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UpInFlames Blog

Something Wicked This Way Comes

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Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a new game by Frictional Games, developers of the acclaimed Penumbra series. I personally never played Penumbra because there was something about it that just didn't interest me much, but the positive buzz surrounding Amnesia and some info I picked up made me give the demo a whirl.

Basically, Amnesia is a survival horror game. When I say survival horror, I don't mean Resident Evil. I mean actual survival horror. You see, in Amnesia, you can't kill your enemies, you can't even fight them...pretty much all you can do is hide or just run the hell away. I wouldn't even call them enemies, but rather...entities. The game is set in the early 19th century London. As far as I am aware of, the entire game takes place in Brennenburg Castle.

I got a strong Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth vibe while playing the demo. Just like in Call of Cthulhu, you don't only need to take care of your physical health, but also your mental health. If you look at disturbing things for too long, your character's heart starts pounding louder and louder, he starts breathing heavily, his vision gets impaired (courtesy of some very nice visual effects - at one point, it seemed as if the walls started closing in on me). You even have a sanity meter in the inventory screen.

You also have to avoid the dark as much as possible. If you have the right equipment, you can fire candles and torches on the way and you also get an oil lamp to carry around. But it can run out of oil at any time so you have to use it sparringly. The demo mainly consisted of some linear exploring and rather simplistic environmental puzzle solving, but at the end, the area you're in gets flooded and some kind of invisible apparition attacks you if you step into the water. You can hear it and you can see the ripples in the water, but you can't see the damned thing. You can pick up severed limbs and hurl them into the water to distract the creature as it will attack (eat?) it. So there's this gate and you have to lift it up by rotating the little wheel next to it (by the way, actions like opening a door, pulling an object or rotating a wheel are done by moving the mouse in the appropriate direction - funny how you don't need motion controls for that kind of stuff, eh?). So I lunge a severed arm as far as possible and make a run to the gate. As I'm frantically whirling my mouse all over the desk, I can HEAR the damn thing splashing behind me and I'm about to totally lose my wits. I make my way through the gate and to another door and I try to push it open, BUT NO, this one opens towards the inside. At this point, I'm beside myself with fear as I can hear the beast splashing behind me, catching up with me. I finally open the door, go a few steps through it and just as I feel the thing hitting me (a red color blurrs the screen) - the game fades to black and the demo is over.

I'm not a horror fan, but I really liked what I played. The game is genuinely frightening and intense and the sense of vulnerability is off the charts.

The game is very dark and atmospheric, the graphics aren't spectacular or anything, but the developers did a great job with the kind of budget they had. The sound effects and the soundtrack are great, really get your blood pumping and your nerves freaking out.

You should check this out even if you only have a passing interest in horror or adventure games.

Reviews

Despite its title, Amnesia remembers what the blockbusters of survival horror seem to have forgotten: how to horrify. -- PC Gamer (88/100)

It's a brave experiment in the genre, a more solid package than the Penumbra games and stops at nothing to make you truly, deeply uncomfortable. -- Eurogamer (8/10)

This is one of the scariest games in recent memory. -- IGN (8.5/10)

This Is Not A Test Of Faith

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I've been playing Disciples III: Renaissance religiously for the past few weeks. If you haven't got a clue what Disciples is, here's a quick rundown - Disciples is a fantasy turn-based strategy series comparable to Heroes of Might and Magic. It's darker than Heroes in that there are no real good or evil races, each race does the bidding of their respective god (thus the name of the series) and only care for their own interests.

It's been 8 long years since the brilliant Disciples II: Dark Prophecy. The long-awaited sequel has finally arrived. The development process has been troubled, to say the least. Years ago, Strategy First decided to outsource development to Russian-based upstart developer MistLand South. After a while, Strategy First pulled the project and handed it over to another Russian developer - Akella. After some time, Strategy First seemingly gave up altogether and simply handed over the Disciples rights directly to Akella. Disciples III was finally released in Russia late last year and the word was that it was a horribly glitchy, incomplete mess. I was getting ready for a long-awaited disaster.

Disciples III was released in Europe and North America last month. After reading the very positive Eurogamer review I decided to pick it up when seeing it going for half-price on a British online game store. The other day I wrapped up one of the three campaigns (with the human Empire) and I'm happy to report that Disciples III is a genuinely great game and a worthy successor to one of my favorite games of all times. It's not as brilliant as Disciples II, but Akella and .dat managed to successfully bring the series to 3D making some changes on the way (revamped combat system, a much better territory control system, more fleshed out RPG elements) while still staying true to the series' roots. The only major complaints I have is that it's far too linear and the story is crap.

Anyway, if you're at all interested in this game, there's a demo on Steam you can check out. Also, I recorded two videos and you can check those out as well. Ignore the framerate, the game runs smooth as butter at 60fps, but the Fraps recording brings it down to 25fps.

[Scenic tour of a fully-built Empire city]

[Final battle of the Empire campaign]

PC Gamers Of The World Unite

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The fact that the vast majority of the gaming media has rather lacking PC coverage is widely accepted. That's why I was pretty excited about the recent launch of PCGamer.com - a joint venture of long-standing, well-respected mags PC Gamer UK and PC Gamer US. Being a PC-only website, they cover not only the big games, but also provide interesting, well-written coverage of free-to-play MMO's, all sorts of indie games and even browser games. The European influence is also notable in the sense that PC Gamer doesn't only report "serious" news, but also stuff like the Laser Kitty Team Fortress 2 rampage.

So if you've always felt that there was a lack of dedicated PC coverage, do yourself a favor and check it out.

Best Games of E3 2010

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Civilization V

One of my most anticipated games of the year, Civilization V returns with a brand new hex-based tactical combat system, a fantastic art-styIe and incredible scope and depth. [Video]

Portal 2

A full-blown, big budget sequel to one of the most unique and innovative games of the past decade. The graphical upgrade is incredible, the new portal manipulation techniques intriguing and the puzzles even more deliciously mind-bending. [Showfloor Demo]

Crysis 2

Easily the best-looking console game to date. The urban warfare looks incredible. It remains to be seen if the sequel will offer the astounding scope and emergent gameplay of the original, but it definitely seems promising. [Stage Demo]

Bulletstorm

Bulletstorm intentionally avoids being serious, tactical gameplay, cover and simply offers incredibly impressive over-the-top FPS action and one boot from hell. Old school, baby! [Stage Demo]

Rock of Ages

From Ace Team--developers of Zeno Clash--comes another oddball game with a unique art-styIe. It's some sort of a tower defense game that takes place in various historical time periods in which one player defends his citadel while another player controls a massive boulder in an effort to take everything in front of him toppling down. [Trailer]

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit

Criterion-developed Hot Pursuit is a throwback to ye olde Need for Speeds when the series was all about high-powered race cars going at blazing-fast speeds with no customization whatsoever. [Stage Demo]

Take Your Time

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Ever wondered how much time you spend each year playing games? Well, I actually keep track of that data for the purpose of a friendly contest I'm involved in. Here are some interesting stats concerning my gaming habits in 2009:

Time spent playing games: 1001 hours

Top 5 game time:

  1. Fable II - 92 hours (two playthroughs)
  2. Heroes of Might and Magic V: Tribes of the East - 83 hours
  3. Dragon Age: Origins - 77 hours
  4. Viva Pinata: Trouble In Paradise - 70 hours
  5. Neverwinter Nights 2 - 65 hours

Games played: 34

Games finished: 23

Death of a Decade: Best Games (#1-10)

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Top 50 Best Games of the Decade

1. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

  • Publisher: Rockstar Games
  • Developer: Rockstar North
  • 2003

Vice City simply goes beyond having an open-ended world and varied, superb gameplay - the amount of styIe Rockstar poured into this game is unmatched. Neon-lit art-deco 80's Miami, fantastic music, a plethora of colorful characters, a cIassic rise-to-power crime storyline, and finally a cool, no bull**** protagonist voiced by Ray Liotta. Vice City also sports the groundbreaking series' most engaging side-missions including masterminding a bank heist and managing a porn film studio.

2. Half-Life 2

  • Publisher: Sierra Entertainment
  • Developer: Valve Software
  • 2004

From the opening Point Insertion level, I realized I have embarked on something truly unique - City 17 was a cold, uninviting place in which the easy-to-see-through propaganda of a puppet human government is brainwashing you from the very first few seconds of gameplay. The atmosphere is palpable, you can feel the misery of the people that surround you, and you fervently want to join in the revolt. There is something distinctly real and human about Half-Life 2 despite the fact that you're fighting off an alien invasion. One of the very few games in which the reason to fight is as important as the fight itself.

3. Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic

  • Publisher: LucasArts
  • Developer: BioWare
  • 2003

BioWare managed to provide the most complete Star Wars experience with this RPG of epic proportions. Incredibly well-written staying true to its source material, it has some of the most interesting characters in the Star Wars universe, and it sports the best Star Wars storyline since the first three movies. On top of all that, you actually get to traverse through a massive Star Wars universe and decide its fate. Knight of the Old Republic is everything an RPG can possibly be.

4. The Longest Journey

  • Publisher: Funcom
  • Developer: Funcom
  • 2000

This is the absolute pinnacle of adventure gaming and storytelling. The gameplay is exquisite, the puzzles are challenging and, more importantly, make sense. The writing is superb, you will not encounter better developed characters than this, and the voice acting is organic and natural. After playing through this game, I felt as if I knew April Ryan, as if she was someone I was once friends with. April Ryan's journey should not be missed.

5. Team Fortress 2

  • Publisher: Valve Software
  • Developer: Valve Software
  • 2007

A multiplayer game that has it all - a wonderful art-styIe, awesome characters, insane amounts of polish and balance and--this is what it truly excels at--teamwork. The cIasses give loads of gameplay variety, the goal-oriented teamwork paves the way for awesome battle scenarios and the fantastic community provides a bottomless amount of maps, mods, servers and everything in-between.

6. Ninja Gaiden

  • Publisher: Tecmo
  • Developer: Team Ninja
  • 2004

The guys over at Team Ninja are undeniably a sadistic bunch who managed to bring me to tears out of sheer frustration - this game is ****ing hard. I'm no fan of such punishment and if it were any other game, I'd quit in a heartbeat. But there was something about Ninja Gaiden that constantly kept me moving forward no matter how badly I got schooled by the AI - and to keep playing after enduring such punishment and ending up looking like a complete wuss to simple computer AI is Ninja Gaiden's greatest feat. Because the game is just so incredible you can't put it down no matter what.

7. Civilization IV

  • Publsiher: 2K Games
  • Developer: Firaxis Games
  • 2005

Civilization IV elevated the venerable series' formula to unseen heights. The interface was streamlined in order to avoid unnecessary, boring micromanagement. It's also the most accessible game in the series providing lots of options and making the game faster. But most importantly, these changes were made without compromising the insane depth and scope old fans expected. Just the opposite, it has more features than ever such as the fantastic religion system.

8. Disciples II: Dark Prophecy

  • Publisher: Strategy First
  • Developer: Strategy First
  • 2002

The easiest way to describe this game is to compare it to Heroes of Might and Magic. But you would be doing it a horrible diservice as well. Disciples II is as different from Heroes as it is similar to it. It's an absolutely brilliant turn-based strategy game with a compelling universe, deep tactical gameplay that is easy to learn but difficult to master and a fantastic art-styIe.

9. Grand Theft Auto IV

  • Publisher: Rockstar Games
  • Developer: Rockstar North
  • 2008

The game that took the series in a very different direction. It is a back-to-basics game showcasing Rockstar's incredible restraint and vision. Grand Theft Auto IV tells a dark New York immigrant story with believeable characters and great writing. It features one of the most amazing and detailed gameworlds ever created, stunning graphics, a great combat system, refined driving mechanics, competent AI. On top of all that, there's also the video editor and the fantastic Independence FM.

10. Dragon Age: Origins

  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • Developer: BioWare
  • 2009

The best thing to say about Dragon Age is that nothing feels like an afterthought in this game. Everything, absolutely everything is well thought-out and deliberate. An incredibly detailed gameworld with rich culture and history, a teriffic cast of characters, insane amount of fully voiced NPC's and a deep tactical combat system that never gets repetetive.

Death of a Decade: Best Games (#11-20)

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Top 50 Best Games of the Decade

11. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

  • Publisher: Rockstar Games
  • Developer: Rockstar North
  • 2005

Easily the most massive and diverse Grand Theft Auto game. It takes the player on an epic journey from the concrete jungle of South Central L.A. through Northern California all the way to the most ludicrous desert town on the planet. As with any journey, how you get there is much more important than actually getting there. In San Andreas, you get there in styIe.

12. Homeworld 2

  • Publisher: Sierra Entertainment
  • Developer: Relic Entertainment
  • 2003

The ultimate space strategy game. Homeworld 2 is an incredible space RTS with stunning graphics and an absolutely brilliant soundtrack that build up an amazing atmosphere. It is also a very challenging game with extremely competent AI that will never fail to exploit any mistakes you make. Compared to more traditional RTS games, Homeworld 2 is a delightfully slow-paced, methodical and highly tactical game. Unlike most RTS games which boil down to mindless clickfests, it's a true strategy game.

13. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

  • Publisher: 2K Games/Bethesda Softworks
  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • 2006

When there's such a variety of actions like exploring huge tracks of land, elven ruins, abandoned forts and mines, fighting all sorts of creatures, doing business in towns, interacting with loads of NPC's, joining Guilds and questing on their behalf....you know you have an amazing game on your hands. Oh yeah, there's also a story in there somewhere. But more importantly, in Oblivion you actually get to role-play and create a story of your own - making it a truly unrivaled experience.

14. Manhunt

  • Rockstar Games
  • Rockstar North
  • 2004

The most misunderstood game ever created, Manhunt is a true one-of-a-kind experience that serves as a disturbing commentary on mankind's endless thirst for violence, the illegal snuff market and even reality TV. Exploring a grousome and disturbing subject matter, Manhunt is an insanely intense game with a fantastic atmosphere backed by chilling sound effects and a heart-pumping soundtrack in which you will truly be afraid for your life at every turn.

15. The Warriors

  • Publisher: Rockstar Games
  • Developer: Rockstar Toronto
  • 2005

Is it really a surprise that where all else failed, Rockstar was triumphant? An absolutely stellar movie-based game with an accessible yet deep and varied combat system, lots of environmental destruction/interaction, fantastic writing and game design that not only manages to stay true to the source material but extensively builds upon it, stellar voice acting and an awesome soundtrack. Mayhem was never this much fun.

16. Bully

  • Publisher: Rockstar Games
  • Developer: Rockstar Vancouver
  • 2006

Grand Theft Auto meets The Warriors in a high school setting. A true testament to Rockstar's international creative and development process - refining and melding features and ideas from other Rockstar studios. And yet they still manage to innovate and make it completely fresh. Bully features a very unique, interesting and original setting, solid combat system, creative weaponry arsenal, inspired game design and--uncharacteristically of Rockstar--a fantastic original soundtrack.

17. Katamari Damacy

  • Publisher: Namco
  • Developer: Namco
  • 2004

Completely unlike anything you've ever played before, Katamari Damacy is a Happy Place in a box that manages to delight even before you see "Press Start" on your screen. Best use of a capella in a game ever. A simplistic yet inexplicably joyous and addictive game mechanic, wonderful art-styIe, completely surreal presentation and storytelling, one of the most awesome characters ever concieved by a human brain and an absolutely fantastic soundtrack.

18. Shadow of the Colossus

  • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Developer: Sony Japan Studio
  • 2005

Simple concept, mammoth execution. Shadow of the Colossus is a creative powerhouse featuring incredible presentation and art-styIe, heart-wrenching soundtrack, truly inspired game design and some of the most epic game battles ever created. Each colossus is distinctly unique and requires a different approach. Perhaps the most impressive thing Shadow of the Colossus manages to achieve is that you're constantly doubting your actions wondering whether your quest is at all just.

19. Portal

  • Publisher: Valve Software
  • Developer: Valve Software
  • 2007

Portal shadows a game industry success story inherent only to Valve: Students make flash game for school project, students get hired by world-cIass developer, students make one of the most innovative and adored games ever. It truly is one of the most unique, smart, genuinely funny, intricate games available on the market today.

20. Crysis

  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • Developer: Crytek
  • 2007

The only game I've played to date that truly lives up to its "emergent gameplay" marketing plug. The first six massive levels are pure open-ended bliss featuring fully destructible environments, insanely tight combat rewarding experimentation and absolutely impressive AI that uses real-world tactics such as search and destroy. Even when it gets linear and dependent on scripted action sequences towards the end, it's still great. Oh yeah, and it's still the graphical benchmark.

Death of a Decade: Best Games (#21-30)

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Top 50 Best Games of the Decade

21. Heroes of Might and Magic V

  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Developer: Nival Interactive
  • 2006

Between the mindnumbingly disappointing Heroes IV and New World Computing going bankrupt, the future seemed grim for the venerable turn-based strategy series. Then Ubisoft bought the rights and tapped respected Russian developer Nival to bring Heroes to 3D. There were many doubts, but they all dissipated once I played the game. It's basically Heroes III in 3D and you can't ask for more than that. Nival continued to show great competence in the expansion packs as well (particularly the fantastic Tribes of the East) and the future is looking bright for the series.

22. Fable II

  • Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
  • Developer: Lionhead Studios
  • 2008

Peter Molyneux achieved what was thought impossible - everything he promised was actually in the game. Coupled with the fact that Lionhead took all the complaints to heart and made great strides to improve the sequel and you have a truly outstanding game on your hands. A lenghty adventure, beautiful gameworld that would literally change based on your decisions, fleshed out simulation elements, a satisfying combat system, deep customization.

23. Okami

  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Developer: Clover Studio
  • 2006

One of the most visually striking games ever created. A painting in motion. Great writing, fantastic soundtrack, interesting characters, solid combat system, the innovative brush mechanic and a gameworld that is an incomprehensible joy to explore and bask in. If that wasn't enough, you get to play as Amaterasu - a Sun Goddess in wolf's form.

24. Viva Pinata

  • Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
  • Developer: Rare Ltd.
  • 2006

A game that manages to delight by simply walking around in a garden. Not only because it looks amazing, but also because of that wonderful sense of accomplishment. Everything you can see, everything you can interact with within the garden was your doing. Planting flowers, vegetables and trees, taming a wild pinata, building them a home, breeding them...everything in Viva Pinata is a pure joy.

25. Resident Evil 4

  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Developer: Capcom
  • 2005

A game that transcends genres and, indeed, its own heritage. Everything Resident Evil 4 does is for a reason, it's clearly a product of careful planning. The controls, game design, level design, enemies and bosses - all of these elements depend on each other to create a truly fantastic action game experience.

26. King's Bounty: The Legend

  • Publisher: 1C
  • Developer: Katauri Interactive
  • 2008

This is a sort of remake of King's Bounty, developed by New World Computing back in 1990 who went on to create the celebrated Heroes of Might and Magic series. King's Bounty: The Legend is basically an old-school RPG with battles very similar to those found in Heroes of Might and Magic. It's a huge, deep game with delightfully colorful graphics, an interesting gameworld and fantastic battles.

27. The Sims 3

  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • Developer: EA Redwood Shores
  • 2009

This is by far the best entry in the series. It features a seamless town which provides loads of interesting activities and opportunities, refined interaction features, unparalleled level of customization paving the way for some brilliant flashes of user creativity and a superb community implementation.

28. Civilization III

  • Publisher: Infogrames
  • Developer: Firaxis Games
  • 2001

True story: I played nothing but Civ III for about a year. At some point, it simply stopped being a conscious decision. I would simply turn on my PC and fire the game up. Civ III was considerably slower-paced than Civ IV went on to be - each session would last up to a month. It was a time when I had little responsibilities and all my days and nights were spent bulding my empire. Just...one...more...turn.

29. Half-Life 2: Episode Two

  • Publisher: Valve Software
  • Developer: Valve Software
  • 2007

Erm, it's Half-Life. If that doesn't designate instant awesomeness, I don't know what does. Episode Two takes Gordon and Alyx out of City 17 to face the Combine in the northern woodlands. Amazing atmosphere, unparalleled immersion, teriffic writing, Alyx, fantastic design and quite possibly the best action sequence in the series.

30. Need for Speed Most Wanted

  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • Developer: Black Box
  • 2005

Let's not beat around the bush - Most Wanted is one of the best racing games I've ever played. It was a perfect marriage of Hot Pursuit and Underground offering a cool city to drive around, fast cars, fantastically corny live action storytelling, deep customization and most importantly - incredibly fast, intense and exhilarating cop chases that were rewardingly tough and insanely epic.

Death of a Decade: Best Games (#31-40)

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Top 50 Best Games of the Decade

31. Fable

  • Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
  • Developer: Lionhead Studios
  • 2004

An enchanting mix of action/adventure, RPG and simulation elements and a truly amazing gameworld define this flawed masterpiece. Stripping it down and examining each aspect of the game makes the game fall short in every one of them. But despite its serious shortcommings, as a whole it's a delight. Ultimately, Fable is not only saved, but defined by the intangibles.

32. The Witcher

  • Publisher: Atari
  • Developer: CD Projekt Red
  • 2007

A game that mercilessly destroys RPG conventions, you don't need to look any further than Dragon Age to realize its influence on the genre. A dark and gritty fantasy gameworld in which nothing is clear-cut, no right or wrong, no good or bad - everything is a shade of grey. Violence, sex, corruption, drugs, racism, human-trafficking, slavery...not exactly your cIassic fantasy RPG. The Witcher is also a visual tour de force which heavily contributes to the high level of immersion.

33. Burnout 3: Takedown

  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • Developer: Criterion Games
  • 2004

One of the most insane, intense and satisfying racing games ever made. Every single mode is a thrill be it a regular circuit race, a road rage event or crash mode. You don't just drive cars in Burnout 3, you use them as weapons of mass destruction by wreaking havoc everywhere you go. Takedown, sucka!

34. F.E.A.R.

  • Publisher: Sierra Entertainment
  • Developer: Monolith Productions
  • 2005

Pegged to be the next big thing of the FPS realm, F.E.A.R. delivered unparalleled firefights and highly impressive AI that constantly amazed. Enemies would use tactics and communicated with each other, they used the level design to flank you and generally did some pretty crazy stuff like jumping out of a window to catch you off-guard. Also, slow motion. Win.

35. Halo 2

  • Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
  • Developer: Bungie Studios
  • 2004

Unlike its horribly overrated predecessor, Halo 2 had actual level design, refined on-foot and vehicle controls, urban warfare and some fantastic setpieces (the Scorpion highway section and the Scarab level). It also features the best storytelling in the series thanks to The Arbiter providing an interesting view from The Covenant's perspective.

36. Dead or Alive Ultimate

  • Publisher: Tecmo
  • Developer: Team Ninja
  • 2004

Amazing visuals, accessible yet deep combat system, plenty of interesting and varied characters sporting different fighting styIes, multi-tiered destructible/interactive arenas...I'm far from a fighting game fan, but this is one fantastic game.

37. Forza Motorsport

  • Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
  • Developer: Turn 10
  • 2005

The suggested line. It all really comes down to this. I love the concept of racing simulation, but I just can't tell when to brake. Full simulation setting I have no problem with, but I'm just stupid at braking. It was Forza's suggested line that made it possible for me to enjoy its incredible driving model, detailed cars and tracks, damaging model and deep customization. Where everyone else failed, Forza was triumphant.

38. Etherlords II

  • Publisher: Strategy First
  • Developer: Nival Interactive
  • 2003

A very unique and deep turn-based strategy/collectible card game hybrid. In Etherlords II, your hero doesn't lead an army, in fact, he's all alone. In battle, he doesn't fight, either. He uses cards acquired throughout the campaign to cast spells and/or summon creatures to fight for him. What he can or cannot cast depends on the world's only resource - ether. Battles can get pretty massive with a myriad of summoned creatures occupying the battlefied and loads of spells and abilities being cast by the combatants.

39. Halo 3

  • Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
  • Developer: Bungie Studios
  • 2007

Perhaps the most thought-out entry in the series, Bungie seemingly tried to combine the best elements of its predecessors to create the definitive Halo game. They mostly succeeded (plenty of trademark on-foot and vehicular action, varied level design, rather large environments with wonderful vistas), but unfortunately, also failed on occasion (quite possibly the worst level in the series - Cortana).

40. Gladius

  • Publisher: LucasArts
  • Developer: LucasArts
  • 2003

Gladius is an enthralling and deep turn-based strategy game with RPG elements based on Roman and Norse mythology, among others. You start the game by choosing to play as either a "Roman" noble or a pair of "Viking" siblings. During your journeys, you'll amass a wide variety of fighters and creatures all with their own distinct specialization. The vast majority of your time will be spent in battles which are fantastic as well as cortically stimulating. They range from intimate 1 on 1 fights to sprawling multi-team battles.