In this age of triple A games, ridiculous and spontaneous advanced mobility shooters, RPG’s with lacklustre dialogue wheels and companies like EA and Activision price gouging products wherever they see fit, we forget about the time where the gaming industry seemed very different, even if it wasn’t under the surface. Anyone on YouTube following channels that critique games, or blogs that do the same, will know many people are beginning to get disappointed with the state of today’s gaming industry. But rather than comment on that myself, I thought I’d group up three games from the good ol’ days, which you should go back and replay to take your mind off of the negativity. And who knows; Maybe you’ll find a game here you haven’t played before, and you’ll have a brand new experience to enjoy.
So, here are three games you should go back and play.
Number three: Serious Sam 2
Serious Sam 2 is a charming and violent, arcade-styled first person shooter released in 2005. The game comes with a mix of childish humour, with a few hidden jokes for adults thrown in every now and again, and a lot of enemies that explode into chunks of meaty, bloody flesh when you blow them up. The premise of the game is simple; Travel to other planets with an arsenal of weapons and save villagers from aliens, monsters and barbaric creatures. There are a vast variety of enemies, encounters and weapons, which gives us gameplay reminiscent of DOOM, Quake and other old-school arena shooters. On Steam the game, at the time of writing this, costs £6.99, though I obtained it in a sale for only £0.69. I played this game as a child and have happy memories. What’s even better is that the game was just as good as I had always remembered it being when I revisited it recently. Though it is needless to say that any and all multiplayer is dead, I find the single player experience to be fun enough to carry the game for its current price easily.
Number two: Fallout
I’m not talking about Fallout 3 or Fallout 4, or even Fallout New Vegas. I’m talking about the original Fallout, the very first; The one, the only and, in my opinion, the best. You play as the Vault Dweller and, of course, are able to customise your character and all his or her skills before entering the game. Your goal, without spoiling the game, is to save your Vault from danger and the Wasteland from Super Mutants. It sounds simple, and it is, but there are so many various ways to go about your journey that the possibilities are endless.
If you have played the new Fallout games, you will be aware that the games present you with choices in your adventures; Like sacrificing yourself or Lyons in the end of Fallout 3, for example… Or deciding to enslave the Wasteland instead of freeing it in New Vegas. And this game is no different. Choices regarding your quests are everywhere, many of them are ethical and some things you do in the world will have consequences you won’t even realise about until you re-visit an area. Some choices make you may feel guilty about and they may make you want to re-play a section to fix. Others will leave you satisfied and rewarded.
But make no mistake, this game is difficult and very, very unforgiving for new players. It takes some adjustment, especially if you’re someone who’s only ever played the first-person Fallout games. While it is hard to master as a new player, once you’ve figured it out, you’ll be a pro in no time. Side note: What I love most about this game is that it doesn’t hold your hand. You have no quest markers, only directions and instructions from NPC’s. If you get a fetch quest you have to actually find what you’re looking for, there isn’t just a marker on it to tell you where it is… Believe it or not you actually have to do something for yourself. This is good. This is good because it makes everything you do feel more rewarding.
The possibilities in this game are endless and, considering this game was released in 1997, it is a very impressive masterpiece. This game is a must-play for fans of classic RPG’s, and for people looking for another view on the Fallout world.
Number one: Rome Total War
Before, in my personal opinion, Creative Assembly drove the Total War franchise into the depths of hell, by seemingly trying to deliberately sabotage it, there were incredibly addictive games in the franchise. These were games such as Shogun, Medieval and Medieval 2 Total War… But the one that stood out from the crowd was Rome Total War.
If you are fan of turn based or real time strategy, Rome Total War is a must-play. Released in 2004, this game walks the absolute perfect line between being to complicated and too simplistic. The game has an in-depth enough political system, in the campaign, to engage long term players of these games, but it is also simple enough that it perfectly accommodates new players. The best part is that you can apply what I just said to every part of the game. In battle you can deploy your troops in either your own custom formations, which you make up on the fly, or use pre-made formations if you’re feeling more relaxed and casual.
Every unit type has strengths and weaknesses; Phalanxes can’t be beat from the front but are easily flanked, cavalry can’t fight spearmen but are experts at attacking archers and skirmishers, legionaries are heavily armoured but suffer a from lower damage output. Within each category of unit, there are different types. Some legionaries inspire nearby troops, increasing their morale, some barbarians can perform a war-cry to increase their skills in combat before they charge. Every unit serves a purpose and is valuable. Nothing feels useless in this game… Except for peasants because they’re only good for matching against war elephants.
This game is addictive; It is the Civilisation V of the Total War franchise. The Campaign lasts for hours and hours, and hours… and hours. Be prepared to get lost in a massive journey as you expand your huge empire. I cannot sell this game enough, it is one of my favourite games of all time. Give it a go, if you’re into strategy. You’ll love it, I guarantee it; its graphics still stand up, the units are responsive, the interface is easy to use and the controls are easy to learn. Everything is seemingly perfect. So just go for it.