10th: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
„All you had to do, was to follow the goddamn train, CJ! “ This phrase will probably be known in the San Andreas universe as the most annoying one, due to the randomness regarding the mission’s successfulness.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas presents an entire new story in an entire new place, based on 3 cities from the West Coast U. S. of A.: San Francisco (San Fierro), Los Angeles (Los Santos) and Las Vegas (Las Venturas).
You are CJ, an African-American man that came back from Liberty City (New York in real life) after the news of his mother’s death reached his ears. Once he gets back he already finds himself in trouble with the local police followed by the brother’s anger regarding his sudden leaving to the East Coast.
Once all the heat has cooled off, you’re properly welcomed back and you start rebuilding what once was your clan, along with your brother and sister.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas offers a great deal of customization, side-quests and challenges considering its release year (2004).
You go from changing your character’s haircut and clothes, to putting muscles on him with the help of a gym, learning new styles of fighting and tuning the cars he successfully stole.
Also the game introduces for the first time in its series the notion of girlfriends, NPCs that grant you certain favors when you meet a certain positive status with them. Usually, to please them you have to take them on a date to one of the various places the game has to offer: Drive-thru, bar and so on.
What can also be noted is the high amount of vehicles, planes, helicopters, boats and motorcycles and even bicycles available for your transportation means. In total 152 vehicles, 22 aircrafts, 12 2-wheelers and 10 boats await to be used to get you from Point A to B.
The weapons also got their share of variety, ranging from knives and blunt weapons to rocket launchers and AK’s/M4’s.
Maybe its best feature is the huge map you’re allowed to travel on: Containing 3 big cities, a dozen smaller ones, a desert and a mountain and lots of greenland.
Of course the size of the map had to bring a negative point, that being the low quality of the textures. This can be easily fixed with the graphics enhancer mods that lie around on the internet.
Some of the things from the previous games like, doing emergency missions (Ambulance, Police) are still available as new ones like taking driver’s and pilot’s license.
Also the game is highly customizable, with few thousand mods already released, like new vehicles models, graphics enhancers etc.
Pros and Cons of the game
- High range of character and vehicle customization
- Friends with benefits
- A huge story containing over 200 quests
- Lots of Easter Eggs, Hidden collectible items, Jump spots.
- A high variety of weaponry and vehicles
- Huge map, covering 3 big cities, more small ones and lots of green areas.
- Multitude of glitches, most of them from textures or sounds.
Release Date: PS2 – Oct. 2004 | PC – June 2005 | Xbox – June 2005
Developer: Rockstar North
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Steam Store Page: http://store.steampowered.com/app/12120/
Similar Games: Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, IV, V, Saints Row II, Red Faction: Guerilla.
Defiance is a Free2Play MMO post-apocalyptic, third-person shooter, action game with RPG elements. The setting takes place in a future San Francisco and its surroundings that lie in ruins.
You are one of the survivors of a ship that crashed near the city and you have to find out what happened with your boss, Karl von Bach, the head of Von Bach Industries and rescue him if possible.
As stated by the title of this article, Defiance is open-world, its map being split in 3 areas: San Francisco and its outskirts, interconnected by what is left of the Golden Gate Bridge and Silicon Valley. Being post-apocalyptic, much of the map consists of plain land with a few destroyed buildings and remnants of asphalt spread here and there in what’s left of San Francisco.
At the beginning of the game you have to choose one of the 4 main skills available in the game (Super Speed, Super Damage, Cloaking and Decoy) with the possibility to unlock the others as you advance through character levels. The skill-tree revolves around the 4 main abilities, each of the sub-skills contributing to empowering one of the 4 main ones.
The game is mostly composed of PvE type of gameplay (Players vs Events), with the possibility to join the PvP whenever you consider fit. None of the missions will be single-player as any player in the area can join your mission and assist you in completing it (each getting his own rewards at its end).
Besides the main story, there are lots of side-quests and random events spread throughout the map that reward the player if he attends to them. Also, throughout the map there are lots of vendors that sell from weaponry, to vehicles, shields and weapon mods.
The story is mildly interesting, no strong points to it whatsoever, but it should keep the player fascinated until its completion. Voice acting is good, but outside the cinematics there was no lip-movement which made them look like the best kind of ventriloquists.
Weapons and Enemies
The range of weaponry is big, from the classical weapons like pistols and assault rifles to ‘incubators’ (weapons that contain parasites). Each class of weapon is parted by rarity type from common (white) to legendary (orange), which contains a reasonable amount of benefits compared to the common-type rarity.
In addition to the weaponry you can also customize your loadout with weapon mods to make them more efficient in combat. You can install between 1 and 4 mods, depending on the weapon.
The wide number of enemy types will make you consider having a big inventory filled with weapons to make yourself sure that you can survive any situation. The enemies toughen up as there are more players in that area, thus co-op-ing with strangers becoming completely necessary to ensure a chance of winning.
Most of the vehicles in this game can be purchased with in-game currency. Though there are not many types of vehicles, they will do through the vast green fields and forests.
By completing various missions and challenges, from shooting to driving types, you can earn new costumes and other items to show-off to your friends.
The game contains, so far, 5 Pay2Play DLCs which introduce new quests, dungeons and items for extended playtime. It also contains a shop from which you can buy costumes and currency for other type of items.
Pros and Cons
– Big map filled with lots of random events
– Boss killing challenges with at least 50 players fighting for victory
– Varied costumes, weapons, shields, cars
– PvP fight zone
– Story is short
– Lack of certain animations
Release Date: April 2013
Genre: MMO Third-Person Shooter
Developer: Trion Worlds
Publisher: Trion Worlds
Price: Free To Play
Steam Store Page: http://store.steampowered.com/app/224600/
Note: The gameplay shows the first missions of the game followed by a random big event on another advanced character.
Similar Games: Borderlands Series, Hellgate: London, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas
8th: Dead Island
Dead Island is another zombie post-apocalyptic game, developed by Techland. Though it’s not completely open-world, its maps are quite large and open for exploration. Unlike most of the zombie games that exist nowadays, this one focuses mostly on blade and blunt weapons instead of fire weapons – barely at the middle of the game you’ll find some of them.
Everything happens on the exotic island Banoi. You are one of the 4 people that wake up in the morning surrounded by zombies though you were left unaffected by whatever made the people become those brain-cravers.
You find a bit later that you are immune to their contagiousness though you can still die from receiving too many hits. Along with other plain survivors (no other immunes) you plan an escape but, of course, you are sent to fulfill all the needed tasks.
The game supports a maximum of 4 player co-op along with voice and text chat integrated. Each of the characters has a unique skill based on their weapon expertise that can be activated after you raised enough ‘Fury’.
There’s a moderate variety of enemies, from the high amount of pawns called simply ‘Walkers’ to some tougher enemies that have special attacks meant to take you out quite fast (Ram, Butcher, Thug etc.)
The difficulty is quite easy until you get overcrowded by Walkers and there’s one of the tougher guys as well near them. Fortunately you’re assisted by the feature of throwing weapons at the enemies (with the possibility to pick them back up) so you can keep your distance nice and alive.
Items and Weapons
The game has enough items to keep you alive – from medkits to fruits, energy drinks and bars. Also you have various items that can be used for crafting more powerful weapons. The blueprints for the mods and the items needed for them can be found by exploring the maps.
Similar to Defiance, the weapons are classed by their rarity from common to legendaries, the last mentioned doing a bigger damage than a common counterpart of the same level.
Dead Island players can advance their characters up to level 50, but for that you’ll have to finish the game twice. (When you start the second time all the inventory raised over the first playthrough will be kept in the second.) In the second playthrough though, your enemies will have their level raised accordingly to your own, to not unbalance the game too much.
The skill-tree focuses on the specialty of each character rather than having all of them use the same powers, making the co-op play more fun.
Pros and Cons
– Big maps, filled with enemies and looting
– Wide variety of weaponry from bats to hammers and iron fists.
– Quite the short story
– Slow movement, can transform you into a victim in a heartbeat.
Release Date: Oct 2011
Genre: Action RPG, Survival Horror
Publisher: Deep Silver
Steam Store Page: http://store.steampowered.com/app/91310/
Similar Games: Dead Island: Riptide, Left 4 Dead Series, Killing Floor
7th: Fallout: New Vegas
“War, war never changes.”
Welcome to the post-apocalyptic world of Fallout, where a nuke war destroyed the US, leaving it in dust and despair. The surviving humans are living in man-made caves called Vaults.In New Vegas you take the role of a courier that made his final, though untimely delivery, ending up almost dead.
Fortunately for you, a robot finds you and takes you to the local doctor to patch you up. From there, your main journey is to find the killer and take revenge on him.
Your own path
What I enjoy greatly about this game is the possibility of choosing your own path in the game. You can befriend whoever you want or make them your enemy.
Each choice will shape your end game. Though, as in the previous games, you will not be able to continue after the game ended its story, so it’s recommended to finish all its DLCs and quests before attending the last main story mission.
The arsenal in Fallout: New Vegas is greatly varied, covering every taste, whether you want to be a marksman, demoman or even a white-weapon wearer. Prior to every new level reached, you get skill points to place in the ‘tree’ which will boost, at your own preferences, certain skills like lockpicking, bartering or fire guns.
Also, for every 2 new levels you will receive a point to use it on perks that are unlocked up to that level like, faster reload, higher damage output or more XP received whenever you receive an amount.
You are also allowed to craft ammunition and potions to aid you in the fights. Though the game is naturally single-player, you won’t be for long single, as company will want to join you in your travel and you can take up to 2 aids with you. They will offer special perks, carry your inventory and fight along with you.
All of the handling of your inventory, as well as map inspecting and several other things, is a computer arm-bracelet called PipBoy 3000. One helpful feature is the V.A.T.S (or Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting) which has the purpose of aiding you in targeting enemies to deliver critical blows. In order to not abuse of it though, it has a cooldown.
The game contains 4 story DLCs that extend the gameplay by a few more hours. Most of them require your character to be quite advanced (minimum level 25) with the one exception that asks only for Lvl 15. The rest of the 2 DLCs, add weapons and suit to your arsenal.
Pros and Cons
– Vast area, filled with friends, enemies and locations
– Multitude of weapons
– Expanded skill tree and perks
– The ability to switch between First and Third Person Shooter.
– Traveling by foot can be a nuisance as you cannot fast travel until you have discovered the places.
– Various glitches.
– ED-E companion bot is usually more of a problem than a help since it attracts a multitude of enemies. (Glitch)
– The lack of possibility to continue roaming the game after the main story has been finished.
Release Date: Oct. 2010
Genre: Action Role-Playing
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks, Namco Bandai Games
Steam Store Page: http://store.steampowered.com/app/22380/
Similar Games: Defiance, Borderlands Series and Hellgate: London