Developed by Obsidian and published by LucasArts in 2004, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords is a fitting sequel to one of the best Star Wars games of all time.
Serious Sam’s Bogus Detour is exactly what the title of this game implies… a curveball in the Serious Sam series.
Developed by Swedish team Crackshell – in association with original Serious Sam developer, Croteam – and published in 2017 by Devolver Digital, this is an overhead shooter with pixel-based, retro-style graphics. And it is bloody brilliant! Better even than the Serious Sam games it is based upon.
Broforce is a satirical, side-scrolling run and gun shooter, with superb pixel graphics, and I can’t recommend it highly enough!
It’s a ‘modern retro’ game, in that: it’s a modern game (it came out in 2015), trying to look retro, and it works fantastically well. Broforce is so much fun to play…
Portal is a legendary first-person puzzle/gravity game developed and published by Valve in 2007.
I say “gravity game” because Portal combines basic physics (acceleration, velocity, gravity, and inertia), with the ability to open up entry and exit portals, to create a game so beautifully simple-yet-complex that it is almost beyond belief…
Thimbleweed Park is a point-and-click adventure, released in 2017 by Terrible Toybox, and co-created by ex-LucasArts employees Gary Winnick and Ron Gilbert.
In case you didn’t know: both Gilbert and Winnick have been involved in the making of some of the best games of all time, including (but not limited to) titles such as: Ballblazer, Maniac Mansion, The Secret of Monkey Island, and Day of the Tentacle.
Planescape: Torment is a highly regarded – if somewhat bizarre – Infinity Engine-driven level-grinder that was first released in 1999.
This new remake – released in 2017 – was developed by Beamdog, using the same enhanced engine as developed for their Baldur’s Gate remakes. Which is great in my opinion because the new engine is brilliant.
Created by Black Isle Studios using the BioWare‘s acclaimed Infinity Engine, Planescape: Torment is a classic Role-Playing Game with isometric graphics and a simple point-and-click interface.
BioWare‘s 2002 release, Neverwinter Nights, is a bit of a giant on the RPG scene.
Not only is it a detailed and engrossing Role-Playing Game par excellence, but it also plays host to a huge modding community. It’s also well-known as a multiplayer game too and features campaigns that can be played single or multi-player, and also features Player-versus-Player (PvP) combat.
As a single-player game Neverwinter Nights is a treat for anyone who loves RPGs. The Aurora Engine is a little clunky at times (inventories especially), but is more than capable of making any scenario enjoyable and engrossing.
Playing Neverwinter Nights feels like a mixture of Fallout and Warcraft – mixing real-time and turn-based gameplay with a multi-character party/control system. The game is a mixture of exploration, dialogue, and tactical combat and uses 3D graphics to represent the game world (unlike BioWare‘s previous games, which used 2D graphics). And – like any good RPG – the quests come thick and fast and are managed in your journal. Items, spells, weapons and armour are organised via pop-up menus.
When you enter combat you are encouraged to use the game’s extremely useful ‘pause’ function. Like ‘VATS’ in Fallout 3 (or Fallout New Vegas), combat in Neverwinter Nights features the ability to stop the action; move the camera; and stack up commands, all while the action is paused. You can play the combat out in real time if you’re good enough, but the pause feature definitely tips the balance in your favour. Followers and party members can also be macro-managed very precisely using this ‘stop time’ function, or you can leave the AI to let them do what they want. It’s good to have the choice. Once you’ve gotten used to the control system, though, you’ll see that this is a seriously complex and tactical game – very challenging in places; especially on the hardest difficulty setting.
One aspect of Neverwinter Nights that I love is the music. It reminds me of Bernard Hermann‘s classic movie scores that he made for Ray Harryhausen‘s famous films (particularly 7th Voyage of Sinbad), with a sprinkling of more modern John Williams. There are a couple of musical cues that seem very familiar, but to me it makes the game comforting – even though the gameplay is very tense at times.
I can’t recommend Neverwinter Nights highly enough if you like RPGs.
The 2006 sequel, Neverwinter Nights 2, is more of the same and just as good, and better looking overall.