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Letters from the Front

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Twitter is currently obsessed with the hashtag #GameStruck4 , which is variation of #FilmStruck4, apparently it’s a challenge where what films define you or that speak something to you, the foundation of what you have become.

So, Twitter came up with a variation on that hashtag and the community is blowing up about it so I decided to join in. I really wish it was more than 4 games, but given how much videogames have been part of me ever since childhood and I hope to make a career out of it, I found a way out of a list about 10 games to narrow it down to 4 games so let’s started.

Half-Life 2

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At the time, which was 2004, I was curious about Half-Life 2 given I played the prequel back in 2001. I was curious on how Valve would approach Half-Life 2 as I thought the first one didn’t really need a sequel and was fine on it’s own.

As soon as I got to Route Kanal, I knew this game was going to be something special and indeed it was special. By the end of the game, I was blown away at what Valve crafted. They really upped the first one and Half-Life 2 became one of my favorite games of all time.

Halo 2

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Halo 2’s greatest contribution was the Xbox Live component, the original Xbox Live that launched in 2002 after the Xbox released. It was a template for how online games on console would be from then on out, the experience was pretty juicy as well even though I had a mic and never used it because of what later come to be known as “Squeakers.” and people would make fun of you for it. Halo 2 was maybe out of all the games I’ve played throughout the course of my childhood, one of the most memorable.

The single-player too was pretty superb although much like Halo: CE, it left alot to be desired while it was a vast improvement to the original and continued the storyline of the Master Chief and his allies. The story was more fleshed-out and I didn’t like that ending, it was just too abrupt. Anyways, Halo 2 was a freaking masterpiece. It was one of the best experiences I had outside of Rainbow Six 3.

Medal of Honor: Allied Assault

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A year before Call of Duty would make it’s appearance in the annals of gaming history, there was one little game that would kickstart the beginnings of Call of Duty. That game was Medal of Honor: Allied Assault.

MOHAA is what we called it back in 2002. It was developed by the same team that would go and begin the franchise known as Call of Duty that would later be the biggest franchise in the world. MOHAA was a gem of a game, much like Call of Duty, a year later, it would form me into the gamer I am today. It was a special kind of game, it was the first cinematic game without the need for a story or cutscene. The story was in the background and it was all about the gameplay, it was a very cinematic game and one level in particular would cement the whole game in the annals of gaming history.

That level was Omah Beach. That whole sequence would be something I wouldn’t see again over the course of the 16 years I’ve been playing videogames, Omah Beach was harrowing and scary. The bullets, the artillery shells, your teammates falling onto the sand beside you as the MG42’s raked the beach as you slowly moved up towards the seawall. The audio in that level was harrowing and scary, that whole sequence made the game for me on top of what followed after that mission: Fort Schemerzen, infiltrating the Siegfried Line, and clearing out the Nebelwerfers from the Bocage to make way for the American tanks to move on through the French countryside. MOHAA would mold the type of gamer I would become, I hope to see another sequence in a WW2 videogame like the Omah Beach sequence in Allied Assault.

Call of Duty

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A year after Allied Assault released, a game popped up on PC and was a PC exclusive which was marketed by Activision. It was a small little game called Call of Duty and featured the exploits of not only the American point of view but also the British and the Soviets as they pushed through to Berlin.

Unlike Medal of Honor which was the big A-Lister movie that featured the American point of view, Call of Duty was the B movie featuring not only just the American point of view but also the three other perspectives that participated within World War II and each part of the game has a distinct atmosphere that really brought the real sense of the Allies and brought the real sense and scale of the war to life without feeling gimmicky or felt like you were watching a movie, much like Allied Assault , the original Call of Duty never forgot that it was a game.

Infinity Ward made it’s name with the original Call of Duty, it became a benchmark for not only World War II era games but also World War II era PC exclusives for the rest of the ‘2000s with it’s unique storytelling and great multiplayer that would later become the focus as later games delved deeper and deeper into the multiplayer.

What’s your #GameStruck4? I would like for you to write yours down in the comments below or write a post about it and link it to me on Twitter!

 

 

 

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