Top Picks 2005

Civilization IV
Using an enhanced version of the same graphics engine that was used to Sid Meier?s Pirates!, Civilization IV takes all the great features of the previous installments, plus fixed almost all the problems and gave their fan community an all around great game. Civ games were never really known for their intense graphics, only their in-depth gameplay and Civilization IV definitely delivers. With using the Pirates! Engine, Firaxis give the Civ series a 3D enhancement with many different colors that just feels right as you decide to either nuke your opponents or deal with them peacefully. With so many ways to win each game, and the great multiplayer, Civilization IV was an easy choice for top pc game of 2005.
Guild Wars
Trying to pull away just a few of the millions of people playing World of Warcraft, Guild Wars gave the online gamer a different type of experience. Not truly considering a Massive Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game, Guild Wars has players instance into their own unique setting each time they leave a town setting, giving them to either group with other human players or take on NPCs as groups members. This feature, although seeming different than the norm for online games, really helps players who don?t want to wait for hours looking for a group for a certain mission during the game. And one can?t forget about the great graphics for the online world; each environment looks beautiful and unique in its own way with the artistic style that the developers chose to take. Plus, not having a monthly subscription also helps out with gaining new members, and the developers constantly keep updating and adding new content to this large scaled game.
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones
A combination of the previous two installments in the series, taking the great combat style from Warrior Within, and the great environmental puzzles from The Sands of Time, this game can do nothing but please fans of the trilogy. Along with a decent storyline that will keep the player interested throughout the entire game, PoP: T2T ends the trilogy with a good note, having most of the questions from the previous games answered. Adding a new ?quick kill? feature as an addition to the already great combat system, the developers really took some time to make everything in the combat flow from one attack to the next. Even with putting out a new installment every year, Ubisoft has definitely put their time into presenting the player with a great gameplay experience that will please most, if not all Prince of Persia fans.
Battlefield 2
With all the new and added features since the last Battlefield game, this has to be one of the biggest overhauls from one game to the next in a series ever in game history. With the great graphics, and team-based style of gameplay, not to forget the intricate online tallying system for kills, etc, the developers definitely took their time in giving the player an awesome online experience in the modern era of combat. Being a mostly online game, and also one of the most popular online shooters, one has to think that the developers definitely know what they?re doing with Battlefield 2. With the ability to drive and fly different vehicles including tanks, jeeps, and airplanes, Battlefield 2 is definitely a game that will take over gamer?s lives for some time to come.
Movies The
From the well known creative developer Peter Molyneux who gave us great games like Black and White 1 and 2, The Movies gives players the ability to create their own blockbuster hits. With two different modes of play; one being the ?campaign mode? where you start movies in the early 20th century in black and white without sound and go through winning awards and building you studio until you?re making full drawn out color movies with some special effects. The other style of play is a type of ?sandbox mode? where you?re able to start creating movies from the get go, but with limited technology if you haven?t completed the campaign mode already. Although the game doesn?t give the player the amount of control they first thought they would get, the game is definitely different from the norm and Mr. Molyneux has definitely tried to branch away from mainstream as much as he could, which is noble in today?s ways of sequels and spin-offs.
Swat 4
As this series has become older, the gameplay of each one has been more defined and better with each installment. Styled as a first person shooter, Swat 4 can only be considered so much more. You play through different missions consisting of kidnappings, burglaries, and murder, but different from regular fist person shooters, the point of each mission is not to go in with guns blazing, but with diplomatic, nonlethal weapons such as hollow shell bullets coming out of shotguns, stun guns, and tear gas grenades. You?re graded each mission and the more force you use, the less points you?ll receive out of 100. The squad based combat presented to the player throughout the different missions is extremely fun being able to control different members of the squad and just planning out your attack throughout the missions. The fan community has definitely come alive with this game with modders making different levels for others to download and play after they?ve finished the single player campaign. And each time you play a mission, everyone, including the victims and enemies with be located in different positions so the replay value is definitely high.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Say what you will about the Grand Theft Auto series, but Rockstar games definitely know they?re doing when creating new games. Given more advertisement by the famous ?coffee mod,? San Andreas yet again gave the player the ability to do almost anything in a huge world that was free of loading points. Taking everything that was great about the previous two games in the series, San Andreas adds more quests consisting of a large variety, different from just the regular ?mailman? quests that have plagued most games in this same genre. If you?re not offended by strong language or any sort of racism and want a game that will fill up your time for quite awhile, giving you the ability to live an alternate life in a huge world, then Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a good choice for you. Even though it may not seem like Rockstar Games are not taking a lot of initiative with the Grand Theft Auto series, San Andreas proves yet again that you can make a sequel that is above and beyond what the previous installments were.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Yet another installment in the Need for Speed series, but it?s not just another NFS game, it?s so much more. It takes the series into the next generation with amazing graphics and detail to the different aspects of the game. With a plotline that?s siliery than it?s supposed to be(or at least I?m assuming), Most Wanted sets the player in the role of a true street racer who must win his way up to the top of the Black List to get recognition from the other drivers in the circuit. Story of the game aside, the different aspects of the game really bring this new installment to life starting with the amazing graphics, the ability to enhance your car, and the tons of extra races and circuits you?re allowed to play to win money to enhance your car really give Most Wanted a lot of hours of playtime for anyone.
Dungeons and Dragons: Dragonshard
A different and unique real-time strategy game that was released in 2005 really shines as something that tries to put many different aspects into the RTS genre, and Dragonshard succeeds. With a decent enough storyline that will keep player?s interest throughout the single-player campaign, the ability to control hero type characters, the good soundtrack included, and the graphics really make this title one of the top ten of 2005. Coming from Liquid Entertainment, Dragonshard gives players a breath of fresh air adding different elements into the RTS genre including the ability to have battles above and below ground, and also having influence of the Dungeons and Dragons ruleset in the newest DnD realm.
Because of technological achievements this game made, it deserves to be on the top ten. The graphics in this game and also the artificial intelligence displayed by your enemies with the different levels really sets this game apart from the everyday normal first person shooter. Having the ability to slow down time is not unknown to the gaming world, stemming from Max Payne and Matrix games, but FEAR, being a first person shooter really gives it a twist giving the ability of hand to hand combat to the player with dealing with his foes. Although there are not that many different enemy types in FEAR?s single player campaign, their artificial intelligence really makes up for that. Your enemies will find ways to surround you or flush you out of different places. You?ll actually have to keep track of where they?re all at all the time, unless you want to reload. The graphics are a step above most of the FPS?s this year, and because of it, you?re going to need a huge system to get the full affect. The storyline, to me, wasn?t the best, taking many elements from recent Japanese horror films, but it will keep your interest throughout the entire game.

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