What is it about a game that can cause such strong emotions in a person? What is it about the experience of immersing oneself in a fictional world that can be either so rewarding or so taxing? The fact is, some games end up becoming instant classic when they are released and some become little more than smudges in a gamer’s memory. This happens every year, and 2011 has been no different.
The following is a comparison of some games that you probably can’t put down and a few you probably shouldn’t pick up. If you decide you want to pick up some of these games but don’t have a PC to run them on, don’t forget to get some Dell coupons.
Saints Row: The Third vs. 25 to Life
Saints Row is now in its third incarnation, and most titles don’t get that many rehashes without being pretty good. Well, Saints Row is not pretty good. It’s fantastic. The game follows an upstart gang as they terrorize a rival network of criminals. Think Grand Theft Auto but more ridiculous. The game’s graphics and artificial intelligence have been called into question but according to a review on Metacritic, “Saints Row: The Third is a great game with an amazing open word experience and loads of crazy funny action.”
Unfortunately there is always another side of the coin, or in this case, another side of the genre. 25 to Life is another street gangster simulation, but one that fails more dismally than the last Transformers movie. The game has been said to “set the gaming bar about as low as it can go. Then trips over it.” Among the biggest complaints are the game’s faulty logic (cops will shoot your human shield if you try to use one for too long), the lame visuals (this is the 21st century but surprisingly, bad graphics still happen), and an overall boring gameplay experience (the game takes six hours to complete on medium difficulty).
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 vs. Alliance: Future Combat
Well, this is one bout that is ripe with improbable story lines. The only difference is that MW3 has been praised for its playability and outstanding multiplayer mode. PC Games out of Germany called MW3 “the best Call of Duty since the first Modern Warfare.”
Then there’s Alliance: Future Combat. While MW3 was based on a Russian invasion of U.S. soil following a terrorist attack that appeared to be carried out by an American operative, Alliance: Future Combat decides to throw logic to the wind. The game (which was released in 2006) is set in the distant time of…2008. The game includes droids and Terminator-style destruction robots. There are countries that don’t exist. There is a secret American subterranean base in the Middle East. There is…just too much fantasy and not enough meat. The glitchy and undeveloped game play is just not enough to keep you interested in this ridiculous premise. Suspension of disbelief is part of the gameplay experience, but suspension of your brain is not.
Some games end up being classics, and others go down as epic failures. The last thing you want to do is dump a big ol’ lump of coal in someone’s stocking or give someone a beautifully gift-wrapped clunker for his or her birthday. To avoid that, do your research and figure out which games are must-haves and which ones are to be avoided.