PC gamers and those buying for them have plenty of top new games to choose from this Christmas, including an expansion pack for an online game with over twelve million subscribers around the world and the latest in the blockbusting Call of Duty series of first-person shooters.
Here are the five best PC games for Christmas.
007 Blood Stone – Activision
James Bond games have a chequered history, ranging from the great, like 1997’s GoldenEye on the Nintendo 64, to the average like 2002’s Nightfire and the just plain bad like 007 Racing on the first PlayStation.
007 Blood Stone is aiming to be a great James Bond game and not only has a plot by movie scriptwriter Bruce Feirstein – who’s written screenplays for several James Bond movies – but also features the voices and likenesses of Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench.
Players take the role of 007 as he sets out to solve an international conspiracy, taking in worldwide locations such as Bangkok, Istanbul and Siberia. The game is primarily a third-person shooter but there are also hand-to-hand fight scenes and players can get behind the wheel of an Aston Martin for some high-speed chases, and previews suggest these are especially good as the game is being developed by Bizarre Creations – famous for the Project Gotham racing games on the Xbox and Xbox 360.
With a new James Bond movie still in development hell, 007 Blood Stone looks like a more than worthy alternative and a great Christmas PC game for Bond fans and those who like action adventure games with big cinematic production values.
4. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit – Electronic Arts
Another Christmas, another Need for Speed but Hot Pursuit may be one of the best ever, thanks to Burnout developer Criterion Games taking over the driving seat. Players can play as cops or racers in high-speed races across the fictional area of Seacrest County with its more than 100 miles of road.
All the cars in the game are real and licensed and include vehicles from Audi, BMW, Dodge, Ford, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. For supercar fans, there’s the McLaren F1 and Pagani Zonda Cinque.
With multiplayer modes as well as single-player action, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit will be enjoyed by anyone who loves arcade style racing games.
3. Fallout: New Vegas – Bethesda Game Studios (Available Now)
Set in a 23rd century future which diverted from our own after the second World War, this latest game in the Fallout series takes place two hundred years after a devastating nuclear war. Transporting the action from the Washington D.C. area of 2008’s Fallout 3 to Las Vegas and the desert around it, the game puts the player in the role of a courier and his adventures in this future world.
Featuring a deep storyline, a huge cast of characters, an expansive playing environment and fights with mutated creatures, fans of role-playing games will enjoy Fallout: New Vegas and its many hours of gameplay. It’s already proving to be a success with critics as well, with most claiming it to be superior to 2008’s Fallout 3 and earning it 86% overall on Metacritic so far.
2. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm – Activision Blizzard (Available December 2010)
With more than twelve million subscribers worldwide, World of Warcraft needs little introduction as the most popular MMORPG of all time. Cataclysm is the third expansion set for the game and is set to sell in the millions to the many World of Warcraft fans worldwide.
The main selling point of this expansion set is a redesign of some of the playing areas, together with thousands of new quests and two additional playable races – goblins and the wolf-like Worgen. Undecipherable to those who’ve never played World of Warcraft, Cataclysm is essential this Christmas to those who are fans.
Call of Duty: Black Ops – Activision
When Modern Warfare 2 was released last year, many PC gamers were angered not only because multiplayer games were limited to 18 players – the same as the console versions – but also because it wasn’t possible to set-up dedicated servers for these games and use mods or user-generated maps. Fortunately, Black Ops goes some way to improve upon this by allowing dedicated servers but there is a cost associated with doing so.
This new Call of Duty is certain to be another blockbuster. Set before the Modern Warfare games, the player takes the role of two covert intelligence officers during the Cold War in action-packed missions behind enemy lines in locations such as the Ural Mountains and Vietnam. As well as the first-person shooter parts of the game, players can also pilot a Russian Hind helicopter and command troops from an SR-71 Blackbird.
PC gamers with NVidia 3D Vision can enjoy Call of Duty: Black Ops in 3D which, coupled with high resolution displays, makes the PC version of the game the definitive one.
The PC Games
It’s been a great year for PC games, with top titles like Mass Effect 2, Starcraft 2 and Civilization 5 already out and still well worth buying. This Christmas there’s plenty more for those who believe that PC gaming is the best.