It’s hard to believe, but it’s been almost a full year since the current generation of consoles was blessed with great titles such as The Orange Box, Halo 3, and Call of Duty 4. The holiday months are here again, and are offering a greater and wider variety of great games than last year’s historic season.
Gears of War 2
The original Gears of War was a critical and commercial success when it was released in 2006. The hype for the sequel could not possibly be higher.
The horrible Locus Hoard has driven humanity to seek refuge in one final city and with nothing left to defend, its only choice is to attack. Players will once again be fighting and curb stomping Locus as Marcus Fenix.
However, the original Gears wasn’t perfect. The most common complaints were how short the campaign was and how repetitive the enemies seemed as the game dragged on.
Of course, Epic has heard these complaints and fixed them. Players can expect a much more reasonable 8-10 hour campaign in Gears of War 2, with plenty of incentives to play it again.
Also, the players won’t just be fighting the normal, human-sized locus now. Many players remember the Brumak, and how terrifying and huge that enemy was.
Lead Designer Cliff Blizenski claims that in Gears 2, there are enemies that “make the Brumak looked like a tiny stuffed panda bear.”
New additions to the series include a five versus five multiplayer mode as well.
Bigger and grander, Gears of War 2 will be more than capable of carrying Microsoft’s flag this holiday season, as it could become the highest grossing game released.
The best launch title for the PS3 was undoubtedly Resistance: Fall of Man.
It did have its share of problems however, including a lack of color and less than stellar graphics. Yet, Insomniac was not content with just fixing those aspects of its game, because they are trying to create to create the best console FPS ever.
Players will again be fighting the Chimera but not always the same enemy types. Bosses are rarely found in an FPS, but Insomniac has put many 200-foot monstrosities in this game.
The main draw, however, for Resistance 2 is its multiplayer. It will have an entirely separate eight-player co-op campaign with its own unique story, as well as up to 60-person competitive multiplayer. Neither have ever been achieved on consoles.
With new guns, new enemies, huge bosses and a multiplayer segment unheard of on consoles, it seems Resistance 2 will be more than capable of surpassing the original. If it can deliver on all its promises, this will be the must-have title on any console.
Call of Duty 5 (COD5)
Many would argue that going back to WWII and abandoning the modern war setting that made COD4 so great would not be a step in the right direction. However, with more than two years of development put into Call of Duty 5 by Treyarch, the makers of Call of Duty 3 (Infinity Ward made COD4), and an underutilized pacific war setting, the game does not look like it will just be a hold over until the next Infinity Ward title.
The shift to pacific lands has also come along with a much more mature, graphic tone for the game. It features cut scenes as disturbing as watching one of your squad mate’s throat be sliced open by a Japanese officer’s katana.
The biggest announcement that has garnered so much hype for the game is that there will finally be a co-op in Call of Duty. Up to four players at a time will be able to play through the entire campaign in splitscreen or online.
It has a new setting and what looks like the fast-paced combat everyone loved from COD4. People’s most optimistic expectations for COD5 was that it can be at least half the game COD4 was, but if the end result is as good as the game looks right now, it will set the bar high.