It seems to be another “golden age” of video games for me. Recently I’ve had the fortune to play Bioshock, World in Conflict, Stranglehold, and Halo 3 (which was just released yesterday!). Bioshock is one of the best games I’ve played in over 2 years… immersive storyline, beautiful environments, and the creation of a world that sucks you in. I highly recommend you go get it if you like first-person shooters.
World in Conflict is a strategy game – similar to Command & Conquer, Company of Heroes, and Warcraft 3, except that it does add some novel gameplay. Gone are the standards such as base construction and resource gathering, instead you focus primarily on the fighting. It takes place in 1989 with the premise being that the Cold War never ended and the USSR invaded America and Europe. Let the weapons fly and the cities be destroyed.
Stranglehold is a John Woo movie come to life. If you can remember the action scenes from “Hard Boiled,” you basically know what this game looks like. White doves flying into the air, bullets flying in slo-mo, and furniture and glass shattering all around you. Even better they have Chow-Yun Fat voicing the lead character.
Halo 3 – well… you all have probably heard about this one. Tons of hype about it, they’re expecting the first day sales to exceed USD 150 million! More than Spiderman 3 took in on their opening weekend. It’s fun, fast, furious action (another first-person shooter). Multiplayer is where I think it really shines as being able to play online with others, through all the various match types is great. Even better is yelling insults through the microphone at whomever you’re playing against. (Last night I played against people from Croatia and Taiwan at the same time… I don’t think any of us knew exactly what we were saying to the other person, but the intention and emotion was still conveyed).
Anyway… my birthday is coming up soon! So I had been thinking about what I should do for it. I’ve had parties and gatherings in the past – one memorable year was when we all dressed up as golfers and went on a pub crawl to different bars under the guise of playing “pub golf.” Naturally, as people had drinks any semblance of “pub golf” went out the window and it was just a group of people drinking while dressed in ridiculous outfits. A fun time. Another year I had a barbecue at my apartment.
This year I have decided to run away. It’s pleasant to escape the trappings of urban life once in awhile. The glass and steel skyscrapers of Singapore, the always-on-the-go mentality, the MRT trains roaring beneath the feet, SBS Transit buses plastered with smiling people advertising toothpaste or hair growth formulas… the cascade of e-mails and inquiries, blitzing lights along the waterways, construction sounds, fouled taxis, and crush of people that move you along…
Yes, sometimes it’s nice to go away.
I am going to East Timor for 10 days. On my birthday I hope to be at one of the lazy seaside towns, sipping a beer, laying in a hammock, wearing shorts, flip flops, and feeling the sun streaming down on me. All the while having absolutely nothing I need to do or anywhere to go.