7 Video Games that Will Break the Mold
Every once in a while, a game comes along that shatters the mold. You may label it as a "survival / horror shooter" or an "action / RPG", but it offers something that transcends the confines of a genre. We'd like to take a minute to pay tribute to some games that have the potential to boldly go where no games have gone before. Or, they at least add some really sweet innovations and mechanics to the pot.
Far Cry 3: Gritty, "Insane" Atmosphere
The Far Cry series always shoots for the unconventional, and Far Cry 3 is no exception. Sure, standard elements like cover-based shooting and character customizations will be included, but its cracked characters and overall feral style sets Far Cry apart from other shooters.
Stunning tropics serve as the backdrop for utter chaos in Far Cry 3. Innocent tourist Jason Brody loses his girlfriend on the island, and saving her will take a lot more than a friendly smile. We've seen deranged baddies, people shrooming (including the main character), bloody knife takedowns and general mayhem that makes Alice's tumble down the rabbit hole look like a field trip to Disneyland.
Details on multiplayer are scarce, but Domination, a team-based objective game, looks like it will add a bit more crazy to the pot. We've seen kill streak perks like napalm drops and the ability to give statistic buffs to teammates. However, it's not the killstreak bonuses or even the maniacal voiceovers from your character that takes Far Cry 3 multiplayer down a dark path. It's the end of multiplayer matches that will put a twisted smile on your face. After matches are over, the winning team can choose to either execute the opposing team's best player or spare him -- and everybody in the lobby watches. We can't wait to get some payback while the whole lobby looks on, and unlockables promise to add new and even more brutal finishers for your foes to fear.
The Amazing Spider-Man: Open-World Webslinging
Spidey will be making his return to the big screen this July, and The Amazing Spider-Man video game will release close to the movie's launch. We've seen a few mediocre Spider-Man titles lately, and a movie spin-off game doesn't sound like a great start. But, it looks like this game will be a welcomed and proper adventure for you webheads out there.
First off, Spider-Man once again has full webslinging privileges in the urban playground that is New York City. For those of you who played Spider-Man 2 or Ultimate Spider-Man, you remember the unparallel bliss of base jumping and careening through the tight valleys of Manhattan's skyscrapers. The graphics and close-up camera compliment all of Spidey's flourishes in The Amazing Spider-Man, and Beenox has borrowed game mechanics from Batman: Arkham City to make Spidey's skyscraping acrobatics and chain-based combat a breezy delight.
Simply put, open-world webslinging offers something you just can't get anywhere else. Add in Spider-Man's unique fighting style, dorkiness, and a new story and you've got yourself an experience like no other. Hopefully more information on The Amazing Spider-Man will be released along with the movie promotions, because we can't get enough of our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
The Walking Dead: Episodic Storytelling
As a downloadable game that will soon be available on Steam, XBLA, PSN, and tablets, there hasn't been too much buzz for The Walking Dead video game, but with a story system we've never seen in video games mixed with the cringe-inducing chills the comic books and television series are famous for, this is one zombie apocalypse you may not want to miss.
As an "episodic" series, players will download installments of the adventure monthly, rather than through the campaign in one shot. There are already five episodes either ready to go or in development, but it‘s unclear how many episodes developer Telltale Games has in mind for the series. Restricting story progression is a bold move, but it may give each new episode of The Walking Dead a shot of anticipation and buildup that we typically only see on a game's release date.
For those who can't wait for new content, the branching storyline leaves plenty of room for multiple playthroughs. Playing as Lee, a new character in The Walking Dead canon, players will be forced to make quick, life-changing decisions that can save and condemn lives. Choices won't be conveniently split into "good" and "bad" branches, but they will try to speak to the player's instincts, giving Lee a personal feel. Also, like the Walking Dead comics, don't expect the zombies to be faceless cannon fodder like the grey-skinned goons in Dead Rising or Left 4 Dead. Telltale wants to pull at your heartstrings, so get ready to shoot grandma in the face!
XCOM: Enemy Unknown: Unforgiving Tactics
If you've had your fill of shooters, maybe it's time to take a look at XCOM: Enemy Unknown. As a sci-fi strategy game developed by Firaxis (the masterminds behind Sid Meir's Civilization), you can bet this franchise reboot will be as unique as it was in the 1990s.
Some games call for superior battle tactics. In XCOM: Enemy Enknown, a gap in satellite coverage or a poorly positioned soldier will result in catastrophic losses. As a technologically, intellectually, and physically dominant race, aliens flank, ambush, and attack soldiers with precision and tenacity. With the game's inclusion of permadeaths, players can't be haphazard with their soldiers, and losing a veteran soldier will truly be devastating. But, that's just the battles. To win the war, players will need to play diplomat, scientist, and field general, and Firaxis will be putting an emphasis on blending all of these elements of war to push players to the max. It's not an easy job, but somebody's got to do it.
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John loves gaming and loves writing about games. He wants to become a known voice in the gaming community and a game designer one day.
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