Gaming Tips



Top 10 games in 2005

It’s over. Halo 2 finally hit stores on November 9th and there’s no more waiting for the most popular FPS to be released on the Xbox. Fans are still playing Halo 2 faithfully as over 77,000 players logged in to play yesterday. With so many copies being sold, it came to no surprise when everyone realized that Halo 2 will quite possibly be the all time leader in sales. But questions have arisen and people are wondering, what’s next? Is there anything left to come out on the Xbox that could convert any more console or PC players to the belief that Xbox is the king of consoles? I am here to say don’t fold just yet because Xbox still has a wealthy amount of titles to be released this year. Some of the biggest FPS franchises have yet to be seen on the Xbox and some new installments will finally see daylight on the Xbox. I’d keep your trigger finger ready because 2005 may in fact be a better year for shooter fans than 2004.

Let’s get rolling and start off with a bang as my number one choice for the FPS game of the year is?

#1. Doom 3:

Publisher: Activision
Developer: id Software/Vicarious Visions
Release Date: March 1st, 2005


Important Aspects: Beautiful Graphics, Online & Offline Co-op, Xbox Live Multiplayer

Info: - A lot has been talked and hyped about with Doom 3, so it was a no-brainer with my selection for it being the top 2005 shooter. Already released on the PC, a port is on its way for the Xbox, but this isn’t your regular old port. Being introduced exclusively for the Xbox is a two-player cooperative mode that will support Xbox Live and System Link capabilities. What’s even more impressive is the graphics. Some may say that PC-like graphics couldn’t be done on the Xbox, but John Carmack is about to prove you wrong. Albeit that it’s comparable to the lower end PCs currently being able to play Doom 3, the graphics are set to be among the best on the current generation of console titles. The only thing standing in its way to be among the best Xbox games is if the Xbox Live service will include downloadable content for new maps, as there are only a handful of maps for up to four players to play on. If they can include some depth to the online multiplayer with new content, we are looking at one of the best Xbox games this year, if not one of the best console first-person shooters ever. #2. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Lockdown:
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal/Red Storm Entertainment
Release Date: March 15th, 2005


Important Aspects: All new visuals, Three-tier AI system, Infiltrator Mode, Career Mode

Info:
- Ubisoft has had much success with the Rainbow Six series but it was inevitable for some lashings on where the series was heading. While a lot of mysteries still linger on how much is different from the previous installment there is one thing that is evident, the graphics look to be touched up the most. Lighting has been spruced up, the HUD has been reworked, and animations have been added for specific damage to certain body parts. What’s more exciting is that Team Rainbow is now the prey while a vicious new predator is hunting them down. They even decided to throw in the choice of playing two different characters, so not only will you be playing Ding Chavez but also a gun toting sniper that has an oh-so-sweet shot. Be prepared this spring when Ubisoft delivers another game in the Rainbow Six series, which should cap off a stellar run on the Xbox.

#3. Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict:
Publisher: Midway
Developer: Epic Games
Release Date: March 14th, 2005


Important Aspects: Inclusion of 3rd Person Perspective, Secret Mortal Kombat Character, Melee Combat

Info: - With Microsoft stepping out of the equation and Midway quickly filling in the spot, questions arose when the departure from the Redmond camp happened. While the first Unreal Championship is among the top 10 Xbox Live games to be played on the service (still managing to make it into the Top 10 in 2004), changes were needed to keep pace with smash hits like Halo 2, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, and MechAssault 2. Epic decided to deliver the goods this time around with a brand new experience rather than a modified port. It was evident when they showcased the beautiful looking third person perspective for what was once just a FPS. Add in the melee combat, download content all ready lined up for the launch, and the fast paced action, Unreal Championship 2 should set itself apart from the other Unreal games. Oh by the way, did I forget to mention that Epic even went out of there way to add Raiden, from Mortal Kombat, as a selectable character to go along with the introduction of fatalities to the game? This for sure will be a definite plus for those Mortal Kombat fans.

#4. Brother in Arms: Road to Hill 30:

Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Gearbox Softwartae
Release Date: February 22nd, 2005


Important Aspects: Tactics needed to play, Smart A.I., Download Content, New Multiplayer Modes being introduced

Info:

- There isn’t much room for a brand new storyline with the World War II first-person shooters. We all know the Nazis lost, Normandy was hell, and there were even battles in Africa. Well, Gearbox is out to prove that there is still room for one more shooter on the WW2 war and from what I have seen so far, I will gladly accept it with open arms. Not only does it look great, but it seems to mix in the best elements from Full Spectrum Warrior and Call of Duty. When you die, you’ll see the live death cam, you can select the area where you want to throw your grenade, and of course you’ll be leading a squad so there are a lot of similarities to both CoD and FSW. What Brother in Arms has going for it that FSW didn’t is t brhat has competitive online multiplayer and it isn’t your typical online mayhem. Brother in Arms hopes to have a more confined and intelligent outlook on the multiplayer with only allowing four players to duke it out online. With possibilities of 1-1 and 2-2, you can see that they are limiting the nonsense and getting right down to the cerebral chess match that occurs while actually in war. They even took away target cursors to add in the realism and take away the run and gun shooting that happens in other shooters. Brother in Arms aims to be one of the most realistic WW2 shooters on the Xbox and I am sure we will all welcome it with warm arms.

#5. Pariah:
Publisher: Groove Games
Developer: Digital Extremes
Release Date: June 7th, 2005


Important Aspects: Map Editor, Upgrading Weapons, Downloading User Maps, From makers of Unreal Championship

Info:
- People may be complaining about the lack of Half-Life 2 on the Xbox but look no further when Pariah is released this summer. It may not have the same type of gameplay, but Pariah sure does strive to deliver a plot that resembles Half-Life’s intricate story telling. Not only are you a doctor (rather than a scientist like Gordan Freeman), there are also mysteries that unravel with many untrusting characters that complicate the story even more. Besides the story, Pariah is building upon customization with upgrading weapons as you go, tinkering around with maps with an easy to use editor, and even a rounded multiplayer. Digital Extremes opted to use the two weapon system that Halo uses and also decided to throw in a bone saw for tight quarters melee combat. Also taking cues from the original Halo (not Halo 2) they have the health bars with boxes where it will drain and if the box is gone, you have to pick up a med pack to restore it. What should make a lot of Halo fans happy is that there’s even vehicles to drive around in, but this time around there’s even some out of this world ATVs if you know what I mean (sorry Halo 2 fans, bad joke). Pariah is set to ship early spring on the Xbox and then a few months down the road for the PC so Xbox fans rejoice, we will be the first to play Pariah and its lavish level editor.

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