Christmas is just around the horizon, and like every year it will come with a full stocking of games that will have players of all ages counting the days until the holiday season. While some titles like Halo: Reach will be out in September, and other titles like Rockstar’s Max Payne 3 won’t arrive until the New Year, there are some excellent titles that should hit the shelves just in time to make the perfect gift.
Call of Duty: Black Ops (Xbox 360, PS3)
The ongoing series returns with both a single player campaign set in the Cold War and new multiplayer modes. For the first time the franchise will have an offline multiplayer bot mode called Combat Training, where you can practice and groom your skills before you go online. A wager mode will also be introduced where you can bet Call of Duty points on matches, the top three finishers splitting the winnings. All new weapons customizations have been implemented as well. You can turn your targeting reticule into a smiley face, and stick custom decals onto your weapon. Tier 1 perks will allow you to customize your player to give him a unique look.
Fable III (Xbox 360)
Peter Molyneux is often mocked in the gaming community for his notion that in Fable you can do anything, but to realistic gamers this is seen more as a mantra the game strives for rather than a literal fact. Real innovation happens slowly and incrementally, and Fable has always been about trying out new ideas. In Fable III, Molyneux hopes to remove some of the clunkiness of traditional RPGs by eliminating many of the menu functions and relying on the game universe to alter your weapons and clothing. While the Fable series has never been as good as Bioware titles in letting choice affect the main narrative, Fable III has always been more of a sandbox game than a true RPG, and it’s those features that have customers waiting for its release
Fallout: New Vegas (Xbox 360, PS3)
Set three years after the events of Fallout 3, the bright lights and desert wastelands should add a perfect backdrop for this post-apocalyptic odyssey. The game is being developed by the good folks at Obsidian Entertainment, many of whom worked for Black Isle Studios on the original Fallout game and sequel. The setting should add a little more life to drab, vapid brown landscape of Fallout 3, while still maintaining much of the jazzy charm, mutant tussles, and life-altering decisions that makes Bethesda one of the leading publishers of open world gaming.
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