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Back to PC gaming after a 4 year hiatus- recommendations?

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December 14, 2006 7:18:38 PM

I just ordered a new gaming PC, and it will be my first one ever that can actually play current PC games. My last computer, a laptop, was fine for playing games released around 2000-2002 but basically, I've missed out on the last 3 years of games.

I like RPGs, turn and rt strategy, world-building, and FPS/action games. The last games I played that I enjoyed:

Diablo 2
Baldur's Gate 2
Half-Life
Unreal Tournament
Grand Theft Auto3
Warcraft 3 (although it ran too slow)

My new system is a Intel Core 2 Duo E6400, with a 256MB GeForce 7950GT graphics card, and 2GB of RAM. So what are the best games to have come out since 2003, that will look and play gorgeous on my new system? What are the hottest titles to have come out in recent months?

I've heard good things about Half-Life2 and F.E.A.R., and would like to pick up either Neverwinter Nights 2 or Oblivion (although I've never played an Elder Scrolls game). The new Might&Magic looks pretty. I'm more into single player than multi, although I've got friends who want to play Guild Wars with me...

So- what are the games that have occupied the most of your time, and what are some that will look screaming hot on my cpu/gpu combination?
December 14, 2006 8:42:21 PM

Well I would definitely recommend Oblivion. It doesn't matter if you haven't played any Elder Scrolls games before, it works very well on its own. The leveling system is kinda crappy but the gameplay makes up for it. If you do go for Oblivion, check out the mod scene, there are some visual enhancement mods that make it look phenomenal.

On the RTS side I would wholeheartedly recommend the Warhammer 40k Dawn of War games. Dawn of War, Winter Assault, and Dark Crusade have all been phenomenal RTSs and have actually innovated more than any other RTS since Dune II. Also on the RTS side I would recommend Company of Heroes. Same company as Dawn of War, but very different gameplay. There are some aspects that are similar but it stands on its own as a great of the RTS genre.

There is a new game coming out by Bioware (makers of the Baldur's gate series) called Dragon Age. You might want to check it out when it hits the shelves.

Half-life 2 came out, some love it, some don't, I didn't play it but I figured I would mention it.

For world building, Spore is due out in a few months. Whet your appetite with videos for that off of google video or youtube. www.spore.com

Good luck in your quest for new and interesting video games and congrats on your new system, but most importantly, have fun.
December 14, 2006 10:45:30 PM

Thanks for your reply. A friend of mine might be willing to let me borrow his copy of Oblivion to try out. I hope my system can handle it.

I'd never given any thought to the Warhammer RTS games before. I think I played a demo of one a long, long time ago (like, late 90s?) and didn't like it. But they might be worth a look.

Also, I used to love playing Wing Commander and TIE Fighter. I saw people recommending Freespace and Freelancer as modern examples of the space-shooter genre. But isn't there anything newer out?
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December 15, 2006 12:16:32 AM

Well there was a warhammer 40k turn based strategy game back then.

I don't know of any RTS games from that series before the recent run which is only a year or two old. Much better than anything else done with that license in the computer world that I know of.

Well.... there is Eve online, which is an MMO, but it is not so action oriented. Its kind of like pseudo turn based space combat.

Unfortunately there haven't been any real good space sims for a very long time. A lot of people liked the X series (which I think is up to X3) but I haven't really played with those.
December 15, 2006 1:09:01 AM

X, huh. Never heard of it.

Has anything good come out in terms of squad turn-based strategy? I'm thinking in the vein of X-com, Fallout Tactics, Jagged Alliance, etc etc?
December 15, 2006 1:25:40 PM

Hahah warcraft 3

I still play it esp DOTA =o
December 15, 2006 7:53:09 PM

UFO Aftermath and UFO Aftershock were supposedly really good tactical RPG style games.

Nothing real recent however. And certainly nothing remotely as good as Jagged Alliance 2.

I've heard of something called Silent Storm, but know absolutely nothing about it.
December 15, 2006 9:05:39 PM

With those specs, I doubt you will have the horsepower to play any of the newer games. I would stick to those older games and save up to buy a decent rig.
December 16, 2006 1:16:36 AM

Quote:
With those specs, I doubt you will have the horsepower to play any of the newer games. I would stick to those older games and save up to buy a decent rig.


What?

His specs are great. There shouldn't be any game on the market that he couldn't play. If that was sarcasm it was poorly played.
December 16, 2006 4:34:10 AM

Quote:
With those specs, I doubt you will have the horsepower to play any of the newer games. I would stick to those older games and save up to buy a decent rig.


Yeah, I'm confused. I put together this system for the express purpose of being able to play the games I mentioned. The 'saving up for a new rig' ended about 2 days ago, when I bought a brand new rig.

Which of those games is it that won't be playable?
December 17, 2006 2:39:21 PM

Quote:
With those specs, I doubt you will have the horsepower to play any of the newer games. I would stick to those older games and save up to buy a decent rig.


I have a P4 3.06 o/c 2G w/geforce 6600 256M plays games with decent performance. With the new DX10 around the corner, he may want to upgrade the video card in a year or so to accommodate DX10.
December 18, 2006 12:38:07 AM

Well, that would entail waiting to see where the gaming world stood a year from now. How well MS Vista is compatible with older games, how much of a system hog that OS is, etc etc.

In the meantime, if I stuck with Dx9 on WinXP, I could always just drop in another Geforce 7950 for SLI and get a reasonable power increase.
December 18, 2006 5:54:56 AM

Quote:
With those specs, I doubt you will have the horsepower to play any of the newer games. I would stick to those older games and save up to buy a decent rig.


He's just poking you.

Anyways, lot's of great suggestions.

I'm not a crazy fan of Might&Magic game. I really liked it for the first few hours. Great graphics, decent sound. Then it just hit me, this is all there is. It kinda just drones along with the same old theme till the end 6 hours later. I thought the final part of the game felt rushed.

If you played Baulder's gate, I'd try Never Winter Nights 2. It's really a fun D&D based game. It has a large base of mods and level building players too.

I just recently plugged back into the Guild Wars scene with NightFall. This is a great game and I'm happy to be playing again. You'll be seeing me a lot in the next few months. No monthly fees either.

Medieval Total War 2 is fantastic. The best large scale unit battle game I've see yet to date. The graphics, sound, and gameplay are all top notch.

Company hereos is great like the other guy said.

Have fun.
December 21, 2006 8:57:01 AM

I made a list of FPS (I think) as I too have made a new system and am wondering what is the best of these to dive into! I feel like I have missed out on LOTS.
I know 2142 combat & FEAR MP are out but for the later I didn't install gamespy so have yet to get online...plus I don't have the demoSP to even start really.
I'm wondering if any of these are any good...Enjoyed ut, ut2k3, ut2k4 (a little)...in the past...
I really like to be able to customize controls & ini & can't imagine getting stuck with only one gun to use...I need many. 8)

Battlefield 2142
Half-Life 2
Call of Duty
Call of Duty United Defence
Breed
Hitman Contracts
Call of Duty 2
Doom 3
Far Cry
F.E.A.R. MP
F.E.A.R Extraction Point
Grand Theft Auto SA
Halo: Combat Evolved
Halo 2
Hitman Contracts
Quake 4
SOF2
HITMAN2
Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
SWBF2
Prey
Prince Of Persia
Psychonaughts
B&W2
Q4
True Crime
Serious Sam2
Armed & Dangerous
Tron
KOTOR2
Manhunt
Star Wars Battlefront
Halo Combat endured
Sid Pyrates
Painkiller
Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay ...
Max Payne 2

Not to hijack but if anyone knows what is the best of the list to get me started TX in advance!
December 21, 2006 9:17:11 AM

I would recommend the following, as more or less must haves:

Battlefield 2142
Half-Life 2
Hitman Contracts
Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay
Max Payne 2

This one would be a good one to look in to:

Hidden & Dangerous 2 (good if you like hard realistic games)

Later on you might want to look in to these:

F.E.A.R.
Far Cry
Call of Duty
SOF2

Of course everyone’s tastes are different but these are what I would recommend.
December 21, 2006 10:28:21 AM

I've seen Battlefield 2142 and Call of Duty on a few lists now, and they've got my interest. But aren't they online-multiplayer only? I didn't know if they had a good single player mode- which is mainly how I'll be playing.
December 21, 2006 12:21:19 PM

Call of Duty’s main appeal is in its single player mode, but if you don’t have a good Internet connection be warned that Battle Field 2142 will not be for you. Although if you are not a fan of multiplayer games, you will be after you have gotten a bit in to Battle Field.
December 21, 2006 1:03:14 PM

If you like FPS games, I would suggest the new Rainbow Six Vegas. The game is awesome ! .... trust me. :D 
December 21, 2006 2:34:17 PM

Not really... it’s lost its whole purpose and its single player has become much less tactical… Raven Shield is still a much better game single player wise (SWAT4 is a much better tactical game). But as for the games new multiplayer, I have to say I have really gotten in to the 360s versions since it is simply a very good multiplayer game. In my view it is the best online game the 360 has yet…

Shame you don’t have a 360, or the willingness to play online though :wink:
December 21, 2006 4:40:47 PM

Thank You,
Multiplayer is my favorite *online* but, I would consider Singleplayer to Learn a game or if it is awesome in and of itself :p 

For HL2 I saw 9.99 target
and HL2 Game of the year & F.E.A.R 29.99 hmm...but then again maybe 2142 is better than all lol AH!

Did you think Doom3 & Quake 4 Bombed??(still curious of those two too)
December 21, 2006 5:25:16 PM

Picked up the Half-Life 2 Holiday Bundle (HL2, HL1 Source, HL2- Episode 1, and Counter-Strike Source) for about 40 bucks the other day- my first real game purchase for the new computer. Also, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter came with the system too.
December 21, 2006 6:52:56 PM

I doubt you'll regret HL2. That and Quake 4 were my two favourite single player FPS games I've played in quite a while. I love CS:S, but if you were'nt much on CS than it won't do anything better for you.

My other FPS suggestion is Battlefield 2. I have tried BF2142 and cannot recommend it. It does not have the same feel, I greatly prefer BF2. If you enjoy working as a team with other real people using your voice and communicating, this is the game for you. It is the most immersive communicative teamplay game I've ever played. The commander perspective is very unique as well, although you won't get to do that very often unless you play a lot. this is multiplayer only (there is singleplayer, but it's not a proper campaign, it's basically multiplayer with bots on both teams).

WoW feels like the most similar current game to D2, but it's more PVP focused, and costs a lot more.

I have tried F.E.A.R., which many people swear is an incredible game. I found it pretty immersive and freaky single player, but the weapons are HORRIBLY inaccurate, even with short burst fire, so I got really annoyed with it and stopped playing quickly.

HATED Star Wars Battlefront, it was an exact clone of Battlefield 2 in terms of gameplay, but pulled it off FAR worse. I gave it away to someone for free, just to be rid of it.

I enjoyed Might&Magic, which I agree looked really nice. However, now I remember why I stopped playing, it gets REALLY REALLY repetitive. I could'nt make it through the first campaign.

I have heard great things about Medieval Total War 2 from the kind of people who like fairly accurate large scale RTS games, though it's a slow game for me. Have heard GREAT things about Company of Heroes, have not tried it myself, supposed to be a great RTS.

I played X3 and the graphics are spectacular, I love the flight controls, but I have never got into a space sim so I don't have the patience for it. the progress felt so painfully slow. I eventually finally bought myself a second fast scout ship, and still could'nt afford to give it proper computers to run missions for me without flying wingman with me. Not to mention it's so incredily complicated to learn the game, I don't recommend it unless you enjoyed X2 (which I never tried).
December 21, 2006 10:28:33 PM

Whimper: et al...What is the difference between The Holiday BUNDLE & the Game Of The Year Edition? 8O
OH & I Have Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter too- It came with my 680i
(not installed)...
torque79:p lus I am trying to find the F.E.A.R. Director's Edition (DVD-ROM) but the sound of inaccurate weapons would frustrate me, was your pc up to snuff??? (no disrespect intended)... It just sounds everyone is so nuts over the game but I haven't found gamers stating that yet...
December 22, 2006 7:25:07 AM

FEAR is good, it did keep me playing and after I completed the game I was pleased with the whole experience. The single player is only good for one play through though and the multiplayer is rather basic and boring.
December 22, 2006 10:49:25 AM

Quote:
Whimper: et al...What is the difference between The Holiday BUNDLE & the Game Of The Year Edition? 8O
OH & I Have Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter too- It came with my 680i
(not installed)...
torque79:p lus I am trying to find the F.E.A.R. Director's Edition (DVD-ROM) but the sound of inaccurate weapons would frustrate me, was your pc up to snuff??? (no disrespect intended)... It just sounds everyone is so nuts over the game but I haven't found gamers stating that yet...


no offense taken, I know FEAR is a demanding game. :)  My most commonly played games are HL2, CS, CSS and BF2, so I am accustumed to being able to aim very accurately if I use the weapons properly. I am not used to games like Doom or UT, where there is spray radius etc more prominently. Perhaps that is a factor in how frustrated I was with this game. Others told me to use burst fire, which I ALWAYS do, but I found ranged fire was not very effective even with the assault rifle while ducking. I do seem to be fairly alone in this opinion, but I gave the game two genuine tries (the demo multiplayer, then the single player upon release), before getting frustrated and giving up.

As for my PC, I know that is not a factor, though I won't claim it is a super machine (overclocked x800gto video), but the game runs very well with tweaked down video settings. You can actually SEE the spray of your bullets in that game travelling through the air, sort of like Matrix in fast motion if you get what I mean. There's no wondering where your bullets are going, but rather you can actually SEE them going in the wrong direction from your crosshair. :) 

I will say the environment, sound and story do seem to be pretty effective in getting you right into the game, and if the fighting was more like Q4 I would have been 100% happy with it.
December 22, 2006 7:11:11 PM

Since I have the F.E.A.R. game now I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. It seems a little silly so far and you were right on in saying the weapons seem more like splash or recoil? & even looking through a viewscope to a crosshair is less accurate than just trying to use the crosshair only so far. Maybe it factors in the character wouldn't be able to handle the power of the weapon and blinks and falls back while shooting LOL. With Unreal weapons there were straight (accurate viewfinder-minus the idiot lightening gun) & splash/spray type weapons but each of those you could aim...aim maybe not the razor gun :) . Maybe I will get the HL2 Holiday bundle next... :D 

Ok Edit: Single player so far is highly addictive & zooming with new guns is much smoother 8O

Purchased 2142 @ best buy for $24!!! too...
couldn't find the gamers gift card for extra off but what a steal either way!!!
January 9, 2007 8:52:53 PM

I played Fear & Fear XP- Both were addicting, smooth, eye candy. The later has some more slightly scary things but is VERY SHORT per the $ for it unless you get a deal. Plus it is ends abruptly sigh...When is Fear 2 coming out? :roll:

So I tried to figure out which of the free games I didn't try that came with my components like Hitman 2 or Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter or SOF2. I tried Hitman 2. 8O
HUGE MISTAKE: The graphics seem so bland compared to Fear & SLOW...too slow for me after coming from unreal games.

So far I can't find Farcry, GotQuake4(14.99 Target), Rainbow6vegas (if on sale), Prey collectors edition (19.99) BB are up next.
January 16, 2007 7:48:50 AM

Quote:
I just ordered a new gaming PC, and it will be my first one ever that can actually play current PC games. My last computer, a laptop, was fine for playing games released around 2000-2002 but basically, I've missed out on the last 3 years of games.

I like RPGs, turn and rt strategy, world-building, and FPS/action games. The last games I played that I enjoyed:

Diablo 2
Baldur's Gate 2
Half-Life
Unreal Tournament
Grand Theft Auto3
Warcraft 3 (although it ran too slow)

My new system is a Intel Core 2 Duo E6400, with a 256MB GeForce 7950GT graphics card, and 2GB of RAM. So what are the best games to have come out since 2003, that will look and play gorgeous on my new system? What are the hottest titles to have come out in recent months?

I've heard good things about Half-Life2 and F.E.A.R., and would like to pick up either Neverwinter Nights 2 or Oblivion (although I've never played an Elder Scrolls game). The new Might&Magic looks pretty. I'm more into single player than multi, although I've got friends who want to play Guild Wars with me...

So- what are the games that have occupied the most of your time, and what are some that will look screaming hot on my cpu/gpu combination?


I strongly recommend Kohan 2: Kings of War.

There is no better multiplayer RTS out there.

We've got a hardcore and dedicated online crew and the game pumps!
January 16, 2007 8:06:12 AM

FEAR to Hitman 2… well of course the graphics would not compare the games about 4 years older than it. Blood Money is the one to play if you want graphics. But if the games not for you it’s not for you, it’s one of those games that you need to take your time on to enjoy. If you run through it all like a first person shooter, it will not have nearly as much enjoyment. The way to play a Hitman game is not to kill anyone really. It’s to do things in such a way that you will not get caught and if possible make your targets deaths look like they expired due to natural causes.

If you do the game right you will get that same feeling you had when watching the movie Leon at the end when he is walking away.

Absolutely excellent game.
March 30, 2007 4:45:09 PM

If you liked Diablo 2 at all I recommend Titan Quest. It's got the same style but with better quest management added in, as well as a bunch of stuff that diablo doesn't offer. It's not the newest shiniest game out there, but it's relatively new, has an expansion, and could entertain you for quite a while if you enjoy hack 'n' slash rpg's.

As for RTS I know everyone talks about the shiny new RTS games that are out and about... but I still think Starcraft, and WC3 are two of the best out there... along with perhaps Command and Conquer Generals (with expansion)... the latter may not be "one of the best" but it certainly is fun with or without people to play with.
April 4, 2007 5:59:50 PM

Quote:
X, huh. Never heard of it.

Has anything good come out in terms of squad turn-based strategy? I'm thinking in the vein of X-com, Fallout Tactics, Jagged Alliance, etc etc?


Silent Storm and Silent Storm-2 were excellent.
April 5, 2007 11:35:45 AM

Quote:

I strongly recommend Kohan 2: Kings of War.

There is no better multiplayer RTS out there.

We've got a hardcore and dedicated online crew and the game pumps!


I could never get into that game!

But for a RTS i bought Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars on the release date and oh hell yes!

Graphics won't be a problem at all as it is surprisingly low demanding but it's one hell of a game!

As far as RTS goes, it's a Must have!

I can't recommend it enough...
April 5, 2007 2:20:02 PM

I love the single player, most of the missions are actually fun.

If you love cheesy storylines..

C&C is your game!

If you want somewhat bad acting..

C&C is your game!

If you want decade old game mechanics..

C&C is your game!

If you want to see your favorite B-movie and TV show actors in a game (Michael Ironside, Billy Dee Williams (LANDO! NEED I SAY MORE!)..

C&C is your game!

If you love Ion cannons, nukes, tanks, and jump jets...

C&C is your game!


C&C IS MY KIND OF GAME!

PS It always runs flawless on ULTRA on my computer than Supreme Commander ever did on LOW or Medium.
April 7, 2007 11:02:58 PM

FEAR - Pretty entertaining single player, worth getting FEAR Extraction Point.

TES 4 Oblivion with plugins + shivering isles - amazing RPG with a lot of game time waiting for you.

Supreme Commander - RTS that will keep u hooked for hours

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of chernobyl - shooter RPG, combines the best out of both worlds (my personal favorite game so far from 2004 to 2007)

Prey - another great shooter, be ready for a different style of FPS

maybe quake 4 and HL2 if you can find them for cheap.
April 9, 2007 2:37:26 PM

One RTS game that you might not have tried is Rise of Nations. And I'm talking about the original Rise of Nations, not Rise of Legends, which is the sequel.

The game is from 2003 I think so it won't be demanding at all on your PC but what makes it great is the gameplay mechanics. The extensive tech tree, the fact that resources never deplete and the different way that all the different nations play just makes for a great game. It's fun online but you can just as easily play against the computer which is just as fun. Make sure you get the expansion pack Thrones & Patriots too.

And to reiterate, you want the original Rise of Nations, not the sequel which isn't nearly as good.
April 15, 2007 11:45:50 PM

I would recommend C&C3, even though it is missing so much from Tiberian Sun. I happen to love the acting in C&C3, since it has my favorite girls from Battlestar Galactica. Oblivion and Fear are also top notch games for your new computer.
!