Holiday Video Games

Uncharted, Mass Effect and Assassin’s Creed Lead the Holiday Season

As the holiday season approaches, there are some games that deserve to be given as gifts.

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (PS3)
In Uncharted, players take control of Nathan Drake, and Indiana Jones-type character searching for treasure in South America. Uncharted is not a game that relies on any new game mechanics to entertain gamers, but instead combines a healthy dose of third person shooting sequences with platform puzzles. However, the platform puzzles and adventuring aren’t very challenging. The fighting, while not original, packs a solid punch. Players can carry only two weapons through each level. The frail physique of the protagonist puts a heavy emphasis on ducking behind barriers  during firefights, much like in the recent video game “Gears of War.”

Even if the gameplay might not seem extremely exciting or appear to have much replay value, the subtle graphics of the game can still easily hook gamers. The game succeeds at effectively utilizing the PS3’s graphic card and Cell processor to maximum effect, creating a lush and detailed jungle around the protagonist, in which plants and water seem to behave realistically and the texture of objects seems authentic.

While the game isn’t terribly complex or too long, it is incredibly entertaining and will definitely be a delight to those who own PS3’s.

Assassin’s Creed (X360, PS3)
Assassin’s Creed is a game that grants the gamer more freedom than other games because it is not as strict; there is no specific storyline that the gamer is forced to follow every step of the way. The player’s objective is to eliminate nine different targets, but they are allowed to choose the order and are not forced to use a specific killing method.

It also has excellent graphics, allowing the player to see a vivid medieval world in great detail. The animation is spectacular. For example, when the player travels to the top of a particularly tall structure, such as a church tower, the character on screen moves realistically, reacting to every bump on the rough bricks, The voices of the characters when the player is eavesdropping are very realistic, making it appear as if there really are two people in a heated debate or attempting to whisper.

A really unique aspect of the game is the agility of the main character, Altai. He climbs buildings easily, allowing the gamer to scale walls and travel both horizontally. And vertically with amazing rapidity.

There are also many weapons that the player can use, such as hidden blades, throwing knives and an old-fashioned sword.

Mass Effect (X360)
Mass Effect is a science fiction role-playing game (RPG). You play as Commander Shepard of the S.S. Normandy, whose job it is to prevent the arrival of a mysterious ancient race bent on the destruction of all life. Laws and ethics do not limit the gamer; they are allowed to complete their mission by any means necessary.

The game grants many freedoms to the player, such as the ability to either choose the pre-created Commander Shepard or make their own by choosing his or her features and characteristics. The player can also choose skills and abilities, the members of their squad, weapons, and designer armor, vehicles and general appearance.

There are three choices that the gamer can select as their path to prevent the evil race from being successful. They are a soldier class, a tech-specialist class or a biotics-specialist class. Throughout the game Shepard will gain new abilities, skills and items that help him defeat the enemy that also improves as the mission progresses.

Although the player has one main mission, the game offers many side quests and other options like traveling to different planets to accomplish other goals.

Mass Effect not only has a story that makes the gamer want to keep playing and freedoms that give the player complete control, but it also has a very realistic graphics engine, allowing the characters within the game to reveal emotions and interactions among themselves. It gives a truly cinematic experience.