An unbelievable amount of my income is earmarked for video games this holiday season. I’ve started my purchasing before even Black Friday has reared its manic head. To that end, I’ve browsed some good deals and played some good games. If you want to get started with your holiday shopping or if you want some suggestions when you go out browsing, here are five games that won’t disappoint.
Keep in mind that I haven’t played enough of notable releases like Black Ops II, Assassin’s Creed III or Halo 4 so my opinion on those games in thus far incomplete. As with everything in life, your mileage (and enjoyment) may vary.
Games That Won’t Disappoint
Last year’s marquee action-adventure title is an easy one to recommend based on both price, longevity and fun gameplay. With split-screen co-op, a quality single player playground to run through, and some of the best voicing and 3D animations you’ll see this generation, Uncharted 3 is a great value. The game should stay around the $19.99 USD mark for the entirety of the holiday season and beyond.
If you’re the type of gamer who obsesses over strategy games and economy games then I wholeheartedly recommend the XCOM revival to you. Prices remain around the original $59.99 mark but Steam and Amazon download sell it for around ~49.99. Some people buy lots of games for the variety, while others buy just one game and milk it of its value before moving on. If you are the latter, XCOM has plenty of hours for you to enjoy. Just keep an eye on your clock, because it has a tendency to whittle away hours.
This game has been steadily dropping in price since it first came out in August. Those looking for a great looking action-adventure title that doesn’t pull punches when it comes to puzzle-solving and melee combat need not look any further. Look for a great deal on Darksiders II when you go out shopping. If you need a second or third game for your store’s BOGO deal, let it be THQ’s expansive action title.
We’ve followed Dishonored ever since those first brothel screenshots were released by Bethesda. It’s been a hot ticket game for us at the office and we believe it remains a solid contender for your gaming dollar. Of note, though, is that while every game and its mother seems to have multiplayer capability helping increase its replayability and offset its price, Dishonored is a single player venture that doesn’t quite offer more than one or two plays. While not exactly on-rails, it is a funneling experience.
If you want stealth gameplay that doesn’t break your bank, opt for Mark of the Ninja on XBLA or Steam instead.
NBA 2K13 (Amazon)
I’m not one for basketball, in real life and on my screen. Weirdly enough, when I took advantage of Target’s buy two, get one free deal, I opted to include NBA 2K13 in my purchase. I thought I would have to return it the next day but after taking the time to learn the game and creating my own player and running him through his paces, I’ve quietly become enamored with NBA 2K13 enough to hold off on playing other recent purchases like Assassin’s Creed III and Dishonored. Even if you’ve only got a working knowledge of basketball, NBA 2K13 is really fun and quite addicting if you let it become so.
Borderlands 2 (Amazon)
Simply put, don’t buy this game yet. If you’ve held off on Borderlands 2 so far then you can hold off a few months more until the Game of the Year Edition finally comes out. Then you can enjoy the game that millions of others have playtested before you while getting a chunk of free DLC for your patience. Looking at how deep the first Borderlands went in terms of price cuts, Borderlands 2 will likely follow suite.
Avoid this one like the plague it imagines. Shola, our Resident Evil 6 reviewer and long-time series fan wrote a lot of feature articles on this game alone, spanning the time from when he was hopeful to when he ultimately felt disappointed. See his recent body of work if you need a some solid reasons to pass up this game for something else.
I would say that the best thing about Resident Evil 6 is that it’s price has been dropping quicker than other recently released titles. You can maybe get this for a steal around Christmas if you really want it.
Go watch this movie with friends or family instead of buying a game. It feels like it was made just for gamers like us, regardless of whether you are a retro fan or not.