and the Total War series is not really known to be bug free. This is really a shame because the game has plenty of potential.

It seems as Arma 2 has gone in the same trap. The game has plenty of potential and ambitions but a sloppy implementations. This has put me off for some time. I decided to rather wait a bit until the game is patched, more playable, and hopefully not full-priced. This is really a shame for the developer because they will not make as much money as if they had made a more polished product.

X3 Terran Conflict - Screenshot (Softpedia)

X3 Terran Conflict - Screenshot (Softpedia)

I waited for almost a half a year to play X3 Terran Conflict.  X3TC was a very buggy game when it came out. However, I waited until the 2.0 patch was released and I have enjoyed it a lot (I guess some will say too much). If you want a deeper than run-and-gun-experience, X3 could be the thing for you. It is a space exploration, trading, and shooting sim with a offer-demand economics. It is a bit hard to describe but you should try it. Don’t give up when you see its steep learning curve, it is really worth the struggle.

While not being a buggy game, Fallout 3 offers a lot of the same depth but in a bit different way. I guess it is this depth which one finds in games like X3 and Fallout 3 which makes many games a lot better on the PC than on any console.

A couple of other releases and a big back-log

There has been a few other releases lately which I might pick up if I have the time. Prototype, Call of Juarez Bound in Blood, and Red Faction Guerrilla are all titles which have received good critics and I am sure I would enjoy them. However, I have borrowed Fable 2, Assassins Creed, Darkness, Halo 3, and Hitman Blood Money, all of which I would like to go through on the Xbox.

In addition, I have bought Red Alert 3, Sins of a Solar Empire, and Men of War and I have not yet tried them. Hence, I really don’t see any time for that many new games, and I am supposed to finish a PhD as well… Priorities, priorities 😉

unprecise.




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