Sunday, June 15, 2008

Summer Gaming

For those college and high school students with extra time on their hands, now is the time to hit up that certain video game that has the tendency to take over your life. Games have become so expansive that they can literally take hundreds of hours to complete. Given the time constraints of work and school, you may not have had the opportunity to give them a good play-through. If you're a next-gen gamer, these are the titles we suggest you sink your teeth into before term papers and tests dominate your life once again. Who needs wrinkles and skin cancer from the harmful sun? Stay inside and enjoy these titles while everybody else is baking in the unbearable heat.

5. Dead Rising (XBOX 360)

This was one of the first major titles for the XBOX 360 that made you want to buy the system. Now that XBOX has zillions of games to choose from, this zombie classic is unfortunately lost. On the surface, Dead Rising seems like a mindless title where you have to literally survive in a mall for three days while you roam around killing the undead with every object known to man. While one can be lured into endlessly hacking and slashing, there is a very intricate story that can change depending on the choices the player makes throughout the game. It wasn't until I tried saving civilians trapped in the mall that I realized this game was incredible. The only problem is that Dead Rising warrants more than one play-through, which will take up copious amounts of your time. Another bonus to this title is an XBOX platinum hit, so you can get it for less than twenty bucks, a virtual steal in the gaming world. I recommend using an online guide or strategy guide from Prima if you want to maximize your potential from this title, because the plot is so detailed, that without a plan, you'll never feel the full effect of the game.

4. Assassin's Creed (XBOX 360, Playstation 3)

If you rush through the main storyline of this title, then you can finish it in a reasonable amount of time. However, I say, "Why gobble down your meal quickly when you can savor the flavor?" While Assassin's Creed can become repetitive with it's side-missions, there is nothing that can compare with the moment of the kill. This game is visually stunning and utilizes a creative control scheme unlike any other title in recent memory. Assassin's Creed is so involved that one's time can disappear without even noticing. This game takes up countless hours of one's life, especially if they have the patience and determination to hunt down and destroy every last Templar in the game. While Call of Duty 4, Bioshock, and Mass Effect dominated the headlines last fall, Assassin's Creed stands out as one of the premier titles for the next gen consoles. It is a must play for any serious gamer with some extra time on his / her hands.

3. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PS3, XBOX 360, PC)

Anyone can tell you that Elder Scrolls games take forever to complete. These games are so massive that unless you can devote huge chunks of time to play-through the game, it will last you until the next generation of consoles before you finally beat it. The Prima Strategy Guide for this title is longer than the Old Testament in the Bible, and that's not hyperbole. Many gamers are simply turned off by the amount of time that it takes to complete the game. If one chooses to skip Elder Scrolls, they are missing out on one of the best RPG's in recent history. And just in case the game doesn't seem big enough for you, there's more downloadable content that will add another 30 plus hours of gameplay. Beefy!

2. Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3 and XBOX 360)

The controversial Grand Theft series is back with it's latest installment of murder and mayhem. While this game is much more compact than San Andreas, it will still require some patience and dedication to play-through the main storyline. In addition to the major missions, there are personal relationships and side quests that one needs to complete if they seek to improve their standing in the game. Add the online multi-player and you have one hell of a game. Aside from Bioshock this is the only game to garner a perfect rating from Game Informer magazine in the last year. That alone warrants at least one summer play-though.

1. Mass Effect (XBOX 360)

Mass Effect suffered greatly from a release date which coincided with some of the most massive titles of 2007, namely Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4. While the rest of the world was busy with first person shooters, RPG fans were enjoying (in my opinion) the greatest RPG / third person shooter hybrid of all time. The storyline is so in depth that the player feels like they are immersed in a movie. Not since Star Wars has there been a sci-fi tale so well written and executed. The last few hours of the game are so gripping that you will not be able to put the controller down. Much like Assassin's Creed, if you just follow the main path, then you can accomplish this game in a reasonable time frame. In reality, you will not be able to avoid exploring the dozens of planets in the Mass Effect universe. If you have approximately one month of your life that you are willing to give up, make sure you buy this game. It is without question one of the best titles of the next generation of gaming.


Patrick said...

Metal Gear Solid 4!

Marc V said...

I don't know enough about Metal Gear Solid 4 to put it here. How much time does it take to complete. I wanted to keep this to games that require tremendous amounts of time to complete.

Marc V said...

Correction: Call of Duty 4 also earned a perfect rating alongside Bioshock and GTA IV.

Patrick said...

Ah, yea, scratch MGS4 then. Some people can cruise thru the MGS series games, but most don't.

I still don't think I finished Sons of Liberty, crap.