Ian Hatch (wererogue) wrote,
Ian Hatch

What games do I recommend?

A relative recently sent me a question about what games I thought were worth playing. My reply was... long, and not really tailored to his specific tastes, so here it is for everyone:

In terms of big-name games, there are a couple that I've really
enjoyed this year:

PC: Warhammer 40'000: Dawn of War 2 is a smaller-scale take on a
strategy game - you command a small number of squads, and there's very
little building, focusing more on using the squads you have than
developing an economy. I have a soft spot for the WH40K universe -
it's patently ridiculous, but treats itself seriously - it comes
across as alternately (unintentionally) hilarious and downright

PC: Minecraft is not a traditional mainstream game, but the press
coverage and sales that it's had are certainly mainstream. The game's
not even beta yet, but the single person who has developed it to this
stage has made enough money on alpha-version sales to fund a small
studio, which will continue to develop the game and to work on a new
project. The gameworld is generated by the computer, and the player
explores the world, harvesting resources and building the shelter and
weapons they need to survive against the monsters that come during the

PC/X360: If you haven't played Portal yet, I'd do that right now.
It's universally acclaimed, largely due both to its innovative
gameplay and to the mastery it shows of using that gameplay to tell a

X360/PS3: Transformers: War for Cybertron was an excellent
Transformers game - a lot of reference to the old show, and a solid
shooter. The seekers (jets) gameplay was especially fun, and the
multiplayer was solid, although rather derivative of Call of Duty:
Modern Warfare 2.

A lot of the games that I myself play are less well publicized. I try
and support independent (non-publisher) developers. Here's a few of
the interesting indie games that I've played recently:

PC: Sins of a Solar Empire is a strategy game somewhere between
Starcraft and Civilization. You play as one of several empires trying
to carve our a place for themselves in one or more solar systems. The
game is not especially friendly to newcomers, but very rewarding if
you put some time into learning to play. It's also quite intense in
terms of computer resources, but a mod
(http://soase.weebly.com/tsop.html) was released which reduces the
requirements without hurting the quality of the game or visuals. Even
if it's not for you, it's worth a look at the trailers - the
space-combat is breathtaking sometimes.

PC: Sleep is Death is a really interesting two-player game, where one
player uses streamlined developer tools to host an adventure game for
the other player. It's sort of a collaborative storytelling, or
simplified roleplay game.

PC: Solium Infernum is almost more of a board game than a computer
game. Players compete to become the next ruler of hell. Everyone
plays their turn at once, and then the turns are sent by email to the
host player and resolved simultaneously. Games tend to last quite
long - a turn will take only a couple of minutes, but people only play
when they have time, so typically you'll play one turn a day - it can
feel very tense waiting to find out what happened.

PC: Sam and Max: Freelance Police is quite an old franchise now, but
for the past few years Telltale Games have been making new adventure
games from the series. The current series, "The Devil's Playhouse" is
a big step-up in quality. There are 3 seasons of 5-6 episodes each so
far, and they can be bought as individual episodes or series', or as a
3-pack, currently $39.95.

PC: Amnesia: The Dark Descent is one of the scariest games I've ever played.

Finally, here's a list of still-available old and game titles that
I've enjoyed to take a look at if none of the others appeal:
Planescape: Torment
Team Fortress 2
Left 4 Dead
The Ship
Zeno Clash
Beyond Good and Evil
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
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