It happens every year. There are a couple of months in the year where we're overloaded with new release. As a result, our backlog builds up because we don't want to miss out on current releases. We'll be seeing much anticipated games like Alien: Isolation, Evolve, Far Cry 4 and Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. Let's not forget Dragon Age: Inquisition. The list goes on. 3DS players will get a new Super Smash Brothers game. Wii U players get Bayonetta 2. That's why July till September this year is such a great time to revisit some classics you never played. There'll be very few major releases along the way - and the hype engines from publishers will be in for servicing before things get crazy in October.
Ken Levine's re-imaging of System Shock 2 was a major hit in its time. The PC version alone sold nearly a million copies back in 2008. Bioshock was more action oriented than its Role-playing-first-person shooter hybrid predecessor. Action was slow-paced with environmental storytelling used above narrative. While moral choice was practically non-existent the plot remained firm with a strong twist at the end. You play Jack, a man drawn into the corrupted city of Rapture after its horrible meltdown. Bioshock featured some of the most twisted characters like evil Dr. Suchong, responsible for mutating the Little Sisters and the vain Sander Cohen, whose need for fame twisted his own sanity to the point of insanity.
2. Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas
Bethesda remade Black Isle's turn-based RPG into a completely different genre. Instead of managing a small squad of soldiers you work solo or with a NPC follower. Fallout 3 was set in the same universe but within an open world filled with lore and references completely loyal to the franchise. It merged gameplay elements from The Elder Scrolls games with those in Fallout including the great VATS system. VATS could be used in conjunction with realtime first person shooting mechanics to slow things down. Hardcore fans of Fallout weren't all pleased by the shift in gameplay and genre but it was a solid enough game to warrant a follow-up, Fallout: New Vegas. That included a hardcore mode with stronger survival elements like hydration and hunger management. You won't go wrong with either if open worlds are your thing.
3. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
George Lucas directed and co-wrote all six major Star Wars films. Bioware came along and create an entirely new plot catered to interactive Role-playing. Unlike in the films your protagonist can become an antagonist of the game universe at will. Actions and dialog choices defined which side of the force you followed. The game utilised Dungeons and Dragons rules for gameplay. Unfortunately the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 never got this game but there are still PC copies available on Steam. There is also an iOS version for Apple users. Once you're done with that, look into buying KOTOR II on Steam and downloading the TSL Restored Content mod. I guarantee that you'll yearn for more once you're done.
4. Dragon Age: Origins
Dragon Age: Origins is probably the closest you're going got get to a modern Star Wars RPG with a full single player campaign. Gameplay is practically identical with turn-based tactical options and real-time fighting. You'll also get the tomes of dialog and text that come with a Bioware game. While it spawned a sequel, the original still stands as the better of the two. It also had that addictive quality that made doing quest after quest till 3 a.m. so easy. PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 owners can pick up a pre-played copy.
5. The Uncharted series
Unfortunately only PlayStation 3 users are allowed here. I recently took on Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. Despite weak graphics in comparison to its two sequels, the gameplay was great fun. Naughty Dog basically used Crash Bandicoot's intuitive platforming movement on the platforming but also implemented solid cover-based shooting mechanics. Storyline is solid as expected from a ND game, and Nathan Drake is probably the best imitation of Indiana Jones ever made. Preplayed copies can be purchased from R180 upward.
There are probably thousands of games out there worth a replay or visit. We're not going to see many major releases from now till August, now's a good time to enjoy some classics before the rush begins after. Also, I'd love to know your suggestions too. Are there any games from your backlog that you're going to play till things heat up in October?
Let us know in the comments below.
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Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd