Holiday Gift Guide 2013: Pt 2 (First person shooters and action/adventure games)

This part of our holiday gift guide will deal with videogames for all types of gamers and for all ages. Since many games are multiplatform releases, they’re going to be listed more under genre and who the games might appeal to. Again all prices are USD and may vary in your area.

For the shooter enthusiast

Battlefield 4- Available for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and the PC (59.99). Powered by a new Frostbite 3 engine, the game delivers some terrific visuals across its single player campaign and its online multiplayer, which is where many will spend a majority of their time. As in previous outings, the game features destructible environments and combat on land, sea, and in the air.

Call of Duty: Ghosts- Available for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, and the PC (59.99). An all new story with new characters takes you through a fairly lengthy single player campaign, featuring a variety of combat scenarios, including space combat. And for several levels you have Riley, the dog, to help you out. As always there are plenty of multiplayer modes and two co-op modes- Squads and Extinction, which is similar to the zombie modes in World at War and Black Ops, only featuring aliens instead of the undead.

Bioshock Infinite- Available for the PS3, Xbox 360, and the PC (39.99). This time the fight is taken to the skies in the city in the clouds Columbia. You play as Booker, a man tasked with a mission to bring back a girl to wipe away a debt. That girl in question is Elizabeth, and she proves to be a handy companion as she has some tricks up her sleeve to help you navigate a city embroiled in a civil war. The graphics are fantastic, and people are still talking about the game’s ending.

Metro: Last Light- Available for the PS3, Xbox 360, and the PC (49.99). Journey again with soldier Artyom into the tunnels and dwellings beneath a nuclear war ravaged Moscow, along with a few trips to the poisoned surface. Mutant beasts will end your life quickly, but the human factions may be worse. There are two different endings, depending on the actions you take. A different post apocalyptic game worth checking out.

Gears of War: Judgement- Available for the Xbox 360 (39.99). A prequel to the Gears of War trilogy, this outing focuses on Kilo Squad, led by Damon Baird and Augustus Cole. It features a few new additions to the series gameplay, OverRun, a new class based competitive multiplayer mode, a Smart Spawn System, and a Mission Declassification system that unlocks new scenarios and achievements.

Killzone Mercenary- Available for the Playstation Vita (39.99). One of the best shooters made for a handheld gaming system which begins after the ending of the original Killzone. You play as Arran Danner, a former soldier turned mercenary, through events that span the Killzone trilogy. It has a multiplayer mode in addition to its roughly nine hour campaign, and enhances the familiar dual-stick FPS control scheme with touch and tilt  controls to further enhance gameplay.

For the adventurers who crave a bit of action

Tomb Raider- Available on the PS3, Xbox 360, and the PC (29.99). Square Enix reboots Lara Croft with an intense tale of survival on an island filled with cultists and pirates in addition to some deadly wildlife. Plus there are even a few tombs to uncover and explore. There is a multiplayer mode which is fairly standard and forgettable, but you’ll want this for its single player which gives us a more vulnerable Lara, who grows over the course of the game into the confidant and capable action heroine the series is known for.

The Last of Us- Available on the PS3 (59.99). Naughty Dog’s journey across an America ravaged by a deadly fungal borne disease that turns its victims into cannibalistic monsters. You play as Joel, an embittered man who has lost a great deal, who must escort a young girl named Ellie across the country as she may hold the key to saving the human race. By turns thrilling and touching, you must use both stealth and brutal combat to survive. The multiplayer mode is extremely well done, making this game a complete package.

Grand Theft Auto V- Available on the PS3 and the Xbox 360 (59.99). Rockstar’s crime saga is one the this year’s biggest releases, in both game world size and game content. The map of San Andreas is huge, giving varied environments from trailer park towns in the desert to the city streets of Los Santos, with plenty of spaces in between like forests and an ocean that can be explored both above and below the waves. There’s plenty to do, from the main story line that allows you to switch between its three characters on the fly to playing golf, hunting, or taking in a movie. The game also includes GTA Online, an ambitious multiplayer which got off to a rocky start and has yet to see its true potential.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag- Available for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, and the PC (59.99). The sixth entry into Ubisoft’s sprawling sci-fi historical epic series. This time you’re placed in the boots of Edward Kenway, father of Haytham and grandfather of Connor, the two playable characters from Assassin’s Creed III. The game only barely touches on the whole Assassin-Templar conflict, giving a well told stand alone story of a man with great ambitions tries to make a name for himself (along with wealth and glory) in the 18th century Caribbean, which also happens to be the seat of the Golden Age of Piracy. This game will definitely make you feel like a pirate, and its vast game world has plenty to see and do beyond the main story, such as naval battles, hunting, searching for treasure both on land and underwater, and carrying out contracts. The multiplayer is quite fun and varied as well, but sadly doesn’t feature naval battles. However, the single player game has more than its share of fighting on the high seas.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds- Available on the Nintendo 3DS (39.99). An all new Zelda adventure, taking place in the world established in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. The game allows you to slide between both 2D and 3D to maneuver along walls and between two dimensions at war with each other. The game boasts smooth visuals and controls, and is being well received by both fans of the series and critics.

More suggestions to come in other categories. Stay tuned!

Thomas Juretus

Born in 1963. Enjoy videogames, movies, comics- anything that tells a story. Have written three novels (The Zarchler Chronicles Book One: The Cassandra Crisis, Shalgroth The Zarchler Chronicles: Book Two, Madman's War The Zarchler Chronicles: Book Three) all published and available through PublishAmerica. Currently working on my fourth book, a sci-fi/murder mystery. Leet Gamers Asia
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