Rent These Games And Play Them
One of the biggest problems that comes with the passion that is gaming, is that there just isn’t enough time to play everything you’d want to and when you do have time to play something you usually don’t get to finish it, leading to you never picking it up again and sadly forgetting it before it got a chance to become memorable for you. Well, there’s that… and Online Passes, I guess.
Play ALL The Games
But coming back to not having enough time for games, if you’re one of those people like me who — wait nobody’s like me. Okay, if you’re one of those people who play games yet actually manages to have a life, then chances are your time works in the great triangle of work, sleep and play, with the tag line quite simply being: choose two. It’s just impossible sometimes to get enough of all three in.
Every now and then you do get a free moment to spare and then being the gamer you are, you go looking for your games and sure you could pick up a game like Skyrim or Red Dead Redemption and never, ever finish it but what if you’d like to spend, let’s say an entirely free weekend, starting and finishing a great game before moving on with your life? What if you tire of leaving games incomplete?
Well you’re in luck because today I’ve got a list of games that you are going to enjoy, each of which can be completed in a quick run-through over the duration of a weekend. The idea here is to promote really great games that can be finished in minimal time, and that are cheap enough and relatively easily found so that you won’t have to spend an arm and a leg on them or you could just straight rent them from your local rental outlet for the weekend. Borrow them from a friend, perhaps. Get your hands on them, finish them, and then let them go, easy in the memory that you’ve played your share of the game and have your closure. What’s even better is that each of these games doubles up by also boasting some depth, enough so that if you find yourself with time in future you might even opt to keep them, or reacquire them at a later stage to explore that depth. Not a sexual reference.
I promise this isn’t going in alphabetical order. Alan Wake is what I would call the quintessential horror title. It’s not grotesque and obscene like some other games — *cough* every other horror game, ever *cough* — which makes it an ideal candidate for extended play sessions, not needing to worry about whatever haunts you in the game, haunting you in your dreams as well.
This is a pure, no holds barred Remedy title that I consider the spiritual successor to their excellent Max Payne series, and the tie-backs are certainly there. I mean look at it; Alan Wake is a writer struggling with writer’s block, famous for penning crime noir novels starring a broody, renegade detective who has lost everything to the shady underworld of drugs and death. The story will give new meaning to darkness and give you new appreciation for light, not to mention have you at the edge of your seat as you eagerly await the next great twist.
Max Payne 3 Alan Wake in just under three days on the normal difficulty, with the game spanning six chapters stylistically presented as ‘episodes’ much like a television series although perhaps a little longer-lasting. The story is what will captivate you and have you clamouring for more when it’s done.
Should the need take you, and you decide to purchase and keep this title, there are further difficulty settings, some pretty interesting Achievements as well as downloadable content and the Grand Canyon’s worth of collectibles to be found, some only unlocked by playing through the Nightmare difficulty setting.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Gabriel Belmont is your name in this Castlevania title which attempts to reboot the series and take it into a third-person, sprawling adventure style of presentation. You might be a holy knight of the Order but you kick ten different kinds of ass, with your holy cross which has a chain attached for all sorts of action-packed mayhem.
Lords of Shadow’s story is where it shines, mixing what you already know of the Castlevania series entirely up, while adding in some mythology and a fair share of fantasy fare with Gabriel braving such enemies as werewolves, vampires, wraiths and all sorts of other well-known supernatural enemies. The game took me a few days of short game sessions on the normal difficulty to complete, although each level can be played on its own difficulty if you so desire.
What the game does well, and in droves, is boss fights, tasking you with fights that either require you to whittle down an enemy’s health while dodging their attacks in a traditional third-person action style or going all out Shadow of the Colossus on enemies and scaling them before attacking weak points to bring them to their knees. Or other joints. Assuming they have any.
When you’re not killing things, you’re platforming through beautifully crafted areas that will truly take your breath away, whether it’s vast forests, snowy mountains or floating islands in a sea of sand and wind. There’s even the odd cathedral, in true Castlevania fashion.
If you find yourself taken by the title and opt to acquire it permanently, you’re in for a treat as each level has various difficulties to play through as well as collectibles, some which can only be acquired if you own a prerequisite power-up which is obtained later in the story, forcing you to return later. To add to all of that, each level comes with a trial that unlocks upon initial completion of the level, tasking you with some challenging or daring feat while attempting to re-play the level. This game could take you days, or it could take you weeks.
I fell in love with Dante’s Inferno the first time I played it. The game is based on the likewise-titled Inferno, which is the first poem of a three-part series entitled The Divine Comedy, by Dante Alighieri. You guys might not know this but I’m quite the sucker for literature and the presentation of such in gaming quite honestly drives me wild. I’m the guy role-playing-game developers make codex entries and journals for, in truth.
The story, which can pretty much be started and completed in a single day depending on how thorough you are through it, sees the Templar knight Dante fight his way through the nine circles of Hell in order to find and rescue his beloved Beatrice, kidnapped by Lucifer. The game is steeped in mythology and for the most part stays true to the words of the great poem. You may opt for the role of unforgiving or holy as you trek through Hell, punishing or absolving both enemies and lost souls alike.
All the while, you will use your gigantic scythe to chop through all sorts of monsters, be it unbaptised babies, lustful succubi, magic-infused sorcerers, gluttonous abominations, you name it. Oh and there’s also demons. Lots of demons. Demons, everywhere. As far as the eye can see. And you get to quite literally rip them into two. Want it now?
If you’re up for the long haul after playing through the game once and experiencing the story, the game has paths for fully upgrading either the scythe or the ranged-projectile-shooting cross, which takes two playthroughs to fully max out. There’s also a host of collectibles, including demon dogs to destroy and lost souls to either absolve or punish at your behest. When you’re done with all of that, you can get your hand on the Trials of St Lucia downloadable content which adds in trial maps and user-created content, while allowing you to play co-op with a partner as well as create your own maps. The fun in Hell will go on forever.
Shadows Of The Damned
Last year Suda51 shocked the world by showing us all that he is entirely capable of creating a game that isn’t all-out bonkers and while Shadows of the Damned is no less as crazy as a prep student on LSD, it’s still firmly rooted to the ground compared to some other titles the man has worked on. In that respect, Shadows of the Damned is a hoot and a half, and a great pick-up-and-play title.
What this game lacks in overall quality, it makes up for in droves with character and humour. You play as Garcia Fucking Hotspur — I’m not using expletives unnecessarily, that is actually his middle name — as he, again like Dante’s Inferno, sets out to rescue his girlfriend who was kidnapped by the lord of the underworld. How will he do it? That’s right, by trudging through the underworld himself, aided by his trusty sidekick, a demon who is for all intents and purposes a talking skull-head that doubles up as a variety of weaponry, machinery and the meat of all the penis jokes (see what I did there?) that you will be exposed to while playing through the game.
Make no mistake, this game does for penis puns and dick jokes what Wonderbra does for Pamela Anderson’s bosom. It’s over-the-top in the extreme. To the point that at times you won’t so much laugh at the joke itself, but how lame or obvious it was. But this is done on purpose. The game is a parody of badass and it succeeds in that respect as an entertaining and engaging action survival horror comedy thing. Played from the third person perspective.
Need more insanity? Ask no more. The game functions primarily as a shooter but at times will shift into things you never thought you’d see in such a game, and what’s even more hilarious than the bad jokes and the dialogue between Garcia and his buddy are the boss battles. Imagine if you will, a humanoid figure with a goat’s head that eats a horse’s heart before growing to ten times its size and taking a piss in a fountain, which turns the world into darkness. True story. There’s also this bird which attacks you by, and I’m not even kidding, screaming: “Fuck you!”
Should it entice you — and trust me on this; it will — then upon completion of the game you can go through it again on a higher difficulty or attempt to collect the various orbs scattered through the game world, of which there are quite a few, some which may only be acquired in a specific way. There’s also Achievements for fully upgrading each weapon and using it on a number of enemies. Always fun.
If there is anything you ought to take away from the game Bulletstorm, it’s that.
This first-person shooter puts you in the large, kick-happy boots of Greyson Hunt, a space pirate slash mercenary who crash-lands on a prison planet after failing to exact vengeance upon his former commanding officer, back when he still took orders from people. Greyson must, with the help of his semi-cybernetic friend Ishii, attempt to escape the prison planet, once a paradise world, before whatever ruined the planet kills him. Along the way he meets Trishka, a daring and kickass female soldier who has the same intentions having also crash-landed on the planet.
What’s great about Bulletstorm is that not only can you knock it off (not innuendo) in a weekend with minimal effort, but you will also acquire an entirely new vocabulary with such words as the aforementioned dick-tits, also cunt-lips, shit-fucker and the ever adored ass-maggot. Impress your fellow co-workers by throwing these new words their way. They will love you for it.
The game works by allowing you the use of your boot to kick, your weapon to shoot some form of ammunition and a leash, all of which you combine in order to ‘kill with style’ and earn points in doing so, which is then used to purchase ammunition and upgrade your weaponry. Everything is taken a step further in Bulletstorm with weapons that fire hundreds of rounds in a second, quadruple-barreled shotguns and even a bouncing ball of destruction that you kick for effect. It offers some of the most interesting and downright hilarious ways to dispatch of enemies as you navigate through the beautifully rendered dystopian levels.
Want to keep it for even longer? Great, since there’s also a cooperative mode included for killing with style, with friends. And then there’s the Echoes mode, which offers time trials for each mission forcing you to not only kill with style but with speed. Bulletstorm will last longer than your average storm of bullets if you so desire.
Need I Say More?
So that’s four third person titles and one first person shooter. What is common-place amongst these five titles is the fact that they are great games, real must-plays that will set you back next to nothing compared to other, higher-rated triple-A titles. And what’s the best part is that you could acquire and dispense of these games within a single weekend, or opt to keep them thereafter if you so desire. Perfect for a free weekend or planned leave, when you just want to kick back in front of your television or PC and relax while being entertained.
Rent these games, and play them.