Time for something completely different. I’ve always wanted to write down a list of my favorite games, and now I have the chance. I can’t be learning and working all the time.

Over the years I’ve had several games that really stood out to me for a variety of reasons. Most of these games are now considered out-dated, but some of them still have their unique feel and beauty. I’m listing them in chronological order.

Dune 2

I just have to list this one. My first game, and the first decent strategy game, set in the distant future on a desert planet. Actually, it was full of bugs and was very slow, but I’m a big fan of the Dune books, and the storyline is portrayed nicely. And despite it’s simplicity it allowed quite some strategic reasoning.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

One of the first games I’ve ever played. A Game Boy was the first device I got when I was little. I considered listing Kirby’s Dream Land or Marioland 3 here, but Zelda had it all: the mysteries to uncover, side-quests, an entire island to roam freely, lots of different items,… It kept my imagination going when I was little, and in retrospect I should’ve played more games of the series. Also, for a simple Game Boy, great music.

Rollcage

A futuristic race game. One of the first games I played in multiplayer, and the added physics of being able to drive on the ceiling of structures added to the tactical combat, as well as the variety of weapons. A great game to play against friends.

Age of Empires

My second strategy game, after Dune 2, set in ancient times, with ancient cultures, e.g. Greeks,.. Microsoft did a great job with this, with good graphics for that time, relaxing music referencing to instruments from the time period, and background history of all objects and cultures ingame. I’ve played it for hours, as well as the expansion pack, and the second game: Age of Empires II, set in medieval times.

Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun

I must admit, I played this before Tiberian Dawn, which is the first in the series. A brilliant strategy game by Westwood Studios. The story is what makes the game: it’s well designed, and leaves just enough mystery to keep you wondering what everyone is up to. Good actors were hired for the movies, like James Earl Jones (yes, Darth Vader’s voice). The gameplay itself is great, with in-game lighting and music by Frank Klepacki giving a perfect atmosphere on the battlefield. I also like this game because I used to mod it and change gameplay rules, not in the least to correct some bugs, but also for custom maps and units. The game is still modded these days, 10 years after release.

Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem

A nearly perfect game, released for the GameCube. An adventure game, heavy referencing Lovecraftian horror themes. The game starts with a piece of ‘The Raven’ by Edgar Allan Poe, which immediately sets the tone. It’s very detailed, up to the point where even the paintings on the wall can be clicked for a brief review. The atmosphere is very intense, and the game is made so things seems to be lurking in the shadows, looking at you… It also features a working elemental Magick system with runes, and a sanity meter. If you lose sanity from seeing ghosts, monsters, and the like, you’ll eventually start hallucinating and weird things happen, which really adds to the fun. There’s also more than one main character and each plays in it’s own time period, which allows for some variety in weapons, tactics, and background settings. I’m sure Lovecraft would’ve loved this one, kudos for Silicon Knights.

Primal

Again a game that uses elemental magic, albeit differently. Primal is more of an action game, with some basic puzzle solving, set in the realm of demons. The theme song is by 16 Volt and fits the theme nicely. There are four realms to explore in this game, each well made and with it’s own atmosphere. Your character can also take four different demon forms, corresponding to the four elements, allowing for dynamic changes in gameplay. Though a bit repetitive near the end, it’s well done overall.

Assassin’s Creed series

The most modern game in the series, in which you are an assassin roaming through the land. A great story, lots of mystery, intrigue, a variety of weapons, background stories, side quests, detailed graphics of real world places, freedom of movement, big maps, you name it. Once you get the hang of the controls, there’s nothing you can’t do really. A lot of research was spent on keeping everything (the story, the items) consistent throughout the series, you can tell. And it feels great to control the main characters, who move more swiftly than I’ll ever can in real life.

That concludes my list for now. Most likely I won’t be playing any new games soon, except for the new Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, which will come out on November 15. Better make sure I’ve finished another part of my studies before that date!

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