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PC Gaming Holiday Buy Guide

Started by Genki, December 07, 2008, 12:48:26 AM

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Genki

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The holiday season is almost upon us and so it's only fair that we at the 8th provide you with some gift ideas for the still undecided among you. In this article, I'll be highlighting some of 2008's top releases on the PC and must haves for any gaming fan!


Honorary Mention: Grand Theft Auto IV
Sure you probably already picked up GTA for the 360 or PS3, but its immense critical and public acclaim garner it a spot on this list. For those of us who don't own a console or had the patience to wait for a PC release, your time has come. Expect the same incredible game, polished up for the PC release, with an added bonus of hours of extra content when the modding community gets its hands on it. Even if you already played it before, you still might want to consider picking it up for these added PC benefits, and if you haven't tried it at all yet, buy it now!


10.Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3
Parachuting bears, tanks running over other tanks and terrible accents: you know you love it. The unrivaled RTS insanity of the Red Alert series is back and better than ever. An immensely polished work, RA3 combines traditional, rock solid RTS elements with a dash of wonderful innovation. Are you a Red Alert fan? Then you're gonna love this; and if you've never had the RA experience, now's a great time to check it out.


9. Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
WoW killer? Naw. What Conan wishes it was? Most definitely. Perhaps the first legitimate challenger to World of Warcraft's stranglehold on fantasy MMOs (and MMORPGs in general, for that matter) in a long, long while, WAR is one helluva game. Handedly countering the naysayer, WAR amazes by living up to almost all of the hype generated by excited fans. Warhammer Online both stays true to its roots as well as innovates on the genre's proven formula. This is a great buy for any MMO fan.


8. Call of Duty: World at War
Hot on the heels of its massively successful predecessor, the newest installment in the Call of Duty franchise does not disappoint. While the franchise's decision to retrace its steps and set the game back in WWII was heavily criticized at the outset, Treyarch managed to keep things fresh with a beautifully crafted single player campaign. Chock full of explosive scenarios and amazing set-pieces, World at War is a worthy entry to the CoD franchise. Combine this with the ridiculously addictive multiplayer style of the Modern Warfare and you got yourself a seriously amazing FPS experience.


7. Crysis: Warhead
Sure it's not much more than a glorified expansion pack with souped-up multiplayer, but Warhead reminds all of us why Crysis is still the king of graphical awesomeness. Warhead features not only optimized graphics (allowing us who don't own HALs to run the game on High), but much more polished gameplay and pacing. The levels and scenarios are incredibly intense while still remaining atmospheric. Crytek's choice to more heavily characterize the player also proved to be a success, giving the world a much more immersive feel to it. The new and improved multiplayer, while no CoD4, is still a massive improvement over the first Crysis's. Warhead is a definite recommendation to anyone who enjoyed the first Crysis.  Or, hell, anyone who likes FPSs at all.


6. Far Cry 2
Aw yeah, Far Cry's back! While it has absolutely nothing to do with the first Far Cry, Ubisoft obviously put a lot of heart and effort into living up Crytek's classic and wow, did it pay off. Far Cry is one of the most immersive, open games ever. Ubisoft clearly made an effort to make everything in the game contribute to the feeling of a living, breathing world that your character is a part of. Far Cry 2 pulls no tricks with "wide railed" open world gameplay; this is a true blue freeform experience. This is a truly incredible ride through one of the most ambitious attempts at gritty FPS realism.


5. Dead Space
Scariest game in a hell of a long time; need I say more? Dead Space is not only a graphical beauty, it's a gameplay powerhouse. Expertly combining intense, action sequences with some of the freakiest environments and enemies ever, Dead Space expertly weaves awesome gameplay with an incredible atmosphere. This is taking survival horror to the next level and, in my humble opinion, a true successor to games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill.


4. Spore
There's not a lot one can say about Will Wright's attempt to create a game about, well... life except, wow, dude's got some major minerals. Considering he near literally promised the universe, Spore is one hell of an achievement in interactive media. While for every groundbreaking accomplishment of Spore's, there's at least one criticism, no one can deny that Spore is a triumph of creative ingenuity. If you are at all curious about what gaming is outside of shooting aliens and androgynous RPG heroes, you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of this game.


3. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
What PC gaming buying guide would be complete without one of the biggest game releases ever? Love it or hate it, WoW is the PC gaming juggernaut. This expansion could've been filled with rotten fish and threatening notes and it still would've sold better than 99.9% of games out there. Luckily though, this was not the case. Blizzard once again proves why it's the king of the PC market and delivers an incredible addition to an already massive (in every possible way) experience.


2. Left 4 Dead
Oh baby, you knew it was coming! This game can only be described in one word: Zombtastic! Valve does it again with yet another amazing multiplayer experience. Screw playing alone; it's time to make some friends and kill some undead. L4D is one of the most exciting, exhilarating, and entertaining games ever. Intricate, compelling and downright fun; L4D is easily the multiplayer game to own this year. The ostensible simplicity hides one of the highest replay values I've ever seen. If you're planning on entering 2009 without experiencing this masterpiece, think again! It's the Zombie Apocalypse. Bring Friends.



1. Fallout 3
Well here we are at numero uno. Ichiban. Yi ji bang. Nummer eins. The big cheese. Okay, enough. It's time for another trip down memory lane. Remember way back when; when isometric, simulated 3D was still awesome, when 32mb of RAM was more than enough, and dinosaurs still roamed the earth? Well back then there was a little game called Fallout, and quite simply, it was made of pure amazing. Well it had a sequel, which was also pretty cool. Then a string of seriously disappointing spin offs. Finally, 2003 saw the closure of Black Isle studios and the end of any hope of a return to form for the Fallout series. And that's the end of our story... or is it? Feeling quite cocksure after the huge success of The Elder Scrolls IV, Bethesda Software felt they were up to the massive task of reviving the sleeping giant. And the result? Pure, freaking, amazing. Sure it's not the Fallout of the past, but hell, I didn't see anyone complain when Oblivion wasn't a remake of Arena. Bethesda might have changed as much as it kept from the original games but the soul of the Fallout franchise is quite alive and kicking in this newest incarnation. Fallout 3 is a crowning achievement of innovation and ambition. Sure it has its flaws, and sure, there's a buttload of them. I think the most important thing to note is that even with these technical and gameplay errors, Fallout 3 never once feels contrived, unpolished or incomplete. It's an amazing experience like no other, and you minus well get eaten by a Radroach if you're planning on missing it.



Well that about rounds out the list of the biggest, baddest PC releases (woops, looks like I "forgot" one of the 20 billion Sims expansions ;P ). Hope this helps someone out there and if this wasn't enough, look for my PC Indie Gems buy guide later this week!

We Are All One
8th Circuit

noodle976

"you minus well"
wat?
do you mean "you might as well"?
also lol WoW
"WoW is the PC gaming juggernaut." BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO SUCK AT REAL GAMES >:\

Link3588

Why bother to put Wrath of the Lich King on the list?  Everyone already got it.

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