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Best PC Video Games 2010 Holiday Guide E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Games
Written by Adam Pizzo - Edited by Olin Coles   
Wednesday, 08 December 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Best PC Video Games 2010 Holiday Guide
Call of Duty: Black Ops
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty
Fallout New Vegas
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty

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Name: Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty
Platforms: Windows, Mac
Release Date: July 27th, 2010
Published By: Blizzard Entertainment
Developed By: Blizzard Entertainment
Genre: Real-Time Strategy
ESRB: Teen for Blood and Gore, Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence
Website: us.battle.net/sc2
Price: $54.03 from Amazon.com
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SC2_Raynor.jpg

The much anticipated sequel to a game that has its own e-sport in South Korea finally hit the shelves earlier this year. Starcraft 2 is an improvement in almost every way imaginable. A real-time strategy game that includes three unique races with completely unique tech trees and units, a beautifully crafted gaming engine with great scalability, a superb storyline, and one of the best online multiplayer experiences out there, Starcraft 2 has the makings of one of the most fun games of 2010.

SC2_Story_Mode.jpg

In the story mode, Blizzard gives us 29 single player maps dealing with Jim Raynor and his journey to finally overthrow Arcturus Mengsk from power. Along the way you'll meet some new allies and enemies and you'll explore the lore of the Starcraft universe. Just a heads up, you'll only be playing as the Terran in this game as Blizzard has broken the story up into a trilogy for Starcraft 2. Some say to milk money from us consumer's, but with all the things the single player mode offers I don't think we'll be disappointed by the content in future releases.

SC2_Mothership-Assault.jpg

During the campaign you have access to a wide variety of things you can do. Each mission rewards you with money and research if you fulfill the objectives to it, along with unlocking new units. You can spend the money on upgrades in your ships armory and the research points in the lab. These allow a unique and customized experience every time you play the game.

SC2_Bnet_Login.jpg

If you were a fan of heroes in Warcraft 3, you'll be a bit disappointed that they don't make an appearance in Starcraft 2, save for the few times you get to use special units in the story mode. That being said, the map editor does come with ways to enable it, and recently Blizzard reveals it's making a DOTA (Defense of the Ancients) like map that will be released free of charge sometime within the next year. Also included with Starcraft is Battle.net 2.0. Battle.net 2.0 includes Facebook friend adding and synchronization of friends lists between Starcraft 2 and World of Warcraft. Future games by Blizzard will also include this feature.

SC2_High_Templar_Storm.jpg

Even with a great campaign, the multiplayer is king in Starcraft 2. With tons of achievements to work for, a much better matchmaking system, a nearly flawless balance of races, and addictive game play leads to one of the best RTS experiences I've ever enjoyed. There are a couple downsides to Starcraft 2, but nothing that should disqualify you from picking it up. Firstly, there's no LAN support anymore. This means you can't just run it off your local network anymore. Secondly, the game has online regions that you're limited to for multiplayer. This means if you have a friend in China and you both have Starcraft 2, you still won't be able to play together. Other than those qualms, the game is rock solid, and you should definitely check it out this holiday season.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: Best PC Video Games 2010 Holiday GuideRobert17 2010-12-09 04:00
In your reviews I note that WoW was online only (didn't I?). Otherwise, all these titles can be played solo? I ask due to the fact that I travel quite a bit, and without a laptop at that, so I don't really have much time for building up much team play following.

Yes, I know it sounds dumb, but this is the main reason I haven't bought a new game in years. It's about time though.
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# almost allresere 2010-12-09 05:47
depend on your tastes, my preferences are:
Fallout NV: yes. some crazy fans state they go ap tu 200 hours or more IN SOLO. 1st for me from the list. i'm playing it right now. (try to compare with stalker series, metro2033 and other immersive games, HL series maybe to far but for me the etalon. so yes a good game, IMO those mentioned are better, but it works just fine)
Starcraft WoL: yes. good campain, not too big but ok.
Call of Duty BO: yes. been there done that. despite de good or bad rumours, it's a good game.
Tom Clancy, wow: didnt try them, but based on previous releases, yes.
Travel a lot? ok, but prepare with a powerful enough laptop: go Fallout or Starcraft.

I dont want to criticize this review. i guess it's based on sales or some. otherwise games top it's very personal.
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# RE: RE: Best PC Video Games 2010 Holiday GuideAdam 2010-12-09 11:11
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and H.A.W.X.2 both require internet, so if you don't have a reliable internet connection I would suggest sticking to one of the other games. Fallout New Vegas will probably give you the most bang for your buck in terms of solo game play.
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# Two Worlds 2Wayne 2010-12-09 04:03
This is what I'll be playing, and right now it's Nehrim the free addon to Oblivion which I feel is even better than Oblivion. These guys could have sold it on the market and made money.48k
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# COD:BOBrian Boucher 2010-12-09 05:36
We bought COD:BO. It's a fun 'FPS'. However, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is the 'gold standard' for FPS's... not even close. If I had to decide between the two, it would be BBC2... far superior...
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# Your a God of men, lolSWAT 2010-12-09 09:06
You should join us at #epgamers.com

BBC2 Forever.................until BF3 is released, lol
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# RE: Best PC Video Games 2010 Holiday GuideOlin Coles 2010-12-09 09:09
I still love and play BF:BC2, and consider it the best FPS currently available. On the other hand, I've been playing CoD:BO for a month now and it's finally grown on me. I still think it's full of cheats and hacks, and it's totally unrealistic, but it's fun to customize so many aspects of the game. Too bad Medal of Honor was such a lousy game, because it wasn't worth the time I spent on it.
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# RE: RE: Best PC Video Games 2010 Holiday GuideAdam 2010-12-09 13:33
Cheats and hacks? I've been playing it (a lot) since release and not come across a single hacker. What most people think are cheaters are in actual fact just players who have learned how to use the UAV/motion scanners/blackbirds in the way they were intended.

On the other hand, optimisation and textures are a pile of wank, the spawn system is laughable, knife horribly overpowered and several guns are utterly redundant. It's still a good game, just a bit...flawed.
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# You need to be educatedSWAT 2010-12-09 17:13
codehook.com / callofdutyhacks.com thses are just a few. Each of them have 1000's upon 1000's of subscribers. You know what the bets part is? They don't get caught very often and if they do, they obtain a key generator and get right back online again. So soak up this educational moment and know......................hackers in the COD world are out there.

SWAT ....... Ex-COD Hacker.
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# RE: You need to be educatedAdam 2010-12-10 05:37
I'm not denying there are hackers at all, seen several vids of people using walls already but considering I've not come across a single one I'm either very lucky or they're rare.

May I ask why you (or did) hack on CoD? I mean, playing computer games is already seen as pretty sad, cheating at them seems even more pathetic...
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# RE: RE: You need to be educatedOlin Coles 2010-12-10 08:24
Who considers it a stigma to play computer games? I've never met anyone that thought I was odd or antisocial for playing games, and I'm a pretty social person.

Are the kids at school picking on you Adam? :p
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# RE: RE: RE: You need to be educatedAdam 2010-12-10 10:56
Heh, luckily I'm plenty old enough to be out of our wonderful public school system.
But come on you must admit that gaming is not exactly seen as the coolest hobby ever, attempt to start up a conversation about it with any normal (non-geeky) person over the age of about 18 and you're likely to make them run for the hills.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: You need to be educatedRobert17 2010-12-10 15:50
Not necessarily so Adam. I'm a grampa and I've been playing computer games since the early 70's. And I know a grandma who's kids just got her hooked on Battlefield online; she's getting her own XBox for Christmas. I'd never have called her geeky, ever, never, ever.

Lighten up. Enjoy. And Merry Christmas.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: You need to be educatedAdam 2010-12-11 14:25
It'd be awesome to have grandparents like you. Unfortunately whilst mine are still great fun they're rather typical for their age of not being the most technologically adept.

Perhaps I was just born into the wrong part of the world but gaming is still seen as a somewhat geeky passtime around here. But then it is Essex...
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: You need to be educatedSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2010-12-12 15:40
Most people in the UK don't know much about computers, I know because I'm from the UK. When I talk about games they ask which console I play on and when I say PC they laugh... When they see the level of detail their smug smile soon departs. It is due to ignorance and lack of knowledge that people think PC's are geeky. When their PC goes wrong they soon want my help though...
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: You need to be educatedServando Silva 2010-12-12 17:29
Yep, I pretty much feel the same way. Best part is when they want to compare games between consoles and PC.
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# RE: RE: RE: Best PC Video Games 2010 Holiday GuideRagingShadow07 2010-12-09 17:14
I've seen maybe 10 hackers so far. I've had to ban three or four of those ten from servers I admin. Didn't take long for them to get around VAC (for now) but at least it's not ridiculous like MW2 (yet)...
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# RE: Best PC Video Games 2010 Holiday GuideAdam 2010-12-09 11:17
Imo, Treyarch is still playing catch-up to Infinity ward. Most people don't even know they're done by different developers. I loved Modern Warfare 2, but I also played it on Xbox Live for the largest chunk of time and not PC. I haven't played much PC FPS games since Counter Strike 1.6 and Source Days. Has anybody seen the news about Gearbox picking up Duke Nukem Forever? That will definitely bring back some nostalgia from Duke Nukem 3 days.
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