Games of the Decade: Part 4

The staff of Video Games Daily complile their ultimate list of the decade’s 65 greatest games. Part 4: Edwin.

By Kikizo Staff, December 30, 2009

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God of War

There’s a reason we have such a patchy picture of Ancient Greek civilization, and that reason is around seven feet tall, ash-coloured and armed with vicious, flaming dual chain-blades. Here’s a little Yuletide diversion for you: try to think of a mythical beast, deity or famous specimen of Attic architecture that Kratos hasn’t torn apart in his travels. Sony Santa Monica’s incredibly violent latter-day odyssey pushed the PlayStation 2 to its limits with a degree of interactive spectacle even seventh generation console titles struggle to best. Far more forgiving (on normal mode, anyway) than Japanese rivals Ninja Gaiden and Devil May Cry, it put the hack and slash genre within reach of players who lacked the patience to learn a combo tree inside-out.

Further Reading: Review, Review (sequel)

Gears of War

There have been better optimised shooters. There have certainly been more original shooters (any PlayStation preachers anxious to unburden themselves of those match-winning words “Kill Switch” – now’s your chance). But Gears of War is still, for me, the game of this generation. Anyone who disputes this should cast their eye over the massed ranks of bastard imitators reviewers have choked down in the three years (has it only been three years?) since release. Blind fire, precision aim, the SWAT turn – Gears of War might not have introduced these terms to the dictionary, but it pushed them right to page one. It also hammered home the necessity of high definition, was the first game to consistently trouble Halo 2 on Xbox Live, and showed that even the dumbest of grunt IPs could enjoy moments of self-deprecation and wide-eyed wonder. Iconic, through and through.

Further Reading: Review, Review (sequel)

Left 4 Dead

The best four player game since Gauntlet, and the best zombie game of all time (sorry Resident Evil, but there’s only so many grid-based inventories a man can stomach). Every shooter fan has their own Left 4 Dead anecdote, be it getting lassoed by a Smoker right on a Safe House doorstep, or catching a Tank in a painstakingly arranged gas cylinder trap at the rendezvous point. Exactly the sort of eccentric, fecund design-by-reduction we’ve come to expect from Valve, and one of the main reasons co-op is enjoying renewed popularity among action game developers.

Further Reading: Review (sequel)

Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved

Tightly contained old skool incandescence from a company best known for burning rubber, originally released as an add-on for Project Gotham Racing but since risen to standalone, genre-defining status. God knows how many points have been racked up on Bizarre Creation’s psychedelic wireframe shooter, but Xbox Live Arcade’s success is one clear consequence.

Further Reading: Review (sequel)

Resident Evil 4

If I had to pick a gaming moment of the decade, it would be that opening village sequence. It’s a testament to Capcom’s confidence in the drastically altered design that the heat is turned up so early. You’ve only just got your head round the sexy shoulder cam (not to mention retrieved your jaw from the carpet after taking in the visuals) and suddenly you’re accosted by an entire army of worm-eaten Children of the Corn extras, wielding a regular Wurzel’s Choice of hedge-trimming implements. But that’s nothing to the shock of finding that the franchise’s trusty ole’ doors are now an imperfect defence, as your pursuers stab raw knuckles through the slats or rake their fingernails down the windows. Nothing to the shock of shooting one in the kneecap and watching him crumple, shrieking, around the joint, rather than maintaining a stately zombified advance. And nothing, of course, to the shock of getting your head chainsawed off by one of Sackboy’s less sociable cousins. This Gamecube reinvention had all the campy shlock lunacy, square peg puzzles and pattern-based bossing of prior Resident Evils, but its level of cinematic direction and open-ended fight choreography were, in a nutshell, revolutionary.

Further Reading: Review

Feature Navigation

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One Response to “Games of the Decade: Part 4”

  1. Freddy Mirto says:

    Well that is one side of the story. I dont disagree but there is always additional information. I’d also recommend checkout out my blog


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