Ho-ho-hello! Tis the season to be jolly, and I don’t mean drinking all of the rum… (for where did it go…)
But yes, it’s the Festive Season and you know what that means? Presents! Lots and lots of lovely, expensive presents. And something about Jesus and goodwill to all men. BUT MOSTLY PRESENTS!
Now, if you’re clever, like me (which if you read my articles you must be, you sexy lot), you would have done all your Xmas shopping already. However, if you’ve gotten too tipsy at Xmas parties, or simply sustained many concussions sliding on the icy surfaces, you may well be in panic mode about what to buy.
Well fear not! Because Uncle Oli is here to help, with my suggestions of what to buy your gaming loved ones this season. So get ready as I shake up my sack and empty it’s creamy goodness into your faces!
Wait. That’s not good. Let me re-phrase that. Grab hold of my candy cane, take a lick and see how it tastes!
Oh God that’s even worse! Let’s just get on with things, shall we?
First up, my personal Game of the Year, Borderlands 2. The thrilling, and still hilarious, sequel to surprise package Borderlands by Gearbox Software. I’ve already extolled all it’s virtues on this site and even waxed lyrical about all the DLC that has been released, and will be released, thus far. But why else should you buy it? Well simply because everyone likes a First Person Shooter (and if you don’t… well… nyer) but you want something different from the generic CoD clones that invade the market.
Borderlands 2 takes those tropes and smashes them into the stratosphere. With a mechanic that focuses on questing and looting, the tougher enemy and missions, the better the loot, it is more than just going from Point A to Point B. It adds a dash of hilarity to each adventure and most of all, looks absolutely unique. It’s so near perfect, I tried to marry it before being told that was illegal.
If running around First-Person style, shooting the ever-loving Heck out of everything isn’t your style, then my runner-up for GotY is the awesome stealth-em-up Dishonored. Now yes, you can argue that Dishonored is as much run-and-gun-and-stab as Borderlands 2 could be, but I’d laugh at your simple techniques. For much like Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Dishonored is best played when going for an unseen, pacifist approach. There’s nothing more fulfilling than wandering the rooftops, getting to your target, and neutralizing them in a clever, not bloody, way.
Yes, it will require multiple saves to get it just right, but when you do you’ll feel all the better for it! Not only that, but the city of Dunwall where Dishonored is set is absolutely beautiful, and much like Borderlands 2 it has a unique graphical style which you have to admire. Like the other hit stealth-em-up of the year, Hitman Absolution (which bar a botched play at Eurogamer, I haven’t sat down with, but hear good things), Dishonored is one for the refined killer of men.
That’s enough new games for now, mostly because they’re the only 2 games this gaming season that I’ve enjoyed. Instead, I’m going to recommend another growing trend in video gaming, the “Ultimate Edition”. Whether it be “Game of the Year”, “Complete” or even the “Full Package”, video games that have had a ton of DLC are fast coming out with nicely budgeted bundles. While it can be frustrating for those that bought the game fresh and then paid bazillions for the DLC, for those that didn’t, it’s gold!
The ones I want to give the Oli J thumbs up to are Saints Row the Third: The Full Package, Fallout New Vegas: Ultimate Edition and Dead Island: Game of the Year Edition (really? OK then…).
First up, Saints Row the Third. A brilliant breather from the dreary seriousness of Grand Theft Auto and all of it’s clones, the Saints Row series revels in ludicrous. And none more so than in the Third, which sees you battle luchadors, video game dragons and, of course, zombies. With Burt Reynolds.
The Full Package throws in all of the DLC, which has you becoming a movie star, taking part in the genius Game Show mini-games of Professor Genki, and of course some Clones. It’s all madcap stuff and hours of fun, and a lesson to the people at Rockstar that grittiness can be alleviated with a little light fun.
Fallout New Vegas: Ultimate Edition is gritty though. Dead gritty. But also with a dash of humour courtesy of the Old World Blues DLC. On release New Vegas was lambasted for it’s vicious number of game-breaking bugs, but look past the multi-patched quirks and you’ll find a game that you can literally waste hours walking around. Whether it be doing quests, or just exploring, the Fallout world continues to be rich with flavour.
As I said, the Ultimate Edition comes with all 4 DLC packages, from the irritating Dead Money to the story-enhancing Lonesome Road. All of which makes you want to jump back into the world of New Vegas and the fresh new locations these DLC’s offer. Not only that, but the Gun Runners and Couriers Stash packages are included allowing you access to new weapons.
Finally, Dead Island: Game of the Year Edition. I question that label but will still recommend the game seeing as it’s being sold for dirt low prices. Dead Island was also slated on release, and after playing other, more better games I can see why. It’s clunky, a bit dodgy bug-wise in places, and the dialogue and character models are hilariously bad. But you know what? I sunk 40+ hours into this zombie-bashing game and flat out loved it. Much like the maligned Brink (which you can get for £5! 5 bloody pounds! Get it now!), it’s a game that got sunk by a reputation which has affected the price.
Which is a very good thing, for while you get the so-so Bloodbath Arena DLC and the pointless Ryder White campaign, you still get a damn good game for a low, low price. Much like Borderlands 2, the questing and looting opportunities add hours of fun and who doesn’t like zombies? They’re the du jour cherry on top of the gaming cake these days!
Did I mention cake? Well then that leads me to my ultimate gift. Courtesy of places like Play, Amazon and Forbidden Planet comes a replica Portal Gun. That’s right, a replica Portal Gun. From the brilliant game Portal. Portal 2 to be exact, as they’re replicas of the guns you use in co-op mode as Atlas and Peabody. They’re a hefty price, but any gaming geek would collapse with glee to open this up on Xmas day. I know I would.
HINT BLOODY HINT.
Well that just leaves me to say thanks for reading, and also to quickly recommend my books as a Kindle purchase (Filmic Cuts 1, Underneath, and Filmic Cuts 2). It totally counts on this list, as it was written by me, who are a gamer.
Hope this gave you some ideas, and most of all, have a good Xmas season.