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"Pretty" game recommendations for idiots like me

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March 6, 2007 12:10:39 PM

Hey everyone,

This forum is new territory for me. You see, I have some nice hardware, the purchase of which was primarily motivated by a need for optimal performance of Flight Simulator X (I'm a real-world pilot.. who can't really afford to fly very often. Thus, I've resigned myself to a hardly-realistic simulation).

I can't help but feel that with my rig, I should be enjoying more entertainment. But I don't know where to start! Years of higher education and working to pay off expenses of said higher education has kept me out of the gaming world for awhile.

I'd like to get back in, but I approach modern games like I would developing J2EE portals. They're friggin' COMPLICATED!! Here's where I'm at: XBox and PS are too hard for me. Too many buttons! I simply don't have time to learn the intricacies of modern games.

Here's what I like: Doom 2: Just a couple buttons. Myst and Riven: Just a mouse involved, and lots of eye candy.

That's what I'd like to ask my fellow THG members: What sort of eye-candy games would you recommend to me that I can quickly ramp up and play? I'm interested in Doom 3, Quake, etc, but I'm sure they've increased in the number of buttons I have to learn. Screw that, I don't have time.

And what's everyone's obsession over "World of Warcraft?" All I know about that game is what I learned from that South Park episode, and they made it look pretty damn complicated.

SO... I lack both the dexterity and time to learn how to play most modern games. Any recommendations for games that don't involve gameplay that requires a college course -- but is high tech and justifies the purchase of my hardware?

Thank you all so much :) 
March 6, 2007 3:57:53 PM

Buy a Wii...

Seriously. If you want a simple intuitive control scheme, that is what the Nintendo Wii was designed for. I cannot think of any pretty games that are very simple to play for the PC. You play a flight simulator for gods sake, those are some of the most complicated games out there.

My honest recommendation, if you want to get back into PC gaming, is to pick up a genre that you are pretty sure you will like, take a great modern game from that genre, and play. Yes there will be a learning curve, but it honestly won't take too long before you get used to it if you just dive in and do it.

Here are some genres and some of the better games to come out on them for the PC recently.

RTS Warhammer 40,000: Dawn Of War
4X Galactic Civilizations II
FPS FEAR
RPG Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Action Prince of Persia
MMO World of Warcraft

But if you really are intimidated by complicated controls, get a Wii.
March 6, 2007 11:22:59 PM

Wow man, I guess you're right.

But the Wii doesn't have a GeForce 8800! :evil: 

Yeah, the FSX thing is damn complex but I dropped some $6 grand on how to learn that game.

I'm so out of things.. I didn't know there was a Myst 5! I like those surreal-type games. Has anyone played it? Recommended?
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March 7, 2007 12:25:58 AM

I played the original Myst, but haven't really played with that genre since.
Though if you want a trippy, fun surreal game, check out Psychonauts. Its a bit kiddie but a LOT of fun.
March 7, 2007 6:47:10 AM

With that kind of system that you have you will probably want to try Crysis when it will be released later this year. That game is supposed to have the best graphics and physics that PC games can offer before year 2008. The developers of Crysis are not even bothering with an Xbox or Playstation version of the game because modern consoles won't have enough power to run the game with full graphics and physics. :twisted:

All decent modern first person shooters use AWSD + mouse combination as default for moving around, looking and shooting. Controls in these type of games have become more simple than they were before the 21st century. If you master AWSD + mouse, you'll be able to play Doom 3, Quake 4, Unreal Tournament 2004, Half-Life 2, Battlefield games and even some role-playing games (Oblivion probably uses it too). Crysis, Unreal 3 and Unreal Tournament 2007 will most likely use the same controls.

A - strafe left
W - move up
S - move back
D - strafe right
Spacebar - jump
Left Mouse Button - shoot

In older first person games like Doom 2 controls usually involved the cursor buttons:
Left - turn left
Up - move up
Right - turn right
Down - move down

In modern games there is no more need for 'Turn Left' and 'Turn Right' buttons because you turn by moving the mouse to the left or right. Basically you use the mouse to look in any direction you want and then you use 'W' or 'S' to walk forward and backward. 'A' and 'D' are most important during battles to dodge and strafe.

In old 3D first person shooters default controls were quite nasty compared to the modern solution. Strafing was harder because you had to tap Alt or Shift in addition to other buttons and in some games you had to press 'Page Up' or 'Page Down' buttons if you wanted to look up or down.
March 7, 2007 8:44:34 AM

How much time do you really have to play games?

You can normally go through a tutorial of how to use a game in about 30 minuets. If you want a game that will hold your hand and tell you how to play in every respect then Black and White 2 is right up your street. Fun to play and graphically intense so it has all you need. Oh and that game lets you play GOD so it can get really interesting. It will also tell you what kind of person you are, be it Evil or Good.

I really got in to the Myst series of games and I have just recently completed 5, it was much more easy than 4. But then again 5 has a fully 3D interface/environment and as such the number of buttons you ‘CAN’ use has increased. Although you can use just the mouse but it can be kind of clunky when you restrict your self to just that option.

Medieval 2 Total War also comes to mind as a fairly simple game to use, as it really needs only a mouse to control your entire army. It is a fairly complex game to use in other respects but once you get the hang of it the game becomes extremely rewarding.
March 7, 2007 4:07:14 PM

Strategy games can be played using only the mouse too.

Most experienced players learn the keyboard shortcuts for speed, but there's nearly always icons that are clickable for those of us with rubbish memory.

I'd recommend Company of Heroes as an excellent RTS - and it looks pretty too.

If you like to play at a slower pace, turn-based strategy may be your thing. In which case, go for Civilisation IV or Galactic Civilizations II. Both are excellent games that you'll get plenty of mileage out of.
March 14, 2007 11:49:50 AM

Your post made me chuckle. All I could think of was the days of the Atari 2600 and my father having a hard time with the one-button joy-stick. Of course, the ironic thing is that my kids now mash out 15 button combos on the console controllers and I have no idea how.

You mentioned some interest in Doom3. It is very simplistic and lots of fun. Not the best shooter, but the atmosphere was great and your hardware will not even sweat at the highest detail levels. Frankly, its just movement and shooting.
March 14, 2007 1:14:34 PM

Oblivion is a great game, good looking, and fun.

My 14 year old sister plays it, so... it should not be too hard for ya 8) .
March 14, 2007 4:42:21 PM

Quote:
Though if you want a trippy, fun surreal game, check out Psychonauts. Its a bit kiddie but a LOT of fun.


Yes!!!! Psychonauts is awesome. Easy to learn, fun to play, and a joy to watch.

Quote:
I'd recommend Company of Heroes as an excellent RTS - and it looks pretty too.

Absolutely, Company of Heroes is my game of the year for '06. Probably the best RTS since StarCraft, in my opinion. But it could be too complicated for a guy who doesn't want to push a lot of buttons.

Doom 3? It's a good game, but here's my advice. Skip it and try The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay. It looks amazing and has normal mapping like Doom 3, but the gameplay and story are far superior. I will not hesitate to pimp Butcher Bay out because it's one of my all-time favorites.
March 21, 2007 12:06:50 AM

If its just complexity of controls that bother you, then maybe strategy games like civilization IV or heroes of might and magic 5 would appeal. Their graphics are not conventionally great, but they are increadibly fun, use only a mouse, and you have all the time in the world to think about your next move.

I second the medieval total war 2 suggestion as well. Amazing graphics, and quite a challenging game, but with scalable difficulty. Doom 3 was horrible IMO, although it did have its moments. It looked good though...
March 21, 2007 8:46:05 PM

How about warhammer 40k. While COH has better graphics in warhammer it's fun! And you can paint your troops too. Nothing "prettier" than a couple of hundred pink space marines rushing your base :) 

Also vote for Medieval II total war. Great graphics and gameplay.
March 21, 2007 9:00:17 PM

Although I'm one of the very people that have no issue with complex commands etc., I can understand what you mean entirely. I still feel that a lot of games have control schemes that are way too complex.

Though I don't own one myself, (yet) I would concur with the Wii, even though it, like any other console out now, lacks the shinyness of graphics you can get with a GeForce 8800 card. :p  In one word, the controller is "intuitive;" for most games, at least, you simply pull a logical motion to do the appropriate action.

For the PC, though, sadly, "simple" games that are high on graphics power are hard to find. I might suggest some demi-complex ones, though. One is The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Yes, it uses a similar control scheme as most FPS titles, defaulting to the "AWSD" setup Morton described, but the game is ridiculously addictive. And I mean addictive. Once you pick it up, you'll find it hard to put down. And it's probably the only game out there now that, with the settings pushed right, it can bring your graphics card to its knees, and produce imagery good enough to make you cry.
March 21, 2007 9:03:30 PM

to be honest I was a bit dissapointed with Oblivion . Ture it had great graphics and freedom but it had no depth :( 
March 23, 2007 11:21:32 PM

Sounds like you guys have hit most of the ones that occurred to me at first. I'd like to add that real-time strategy games are going to take some time to learn if you're not familiar with them (I think those of us that have been playing them for a long time take it for granted that they make sense to us out of the box).

Still, if you like board games you can hardly beat Company of Heroes and Dawn of War. Just think of them as board games where you don't have to wait your turn to move.

I wouldn't even dip your toe into an MMO unless you really want to spend the time on it. World of Warcraft is a slippery slope with no bottom. Take it from someone who's been sliding down that mountain since before the game came out.

If you just want to see your PC pushing pretty visuals, run the free version of 3D Mark.
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