I'm gonna have a lot of free time this Thanksgiving, and I'm totally looking forward to catching up and finishing a bunch of games I've started/purchased over the last few months.
First off, Orange Box, which I've actually already gotten a good chunk through already. I had never played all the way through Half Life 2, despite being a huge fan of the first one. It was phenomenal, as everyone has said. One of those games that you look back once it's all complete and just marvel at what you've accomplished. You don't really appreciate what you're doing until you're done. Such an epic. Episode One was pretty great too, honestly. Felt the same way as the main game...seemed to drag a bit at times while I was playing despite blowing through it, but got a great sense of satisfaction once it was over. I'm gonna give this world a little bit of a rest for now before diving into Episode 2, which is supposed to be the best of the whole series so far. I already beat (and LOVED) Portal and I'm not much of an online gamer, so that'll be it for that box.
I covered my thoughts on Stranglehold earlier. It's a lot of fun, but there's too much else to play right now. I don't think I'll get back to this on until I'm done with the somewhat similar Uncharted...
This game is a beast. The prettiest game I've ever played, hands down. I catch myself staring at the scenery and the animations way too often. It's just...wow. The whole presentation is right in my wheelhouse. I don't need a lot to make me happy, but a well presented story, good graphics and a solid, not too complicated combat system will do the trick. The pacing in this game is great too. I'm really stoked to get through it. Out of all these games, this will probably be the next one I finish.
Call of Duty 4 is super-impressive as well, but it's a but too intense for me right now. That's not to say I won't get through it, but it's a little much at times. Non-stop action, bullets whizzing by...even the loading/cut scenes with the satellite map leaves me jittery. It's a brilliant game, I'm sure, and I expect lots of great moments out of it, but I just need to prepare myself to really get into a game like this. I'm at more of an Uncharted pace right now.
One moment, so far, that this game provides early on, that makes you realize how awful and fucked up war is...before regrouping 2 seconds later and gunning down another bad guy...That first mission on the boat, you're mostly following the computer teammates, they lead you into a darkened bunk room. You check the quiet room, then, without warning, your wingman just unloads a handful of rounds into a sleeping soldier in his cot before moving on to clear the next room. It was a lot to digest...like, that is what...you do. And it's not only acceptable, it goes without comment or hesitation. Jeesh.
So what's left? Heavenly Sword. I don't think I'll touch this game till the rest are all completely done. I got it for like 50% off used cause I heard it was a great little experience and seemed worth it at the time.
So that's what I've got. See, I don't need some 30 hour epic to keep me busy. Keep your Mass Effects, thank you. I LIKE short games. I like being able to see the end of a game as I play. Unless it's really really good, I usually start to crap out at the 8 hour mark anyway. I get much more value out of a short game I can finish, rather than a long game I'll get sick of before I can see the story through. So there.
I expect it to go like this:
Uncharted - ~6 hours left
COD4: - ~7 hours left
Episode 2: ~7 Hours
Stranglehold - ~3 Hours left
Heavenly Sword - ~6 Hours
Once these are all done (not all this weekend, I hope) then I'll look into Assassins Creed, Ratchet and Clank and Kane and Lynch to get me through till GTA IV.