E3: Xbox 360: Looking Back and Forward
As E3 wooed us with slick cut scenes and cinematics and even cirque de soliel, but I thought it would be a good time to go back to the Xbox archives and revisit games that have kept my affair with the Xbox a violently romantic.
Three games everyone’s heard of that you must play.
Bioshock- I’m always ashamed to admit that when I first saw, I wasn’t immediately sold. “Syringes, mutants, powers? Whatever.” Oh, how young and naïve I was. This is one of the best Xbox games you’ll ever play. A violent medley of weapons, genetically engineered powers (Insect Swarm’s my favorite), but more importantly, some of the best WTF moments I’ve ever had. All the while, I felt the way I did when I first saw Jurassic Park, I was really exploring a new world.
Gears of War- Growing up on a Genesis diet, co-op was always something I loved, and that’s one of the things that makes Gears of War one of my favorite games. Heavy cover based shooting while yelling at my cousin two feet away to throw a grenade cover really added that element of being on the battlefield. Oh and of course, chainsaws on automatic rifles, duh!
Halo 3- I’m bracing myself for a lot of fanboy spite just about now. But honestly, I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s unwittingly lost countless hours on team Slayer. Love it or hate it, this is one of those games that’s integral to Xbox lore. Everyone complains about the quality of the crowd in Halo 3 online, ‘roided freaks and shrieking ‘tweens; but aren’t these exactly the people you want to humiliate over broadband connection?
Three underrated games you have to absolutely play.
Metro 2033- I wouldn’t have a problem with ending the list here with this game; it is absolutely one of the best games I’ve played. The amount of detail and craft that went into Metro 2033 is the product of a development team (4A studios) that genuinely cares about their game. It’s not the best looking game, but there are very few shooters out there that match the depth, narrative, and atmosphere of Metro 2033.Get your gasmask on, and prepare for some of the most submersive gameplay on the Xbox.
Burnout Revenge- I like combat and I like racing, few games mesh the two successfully. The Mario Kart series does it exquisitely, but I usually lose my patience for the games, unable to sometimes deal with the acid-trip realities of being shrunk, run over by an anthropomorphic fungus hybrid , and get pulled out of a lake by a fishing magical cloud munchkin. What’s a slightly more realistic way to fight with cars? USE THE CARS! That’s why I think Burnout Revenge will forever be the best racer around. It wasn’t even a next-gen title at first! I played it on the PS2 and had to get it for the Xbox. Smashing and running people off the road? Hell, wait until you see a vertical takedown. This game not only tests split second skill with amazing tracks, it does so with a kill or be killed edge: the other guy might be faster, but not if he blows up. Oh and did I mention you can blow your tanks up in kamikaze splendor!
Lord of the Rings Conquest- If you like the Star Wars Battlefront series, then you’ll love this game. Well, they are both by pandemic. I’m a practical gamer. I don’t need the prettiest product, as long as it’s fun to play, I’m okay. What better way to burn an afternoon than by cutting through Orcs and Uruk-Hai? I don’t know of any. LOTR Conquest basically gave me another excuse to visit the Pelennor fields, and for that, I’m always grateful.
The 2010 E3 games we must play.
Halo: Reach- I always gain a lot of respect when someone admits they screwed up. When Bungie admitted that Halo: ODST watered down the franchise, I took it as a sign that Halo: Reach is going to be good. She’s definitely a looker, as the entire engine was apparently stripped down and rebuilt, and the gameplay, now with some orbital dogfighting action, looks pretty sweet. Even the multiplayer looks high-end, without the slight smudging that’s usually indicative of multiplayer gameplay graphics. And this time around, it’s not just a single Spartan versus an army, but your very own squad of armored, genetically engineered, super soldiers, and they’re just antsy to play with the covenant. I feel Bungie is going to want to leave the Halo universe with a bang… hopefully in a good way.
Dead Rising: Case Zero- It’s not a whole game, but an Xbox live exclusive prequel to the highly anticipated Dead Rising 2. Instead of tossing us a demo, Capcom developed Case Zero, whichprovides hours of Chuck Greene zombie chopping action. It also acts as a bridge between Dead Rising and Dead Rising 2, so we might find out what happened to our beloved Frank West. This time around, you don’t need Otis calling you like a high school ‘tween; you’re going to move because your daughter’s going to need more than Flinstone’s Kids to save her. I think this is a great idea. Hours of gameplay before the actual game releases, sign me up. And you know what? It’s zombies, and you get to cave their skulls in; that’s plenty of reason to play this.
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood- From what I’ve seen, it looks like Ubisoft isn’t half-assing a sequel for a quick buck. I personally can’t wait to reenact the Caesar assassination in the ruins of the Roman senate as I prowl the streets of the Palatine hill. Plus, now there’s multiplayer. And if you’re worried about stale, forty minute matches of nothing but two people waiting to hit the counter button, Ubisoft’s ahead of you. It’s more of a hunt within a hunt next to another hunt on top of some more hunting. Other’s are on your tail as you’re moving to your mark, so you have to keep a low profile, you know, like an assassin. Plus, different classes are going to add some variety, so hidden blades won’t be going dull anytime soon. But best of all, now you’re actually hurting someone’s feelings when you check their tonsils with a hidden blade…awesome.