Oh, what a time to be a gamer! There are so many much anticipated new games that finally hit the shelves in the last couple of weeks.
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars kicked off the flurry with its wide-open spaces, and teamplay comprising a mix of specialists who support one another in combat. It really does feel like being immersed in a war, with attacks coming in from more than just the opposing grunt team but also from artillery, armoured vehicles, water and air craft, all vehicles piloted by the players themselves. ETQW is really meant as an online game, so there's hardly any plot, except to distinguish one side from the other. There are several maps with objectives to accomplish on both sides; whichever team completes all its primary objectives on the map wins the round.
I dunno why I bought the game, though. I'm never going online with it. I'm already getting myself murdered by the off-line mode bots. Besides, after getting myself player-killed by my own teammate in CS (I was shot in the back even before the game started so the berk could pick up my weapon which was presumably more expensive than his) I've never trusted the online gaming community ever again. There, I said it. You guys officially suck.
But ETQW is no fun playing alone, so I'm amusing myself with Spider-Man: Friend or Foe. It plays more like a side scroller than the other games in the SM franchise. No free-roaming in a city, looking for trouble, SM:FoF puts the player on a pre-defined path lined with obstacles, rewards and boss-battles. Like a pretty NES Mario in albeit gorgeous 3D landscapes and a whole lot more beat-'em-up violence. The artwork is more cartoony (probably as a tie-in to the new Spider-Man animated series being released next year) than its previous movie merchandise incarnations, but the humour between NPCs Nick Fury and the SHIELD computer is priceless. The attraction to this game is in the mixing and matching of SM and a cooperative teammate who could be either another Marvel hero, or an enemy with whom SM has formed a temporary alliance in order to fight a bigger threat. Think of the Marvel Team-Up comic series of the 70s-80s and you get the idea.
And still pristine in its shrink-wrap is The Orange Box... I don't have time to play everything, you know? The gamer in me is in heaven, but I'm also a daily-rated salaryman. How else to finance the gaming habit? It's a vicious circle.