Submitted for your approval - I have this sorta casual, standing code concerning multiplayer action games such as Doom, Quake, Marathon 2, and the like. Take the number of possible networked players and multiply it by the number of times in 15 minutes you feel the need to hurl some unprintable epithet at one of them: If the result equals or exceeds 100, it's probably a good game.
Havoc and I are hitting 144 just about now, and that's just when I'm playing the single-player games.
Havoc - an unsung semi-hero of a game from the folks who brought us the similarly unsung (but eerily cool) Sensory Overload - is a fast-paced land-vehicle combat game that fuses the viewpoint and weaponry of an extremely simplified tank title with the brainless fluidity of an arcade driving game.
Up to 16(!) players take the roles of corporate mercenaries piloting nimble cycles, muscular hovercraft or fat, nasty heavy tanks across 35 levels of twisty, mountainous battlegrounds bristling with gun turrets and crawling/flying with stupid but violent - and annoyingly quick - enemy armor units. Tons of weapon types abound, and the interface sports a small but useful rear-view camera in the low left field of view. Indeed, much of the new and interesting profanities you'll find yourself uttering will be directed toward whichever heavily armed thing just shot you four times in the face and went roaring by you in a blur, all but thumbing its nose at you and formally inviting you to follow, usually while you're busy trying to kill something else for whatever power-ups or gate-exit keys it will yield. The designers at Reality Bytes know this kind of drive-by is going to piss you off, and they know it will probably end in quite the merry high-speed chase across ridges and gorges. One has to admire (if not actually enjoy) this kind of calculated, clinical evil.
Havoc is definitely redolent of an arcade game. Imagine a gritty, Road Warrior-flavored version of Spectre VR with slopes, rough terrain, lots of loud, violent explosions, and the occasional goofy arcade sound-effect, and you've got a pretty good idea. Vehicle control is simple and brutal, satisfyingly devoid of anything like subtlety, and the picky player who prefers something more exotic than bikes, hovercraft or tanks is always free to go suck eggs. Havoc is perhaps a tad no-frills, but it plays great, and best of all is the fact that gamers on Windows and Mac platforms can play together via modem or LAN...and in the end, nobody wants to shoot at anybody in quite the same way that Mac users want to shoot at Windows users.