Once again, we are entering the realm of yet another sequel prequel. The Gears of War saga has been one of the best selling franchises during this generation of consoles. If you never played the series it can be best summed up as a cross between the 1980s movie Tremors, Predator and The Descent – with more blood, gore and chainsaw bayonets.
Epic Games and Microsoft did an amazing job of supporting the game with patches and developing it into one of the most compelling storylines in recent shooter-game history. Much like the original Star Wars Trilogy was enough to keep fans satiated with what many consider to be the best cinematic story/opera of all time, it is being plagued with the corporate desire for profit rather than creativity and finality to a great story in the form of the godforsaken prequel.
Quite a bit has changed at Epic since the conclusion of the Gears trilogy as well. Primarily the departure of Cliff Bleszinski and other longtime members of the development team. While it isn’t surprising that people come and go in the world of gaming and game development it isn’t exactly boding well for a series that has really lost a lot of its luster now that the story is over. Not to mention the fact that the ‘improvements’ and tweaks being made to GoW Judgment seem to be cosmetic at best.
If you are a fanboy/girl of the series none of what has been mentioned will convince you to part with your favorite franchise. It is one of the things that makes you what you are to corporate gaming studios – the dedicated lemmings that also populate the Call of Duty and Halo sales charts are the same… numbers on a graph.
This is why it isn’t surprising at all to see Epic pushing out one final (or first?) chapter of a game that has had a conclusion for awhile now. They are coming up on the end of an entire generation of consoles; and there isn’t much time left before they start pursuing some sort of new blood-soaked trilogy that will impress us graphically, theatrically and monetarily. It is almost a certainty that Epic will design some sort of new GoW-esque title for the next generation but that isn’t going to stop them from milking their cash cow one more time before laughing their way to the bank with the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
By the time you get a new console, controller and a couple new games to play you are going to spend around $600+.
If you are in the market for a new console and would like to get a decent amount of games to play on it we have just the help you need to save money as you start building a new gaming library.
Low Budget Online Gaming
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 = $12 – One of my all-time favorite games. This is a very fast paced game that has a bit of a learning curve now. Beware of hackers and glitchers that have taken over some lobbies.
Call of Duty Black Ops = $20 – Treyarch put this game out to high praise that they fixed many things that people didn’t like about Modern Warfare. You will notice that there is quite a split between some people in their preference for Call of Duty titles. This game is a good purchase to get ready for Black Ops 2 coming out in November.
Halo 3 = $7 – The game that got every online gamer to think they could ‘Go Pro’. You will find a dedicated group of gamers that still play this game religiously. This is a great cheap way to introduce yourself to Halo if you haven’t played the series before.
Halo Reach = $18 – Where there is Halo, there are gamers playing it online. Reach changed a lot of things from Halo games before that may remind some people of Call of Duty’s ‘Perks’. However, you can also download a ton of new maps and modes that give this game a long life.
Gears of War = $7 – The first Gears of War is still preferred by a smaller contingent of purists. The series has a tremendous community that is dedicated to the team-based third person genre that Epic Games nearly perfected with this series.
Gears of War 2 = $7 – The second game of the trilogy was a great success, but some glitches and online issues marred the longevity especially with GOW3 following.
Gears of War 3 = $24 – This game has a huge fan base even after a year of being released. The season pass can get you all the modes and maps that were released for this great online experience. This title is the most refined of the three and rightfully takes its place at the top of many GOW fanatics libraries.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 = $10 – The rival to Call of Duty that is based on large team objectives and involves huge maps with a larger focus on realism. Weapons have more recoil and handle more realistically.
The Lone Gamers On A Budget
Fallout 3 – Game of the Year Edition = $16 – Getting this game with all of the add-on content is going to provide you with well over 60-70 hours of gaming. You are set up in post-apocalyptic Washington DC where you will have to battle mutants, survivors, bandits and even radiation to survive.
Fallout: New Vegas = $10 – This is a separate story from Fallout 3 and gives a nice facelift to some of the things people wanted changed from Fallout 3. You will have to be sure to eat and stay hydrated in this iteration of Fallout. Who says you can have too many details?… Not Bethesda.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion = $10-15 – Before Skyrim there was Oblivion. A game based in a fantasy realm of knights and kings where you can become a feared assassin or an admired mage/warrior. Either way, you get to roam a huge world filled with treasure and danger.
The FEAR Series = $10-12 – One of the scariest series of this generation is based on Sci-Fi and Horror genres being thrown into a blender with a creepy telekinetic girl that haunts you throughout. You will learn to fear Alma and you will learn to love your shotgun. A great game for dark quiet nights at home.
The Assassins Creed Series = $ 10-22 – Cloak and Dagger doesn’t even begin to cover it with this title. If you want to feel like an ancient bad-ass(assin) you will get this game. Walk around cities like Jerusalem and follow the story that leads you through the lives of your ancestors, who happen to be assassins.
The Splinter Cell Series = $8-10 – Sam Fisher is highly trained and voiced by Michael Ironside. Other than that, he is also equipped with some of the coolest gadgets and gear that have ever graced the planet. You will not regret picking up this amazing series on the cheap!
It has been awhile since our last update and in that spirit we are going to start switching gears a bit more regularly. In the coming weeks you can expect to see footage from Skyrim, Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, Borderlands, Gears of War 3, L.A. Noire and other great titles.
The best part of gaming is in the games that we sometimes forget that we have and when you pop them back into your console it is like a nostalgia takes over you. While Skyrim is still ‘new’ there are many games that people are forgetting about that can be had for $15 or less.
So, in the spirit of enjoying what you have and maybe learning how to play the games that you might have given up on we will be bringing you all sorts of new footage and information on some of the best games from the past couple years.