Hello ladies and gentlemen, my name is Charlie and i’m a writer, gamer and cynical bastard. I’ve been gaming for about half my 16 years and writing for about 2 on a I-can’t-really-be-arsed-to-do-much level. That being said, I am here for a reason, I have no clue what it is, but it must be that i’m good at this. I’d like to think so anyway.
Now before things get too rambling, down to the nitty gritty. The games, lets have a little one sided discussion about the lovely games. To start, i’m a huge fan of world building and actually good storytelling mixed in with some lovely visual design and gameplay. Now, because of this, my selection of games I actually like, that i’ve actually finished is small and focused. This also means i’m going to exclude mentioning things like Call of Duty, because dull repetition and nationalism so heavy Godzilla would have trouble lifting it isn’t worth the time.
Stepping away from that rather brash line, lets go into some games I do like, some classics and others fairly new. The list following isn’t ranked, its just a list. Don’t look for some small proof that because I put Halo below Darkest Dungeon, that its completely inferior to a indie game with the accessibility of a coffee shop on the side of Mount Everest, its not, they’re both decent games. So without further ado, lets get straight to the list:
6: The Binding Of Isaac, Rebirth
I got into The Binding of Isaac WELL after it’s immediate release and re-release. I got in so late I ended up binge playing it for several hours, watched a million runs and eventually crashed from an overdose of drugs, Blue Baby runs and a million shed tears in every sense. The game itself, if you don’t already know or have been living under a landslide, is a reimagining of classic legend of zelda style dungeon crawlers. Exactly that except infinitely more psychotic and dark.
I love it.
In all due seriousness, I do recommend you at least steal the game first if you aren’t willing to pay the enormous price of about $15. It provides many hours of entertainment and even more wondering who the hell thought this up and how ridiculously scarred do you have to be to do so.
Dishonoured is another one of those things I came to much later than the rest of the rational populace, seeing as I just finished it a week ago, then promptly accidentally deleted it. Aside from the technical buggery I experienced playing a high quality stealth game on a horridly old laptop, I enjoyed the game. The blend of stealth and action is nice, the world building is solid, and the joys of blink-teleporting at a steam punk style mech and stabbing it in the face with a butterfly knife.
But, and yes there is a but. It does include some stupid binary moral choice system that isn’t actually a system. While I do appreciate its depth and the fact that the setting does get progressively more fucked if you act like a bloody nut job to much, it is a little iffy. The fact that a non lethal approach is infinitely less enjoyable than a slice-up-everything-like-you’re-Gordon-Ramsay playthrough is a bit of a pain.
All up, it is a wonderful game, and I do recommend skipping it entirely, buying dishonoured 2, then not come whining back to me if it’s absolute shite.
4: Rachet and Clank: Up You’re Arsenal
This game was one of my childhood joys, an old PS2 game that followed a large space rodent and his little box shaped robot adventuring all over the galaxy. This was one of Insomniac’s earlier titles and, in my “professional” (oh thats a good one) opinion, was one of their best. It featured a memorable and ridiculously varied arsenal of guns, some of the silliest characters and interesting universes and some of the most enjoyable sequences of a video game I’ve experienced.
To this day, nothing has beaten the time where I romped around a spy movie set fighting a giant monster as an overweight robot, or the time where I swung around fighting alien tribesmen in a jungle, OR every single boss battle that game had. Annoyingly, the current remastering trend hasn’t come around to this particular game, but my hopes remain somewhat positive that the new one will match up in quality.
If any of you own a PS2, or some other console that game is on, and you’re in arms length, I would personally force you into a chair to play that glorious shit.
3: Halo: Reach
This was another one of those games that dominated my childhood and early teens, a shooter to remember. Now, some smart arses will probably pout and complain that I’ve neglected any COD game but showed my preference for Halo. Well, I’ll tell you now the main reasons I adore this game is it’s world, memorable moments, enjoyable gameplay and all the times I jumped on top of a flying Banshee and kicked the pilot in the face so hard he fell out.
The game’s character development was weak, granted. It’s campaign was short and somewhat devolved into one dramatic death after the other. I still liked it though. I wouldn’t really say you NEED to play this, but it was fun and is one of those shooters that’s a little more classic and and enjoyable in a similar way to Doom, which i’d love a lot more if it didn’t constantly Alt-Tab whenever I want to shoot. Anyway…
2: Dark Souls
How could we write up a top six without including this little gem. Dark Souls is one of those games that really got to me, gifting me the power of great patience and skill.
I’m kidding, it made me break a computer with pure anger.
Aside from that particular fight in a small room with that absolute arse called the Capra Demon and the duo of perfect run ruining dogs, I enjoyed almost every inch of this game. The level design is astoundingly complex, the combat is weighted and satisfying, the atmosphere is incredible, in that typical depressing, everything is fucked kind of way. If you can overcome the barrier to entry thats practically as intimidating as an army of scotsmen in war paint charging down a hill at you, then you’ll see what I mean.
This game is one of those ones I could nitpick at for quite a time, play a bit more and find more things to nitpick, that doesn’t change the fact it’s bloody excellent, and really deserves you’re attention, patience and knowledge of how to remedy the atrocious PC port.
1: XCOM, Enemy Unknown
With the announcement of XCOM 2, and my later discovery that I wouldn’t be able to play it until it got re-released for us filthy console peasants, I decided to replay this game. I was promptly murdered and my planet promptly enslaved by a bunch of big headed bastards and their entire back up of any sentient species ever invented by early sci fi.
This bloody game is one of those really, REALLY unforgiving ones. The kind of unforgiving where save scumming is a perfectly valid and encouraged option by the developers themselves. This is a game that will murder you and all you’re friends, burn down you’re house, and steal all you’re money.
I would encourage you to buy it, but if you have a decent computer you may as well save it for XCOM 2. IF you are like me, and don’t have a mega machine, buy this one.
Now, onto the dishonourable mentions on this countdown, games I don’t like and would love to see brutally dismembered, games so abysmal that it’s impossible to go into them in detail without smashing my keyboard into dust. So without further ado, the top 6 worst games I’ve ever had the displeasure of encountering…
Now, to reiterate, there are a number of things i’m relatively passive towards with this rpg-mmo-shooter thing. Mechanically and visually: stunning. In terms of actual content, world building, story, engaging enemies and areas: must less stunning. One could say non existent but that would be a little extreme.
The main reason I totally despise this game is the blatant cash grab design, the continued idiocy of the developers and the horrendous design choices. Even the people at gamestop are discouraging you from buying this game. GAMESTOP!
To be fair, mechanically its lovely. I’ve just got a multitude of pet peeves that ruin my appreciation for the bloody thing. Buy it if you wish, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
5: XCOM: The Bureau
Another one of these blatant cash grabs, this time initiated by 2K games when they tried to reboot XCOM as a shooter. After everyone promptly said “that’s fucking stupid”, blam: Enemy Unknown was released.
They still went and made this pile of shite though.
The game is poorly optimised, so my laptop struggles even more than usual to run the thing, the character’s are forgettable, the controls shoddy, the story boring, the gunplay a clear copy-paste from any other bad third person shooter with a Gears of War cover system. Do I really need to continue? I’m not going to, because it’s really painful and i didn’t even have the motivation to finish, but really? Do I need to?
4: Sonic Unleashed
This was one of my old, childhood games. It wasn’t for very long. The game was so shoddy that even 12 year old me, who didn’t even have any judgement skills, thought it was shite. That was judgement from a midget that was entirely correct.
Now I don’t actually remember any of the game, and i’m going to just assume that means I’ve purged it from my brain for a reason. It may be excellent, maybe my memory is fooling me, but I distinctly remember one specific level, and if it’s like the rest of the game, then i’m not wrong.
3: Kraven Manor
Ok, this one is a little obscure, but bear with me here. Kraven Manor is essentially you’re regular indie slender rip off so hilariously bad I couldn’t get even the least bit intimidated by even the spooky atmosphere. The game revolves around you running around a manor of sorts, collecting architectural plans and avoiding a spooky manikin.
If the game wasn’t laden with stupid bugs, glitches and hilarious enemy AI that makes the game more of a comedy than a horror experience. I’m trying, even to this very moment, to remember something spooky or scary or even slightly creepy about it. Every time I try to remember I have a vague recollection of playing it with my friends, spotting the manikin on top of a sofa, it being yelled at and then falling over.
2: Call of Duty: Ghosts
I know I know, I did say I wasn’t going the mention this one, but come on even the COD fans will agree with me here. This game was even more than the typical gung-ho, nationalistic, bald eagle only shooter. It was offensively stupid to a point even the Snoop Dogg commentary pack (which I think is hilarious) couldn’t have it.
Even discounting the copy paste formula and tired ideas, it’s still un-engaging, forgettable and even writing about it now is causing me to lose brain cells. So on that note, it’s time to move onto something even worse.
…And for our final contributor, we have the one the only…..
1: Ride to Hell: Retribution 1%
Ok, this game is really bad. If you haven’t heard of it, I advise you check it out, just to see. It may fry your precious eyes, but you need to see this shit. I’m not even going to go into this one, just find anyone on the internet, and I mean anyone. They will show you how bad this damn thing is. I don’t even want to touch it with a 200 metre long pole. I don’t even want to waste the energy to verbally abuse it.
Just…check it out, you’ll see what I mean.
AND THAT ladies and gentlemen, that is the summary of my tastes and opinions of this time. Thank you for reading my 2000+ words of pure conceit, I shall see you later.
Article by Charlie Eastwood