It’s been just under two weeks now since I bought an Xbox 360 from my brother’s friend Desa. This technically is the first piece of next-gen gaming gear I’ve had since Playstation 2. So far the experience has been interesting to say the least.
Not having a next gen game system, I have had little exposure to the next gen games. Hearing about the games from game reviews, magazines and friends has of course made me want to give them a try. After trying a few of the titles I was looking forward to, I have to say I’m highly impressed with what I’ve found.
The biggest shock when buying a next generation was the price of games. Those who have yet to upgrade their systems from X-Box and Playstation 2 are used to paying $16-20 a pop. The average price for an Xbox 360 game is $50. Sticker shock aside the games are definitely worth checking out.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Some gamers may remember Batman Begins, the video game for Playstation 2. It seems like the game was a beta version of Batman Arkham Asylum. In Begins, the player runs around doing everything the makers of the film thought was too boring to make a movie out of. An entire level is devoted to climbing to the top of a huge crane just to drop down from it in a cut scene and capture the mob boss. It’s not horrible, but definitely not Asylum. Asylum seems to think that playing Batman should be fun and interesting so the player can run/jump/climb through a massive Arkham Asylum beating up psychotics and villains. The story follows a simple but effective Batman classic. The Joker has taken over the Asylum. He’s opened the cages releasing the psychos. Batman has to stop him. Anyone who’s been looking forward to this game since it was released will not be disappointed.
Basically the game is Grand Theft Auto 2.0. In the game a player can customize their character to astounding levels, including outfit, skin, face and hair. Of course, my character has green hair and is decked out in purple, trying to be a cross between Eminem and the Joker, which is lucky since the main gang you work for in the games color is purple. The player runs around a massive city earning respect, which unlocks missions to take over more parts of town. The violence levels are comical at times, people flying over the hood of your car is an incredibly satisfying stress reducer after a long day. The missions vary from protecting a drug dealer in his rainbow colored Volts Wagon bus to stealing hookers from local pimps to bring to a pimp who will spread the word that the players gang shouldn’t be messed with.
Left 4 Dead:
This game puts four players into one of four terrible zombie movies where they then have to fight their way through hordes of undead, using a variety of guns and explosives. As a group experience the game never loses its charm. The levels are scary and immersive, wandering through houses and offices wondering when the next zombie would jump out of a cupboard and kill the player and their friends. Storyline is next to non-existent in the game, but that is actually the point.
This game is a cross between Morrowind, Goldeneye, and the Postman movie. It has this neat little button that a player can push when in a fight and it pauses the game and shows percentages on what would be easiest to hit on the opponent then lets the player decide how many times they want to shoot different parts of their enemy. This dumbs down the first person shooter aspect to anyone who isn’t as familiar with the game play style. The story is a well told epic featuring a post-nuclear Washington DC, now called the Capital Wasteland, where the player can meet a variety of characters trying to scratch out a semblance of society out of the ruins of a devastated America. The player gains a strong level of immersion from looking over the devastated landscape, gaining the feel of a fallen world. Of all my new games, this one is definitely my favorite.
So that’s the next generation…so far so good.