Best Racing Games on PC

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The Racing genre has existed on PC since the inception of video gaming (not quite right at the start, but a little bit past Pong), and always offered a diverse set of disciplines and gameplay types. This genre covers about every racing discipline taken from the real world, ranging from illegal street racing to tough-as-nails Spa 24 hours competition, and beyond that, there are many futuristic and other creative titles to make the genre as widely available as possible. Now you can even play car soccer in Rocket League, or drive massive 18-wheelers in likes of Euro Truck Simulator 2 – the genre has it all for everyone. Among the endless games and disciplines, however, the racing genre can be quite overwhelming with hundreds of games to select from, although only the very few make it among the best racing titles: those that focus particularly good on the specific thing they do. I’ve compiled a list of my personal favorite picks that are completely worth gamers’ time and money investment, and these titles represent the best in video game driving and competition. Here are my best picks for the best racing titles on the PC platform.

Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box/Remastered

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Burnout Paradise is an incredibly fun racing playground that doesn’t hold players back through endless cutscenes. I really enjoyed its free world design, as instead of endless sub menus, Burnout Paradise does everything directly in-game. As the series was already popular and known for its high-speed racing and spectacular crashes that Criterion Games are so good at, setting Paradise in an open world with diverse sets of events and collectibles created one of the best open-world designs at the time of its release (2009). Burnout Paradise was unique for those elements, and very few if none racing releases have offered gamers anything similar to the charm of blasting through Paradise City to then get taken down or crash into a wall you failed to see seconds before. With high-speed cars and intense fun, Burnout Paradise continues to shine to this day as one of the best racing games. On PC, The Ultimate Box edition still holds up really well with high-res textures and stellar framerates, now we just have to wait for the Remastered version to pop up on Origin. From what I’ve read so far from PS4/XOne reviews, Criterion have nailed the remaster perfectly, and I can’t wait to see how the PC version shapes up.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010)

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If you want to experience high-speed chases between racers and the police, 2010’s NFS Hot Pursuit is your best game to go for. Sorry NfS Rivals, but you simply didn’t live up to the promise despite your Frostbite 3 engine. Hot Pursuit still holds up really well too, and Criterion’s signature crashes are more spectacular than ever in this title more so than in their other releases. Hot Pursuit offers two separate single player modes, however there is no story to be found here, which worked excellently as NFS games tend to be bad with plot anyways. With wild police chases across the gorgeous Seacrest county, you’re always guaranteed to have fun, and Criterion Games’ signature crashes are still spectacular to this day. Within the two career paths available, the map is dotted with racing events, and packing a diverse set of cars, Hot Pursuit still holds as my favorite in the series so far. The Seacrest county police department are insanely equipped with most exotic cars, which always brings fun to race events, and not only would players get to use them, but also go up against them in pursuits. NfS Hot Pursuit is still spectacular, and it is a shame it’s open world is completely void of activities, however for the single player, it is absolutely worth getting.

Trackmania Turbo

Trackmania Turbo appeals to a certain niche of racing game fans, particularly those who enjoy competition and actively engage in the modding community, and Ubisoft’s racing series has developed a steady fan following. While I haven’t played any game prior to Turbo, its refined experience and unique design offers something new to those seeking a more challenging racer than their Forza or GranTurismo. Trackmania Turbo is all about racing against the clock on tough tracks, and only after I’ve transitioned to the more difficult levels, did I discover just how painfully challenging this game can be. Finishing just within a split second past the gold medal can and will be infuriating, especially after 20 or so prior tries, however Trackmania enables quick restart at a press of a single button. It doesn’t offer a traditional racing experience, but don’t be quick to dismiss the game for a bad racer. For those who enjoy competition against the clock and their friends’ times more so than the single player AI, I’ll definitely recommend picking Trackmania Turbo up.

Trials Fusion

Trials Fusion is not a conventional racing game in a sense, although I’ve enjoyed it far more than most games out of this list. RedLynx’s motocross racer (if it can even be called that) is a unique blend of fast-paced racing and increasingly complex difficulty curve, which has always been a staple of the series in the past. Fusion is not only the best looking game in the series, but also its most refined and complete experience yet. Set in a futuristic dystopia, Trials Fusion has a surprisingly interesting plot, and while the background dialogue is limited at its best, it fleshes out more about the events in the world. Along with that comes some of the best visual design I’ve seen in gaming in general, and by that I don’t mean the graphics, but rather the excellent art design the team over at RedLynx created. To add, Fusion features a brand new trick system for the series, as well as diverse motorcycles and even a quad bike, and its DLC content is an excellent addition to the basic tracks available. With lots of challenge, but also fun to be had, Trials Fusion shines, and while the studio had a large misstep when they released Trials of the Blood Dragon (see what they did there?), I hope the studio comes back strong with a better successor for the series.

Project CARS 2

For motorsport purists, Project CARS 2 offers one of the most authentic racing experiences in video gaming, and with about 30 licensed tracks and 150+ cars, there is lots of challenge to be found. While it doesn’t have a straightforward career mode, Project CARS 2 gives players opportunities to create their own racing seasons spread across multiple racing disciplines. It isn’t a juggernaut of Forza Motorsport, but the quality of production Slightly Mad Studios came up with is spectacular, and don’t forget the studio has dabbled in EA’s NfS Shift games in the past. Project CARS 2 also has more option for steering and handling than most could handle, but that’s the beauty of it – you can make the experience as easy or hardcore as you like, although I’d still recommend playing it with a steering wheel setup rather than a controller. All in all, Project CARS 2 is a worthy contender to likes of Forza and GranTurismo, and offers racing fans something a little more extensive than 800+ car lists, and succeeds on those merits as with fewer cars, it is more focused on individual handling and the racing experience.

GRID Autosport

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For those who can’t handle the serious racing model of Project CARS but still want to enjoy a competitive motorsport experience, GRID Autosport is the next best thing and offers a slightly less complicated ride. With Codemasters’ expertise in arcade-style sims, GRID Autosport delivers a fun racing experience spread across 5 distinct racing disciplines, some of which aren’t featured in racing sims far too often, and of course, GRID still offers closed street tracks. With a diverse selection of cars, GRID Autosport is a very accessible racer with competent single and multiplayer modes, and even has split-screen on the PC which is an extremely rare occasion on the platform. The studio has since focused on its excellent Dirt and improving F1 series, although GRID is not off the table in the future. It was a hard one to choose between GRID 2 and Autosport as they’re very similar in visuals, gameplay and handling, however this title takes the list as the better racing title in the series. All GRID games are excellent really, and you can often find them at really cheap prices. At this point, I’d be hoping to see another entry in the series at some point soon with an even better experience.

Forza Horizon 3

Have you ever wanted to go off-roading in a Ferrari but that’s too expensive in the real world? Forza Horizon 3 has you covered, and it is the ultimate racing playground for the kids in us (with the Hot Wheels expansion that’s literally what happened). Set in beautiful Australia, Horizon 3 is an entirely open world, so you’re free to go anywhere in any car available to drive, and with plentiful of side activities and hidden collectables, trying to 100% the game would take at least about 40 hours or so. Featuring some of the world’s most exclusive cars that can be driven across vast beaches, busy cities and gorgeous rainforests, Horizon 3 is the ultimate arcade racer, and features a large map full of things to find. Available on both Xbox One and Windows 10, Horizon 3 gave PC gamers one of the best racers on the platform, even if the game’s exclusivity to the Microsoft Store takes a drag when something doesn’t work. Knowing Windows 10, I’ve ran into those quite often by myself, and the game won’t let you proceed at all past the starting menu simply because it failed to log into Xbox Live. But aside from those gripes, Horizon 3 is an excellent sandbox racer and there simply isn’t a better open world game currently on the market.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005)

In the street racing world, EA has failed to topple the success of its 2005 Most Wanted title for years, and while the game certainly shows its age and can’t be digitally purchased, for those who held on to the game might still be able to play it on modern systems. Yes, the resolutions would be low, but NfS Most Wanted is a better street racer than older Underground or newer games like 2015’s NfS reboot (still decent but it had frustrating flaws). With a nicely done career mode and a diverse set of cars, which to be fair are more limited than most gamers will be used to, but with each customizable car and a fun city to explore, there’s plenty of charm and personality in Most Wanted, and the soundtrack has some of the best music selection in an NfS game. Taking down the bosses and outrunning the cops was entertaining, and the plot had some nice twist points presented in quality cutscenes. Ah, the good old days. It’s a shame they haven’t come up with a better street racing game since then, although EA could greatly benefit from a remaster for this title.

Forza Motorsport 7

With Motorsport 7, Microsoft again made its juggernaut racing series available in the Windows app store, and while the experience is held back by the now annoying UWP platform, there simply isn’t another racing game with a 700+ car garage on PC. Forza has always been an excellent racing simulator, which up till recently was confined exclusively behind the Xbox platform, and Motorsport 7 improves on many aspects of its predecessors, with better visual detail, effects, and a longer career mode than found in Forza 6 before it. With an extensive career mode across various car disciplines, Forza 7 pushes to be the most accessible game to draw in new players, and with additional challenge of intense rain effects and night time races, the game is at its best on PC especially. Although it comes at a price of 100+ GB download, which is never ideal for gamers with slow internet speeds, Forza 7 visually looks spectacular, and graphics aside, it also offers hundreds of tracks and just about every car variety existing in the world. If you ever want to race a jacked up Ford Transit van on the Nurburgring, consider it possible in the Motorsport 7.

DiRT 4

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Since DiRT Rally released in 2015, Codemasters have been returning the series back to its original Colin McRae roots, and now with DiRT 4, they now offer something in between the serious DiRT Rally and the past arcade entries, which also happens to be their most feature-complete title yet. With two distinct handling models (I’d recommend going for the more challenging of the two), and an excellent track generator technology, DiRT 4 features an extensive career mode with endless possibilities for rally stages and includes around 40 of world-famous rally cars of the last 5 decades. With a sweet multiplayer mode added in for good measure, DiRT 4 is a solid gaming experience that doesn’t just focus on rally events either. For added measure, Codemasters included the TrailBlazer events where you compete in race-spec trucks, as well as the official Rally Cross mode. The only thing missing is the Hillclimb mode from DiRT Rally, which is a shame, but perhaps it wasn’t the developer’s intention to include it in the slightly more casual 4th entry. Either way, I can definitely recommend DiRT 4, as it is easily the best title in the whole series.

Shift 2 Unleashed

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Before Slightly Mad Studios went mostly independent, they worked with EA to produce some of the highest points in the long running Need for Speed series: NfS Shift and Shift 2 Unleashed. The original offered EA’s take on the racing formula established by GRID, which also blended arcade and simulation racing into one to appeal to more gamers and offered a good balance between a solid career mode and intense multiplayer, but released in 2009, has since been mostly forgotten. Shift 2 Unleashed that followed drastically improved the original’s gameplay and structure, including an expanded car selection and a detailed career mode. What I loved the most is you were free to visually customize your car similar to older street-racing titles, and some of the best designs are possible to create with countless modification options. Without clearly defined racing disciplines, and available performance enhancements, Shift 2 Unleashed appealed even more to arcade racing fans than GRID made possible. Slightly Mad’s title played more casual, and with a superb handling model, was one of the best arcade-sim racers on the market. It still holds up well and can be grabbed from either Steam or Origin at ridiculously low prices, which is already enough of a selling point to try out this game. Shift 2 Unleashed remains an excellent racing game, and while the more recent Project CARS titles certainly took the crown with extensive simulation options, Shift 2 Unleashed is fun in its own.

Euro Truck Simulator 2

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Sometimes fierce racing competition can be exhausting and you just simply want to drive down a highway at normal speeds listening to the radio, the Euro Truck Simulator 2 is about the closest driving game that represents the idea. Yes, you’ll be driving a big truck across Europe with a single task to manage your company and deliver goods between urban centres, but the experience is oddly satisfying and the menial tasks actually help unwind as hard as it is to believe. As a PC exclusive, Euro Truck Simulator 2 is extremely customizable, and gameplay can be dialed far back to simply sit back and relax, but at the same time, one could opt for playing this game entirely with manual transmission and on a steering wheel setup. The best thing, of course, is custom music in the radio, which brings your own music to the game, and while you drive across long stretches of road, the feature comes in handy. While it is completely the opposite of arcade racing games, and it can be odd to play a driving game with a certain set of rules, Euro Truck Simulator 2 is an extremely detailed and satisfying experience, with far more depth than just driving a truck.

 

The Best weapons in Mass Effect games

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The Mass Effect series is widely regarded as one of the best sci-fi franchises in the gaming industry, and apart from last year’s Andromeda, the original trilogy is also regarded as some of the best games ever created. In this stellar RPG experience, it is easy to miss out the set of game mechanics the series offers and especially its action, backed up by an extensive set of solid weapons in the arsenal. Although weapons are just a small part of the overall Mass Effect experience and it is easy to overlook them, the arsenal in Mass Effect packs some of the best weapons in gaming, and across 4 entries, the series features some of the best guns to be found in gaming. Across a range of shotguns, sniper rifles, assault rifles and heavy weapons, Mass Effect offers something for every plathrough style as well and with extensive sets for each type, there is something to be found for everyone. This list is formed on my objective opinion only and won’t represent everyone’s picks, but spread across multiple games and weapon types, part of it would tailor to everybody’s taste. These weapons are organized in no particular order, but the 10 chosen are the best weapons in the Mass Effect franchise.

Particle Rifle

The Prothean Particle Rifle obtained from Mass Effect 3’s From Ashes DLC mission is an assault rifle limited only by the heat formed from discharge, enabling continuous firing until it overheats. To add to that, this rifle packs a serious punch and allows to eliminate multiple enemies with ease once you upgrade the ammo capacity, which keeps the fast-paced flow of combat. With its unique design, the particle rifle is one of the best weapons in the entire series and its capabilities overpower most other guns in the arsenal and while heat management becomes crucial at times and introduces an unnecessary micromanagement element, it never interferes in the action. While Mass Effect: Andromeda features a similar weapon in form of the P.A.W. rifle derived from Remnant tech, I never found its punch as satisfying as the Particle Rifle in Mass Effect 3 and the damage of the Prothean weapon is significantly higher than the Remnant rifle in the next entry.

N7 Crusader Shotgun

The N7 Crusader Shotgun has the highest DPI out of all shotguns available and only the Krogan-engineered M300 Claymore rivals the power of the Crusader. The N7 Crusader is seriously heavy and thus most players won’t use it, but the tradeoff can sometimes be worth it. The Crusader eliminates most enemies with a single shot, and especially works best in Charge-based Vanguard builds with its serious damage but short range, giving biotic-light players an opportunity to create a powerful assault build. Equipping the Crusader leaves little room for other weapons, which is one of its downsides and even the highest level of Light Materials upgrade barely fixes that, but its incredible power makes it a serious tool for competitive players, who can still opt to add a pistol and an SMG into their loadout.

Reaper Blackstar

Nothing says “Collateral Damage” more than the experimental Reaper Blackstar. Available in Mass Effect 3 on multiple missions, the weapon can be used in instances against overwhelming odds, and the game is generous enough to let players use the Blackstar on multiple occasions. Although developed by Human researchers, the prototype is heavily based on Reaper tech, which means serious damage is to be expected from it. The Blackstar delivers a powerful punch that can eliminate a brute or a harvester with one shot. The downside is a long charge time before the shot, which makes its timing crucial on missions where this weapon is available as you definitely don’t want to waste its high damage output. The Reaper Blackstar is one of the best weapons in the game, and although Mass Effect 3 removes the opportunity to carry heavy weapons, its limited use is made worthwhile by the sheer power it delivers.

Collector Heavy Beam

Back when the player character could carry heavy weapons in Mass Effect 2, the Collector Heavy Beam is the most powerful in the game, and available to those with DLC packs installed. Many no doubt wish it offered unlimited ammo, the limited capacity of the Collector Beam is still enough to get Shepard out of the toughest enemy encounters. Similar to the particle rifle, the Collector Beam fires continuously, however instead of overheating, it is depleted once all ammo has been used up. The damage output significantly increases the more the beam is discharged, which makes it particularly strong against heavy mechs encountered in the game. The Collector Beam is much more powerful than the game’s other heavy weapons, and can also  be used on larger groups, which gives it a lot of versatility, thus earning it the spot on this list.

Black Widow Sniper Rifle

If you actually manage to have good luck with a stealth build, the Black Widow is the ultimate sniper rifle in the arsenal and makes long-range combat a breeze for skilled players. Combined with the cloak ability, the Black Widow is a serious threat to enemies, however the rifle’s heavy weight somewhat limits the ability to use biotics. For ranged combat, however, the Black Widow is ideal, and for those who prefer to stay still, it is an ideal murder weapon, given it eliminates most enemy threats with a single headshot. Its design is military-grade through and through, but there’s some beauty to it, although you won’t be focused on that while sniping off enemy heads and while its limited capacity can prove to be a disadvantage, higher damage is a worthy tradeoff in a stealthy character build.

M96 Mattock Assault Rifle

The conventional Mattock rivals damage levels of the Prothean Particle Rifle, and while it won’t offer unlimited ammo, there are plenty of crates in the world to replenish it. Firing in single-shot bursts, this assault rifle packs a serious punch with each hit and only a few rounds are necessary to eliminate most targets, which makes it another powerful contender on this list. Unlike most weapons on this list, the Cerberus-made Mattock is also available across multiple games, first being given to players in Mass Effect 2 and available on offer in both 3 and Andromeda that followed. The Mattock is extremely satisfying to use and is only one of the few assault rifles out of the broad arsenal that can be considered truly great, which made me choose it more often than not when replaying Mass Effect 2 or 3.

M560 Hydra Rocket Launcher

I’ve always liked the fact that Mass Effect never had conventional rocket launchers and the M560 Hydra proves that at many levels. While the power of its 4 combined rockets significantly lacks behind a single shot of the Reaper Blackstar, it is good enough to eliminate most heavy mechs in the game. Additionally, the Hydra packs in more ammunition which makes it great for multiple discharges in combat, and can easily eliminate Brutes before they even reach the player character. While I’d rank it third among the heavy weapons on this list as the Hydra is not  a particularly impressive rival to those, but its unique attributes still make it a worthy contender among the best weapons.

Sweeper Assault Rifle

The Sweeper assault rifle based on Remnant tech is a sweet weapon players can build in-game and I found it to be one of my all-favorite assault rifles to use in the series. The Sweeper fires in 3 shot bursts and features high damage to eliminate most targets quickly, and generally is among the more interesting assault rifles in the entirety of Andromeda arsenal. The Remnant tech is a research tree worth investing in for all kinds of players and there are multiple high damage weapons available to construct once the blueprints are researched. The Sweeper is among the best Remnant weapons available in Mass Effect: Andromeda and I’ve used it for most of my first time playing the game. With its high damage output and precise accuracy, the Sweeper handles better than the laser-beam P.A.W. Rifle and its satisfying punch makes it one of the best weapons not just in Andromeda, but the series in general.

N7 Hurricane SMG

Among SMG and Pistol categories, few weapons pack a serious punch to grant them a place at this list, but the N7 Hurricane just barely makes it under the requirements. Compared to the rest, its damage is relatively limited, however its precise handling and large ammo capacity make up for that by giving players a light versatile weapon that goes along well with heavy weapon and shotgun character builds, as well as biotic-focused players. The N7 Hurricane is quite far from powerful, and is only worth using on base enemies with no shields, but tackle on a few upgrades, and this Submachine Gun can be satisfying to use as a sidearm.

Omni Blade

It will be amiss of me to avoid including melee weapons into this list, but the Omni Blade is a seriously powerful melee tool that works well with Vanguard Builds and its striking power eliminates melee enemies with ease. While the Omni Blade has been seriously downgraded in Mass Effect Andromeda and is far from enjoyable to use, the Mass Effect 3 version is a stellar melee weapon available by default in the game. The animation for melee hits in particular is very well designed and shows Shepard lunge forward with an omni blade on each hand, making for an extremely satisfying tool available for melee combat.

Inferno Sniper Rifle

The Inferno is highly capable, and similar to the Prothean-based Particle assault rifle, avoids reloading through heat management, which allows for a few high-precision shots to be fired in quick succession. This sniper rifle is not limited by its ammo capacity, which makes it useful in extensive combat sections in Mass Effect: Andromeda, and while its damage output is quite low to compete with Black Widow, the Inferno has its own unique traits to make it a memorable weapon in the entire series, which earns it a spot on this list.

*all images are credited with their original sources

 

Things I’d like to see in the next Assassin’s Creed

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Assassin’s Creed: Origins significantly reimagines the way an Assassin’s Creed game should be designed, and its new RPG direction gave us one of the best games in the entire franchise. It is up for speculation whether Ubisoft intends to release a new game every 2 years on a new schedule or if we’re about to start getting sick of annual releases like in the past, but Assassin’s Creed: Origins lays a solid foundation for future games to follow that might allow Ubisoft to release new and interesting annual releases. So far rumors on a new Assassin’s Creed are very minimal, but one could guess about potential leaks at E3 2018 or the internet. As Origins is still very fresh in the gamers minds’ with Curse of the Pharaohs that was recently released, it is not a concern so far whether we’ll get a sequel in 2018 or the following year, but here are the features many would want to see from the next Assassin’s Creed outing. While the list is mostly formed from my own opinion, the features I speak of are in no doubt wanted by many gamers. Here’s what I’d like to see in the next Assassin’s Creed game.

*all images used have been captured in Assassin’s Creed: Origins

Setting – Ancient Greece

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Assassin’s Creed: Origins has perhaps the best-designed world in the entirety of the series and its ancient Egypt setting has been flawlessly executed as the game transitioned from Action to an RPG with character progression, numerous quests and diverse gear. Following on from Origins, the next Assassin’s Creed could explore settings like Ancient Greece or Rome with similarly vast and diverse worlds that Ubisoft can build in a similar way to Origins. Ubisoft could potentially follow up with a direct sequel to Origins set in ancient Greece, although introducing completely new characters is also a great option to keep the series fresh. A similar gameplay format to Origins would be ideal for the sequel as well, although I’ll talk about it in detail later in the list, and we can have another excellent Assassin’s Creed on our hands. Ancient Greece serves best as a setting, and can potentially introduce a better overall plot more involved with the world’s politics and struggles, but regardless of which setting Ubisoft chooses, a sequel to Origins can prove to be another excellent game in the series.

More Ship Gameplay. Give players their own ship.

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We haven’t seen a ship-based Assassin’s Creed game since Rogue in 2014 that was essentially a copy-and-paste game formed from Black Flag, although AC Origins features multiple naval missions that involve similar gameplay to the adventures of Edward Kenway, however still lacked personal elements such as ship customization or diverse missions based on the gameplay. The new Assassin’s Creed could bring back more sea-based gameplay and even give players their own ship perhaps. Set half the game in the Mediterranean Sea and islands allied to ancient Greece and we can have a really excellent game that blends AC Origins and Black Flag into a one well-designed game. Ubisoft could also give players the ability to dock in multiple cities and then free roam a large portion of the world on a mount to complete quests. Switch it up with sea-based exploration and gameplay both in the open world and the game’s plot and we can have a really interesting game on our hands and perhaps the strongest Assassin’s Creed yet. With that said, ship combat is also one of the best gameplay systems in the entire series and many gamers no doubt would want to see another Assassin’s Creed game based around naval exploration and combat.

Meaningful skill system.

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The skill tree in Origins wasn’t particularly interesting

With the new RPG direction, Ubisoft nailed about everything in Origins apart from the skill system, which was mostly composed of XP bonuses and various other dull abilities and only gave players a few really interesting skills to play with. In the sequel, Ubisoft really needs to improve upon the skill tree by giving players more interesting attributes to invest in. Perhaps give us a better skill system through numerous passive abilities or more interesting actives like the Charge Attack in Origins, and the skill tree can be much perfected. Another ancient setting also begs for more interesting tools that the main character could use and introducing an entirely separate skill tree dedicated to passives and gear wouldn’t be a bad idea. The goal would be to eliminate the endless boring skills seen in Origins and give players a more meaningful progression and skill systems to create an even better game than the already excellent Origins.

Keep game design from Origins

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AC Origins has the strongest game design of all releases in the franchise, supported by relatively high review scores across the board, and keeping all of it intact would be crucial to create a sequel just as good as Origins. RPG gameplay has proven to work really well in the framework of Assassin’s Creed and is one of the highlights that make Origins very enjoyable across 60+ hours of gameplay, which makes sense to follow up with a similarly-designed game in the future. There are very few flaws in the gameplay of AC Origins and the involving combat was also one of the strongest points in the entire game, giving players something more challenging than a counter-hit formula of its predecessors. Having taken 2 development years to overhaul many of the game’s systems, Ubisoft should stick with the formula they came up with and only focus on improving these gameplay systems. The RPG design also made up for some very interesting side quests that fleshed the world out and as such, it only makes sense to stick with the new direction for at least a few games moving forward. AC Origins’ game design was one of the strongest points in the game, which allowed the game to secure high scores across the board in gaming media, and Ubisoft should retain all of the Origins’ systems to secure commercial success for the series.

World Size Same or Bigger than Origins

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With Origins, Ubisoft have created the biggest open world yet for the series, giving players a large varied world with multiple major cities to explore. For the sequel, the developers should focus on changing some exploration systems such as collectibles, that haven’t been all that engaging in the form of animal nests and relic locations, as well as on further expanding the size and density of the game’s world. If we were to stick with the ancient Greece setting, this will allow developers to create large-scale cities and various villages with the overall world size similar to Origins if not larger. AC Origins has lots of interesting locations to visit and explore, which makes up for a lot of the fun during gameplay and the diversity ensures players don’t get bored of exploring these regions for treasure, viewpoints or enemy camps. A sequel should follow up on the same structure and give players a multitude of locations contained within an overall world map. Given the scale Origins achieved, Ubisoft already has a solid foundation for game world design and can build upon it further in the sequel.

Retain Meaningful Side Quests

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Side quests in Assassin’s Creed: Origins were one of the strongest points in storytelling, putting the drama of the main plot to shame, and significantly fleshed out the world of ancient Egypt through dialogue that provided backstory on the struggles of Egypt, additionally introducing new characters that the protagonist already knows in the game. Side quests provided for numerous laughs throughout their completion, and the amount of thought placed into these can sometimes be staggering. For example, in Origins, side quests ranged from exploring depths of ancient tombs to reflecting the struggle of Egyptians against unofficial occupation by Greece, to solving murder mysteries and so on. The constant variety in side quests always introduces something new to the game, which makes completing those missions not only compelling, but sometimes satisfying with the outcome. A sequel should thus just follow a similar template and expand even further on the diversity of side quests available in the game, which would make for even stronger game design, but again, Origins already set the bar quite high for the series moving forward.

Expand gear variety

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Origins has a pretty much perfect weapon selection for its gameplay design, but we could always go for more and more variety and content. Weapon selection worked really well in Origins and covered every gameplay style available to the player, which made experimenting with builds really satisfying. One major improvement to add would be multiple build slots to allow players an easy switch between multiple character presets. With diverse weapons such as bows, swords, spears, two-handed axes, two-handed swords and various other blunt weapons and sharp pikes, Origins had a perfect weapon variety to cover both heavy offence and stealth builds. Giving players multiple build slots in the sequel would allow players to easily switch between multiple presets, and the sequel would need to expand its weapon variety to a significant extent. Depending on the game setting, we might just see even more weapons in the sequel.

10 Best Open Worlds in Video Gaming

The open world format has become widespread across countless game series, becoming almost a standard for a sales success. Unlike the restrictive nature of linear gaming, open worlds allow the developers to go full out in creating expansive and interesting gaming worlds. However, this also means each publisher has to strive to create something new that has never been seen in gaming. We’ve seen this trend increase with Ubisoft’s open world output, and EA follows closely behind. Not every developer succeeds at creating a great or unique world, as it is a difficult process. Across the more recent games I have picked out 10 open worlds i consider to be both some of the best and also those to feature unique and interesting content. These 10 open worlds offer countless hours of entertainment, which makes their respective games a worthwhile buy for any gamer.

Wasteland – Mad Max

Mad Max by Avalanche studios gave us a glimpse of a violent apocalyptic world where oil and scrap essentially serve as currency. The designers’ vision created the best representation of a wasteland occupied by forces of a powerful warlord with the end result accomplishing the death of said warlord. However, Mad Max at its release seriously experienced open-world fatigue players developed through endless sandbox game releases. But apart from the game’s repetition and some gameplay flaws, Mad Max’s desert world truly stole the prize. The game’s large map provides plenty of diverse environments and unique landmarks to discover, although its melee combat could be much expanded upon. Eliminate endless outposts, scrap collection and retain the excellent car combat, and Avalanche studios has potential to further flesh out the world. Mad Max’s beautiful but deadly desert is a place worth revisiting with the good old Interceptor vehicle.

Seoul – Agents of Mayhem

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Volition gave us something new with their futuristic setting in Seoul for their Agents of Mayhem release, and the city’s existence in this list is based upon its unique futuristic setting that we rarely see in video games (Mirror’s Edge is the only example I can think of). Although we would have loved to be able to use the superpowers of Saints Row 4, Volition needed to ground the series back in reality with an open city to explore. Agents of Mayhem may not have lived to its hype, but it is a solid open-world action game and its unique setting makes it one of the best gaming locations to experience.

Hong Kong – Sleeping Dogs

Back in 2012, Square Enix published the most unique setting in video games at the time – a city far distant from the regular fare of US-based locations. Its detailed representation of Hong Kong culture allowed the game to be as immersive as possible. It is always fun to explore new cities, and Sleeping Dogs is a perfect game to delve into Hong Kong’s culture with both its story as well as its beautiful setting. Add to that the HD resolution textures given to us on the PC, PS4 and Xbox One releases, and Sleeping Dogs still holds up graphically well since its release in 2012. Although Sleeping Dogs 2 is unlikely to ever happen, other developers should explore unique cities, perhaps Singapore or Dubai as emerging settings to create genre diversity.

San Francisco Bay – Watch Dogs 2

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Gamers don’t often see a representation of San Francisco in gaming, but Watch Dogs 2 did the best one yet when it delivered a sizeable map of the Bay area to explore. We further got to see famous landmarks and cruise down wide roads while completing an entertaining plot that also carries a series tone about our increasingly digital world. The original Watch Dogs also deserves a mention for its Chicago setting which goes unused, but it is definitely the sequel that gave us one of the best open world games to get immersed in. The Bay area in Watch Dogs 2 accurately represents the digital world and contains plenty of quirks to reference the darker side of Silicon Valley.

Los Santos – Grand Theft Auto 5

No one is capable of creating the massive cities to the scale Rockstar are masters at, and GTA 5’s Los Santos and the surrounding county prove the point perfectly. Los Santos still shines in detail on current platforms, especially if you option for the PC version which looks spectacular. Rockstar went multiple steps further, and crammed in as much detail as possible to produce one of the most intricate open worlds where its easy to get lost for a full day’s worth of a gaming session. The expansive nature of the game’s world and of course the series signature gameplay still make Los Santos an entertaining trip to return to. That is unless you concurrently play GTA Online and are permanently stuck in the wacky world of Los Santos.

Australia – Forza Horizon 3

Didn’t you ever want to blast across Australian outback in a hypercar the likes of Lamborghini Aventador or cruise by the beach in a BMW M5? Regardless of the answer, Forza Horizon 3 has the best racing playground in the entire history of arcade racers. With diverse environments, weather effects and a ginormous fleet of cars to take out for a spin, Australia shines in Horizon 3, and also happens to be another underused setting for video gaming worlds. For a racing game, Australia is an absolute paradise to navigate around, and Horizon 3’s extensive career mode will sink many hours of free time into driving around a diverse and beautiful island. Paired with 4K and HDR (if your rig can handle it), Forza Horizon 3 is up there with the best looking games in 2018.

Rook Island – Far Cry 3

The setting of Far Cry 3 still remains memorable, and Ubisoft haven’t given us a better setting for its explosive shooter series since (perhaps the state of Montana will be a more fun playground). Rook Island is a joy to explore and still looks good in 2018. I had a hard time deciding between Far Cry 4’s Kyrat and Rook Island, but Far Cry 3 still remains the best title in the series to this date and continuously returning to it, I have yet to get bored from replaying the game. Whether you explore it at day or at night, Rook island is filled with enemies and wildlife, but thankfully the player is provided with some really effective means of personal protection. Time to stock up on some sweet firearms and make another trip to Rook Island just in time Far Cry 5 takes us into the depths of Montana.

Entire world – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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I use part of Velen’s map to show the detail crammed into the world

It is simply staggering how much detail CD Project Red have been able to integrate into the massive world of Witcher 3, which currently boasts the largest gaming world in gaming outside of the MMO crowd. Prior to its release, most wondered if the developer could deliver on their original promise of an expansive world, excellent story and meaningful side quests. They’ve not only done just that, but also gave us one of the most diverse and graphically beautiful worlds in gaming, especially if you happen to own a powerful gaming rig. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt still shines after its release, and the expansion packs that followed gave us a new setting of Touissant and further made the game extremely replayable while we sit around in the wait for Cyberpunk 2077.

Andromeda Galaxy –  Mass Effect: Andromeda

The Andromeda Galaxy combined not only gave us one of the prettiest locales to look at, from the excellent space effects to detail of each of the game’s open world locations, but also transitioned the Mass Effect series into the Frostbite 3 engine, which gave designers ample of room to create an expansive RPG while retaining Mass Effect’s core gameplay and story elements. Although its execution was not ideal, and Mass Effect: Andromeda suffered from tech issues as well as from the lack of depth of its open worlds, the experience combined gave us a glimpse of a potential direction for the series to follow, as soon as EA can perfect its Frostbite 3 engine. Andromeda is not only a new galaxy for gamers to explore, but its worlds offer a certain level of appeal that is bound to differ between gamers. The Andromeda Galaxy makes it on this list because of its unique lore, but mainly due to the combined beauty of its open worlds that create a great-looking game.

Egypt – Assassin’s Creed: Origins

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Only a small part of the vast AC: Origins map

Ubisoft finally gave us a setting most of the series fans were dying for – Ancient Egypt – and what a marvelous world it is. Accessible from the get-go, you can travel from the great city of Alexandria all the way to Memphis, however the game’s RPG focus effectively constraints the map based on character level. Still, unlike the ironically ghostly map of Ghost Recon: Wildlands, AC Origins boasts a detailed representation of Egypt with all its landmarks and secret, which enhances player immersion by providing a wealth of content. Yes, AC Origins inherits the enemy outposts found in Far Cry series, but they are still fun to do and the beauty of Ancient Egypt takes away from all that hassle. Luckily, Assassin’s Creed Origins features a robust photo mode to take beautiful screenshots of its breathtaking world.

 

10 Game Sequels Likely to Happen

There are many venerable game series that gamers would love to see new entries in and I’ve come up with a 2-part series for sequels I consider many gamers to be anticipating highly to hear about in the nearby future or within a few years. This list specifically (and its second part) focuses on game franchises that have seen large economic success and some also enjoy the backing of mega game publishers to have a high potential of happening in the not too distant future. I explain why many would have a reason to anticipate these sequels as well as how developers could improve these releases to deliver exceptional quality entertainment. This list of 10 anticipated sequels is structured in no particular order and discusses each game on its capacity to happen. Among endless sequels in the gaming market, these are most desirable for many as these franchises and IPs don’t appear too often.

  • all screenshots are of the previous entries these games are supposed to be sequels to, all images are credited with a source link

      1. Dragon Age: Inquisition 2

Dragon Age: Inquisition wasn’t a perfect game, but it brought the series back to a great start by setting the game in an open world. Aside from some apparent flaws however, Dragon Age: Inquisition was a solid entry in EA’s fantasy RPG series and a direct sequel or another game set in the universe would further flesh out the world of Thedas. Dragon Age: Inquisition 2 makes perfect sense to happen, and all BioWare needs to do is iron out some glaring issues and improve the gameplay to have a sales success on their hands. Keeping EA’s Frostbite 3 (or perhaps Frostbite 4 is around the corner?) engine would give the sequel the same beautiful look of Inquisition, and BioWare has full potential to expand further on the open-world gameplay mechanics.

      2. Max Payne 4

Rockstar’s reinvention of the Max Payne series with the third title brought us something to look forward into the future of the franchise as Rockstar could bring us another quality release with Max Payne 4. Given Rockstar is busy with Red Dead Redemption 2, it would be a long while until gamers hear any news of another Max Payne title and its unknown whether the publisher plans to continue the series at all, but the quality of Max Payne 3 that Rockstar brought us warrants for people to look towards a sequel. Perhaps bring the series into the open-world or give players a twist on existing mechanics of Max Payne 3, and a sequel is bound to be an economic success. For now, though, there’s Red Dead Redemption 2 to look forward to, and hopefully that title eventually makes its way onto PC.

      3. The Elder Scrolls 6

It’s been almost 7 years since the release of Skyrim and Bethesda has been hard at work to bring back or continue their staple franchises with Fallout 4, 2016’s Doom and a sequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order. Along with that, Skyrim has been re-released with multiple editions that now span every available gaming platform including the Nintendo Switch. They even released it in VR – that’s how much Skyrim was a success in gaming. However, at this point gamers are dying to at least hear an official announcement of The Elder Scrolls 6, since so far we’ve only heard slight rumours of its potential existence and Elder Scrolls Online hasn’t exactly delivered on its multiplayer potential. With a 6th title in the excellent RPG series, Bethesda can top its own success at delivering another quality RPG release. Given the commercial success of The Elder Scrolls 5 and its widespread release as an RPG icon, a release of The Elder Scrolls 6 makes perfect sense in the near future.

     4. Trials Fusion sequel

Trials Fusion has not been released too far ago, and RedLynx studios even released a wacky spin-off in the style of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon since the main game’s release (coincidentally named Trials of the Blood Dragon), but it doesn’t mean the gamers this niche title appealed to can’t dream of a potential sequel that would further explore the unique world and gameplay of the Trials series. The futuristic spin of Fusion gave us the best environment design yet and it would be nice to retain that style in the sequel, but a more grounded version similar to Evolution wouldn’t be a bad one either. RedLynx has no need to change the game mechanics of this series, but expanding the trick system of Fusion could be one of the ways to improve upon that entry.

     5. GRID 3

Following 2014’s GRID Autosport, Codemasters have intensely focused on refining their F1 racing series, with F1 2016 and ’17 coming to earn the titles as the best entries yet in Formula 1 racing. Further, Codemasters effectively rebooted their Dirt series with excellent Dirt 4 and Dirt Rally built on a brand new racing engines. In 2018 or ’19, it is a perfect time for Codemasters to refine their track-focused GRID series, with perhaps a GRID 3 in the works. To produce an excellent sequel, Codemasters could build another GRID entry from the ground up using a new engine. Following from either free-form racing fun of GRID 2 with diverse modes or the track-focused GRID Autosport, Codemasters have potential to achieve great success with their once famous racing franchise. Perhaps a new entry is just around the corner, but so far we haven’t heard any official news regarding GRID 3.

      6. Dying Light 2

The original Dying Light is perhaps the best zombie game you can currently get, and Techland continues to support the title up to this date with free content update and DLC releases. Dying Light’s unique blend of Dead Island and Mirror’s Edge gameplay created a really fun experience, and I’m just one of the many people who keep replaying Dying Light for its fun open-world action mechanics. A sequel that retains all of the original’s gameplay and presents a brand new setting is totally acceptable to see in the next few years, however Techland could also improve on all of Dying Light’s flaws and give us a world greater than the two districts of Haran available in the original. The developer should have all the funds available to produce a quality sequel, and a repeating partnership with WB Games could further assist with the development budget. Many gamers are all up for a similar sequel that would expand on all elements of the original and deliver an even better story and improved gameplay.

     7. Saints Row 5

This title is a tricky entry on this list, mostly due to the question “How do you top the insanely fun action game with wacky superpowers and entertaining missions of Saints Row 4?” To their credit, Volition gave us something new with Agents of Mayhem – a new IP that loosely blended Saints Row lore into a Saturday morning cartoon-style plot. It will be a few years till gamers hear of Volition’s next planned release, but a Saints Row 5 has potential to be in the works. It is up for debate what the next entry in the series would do, be it a grounded experience in the scope of Grand Theft Auto or another superhero-style action game, but a full new entry into the Saints Row series would be welcomed by lots of gamers around the world. In my personal view, Volition needs to take time to develop an in-house game engine before moving on to Saints Row 5 if it hopes to compete with the likes of Watch Dogs and Grand Theft Auto. With that said however, Saints Row has always been a unique franchise where sense of humour and fun gameplay prevail over the graphical detail of most major releases.

      8. Rage 2

Rage was a fairly unique shooter that introduced an open-world and RPG elements into id Software’s regular shooter fare, however the game never saw any large economic success due to some major flaws. None of those were deal breakers on their own, but the game’s overall execution did not match to the original vision of a post-apocalyptic open world in a first-person shooter with RPG elements. With Bethesda’s recent economic success and the frequent release of new titles in the publisher’s series, Bethesda should consider taking another stab at its currently shelved IP and perhaps come up with a fully open world shooter with a scope of Fallout or the Elder Scrolls series. Although Rage didn’t receive acclaim upon its release, it was still a fairly unique and enjoyable shooter experience set in a somewhat brand new setting. With both Bethesda’s and id Software’s recent successes, there’s no obstacles for Rage 2 to happen, and hopefully average sales of 2011’s Rage haven’t forced Bethesda to can the series for good. Another attempt at this unique IP has potential to produce a really solid open-world shooter so perhaps Bethesda could bring the IP back in the near future.

      9. Borderlands 3

Borderlands 3 is the most likely entrant in this list to happen, as Gearbox not too long ago teased a prototype of a potential sequel based on the Unreal Engine 4. With Borderlands 2’s release in 2012, it is a good time for Gearbox to focus their efforts on producing a brand new entry into the series. Give us even more guns, a better loot system and for god’s sake get rid of that horrible user interface, and most fans of the series would be perfectly happy to see a new release, and will in fact give Gearbox a much needed recovery from the Aliens Colonial Marines scandal that still haunts the company to this year. With that said, Gearbox appears hard at work on Borderlands 3 except they keep it very silent, but a major sequel to Borderlands 2 (not counting the Pre-Sequel entry) would be highly anticipated by many gamers who enjoyed the series. All Gearbox has to do is improve further on existing game mechanics and better yet, introduce an entirely new setting for its RPG shooter series.

     10. Burnout Paradise sequel

This one would be a highly desirable release for all kinds of racing fans, as this stunning crash spectacle has been absent from our systems since 2008’s Burnout Paradise. Criterion games have then changed direction after their average reboot to Need for Speed: Most Wanted and announced their branching out to other gaming genres. What followed since was an announcement of a new IP that immediately went silent, however Criterion has continued contributing to every new Need for Speed entry since then. With their involvement with racing games, Criterion games should consider developing a new Burnour Release that will follow up from Burnout Paradise’s formula. Criterion’s spectacular crashes have been present in every Need for Speed release since 2010, but nothing compares to intensity of Burnout Paradise and its constant fare of detailed crashes. Nothing is as satisfying as seeing your car crumble to bits after a head-on collision at 200 mph. Criterion should consider bringing gamers a new Burnout release to remind the gaming market of the unique flavour of the once popular series. Another partnership with EA and potential use of Frostbite 3 could bring the best Burnout game yet.

 

10 Game Series that Need to Make a Comeback

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Over the years, the gaming industry has spawned countless titles that cover about every possible genre to be imagined. Many IPs made it into long-running franchises, that either thrive off improvements or drag the series along with yet another sequel. Among the large number of titles are excellent games which have become venerable franchises, followed by large crowds of gamers, however it becomes easy to overlook some ideas that have been lost along the way. Some franchises lie dormant, or worse, they disappear from the radar with seemingly no hope of getting continued. Many fan favourites have ended too soon, and there is no talk of them ever getting a sequel. Whether they had a great concept or offered excellent entertainment, many games deserve to be continued, and many franchises are still welcome to make a comeback to the current gaming market. I pick some games and franchises that I used to play, and also some that I heard were really good, to make a list of games that players desperately want to come back at some point in time. Many of these, fans would be dying to see again, which makes these ideas worth bringing back. These games have lied dormant over years for multiple reasons, sometimes it’s a company’s bankruptcy or an idea is simply shelved, but their original creations remain good to this day. Here are the 10 series that haven’t been heard of in a while, but desperately need to get a new outing.

Burnout

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Burnout Paradise

Burnout was an extremely fun racing series, which culminated with an excellent Burnout Paradise. The nature of gameplay involved intense speeds and spectacular crashes that set the series apart from other racing titles. Before Paradise, Burnout games have featured a linear progression with many challenges to complete and cars to unlock, and were still a blast to play. Even the PSP titles, Legends and Dominator, although lacking the complexity of other titles in the franchise, still offered a compelling Burnout experience. And Paradise was simply stellar, offering an open-world set within a dense urban city. Challenges were fun, and the added exploration elements took up many hours to complete, plus the soundtrack was quite good, except the song Paradise by Guns N’ Roses is bound to get annoying really fast. Paradise even included a vast amount of cars to race in, and the career offered a lot of content, even if it felt repetitive to complete the entirety of it. On a modern game engine, a new Burnout would look absolutely stellar, especially if it was EA’s own Frostbite 3. Unfortunately, no rumours have been heard about a possible Burnout title, and Criterion Games have been off the news radar for quite a while.

Crash Bandicoot

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Crash Bandicoot has been off the radar for a very long time, and it’s a shame, because those games were really fun third-person action platformers, filled with beautiful locations and interesting characters. The controls are smooth and even the PSP releases that I used to have were filled with hours of content, not to mention that Crash Bandicoot had really neat gameplay elements. The series stood out with its style and mechanics, and gained many fans despite an abundance of excellent platformers on the market. Last year’s Ratchet & Clank proved that people still have a thing for third-person colourful platformers, and we desperately need to see another game out of this memorable series.

Command & Conquer

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Besides its mediocre 4th entry, Command & Conquer is considered by many as one of the staples in the strategy genre, and many especially like the over the top Red Alert spin-off. The series lays dormant since 2010, and although for some time fans were promised C&C: Generals 2, its release would have only upset gamers. EA’s idea of a sequel to Generals was bound to be a free-to-play title with micro-transactions, so its failure to release avoided the series trouble of upsetting the fans, although the 4th instalment somewhat already did so. At present, there is no word of a possible Command & Conquer game, as the EA sits on top of this property, and no news regarding the state of the series have been released either. Maybe when EA finds the time right, we could yet see another title out of this franchise, and if adapted to an RTS, the Frostbite 3 engine would make visually impressive battlefields.

Crysis

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Crysis in many respects was one of the best first-person shooters, combining stealth and gunplay to create the game with many approaches. The first Crysis is still regarded as a PC-killer and won’t run well on anything modern, mostly due to lack of optimization. It was also one of the more innovative shooters of its time and offered a visually stellar island to explore in a semi-open world. Crysis 2 brought the series to consoles, and a strictly linear progression changed the freedom of the previous game to create a more Call of Duty-like experience. With that said, Crysis 2 absolutely nailed its pacing by blending stealth and explosive set-pieces, and by offering an engaging narrative and diverse enemies, the game is fun to replay even today. Finally, Crysis 3 built a blend of its two predecessors, although in the process offered a much shorter campaign. Its semi-open locations offered freedom and additional missions, while the game’s visuals looked stellar. It’s still fun to play these games and the series should definitely spawn a sequel at some point. Crytek haven’t been doing too well financially so we would never know if the series will ever get continued.

Medal of Honor

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Before Warfighter did an awful job at bringing the series into the modern shooter genre, similar to the mediocre reboot of the series in 2010, Medal of Honor used to be an engaging series set in events of World War II. The games are far from polished by modern standards and it already seems like Battlefield is set on track to reinvent these moments of world history. There no longer seems to be an appeal in another Medal of Honor game, and it’s a shame, as originals featured excellent campaigns to match the gameplay, but the unsuccessful reboots might as well have buried the franchise. Medal of Honor could use a revival and best way to do it would be to return to its World War II roots.

Splinter Cell

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Splinter Cell was an excellent stealth franchise that almost got ruined by lazy spin-offs and action-focused titles. Thankfully, Splinter Cell: Blacklist came along and fixed most of the errors, not only returning the series to its roots, but also offering the most polished experience with graphical standards to match. I immensely enjoyed Splinter Cell: Blacklist, which offers multiple ways to play a mission with a varied set of tools and weapons at players’ disposal. Along with that, there is a fun multiplayer mode to be busy with after completing the game’s campaign. Chaos Theory is considered by many to be the best for its open stealth gameplay, and the first three games overall offer a great experience. Not much has been heard since Blacklist’s release in 2013, and although it hasn’t been too long, the franchise is currently shelved in Ubisoft’s future release plans and no rumours have been known so far. Considering the level of polish that Blacklist received, however, a new title in the series would be certainly welcome.

Supreme Commander

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Warfare on a massive scale has never been done better than in Supreme Commander, featuring massive units and diverse factions. The first title is widely considered to be one of the best strategy games of all time, although the series has been let down by the disappointment of the second title, which somewhat improved matters in its consecutive DLC. Supreme Commander was very impressive, allowing players to control large armies with some of the most interesting units I’ve seen in RTS. Among the factions, Cybrans offer badass units capable of not only dealing large amounts of damage, but also looking incredibly cool. Walking ships? Check. A Giant Dinosaur that expels flame? Check. A Huge Spider Bot wielding a massive laser? Also check. On top of that, Supreme Commander offered a complex research tree spread across all types of units, and an entire development is dedicated to the commander bot. Oh, you just had to make sure those didn’t die or it’s over. Square Enix currently holds the publishing rights to the series, however the company is focused on other projects and currently no consideration for a sequel is expressed.

Dune

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Dune is another series I used to play a lot, which went silent a rather while ago. Dune 2000 was an immensely fun strategy game, and it’s sequel, Emperor: Battle for Dune added 3D graphics and more diversity into the franchise. The series features interesting lore based off the Dune series by Frank Herbert, although it never really managed to convey a decent plot. Each of the 3 factions largely played the same apart from special units, even looking exactly the same and only Emperor completely changed visuals for each. The improvements in that title were a great way for the franchise to keep moving forward, but with Emperor: Battle for Dune, the series came to an end. Westwood Studios, who developed the game, no longer exists, and the concept seems likely to be buried. Although many of its mechanics would no longer be considered viable on the field of modern RTS, Dune is a unique series that could use another well-polished title.

Half-Life

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Oh, Half-Life. The internet has spawned a never-ending speculation about development of Half-Life 3, and Valve remains completely silent, continuously working on improving Steam as a distribution platform. Valve haven’t released anything for a while, although many fans desperately want to see a third entry in the Half-Life series. But so far, we’ve just been teased by possible talks of a sequel. The franchise captured gamers’ attention for featuring innovative gameplay and is still considered by many as a staple of the shooter genre. Half-Life 2 was especially groundbreaking at the time of its release, and managed to offer many hours of content to pair with an interesting world. Valve always release high quality games, and we’ve been waiting a long time for this to happen, so the series needs to make a comeback. Come on Valve, where are you keeping Half-Life 3?

Dead Space

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Dead Space used to be a neat horror series with some survival elements, until EA decided to release an action game for its third title instead. Although the original Dead Space was in fact a better horror game, I prefer Dead Space 2 with its level of polish and an intense journey through the depths of the Titan station. The game blends survival moments with fast-paced action-sequences, such as when you’re falling towards the station from the sun relay, and creates a tense experience while offering a lot of entertainment. Dead Space 3, however, fell under the greed of EA, which at the time, considered it best to release an action game, to the appeal of this series. To offend fans further, Dead Space 3 also featured micro-transactions for its crafting system, something unheard of before in a single-player game, and inclusion of Co-op didn’t improve the matters. Dead Space 3 was a step away from the unique appeal of the series, which also sent Visceral Games tasked with different project. Possibly one day we’ll see another Dead Space game, it will likely make no sense to do a sequel, but its universe just waits to be explored.

My Favourite Units in RTS Games

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Strategy games are only as fun as their unit selections make them and it’s crucial to give players a varied tool set.  The evolution of RTS over the years has created countless ridiculous tanks, weird machines and devastating weapons. Every game offers many unique units to distinguish itself from others, and some are bound to become favourites. I’ve decided to put together a list of units I’ve had the most fun using in strategy games and they are my personal pick to be on this list. The only criteria for it is that they come from the strategy games I’ve played, and I do not restrict the entries to one unit per game either. Unfortunately, these units have to be available in multiplayer of their games as well or otherwise the list would be too huge, so I can’t include the awesome Sajuuk ship from Homeworld 2 or the Hyperion Battlecruiser from StarCraft 2. The rest on this list are powerful weapons of destruction that are my favourite picks among the RTS Units. Comment which ones you like.

The Hand of Ruk – Grey Goo

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Each of Grey Goo’s factions have unique super units capable of devastating large armies, however nothing is capable of such versatility as Beta faction’s Hand of Ruk. This unit is a low-flying platform with a massive ranged cannon that destroys everything in its path, and can even function as a mobile factory. The versatility comes from 6 unit placements, where smaller tanks can hop to provide additional firepower, and naturally, types of units slotted affect the platform’s operation. Fill it up with regular tanks, and the Hand of Ruk gains close-range capabilities, artillery will provide additional ranged support, and so on. It is also the only one of epic units to have anti-air defences, which often comes in handy. The Hand of Ruk works best with diverse unit setups, but regardless, this epic unit packs in large amounts of firepower. Oh how much I like watching a giant cannon obliterate everything in the area it hits.

Higaaran Battlecruiser – Homeworld 2

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I grew up watching sci-fi space movies, and my favourite moments always included massive space battles. There’s something epic about watching an armada emerge from hyperspace, laser beams and torpedoes firing to obliterate everything in their path. Playing Homeworld Remastered reminded me a lot about the sci-fi movies I used to watch, and nothing demonstrates power like a Higaaran Battlecruiser. I’d build about 6 of those and install hyperspace modules, and then the enemy can very much surrender right then. These massive ships can only be built in Shipyards, making them late game units, but the trade-off is completely worth it. With their two powerful ion cannons, Higaaran Battlecruisers severely weaken any enemy that is in their line of fire, reducing even the largest units to complete rubble. In numbers, these can completely obliterate an enemy within minutes, and even swarms of bombers take a while to bring one of them down, making the Battlecruiser my favourite ship within Homeworld. The only field they lack in is epic space music as I send 6 of them into hyperspace.

Savager Dreadnought – Ashes of the Singularity

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All dreadnoughts in Ashes of the Singularity are epic in their own way, but nothing comes close to the hulking mass of Substrate’s Savager Dreadnought. Its sleek lines still manage to create a very aggressive look, and it can almost look like a living organism. Just look at it. However, its main feature is the ginormous beam cannon that sits right at the front. The beam annihilates everything in its path, ranging from small unit armies to other dreadnoughts, and its slow fire rate does little to hurt the sheer amount of power it gets. You’d want to have it protected by a smaller army when engaging against massive groups, but the Savager’s weapon plows through units. And although PHC’s anti-heavy dreadnought looks just as badass, Substrate’s Savager takes a spot as my favourite because of its better offensive capabilities.

Dark Archon – StarCraft: Brood War

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If you thought this list would just be about epic war machines, you’re quite mistaken, and I have a sneaky surprise slotted right here. The Dark Archon in StarCraft: Brood War is formed through merging two dark templars and cannot physically attack on its own. Wait, what? Instead, its psychic abilities make the unit really powerful. Feedback instantly kills enemy units, Maelstrom temporarily disables any biological units in the area, but the real show stealer is the Mind Control ability. In essence, with the Dark Archon you can easily play as all three races if successfully capturing an enemy worker, and each will have their own supply limit. The effect is not temporary either and allows to fully control any enemy unit for the length of its life. So while a Dark Archon presents little threat on its own, its abilities can create a lot of chaos.

Protoss Mothership – StarCraft 2

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The Protoss Mothership is one of the most sophisticated units in StarCraft 2, and often has the potential to break the game. It is a massive resource requirement, but when it comes to the battlefield, all bets are off. It doesn’t cause mass damage on its own even though its still powerful, but its main selling point is its abilities. The Mothership is one of my favourites simply because if you see one, you know you’re screwed. Its likely because there is always a massive army coming right behind it, hidden from sight under the Mothership’s cloaking ability. I’d always bring many Void Rays or Carriers with this ship, and watch the enemy get completely obliterated. In contrast, if things aren’t going too well, you could always recall your army to the nearest base.

Terran Battlecruiser – StarCraft 2

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If you want warfare done effectively, you a) build your warships to walk on ground Supreme Commander style or b) make a big space ship that can freely enter the atmosphere without falling to forces of gravity. The terrans in StarCraft 2 have done the latter, creating a cruiser that can be effective both in air and space. This unit takes a lot of resources and time to make, rendering it useless for timed attacks, however if you have the time to advance this far, as I’ve seen in many 3v3 games in Heart of the Swarm, there are few units capable of stopping mass battlecruiser. These ships also have thick armour, making each perfect against numerous infantry, and its Yamato Cannon deals high damage to large units. Battlecruisers are my favourite to use since StarCraft: Brood War and their effectiveness helps in any battlefield.

Zerg Ultralisk – StarCraft 2

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This picture pretty much says everything about Zerg’s Ultralisk. Its a massive bio mass that can still somehow walk, or should I rather say, charge into the battlefield. The massive armour shell allows it to withstand a lot of damage, especially if fully upgraded. On the offensive, just look at those claws, although I wish these units played just as epic as they look in the game’s cinematic cutscenes. Still, mass Ultralisk tends to work pretty well in multiplayer, and I’d often get completely screwed if I chose to go with a ground army. I normally wouldn’t use them myself because I suck at multiplayer, but when I do, Ultralisks create a lot of fun moments as their scythes cut through defending units.

Monkey Lord Experimental Bot – Supreme Commander

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Futuristic spider bots are always cool, just ask anyone, but nothing delivers a message better than a massive hulk towering way above the ground armies. Meet the Monkey Lord – a giant spider tank used by the Cybran faction and if I saw one of those in real life, I’d probably die from terror on the spot. Forget the Megalith spider bot – it’s tiny in comparison to this ginormous tank. The Monkey Lord moves slowly around the battlefield on its massive six legs, but its presence is instantly noticeable once that huge laser beam comes online. I simply enjoyed watching it evaporate anything in its path. Even if building the tank takes an enormous factory and lots of resources, the Monkey Lord is completely worth it and makes it one of my favourites because of its massive size and sweet design. Giant spider bots are just really fun.

Devastator Tank – Dune 2000

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Among the cubic units of Dune 2000, the Devastator Tank is the most powerful, especially built in mass numbers. Apart from the main cannons with a lot of damage, the tank can be set to self-destruct, damaging anything in its path. Its great for tanks with low health, but not so much when you click the function by accident, or an Ordos Deviator puts control of it in enemy hands. I really cringed the few times I accidentally blew up one of my Devastators, only to watch six other tanks evaporate along with it. Stupid accidents aside, it is one of the most entertaining units to watch, even though they are slow and the noise from its cannons is bound to drive you crazy.

NIAB Tank – Emperor: Battle for Dune

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The NIAB Tank is a really weird entity, both in its looks and the abilities it possesses. As one of the sub-factions in Emperor: Battle for Dune, the Niab are mysterious species and also really powerful. While it takes a massive temple to produce these units, the NIAB tank possess teleportation, making them extremely useful for hit-and-run attacks, and of course, collecting crates around the map. The tank disappointingly has low durability, but is capable of causing a lot of damage through lightning beams which face in all directions. To add to it, the tank just looks super weird with a living organism sitting inside the green frame. Among the many intriguing units of sub-factions in Emperor: Battle for Dune, the NIAB tank has yet to be topped.

Air Defence Platform – Emperor: Battle for Dune

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Emperor: Battle for Dune introduced flying units to the series, and one of the best is the Air Defence Platform in possession of the house Harkonnen. It’s a slow unit, but the platform is capable of attacking both ground and air units, which makes it really effective when placed in a smart spot. I always liked messing around with the enemy by taking out all the carry-alls for Harvesters, and it dramatically impacts the opponent’s economy. The only downside is that the platform is quite weak and doesn’t take long to get destroyed. But hey, if the enemy lacks anti-air defences, you could win the entire game just by building these.

Avatar Warmech – Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars

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Now what list of epic RTS units would be complete without at least one giant war mech, and Nod’s Avatar Warmech in C&C 3 gets the spot. This large mech takes on smaller armies, capable of not only obliterating small units by the numbers with its laser cannon, but also crushing infantry and light tanks beneath its feet. As standard, it only comes with a single Obelisk laser cannon, however can be further upgraded to include a variety of weapons, which makes it very usable. Interestingly, the process happens by using its free arm to destroy another Nod unit, after which the Avatar gains a new weapon or ability. Moreover, it looks seriously cool and inflicts a lot of damage, which makes it one of the best units to use in the game.