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PC Gift Buyers Guide Part 1: Shooters

There’s a little over a week left to buy gifts for the gamers in your life (Or to provide hints for the people buying games for YOU).  So, Player Affinity has put together a guide you can use to choose presents for your pals, or you can send this out to grandma so she won’t buy you a copy of Wii Tea Party for Christmas.  The first part of our guide is for shooters, and we’ll cover a different genre every day.  

If there’s any genre that dominated the gamespace in 2010, it was the Shooter. True, this could be said about many other years, but there were plenty in 2010 in particular. In fact, there were so many shooters released this year, it’s hard to choose which ones to buy for yourself or your loved ones this Christmas. Here are the ones that you should buy, and the ones that you should avoid. 

Shooters to Buy

1) Call of Duty: Black Ops – $59.99

I thought that I might as well get the obvious game out of the way first. Yes, Black Ops is a great game, with an intense singleplayer campaign, and content rich multiplayer. Yes, it’s published by the Evil Empire themselves, Activision. It’s everything you’d expect out of a modern Call of Duty game, and then some. If you or your friend don’t already have this game, and you have the PC powerful enough to play it, then getting it would be a sound decision. 

2) Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – $19.99

Bad Company 2 is a different experience than Black Ops. Bad Company 2 is a game where the competitive online multiplayer requires teamwork, rather than simply allowing it. The objective-based gameplay and dynamically destructible battlefields will suit those looking for a slightly more tactical experience, while remaining fun to play. The singleplayer is short, and a bit on the weaker side, but Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is a game worth buying. 

3) S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat – $19.99

On the far end of the mainstream spectrum, farther than Black Ops or Bad Company 2, is S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat. You may remember S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Cheronobyl from 2007, and this is the first S.T.A.L.K.E.R. release to be a direct sequel to that game (Rather than a “Prequel”) which is satisfying for fans of the series. The gameplay is slower than many shooters on the market right now, and with things like food, sleep, and weapon conditions to worry about, it is less than accessible. However, it does clean up plenty of the bugs and flaws from the first two S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games, and the gameplay, with its exploration and firefights, is enjoyable. If you’re looking for a long singleplayer experience with realistic gameplay, Call of Pripyat is a fine purchase, at only 20 dollars.  

4) Borderlands GOTY Edition – $49.99

Borderlands is an open world co-op shooter with RPG elements mixed in. This game was released back in 2009, but a Game of the Year Edition has come out, including the 4 downloadable expansion packs, which are $10 each. Borderlands is heavy on getting better weapons and gear, and this makes playing it a consistently rewarding experience. It helps that the shooting isn’t half bad, either. Borderlands’ GOTY Edition is a great value at $50, for a $20 game and $40 worth of extra content. 

5) Killing Floor – $19.99

At first glance, Killing Floor can easily be written off as a Left 4 Dead clone, in that you fight zombies (the game calls them Specimens, but really, they’re zombies), and that you’re meant to fight them in co-op. Look much closer though, and you’ll see it’s a very different game. The shooting feels much different, and packs a bigger punch. The one game mode is a wave-based survival mode. For the $20 you spend, you’ll get an incredibly enjoyable and gory co-op shooter that should last you for a month at least.  The developer is holding a special Christmas event in the game at the moment, which makes it especially suited for a gift. 

Shooter Not to Buy

Medal of Honor – $59.99

Medal of Honor is EA’s attempt at reviving their once AAA shooter franchise, and it fails on multiple fronts. Despite what the advertising may have told you, this is not the most realistic shooter ever. The singleplayer is not fun, and only 4 hours long. The multiplayer is mediocre at best, even though it was developed by the same guys who made Battlefield: Bad Company 2. If you want realism, get S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat. If you want great multiplayer, get Black Ops or Bad Company 2. Just don’t get Medal of Honor, a forgettable military shooter at premium price.

Click HERE for our Gift Buyers Guide to Horror Games.

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