guy looking at racks of video games

What Video Game Do I Play Next?

So I got Bioshock: Infinite done. It was shorter than I expected, so I find myself at a time when there’s lots of A+ games out there, but nothing I’m really jonesing for or missing out on. The next thing on my mind is Batman: Arkham Origins, but that doesn’t come out until October. I mean, really, I’m drawing a blank.

So I think to myself, if I could get one free game, what would I get? What would I try? Here’s a few of my options.

World of Warcraft – I’ve always been curious about this game. It’s free to play now (up to Level 20, which seems like a fair distance), so it’s no monetary risk on my part, just a time risk — I heard it’s very easy to get sucked in. Plus, I have an idea for starting a blog/diary, role-playing as the character and reporting on my activities. I think it would be hilarious to see a n00b wander around, exploring the world, the culture, and the mechanics for the first time. No FAQs, no guides, no RMTs, no spoilers. Just a confused old man and his keyboard.

Dishonored – This was the first game that came to mind, but it looks a lot like Bioshock: Infinite. FPS, jumping strikes, damsel plotline, contemporary technologies. And with the addition of stealth, I’m not sure it’s my cup-of-tea. I just don’t have the patience for stealth games.

Assassin’s Creed – This game’s got what, three sequels? It’s probably the most recent IP that’s been as successful as Halo or God of War. And I haven’t played even a store demo. I would like to find out what it’s all about, but as I said before, I’m not a fan of stealth games. But I heard the story’s interesting, and people seem to love the character. The question is, the game’s already six years old. Do I just consider it a ship that’s sailed?

Halo 2 – I played Halo 1, but I was only lukewarm on it, and I don’t know if I’m in the mood for more FPS games. I want to play something different. These triple A games based on established properties tend to get samey, and Halo 1 was even samey in itself.

Borderlands – I heard good things about this from The Spoony One, but for some reason I rarely agree with the TGWTG critics about movies and games. Also, this is another new IP that seems right up my alley — an action RPG with cyberpunk/bizarro themes. My question is: what is the gameplay like? Is it just another shoot-em-up or something different?

Fallout: New Vegas – This and Borderlands looks so similar, it might be a toss-up based on price. Both have quirky post-apocalyptic settings a la Tank Girl. Both are FPS’s with RPG elements. Both have a lot of action. It’s like they’re dueling — six of one, half-dozen of the other. And I haven’t been able to gather which one people liked better.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution – It looks like Matrix/Neuromancer: the Game.  I heard it had a good story, but the climax was disappointing. From the videos, I can’t tell if it’s too easy or too hard. And do I need to know anything about previous Deus Ex games to play it? I played a shareware version of the first Deus Ex way-back-when, and the upgrade system was too complex for me. I felt like I had to grind to get everything.

Skyrim – I probably won’t be picking this one, even though everyone seems to love it. It looks like a big timesink, and the gameplay looks not very solid. You wave your sword around like an idiot and they clink from three feet away. The intro didn’t seem gripping and all the environments look washed out. There’s something about a game that’s too open-ended, too branching path, that turns me off.

Eric Juneau is a software engineer and novelist on his lunch breaks. In 2016, his first novel, Merm-8, was published by eTreasures. He lives in, was born in, and refuses to leave, Minnesota. You can find him talking about movies, video games, and Disney princesses at where he details his journey to become a capital A Author.

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