Top Picks 2007

World in Conflict
A massive title trying to make its name in a genre already studded with long standing franchises, World in Conflict shouts out its name with authority. Creating an engaging experience through an impressive, matched with some great voice-acting, but not to be done is the graphics component of this game, where the huge battles are sprawled out across large detailed landscapes. Creating a realistic battleground with destructible environments in a world where the Berlin Wall never fell and Russia is massing a large scale against Western Europe, World in Conflict will have you playing mission after mission from beginning to end throughout the campaign?s lengthy 14 single player missions. And when you?re finished with that, you still have the superb multiplayer part of the game to keep you occupied for weeks to come. The multiplayer side of the game is fast paced, and well balanced where you?ll be spending hours online perfectly your own strategy on how to take your opponent.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
With each new installment into the series, it seems like the Call of Duty series keeps getting better in not only overall quality, but also gameplay. With this latest game in the franchise, the series takes a modern twist and it does it well. With an intense campaign that has you crossing the globe from the middle of the ocean on a sealiner to the ghost town near Chernobyl. Although the single player campaign may be a little on the short side, not enough can be said about the depth that?s in the multiplayer component of this game. With an already great track record with the online multiplayer, Infinity Ward adds something more with an experience system that has you unlocking different classes and weapons when playing online with others. A different take on the importance on playing more and becoming better online, Call of Duty 4 rewards the player well with their multiplayer component and this feature will keep players and fans of the genre playing for hours on end.
Some may be asking, why would Crysis be on this list, it?s just another first person shooter that does everyone else a normal FPS would do, and I would say you?re mostly right, but you just can?t look past the graphics in this game and how realistic the environments look. Yes, the gameplay isn?t leagues above other games of the same genre like the graphical content, but they?re certainly solid in their own respect. This game does have polish in regards to the actual over gameplay and you have to respect that, but no other game has been able to express their atmosphere like Crysis, mainly due to the graphics and physics engine. Gamers have to be impressed with what Crytek has done and obviously look forward to what they might do in the future. One can only imagine where we go from here with the graphics component after this game?s release.
The Witcher
Coming out of nowhere from a first time developer, The Witcher brings back the role-playing game genre with force. With an amazing storyline, engaging combat system and an alchemy system that?s unparalleled in any other game, CD Projekt took a license created by Andrzej Sapkowski, a Polish writer, and made a very impressive role-playing game. Hours of engaging gameplay are yours to be had, not only because it?s a lengthy game, or because of the replay value with multiple endings and different dialogue trees, but also because of the toolkit and the mods that fans will be creating for this game. Made from an Advanced Aurora Engine, the same engine that ran Neverwinter Nights, the developers breathe new life into this aging graphical engine and makes The Witcher shine in the mist of the some of the best looking games coming out today.
The Orange Box
You get the award winning Half Life 2, plus the two following episodes that progress the story even further, a new style of gameplay from Portal which one can only imagine where the community will take its abilities, and finally Team Fortress 2, a multiplayer team-oriented experience where the different classes actually matter in the overall gameplaying experience. You?d be hard pressed to have never heard of the Half Life series, but if you haven?t had the chance to play it, treat yourself and get The Orange Box. First person shooter fans will see the quality and time that Valve took in creating each component of this package in the first few hours and will then be able to play for unlimited amounts of hours when dealing with the thousands of fan created games based off of the Source Engine.
Gears of War
First coming to the Xbox 360, then onto the PC with some added content, Gears of War brings the dirty corridor fighting to the mouse and keyboard. With an entire extra chapter that flows smoothly into the over storyline, the developers made this Gears of War look great on today?s computers with larger resolutions and advanced details for those computers with the horse power. From start to finish, the gameplay is solid with great sound, graphics, voice acting and sound, and a decent lengthy campaign, but you can?t forget about the multiplayer which will give you the replay value you?ve been looking for from an action game.
Somewhat of a spiritual successor to System Shock 2, Bioshock becomes one of those games that you can play over and over again, not only for how beautiful the underwater metropolis of Rapture looks, but also because of the impressive storyline and voice acting is within the games fifteen or so hours. With an impressive physics engine that shines whether you?re using your inferno power to light your enemies on fire or your telekinesis power to throw objects around the artistically designed environment, Bioshock gives player multiple ways to progress through the game. Just because it seems a little bit more linear than most modern role-playing games, doesn?t mean that the game doesn?t have replayability, because there are just so many ways to take out different enemies whether you want to run and gun or use the environment for your needs. Bioshock is a game that gives first person shooter gamers the hope to have overall great quality artistic games in a world where developers seem to rinse and repeat each year with installments in their age old franchises.
Europa Universalis III
Have you ever wanted to control the world around the time that Columbus discovered the new world? Well, you have your chance in Europa Universalis III. No other game has ever given you more depth in every aspect of your triumphant reign over the world that in this last release in the series. If you?re a newcomer to the series, don?t be dismayed by the learning curve, just spend a little with the instruction because once you pick this game up and really get into what it is to control a culture back in the day, you?ll never be able to pull yourself away from the computer. This is one of those games where it?s not all about the graphics and that?s not to say that the graphics are terrible, just that the developers spent the majority of their time on coding a game filled with depth and TBS fans will appreciate it.
Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars
Following up a long line of previous installments in the Command Conquer series, Tiberium Wars had a lot of pressure to be a great game and the developers succeeded. With some great graphics, decent voice, not to mention the funny wanna?be serious movies into between missions played by actors from the previous games, and a storyline that has you guessing what will happen from beginning to end, this game delivers a solid experience that fans of not only the series, but the genre, will be happy with. A multiplayer component that is balanced, quick-paced, and also fun, is added to provided a well rounded experience in this latest installment.
Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar
The world that Tolkien created is now online for your enjoyment. That?s right, what you read in the books, and what you saw in the movies, it?s all here leading up to a certain point in the trilogy and it?s only getting bigger. Trying to attract both MMORPG and Lord of The Rings Fans, Shadows of Angmar takes the best of both worlds and puts everything into a very detailed, story driven game, along with some superb graphics that fully illustrate the landscape that Tolkien had created so many years ago. Whether you?re a fan of MMORPGs or Lord of the Rings, you?ll be pleased with this title. Since launch, Turbine, the developers, have released mass amounts of free content that not only extend the overall storyline, but the territory in which you can explore. One can only think of what they may include in an actual expansion.