+1 To My Gaming Hall Of Fame

I just finished Shadow Warrior last night. Without any hyperbole, it was one of the best games I've ever played.

My favourite games of all-time include System Shock 2, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay, Condemned, Bioshock...I could go on, but the two factors that really make a game I want to play are a first person camera and melee combat. From swinging a crowbar in Half-Life to creeping up on people in Thief and whacking them over the head, there is something visceral with the "up close and personal" experience and it adds so much to the tension in the game. I live for tense gaming.

Shadow Warrior was simply an amazing experience for me. The stellar visuals, great story, strong voice acting, and clever level design round out a very polished experience. However, it is the game's combat that is really the star of the show. Great motion based swordplay with gory feedback and an excellent spell system that is also tied in to the movement. Really, it rarely gets better than this for me.

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It really is the complete package. Gameplay that I love, writing that was often very humorous and sometimes surprisingly poignant, superb sound design, and wonderful graphics...what more could one want from a game?

If I had to complain about one thing (ok, two) it would be that the bosses were somewhat similar (though this is somewhat rooted in the story of the game) and the devs choice of FXAA as the only anti-aliasing option leaves a little to be desired.

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I'll happily add Shadow Warrior to my "favourite all-time" game list. If you liked any of the games I mentioned above, give Shadow Warrior a shot. Since every gamer is unique and different aspects of games speak to gamers in various ways, it might not make your hall-of-fame-games, but I don't doubt that you'll have a great ride.

Not without a little sadness for Shadow Warrior being over, I've moved on to Killzone 3 on the PS3 for my solo playtime.

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pocoGRANDES mentioned back in February that he was playing Killzone 3 with the Sharpshooter and that he was having a blast with it, actually his words were "a must play". I'll be honest, I thought Poco was maybe a little loco. A PS3 Move based gun that worked well and was fun in a somewhat traditional first person shooter?

I spent a good long time trying to find a cheap Sharpshooter and Move bundle since I already had Killzone 3. I found one last weekend at a pawn shop while visiting my parents. The Sharpshooter was brand-new in box for $10...that can't be a good sign, can it?

So after finishing off Shadow Warrior last night I decided to connect the camera to the PS3 and sync the Move and Motion Controller. Then I had to cram the controllers in to this weird plastic gun, load up the game, calibrate the Move to Killzone 3 and I was ready to blast some Helghast.

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And damn if Poco wasn't right! It is a hell of a lot of fun with the gun. It tracks extremely well and all the buttons and pump action reload feel great. It took a few minutes to get used to the way it all worked with the game, but not long after I was just as comfortable using the Sharpshooter as I was with the controller in Killzone 2.

I don't know how well the setup would work with a game where you needed to be very nimble with your movements, but it plays to Killzone's weaknesses. Lots of Killzone involves moving from cover to cover and at each new area you peg off the shooting gallery of baddies that come running. This isn't to say that this isn't fun, but it is much more basic in design than many other shooters. However, the inclusion of the Sharpshooter makes for a very satisfying experience indeed. The only thing I notice is that I am such a whimpy-man-thing. My arms get tired holding up the gun for extended periods of time, I can't imagine having to use a real gun for any length of time.

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My regular Tuesday night game night also brought a nice surprise. My buddy grew weary of me waffling on playing The Elder Scrolls Online and bought me a copy to play with him. I'm still a little pissed that they haven't implemented a SLI/Crossfire solution for the game, but I did some SLI hacks that seem to have somewhat improved performance. Not that performance was bad, but it is painful to have two GPUs and having one sit idle while you are gaming. It is a bit of a shame we'll be shelving Orcs Must Die 2 for a while, but once you start a subscription-based MMO, time is money.

I hope I'll get a chance for some more Elder Scrolls Online and Killzone 3 this weekend, but we are preparing to paint a good chunk of the inside of our house and the taxman will likely want my tax return on time, so I should get on those before I game.

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What are you playing this weekend?