Anyone who reads GameCritics.com regularly will know that I'm not a big fan of first-person shooter (FPS) games. I don't hate them, but I don't think it's particularly fun to just run around and blast things, either. Most of the games tend to be very repetitious and unimaginative, and the genre has rarely captured my attention. Being the non-fragger that I am, I was particularly interested to check out Half-Life.
Trying to gauge which game was the first to blur the line between game and movie is a daunting task (and one sure to inspire more than a few arguments). However, the game that tends to stand out as one of the first to do it effectively is Half-Life—a classic PC game that is now making its debut on the PlayStation 2 gaming console.
Game Description:Half-Life features an integrated storyline with stunning visual effects and a huge, sprawling environment filled with aliens determined to hunt you down and kill you. You no longer just point and shoot—Half-Life is a dynamic, plot-driven, complex world where you need to play smart to survive. Monsters have a strong instinct for self-preservation. They will duck, jump, hide behind barriers to avoid gunfire, and even retreat if feeling threatened. Superior AI drives these behaviors and they are different for each species. Plus you can choose from 18 different weapons, ranging from a crowbar to laser-guided rockets.
Mechanical innovation is often viewed as strictly contextual, in that it solves a problem or improves the functionality of a gameplay element. Gunvalkyrie challenges this perception by eschewing the conventions of its genre with a complex, unorthodox control scheme that radically shapes the direction of the game.
Game Description: Taking the role of either Jonathan Ecks, hardened FBI agent, or Sever, trained NSA killer, players are immersed in a world of government conspiracy, high impact weapons, and first-person-shooter action. Players must survive more than 14 intense single-player missions through seven different locations, including warehouses, hotels, bars, and government headquarters. Gamers can immerse themselves in the dynamic story mode that changes based on whether they play as Ecks or Sever, or blast their way through high-adrenaline four-player action, including Deathmatch, Bomb Kit, Assassination, and Secure the Perimeter modes. A four-player multi-boot option is also available. Players master explosive weapons such as the Colt M16A2 rifle, Sig SSG 3000 sniper rifle, and the Heckler & Koch 40 mm grenade launcher.
Undoubtedly, Ecks Versus Sever is a very competent FPS despite being hampered by a very tiny view screen, barely serviceable controls, and limited 3-D rendering hardware. It has a uniquely conceived design premise based on the two playable perspectives of its opposing spy protagonists, Ecks (emotionally-scared father where the death of his family continues to haunt him) and Sever (heartless femme fatale who born and raised to kill).
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