THG 2003 Holiday Buyer's Guide

PC Gamers Have Good Titles To Select From This Holiday Season

PC gamers have numerous good titles to enjoy this holiday season. The titles that top our list this year are "Call of Duty," "XIII," "Max Payne 2," "Halo For PC," "Rise Of Nations," "Deus Ex: Invisible War," "Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic," and "Madden 2004."

"Call of Duty" was previewed by THG game reviewer, Weston Patch, at Quakecon 2003, where we told us that it was a title to keep our eyes on. The end result of this title is stellar, and it is perhaps one of the most interesting World War II games of 2003. While the graphics in this game are top notch, it offers a much broader range of system requirements range than many of the other games that we have seen this year. Still, it should not disappoint gamers and has become a huge hit with gamers who like this game genre. You can read our full review of the game here .

"Rise of Nations" is an excellent real time strategy ("RTS") game that delivered a huge wallop at its release and continues to remain a strong favorite. "Rise Of Nations" was selected as one of our Editors' Choice titles this year, and continues to be a game with long play value. You can read more about this game in our review of it here .

If you seek a game that offers pixel shaders that can push your new graphics card to the limit, we suggest "Deus Ex: Invisible War." This game has incredible dynamic lighting and bump mapping effects that will give your DX9 graphics card a good workout. "Knights Of The Old Republic" pushes the Star Wars saga to new heights with some great vertex shader effects and pixel shader work on the light saber, which provide this game with a unique look. "Madden 2004" is still the best of the best, as far as sports games go for the PC. The reflections in the visors and the blades of grass that are visible on the playing field showcase the programmable shader power within this excellent sports title.

A Screen shot from Halo for PC.

While the reviews of "Halo for PC" were quite mixed due to the hefty system requirements of the game, "Halo for the PC" is one of our favorite games this year. The incredible bump mapped effects, as well as the dynamic lighting, make this game look significantly better than its originally released Xbox version. However, we only recommend this game for those with PCs that exceed the system requirements recommendations by a large margin in order for the game to deliver its best performance. Still, if you have a system that can run this game at its recommended highest levels, you will encounter a game that offers multi-player mode (this was not available in the original Xbox release), plus several new weapons and additional levels not found in the original Xbox release. We still stand by our claim that "Halo for PC" is an Editors' Choice title, and is a game that you should own if you have a system that is capable of running it well. You can read our complete review of "Halo for PC"

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