Grand Theft Auto IV
Yep, GTAIV is as awesome as you knew it would be, but not for the reasons you may have guessed. Sure, the Sgt. Pepper of amoral sandbox games moves into the next gen with shiny graphics, greater freedom, and better game play, but the real draw is the storyline. NYC stand-in Liberty City offers maybe the most immersive environment ever coded, and you’re free to roam around it — wandering into random buildings, shooting pool, or just watching digital people living full digital lives — or just eff it up GTA-style, now with improved driving and shooting controls. But you’ll probably forego alot of free play until you’ve completed the enthralling story mode. Martin Scorcese’s directed several films that aren’t as well-made and awesome as the cut scenes here.
Army of Two
Playing Army of Two reminds me what my mother always told me about sex — “With the right partner it can be wonderful, but try it by yourself, and Liberace’s ghost will filet your scrotum in your sleep.”
Playing this third-person shooter solo won’t leave you sitting up all night holding a pan over your crotch, but the basic idea still applies — it’s a lot more fun with a friend. The game’s design, in fact, makes it impossible to complete missions without help, so find a partner or you’re stuck with the computer. (Geez, this is like sex.)
Army of Two’s AI doesn’t suck, exactly, but being a bad-ass mercenary in a luchador mask isn’t nearly so fun when you’re stuck babysitting a bot. Playing with nearly any human is better -- even a drooling mental degenerate, or your girlfriend. Give this game two stars playing alone and four with a partner, and give EA credit for practically forcing you to be social for once.
UP>> A PITHY GUIDE TO RIDING THE WEB
Pmog.com: You’ve heard of Massively Multi-player Online Games (I know you hear me, Widows of Warcraft), but today Surf’s Up offers you an alternative that isn’t a time-vampire … at least not to the extent of say, EverQuest II. PMOG (that’s Passively Multi-player Online Game) “allows you to leave traps or gifts” on any of the web pages you’d be surfing anyway. Yes, you actually get points — even badges — for living your everyday virtual life.