Xbox 360 game suggestions?
May 21, 2009 1:06 PM   Subscribe

Just looking for some suggestions on a new shooter type Xbox 360 game for someone that plays occasionally.

Right now I have three games. GTA IV, Rock Band and Tony Hawk Underground. I play GTA IV more than the other three and want to pick up another game along the same lines.

I don't play GTA that often but every now and then I will pick it up for a stretch and continue with the plot line. What I am looking for is something similair that allows me to follow a plot line if I want or if I have a friend over just go around and shoot stuff. Been looking at Call of Duty, Halo 3, Gears of War (2??), and Fallout 3. Anyone have any input? I don't plan on buying more than one so I would like something with a lot of game play in it, but something that is also just fun as hell when I am not following the plot along.

I am open to other suggestions as well. Thanks in advance probably can't reply for awhile.
posted by WickedPissah to Computers & Internet (37 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It won't be that helpful when you have a friend over - but I'd suggest getting the Orange Box. You can play through Half-life 2/episode 1/episode 2/portal when you're by yourself and looking for some linear story mode play. You can fuck around with TF2 when you're in the mood for some multiplayer fun. Plus there's a large update coming out for TF2 at the end of the month!

You can pick it up for around $20 bucks these days. Talk about a lot of game for a low price
posted by Arbac at 1:10 PM on May 21, 2009

Crackdown. Free-form FPS with just enough plot line to pull you to see different areas of the city but plenty of side action and replayability.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:11 PM on May 21, 2009

Best answer: Saints Row 2 is pretty nice. VERY similar to GTA, gameplay wise, but much more ridiculous, kind of cartoonish. Maybe a little less polish, overall. Also, the driving is more arcade-ish compared to the slightly more simulator-ish GTA, but I prefer it that way.
posted by owtytrof at 1:15 PM on May 21, 2009

Seconding Orange Box. Just Portal by itself is amazing.
posted by General Malaise at 1:17 PM on May 21, 2009

Best answer: Saints Row 2.

Like GTA IV only without the boring take your friends out to play pool side missions. Just shoot stuff, and explode stuff. I had waaay more fun in Saints Row 2 than in GTA IV.

Multiplayer co-op is a blast too if your friend also has a 360. You can drop in and out, play bits of the story, or just explode stuff for fun.

Check out the Zero Punctuation review.
posted by BOfH at 1:18 PM on May 21, 2009

Best answer: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

The single player gameplay is quite fun and varied, albeit short. The real draw is the online competition. There are dozens of different online competition modes from the standard deathmatch, team deathmatch, and numerous variations on capture the flag.

Easily the game with the most replay value I own.

There's a new release in the franchise named Call of Duty: World at War. I'll get it if a I ever achieve all the badges in the online competition of CoD4.
posted by jsonic at 1:21 PM on May 21, 2009

Stay away from GoW is you want a lot of game play in it. It's a great game, but Fallout 3 is friggin big. It actually might turn you off to it. I'm not a big fan of GTA type games, I need some scripted stuff to be happy.

I'm just gonna throw out Assassin's Creed. Took me awhile. There's a lot of different things you can be doing in the world, like GTA. And being an Assassin is just bad ass. And it's an open world like GTA.

I'm thirding the OJ box. I can't strongly recommend it, as I'm a PC gamer, and these kinds of FPS' belong on the PC (imo). But Portal is an amazing puzzle game, HL2 is incredibly engaging single player, and TF2... well if you've seen Reddit or Digg recently, every TF2 player in the world is hanging on Valve's every word waiting for an update. Valve is also very aware of price points and DLC.

I would consider, with your limited budget, looking at Castle Crashers and Braid, two great games available on the cheap on XBLA.
posted by teabag at 1:31 PM on May 21, 2009

Inspector.Gadget, Crackdown is a 3rd person sandbox game, but worth playing nonetheless.

I second Orange Box. BioShock is another fantastic, innovative game. No multiplayer, though.

Fallout 3 is an RPG with some shooter elements.
posted by alzi at 1:33 PM on May 21, 2009

I found TF2 to be a disappointment on the 360, since you can't join specific servers.

GoW2, Halo 3 and Crackdown are great choices here, IMO.
posted by mkultra at 1:39 PM on May 21, 2009

Orange Box is indeed awesome, but it's not the thing to pop in when you have a friend over -- it doesn't support split-screen on any of its games.

Halo 3 and the Gears games both have good split-screen co-op campaign modes, and of course Halo's online multiplayer is, well, legendary. Halo 3's single-player campaign is short and disappointing, though.

Call of Duty 4 is very popular, but in my one encounter with it I didn't find it especially easy to just pick up and play, which might be a factor for playing with friends.
posted by jjg at 1:41 PM on May 21, 2009

Best answer: i highly recommend halo 3 for the casual shooter. if for no other reason than the multiplayer. i'm not a fan of CoD, so i can't tell you about what it's like. but halo 3 has excellent multiplayer and solo campaign as well. i can go a week without playing and pick it back up, no problem.

bioshock, to me, is a little more in depth and less like a casual game. i don't feel like i can go too long without playing it or i will forget what i was doing (in the middle of it now).
posted by itsacover at 1:43 PM on May 21, 2009

My most memorable gaming experience was putting on Bioshock for about an hour each evening, and gradually finishing it over the course of a month. The story is SOOOO good, and taking it in in little pieces like that made it feel like a month-long movie. It's still swirling in my head.

Same experience, to a lesser extent, with Half-Life 2 and the episodes.

So, consider this a very strong recommendation for Bioshock, and a strong one for the Orange Box.
posted by jbickers at 1:55 PM on May 21, 2009

Mega Man 9

Hands down.
posted by PowerCat at 1:56 PM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Fallout 3 or Gears of War if graphics are important to you.

Bear in mind that Gears of War 2 isn't for even the remotely squeamish, as you literally end up sloshing through the blood. Excellent cover system, they pretty much invented that, but I don't care for the way the multiplayer works so much.

Fallout 3 is just an all-around great game. They worked hard to get licenses for the music and voice talent and everything, so it has this authentic feel. You can choose your options during the game and change what happens, so you can replay the campaign. Huge map. I sat in on the demo by the game designers at PAX and was impressed with the effort that went into creating the game, plus it's just fun to pay.

All the Call of Duty games are playable forever, IMO. Online multiplayer is brutal (I die in seconds sometimes) but huge.

The newest Riddick game is addictive; it comes with both the original Butcher Bay game (but newly HD remastered) and the new Assault on Dark Athena. It's not pretty, since most of it is in prisons, but when you come outside the water is really well done (probably doesn't matter to you but I notice the little artistic touches).

Halo 3--If you are a Halo fan, the original is still the best, and it's a lot cheaper.

Don't know your age, but my kids are teens and weren't interested in the Orange Box (disappointed me, as I've heard good stuff here). YMMV.
posted by misha at 1:58 PM on May 21, 2009

Cheap Suggestion: Black (didn't make it to 360 though).
I'm a casual player not a real fan of the shooter genre but really liked playing this one. I definitely reccomend picking up a used copy.
posted by doorsfan at 1:59 PM on May 21, 2009

Oh, yeah, and you didn't mention Bioshock, but I loved that game. First one I finished before the kids, because I just didn't want to put it down. Seconding itsacover on that.

Thing is, we don't replay it now that we've gone through the campaign, though. No multiplayer.
posted by misha at 2:00 PM on May 21, 2009

Cheap Suggestion: Black (didn't make it to 360 though).

Forgot about this one - it's actually available as a download under Xbox Originals, for 1200 points I think.
posted by jbickers at 2:06 PM on May 21, 2009

Nthing Saints Row 2 (I think it's a better game than the awkward, soul-less GTA IV, though I half expect lightning to strike me for daring to say that), Fallout 3, and lovely, lovely Bioshock.

Of the four parts of Orange Box, I loved Portal (of course), enjoyed Team Fortress 2 but wished it had a single-player/story/puzzle mode, and was disappointed with Half-Life 2 (too linear and boring, and the driving is hell.)
posted by rokusan at 2:06 PM on May 21, 2009

Left 4 Dead. Game of the year.
posted by Alex Voyd at 2:17 PM on May 21, 2009

Oh good lord I have a suggestion for you... if you can find it. It wasn't exactly an A list title, being a badly translated, cheap Japanese action game.

Earth Defense Force 2012.

It's the most fun co-op experience I've ever had. It's third person so it doesn't fit your description perfectly, but essentially, you run around shooting giant ants, spiders and robots with unlimited ammunition.

Kill all the bad guys = level complete. There is no plot, just invading alien bugs and robots that must be stopped at all cost. There are 60+ levels and 60+ weapons, and with 4 or 5 difficulty settings, it's THE BEST pick-up-and-play co-op experience ever. In two words, I would describe it as mindlessly satisfying.

Even better, there's a sequel coming out some time soon.
posted by jozzas at 2:18 PM on May 21, 2009

Whoops, looks like it was actually called Earth Defense Force 2017 in the US... and I thought there was a sequel :(

It got a few 9/10 reviews back in the day such as this one, and was described as a "gamer's game" and "inexplicably fun".

There appear to be plenty of $15 copies on eBay in the US, too.
posted by jozzas at 2:28 PM on May 21, 2009

I would strongly recommend Fallout 3. The map is huge, the graphics are good, and the story is interesting. The only downside is lack of multiplayer, but I prefer multiplayer games on the PC. I liked it much better than Bioshock. The shooter element is a little lower than in Bioshock though, a lot of times in Fallout 3 you want to switch into the turn-based aiming control to take out an enemy.

Crackdown is kind of silly, but if you can get it for under $10, it might be worth it.
Saint's Row 2 looks silly but more polished than Crackdown, I've never played it.

Call of Duty or the Orange Box might be better for you if you're looking for traditional FPS games with good online multiplayer.
posted by demiurge at 2:35 PM on May 21, 2009

I love fallout. I've caught myself, more than once, playing until I hear the birds waking up outside. Bioshock looked good, but I beat it in about five hours, and I don't like paying what works out to be $10 for every hour of gameplay. Fallout has kept me entertained for MONTHS. But, if you're into shooters, you may hate the automated targeting system in Fallout (which you don't have to use, other than in the tutorial scene at the beginning). It is, as discussed, one player. But it's just awesome. I have GTA 4 and haven't touched it since I got fallout. Even after having it for months, and beating the game and all the expansions, I still find something new every time I turn it on and wander around a bit. I am in awe of how mind-blowingly expansive it is.

The Halo series really is the go-to for multiplayer shooters, though. And you can get the first couple super-cheap these days, either as downloads or used from a store (I think I paid all of $9.99 for Halo 1 new at Best Buy, come to think of it). They're both compatible with the 360.
For that price I'd grab the first one, which still looks REALLY GOOD for being from a previous-gen console, and see how you like it, before dropping $50 on the latest one.
posted by Kellydamnit at 2:52 PM on May 21, 2009

A shooter type Xbox 360 game. Okay:

Gears of War 1/2 are both GREAT co-op games, and are a lot of fun to play through with a friend. GoW2 is pretty fun by yourself as well, as the AI is not completely stupid. The original becomes an exercise in frustration.

Saint's Row and it's better sequel are considered the lighter versions of the GTA series now. GTA IV headed toward heavy storylines and plot, Saint's Row is just about having fun and killing people.

Crackdown is kind of like GTA with superpowers, and is really fun.
posted by graventy at 4:02 PM on May 21, 2009

Best answer: But I love shooters and feel I could help you tons if you gave me some idea of what you liked.

Do you like atmosphere? Playability? Multiplayer? Story? More RPG.

Recommendation #1 - Bioshock. highly inventive. fun. incredible world and art/design. great story too.

#2 - Halo - nothing beats it for sheer gameplay physics. perfectly balanced. not clumsy. great online multiplayer.

#3 - Call of Duty 4: modern warfare - fantastic single player. a blast. if you're truly casual, this is my #1 recommendation as it is the most accessible.

-orange box is great cause there's a lot of dexterity to the different game selection, but I like others above more.

-fallout 3 is an amazing game, but it's an 80 hour role playing game. not a shooter. in fact most of the time you use a "vats" engine which is very un-shooter like. If you want a big rpg w/ shooter elements however, i recommend it highly.

-the gears of war franchise is by far the most over-rated series on the planet. Don't bother.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 5:22 PM on May 21, 2009

Crackdown is like GTA, in that you can shoot people, explore a city, and steal cars. Except you can also jump around the city like the Hulk, and all around become baisically the original Superman, only with a rocket launcher. It is around 15$, and there is a free demo you can download that lets your skills level up more quickly, so you can get an idea of what the game is like with maxed skills.

The Orange Box is all of Half Life 2 to date (a game and two expansions) as well as a first-person puzzle game that is better than the hype, and the only fun online FPS I have ever played. All for 20$.

I really though Bioshock was crap, personally. Halo3 was miles better than Halo2, but still middling compared to Halo1 or Half Life2.
posted by paisley henosis at 5:32 PM on May 21, 2009

Response by poster: Wow I opened a can of worms here. Thanks everyone for helping out and I wanted to add a little more info to see if it helps, much.

Age is mid thirties.

Other previous gaming experiences on PC I played Unreal Tournament A LOT for a period of my life. I was a big fan of large realistic maps in that one. Played mostly online and as I got better ended up gravitating towards all sniper rifle maps. Kind of a track and kill thing going on there. Got really sick of it all the sudden and stopped playing.

Back in the day I played a lot of the Delta Force games. Loved the giant maps fairly realistic for the time period.

Did have a stint playing Half Life PC and that was pretty damn good but I lost interest.

Leaning now towards one of the Halo games or possibly Call of Duty or Orange Box. May get my hands on Fallout 3 when I can.

Hopefully that helps narrow it down.
posted by WickedPissah at 7:18 PM on May 21, 2009

Response by poster: Saints Row has piqued my interest too.
posted by WickedPissah at 7:19 PM on May 21, 2009

I would probably recommend Mercenaries 2. Used, it is an excellent deal. It is a 3rd person sandbox, but I have had tons of fun with it.
posted by slavlin at 8:23 PM on May 21, 2009

Best answer: I'm surprised more people didn't recommend Mercenaries 2 -- yes, it is third-person, but the sandbox is so large and so filled with toys that there's really no chance to notice. And when I say toys, I mean TOYS. So many different kinds of helicopters, tanks, jeeps, guns, sports cars... oh, and I forgot, BOMBS (somanyf-ndifferentkinds)! You get to blow up oil derricks, caves, bunkers, and anything else the computer throws at you. Oh, even a shantytown. That was a guilty pleasure.

The only downside is that beating it takes so long, there's really no replay value. But I probably still played mine for a good 30? 40? hours. It was outrageously fun. And cheap, since it's older.

Along the same lines (merc blowing sh-t up in a third-world country), I just got Far Cry 2 on Tuesday, and have been tempted to just drop everything that I do and play 'round the clock. It's FPS, and you're in this African nation embroiled in civil war -- you work to unlock guns, gain friends (who save your ass if you are about to die), take on missions, track down diamonds strewn across the countryside. Pretty fun, all in all. My only gripe is you can't mess around and throw scopes on guns like COD or Army of Two. Oh well. Oh, and it's BEAUTIFUL graphically. Again, also cheaper because it's old.

If I had to rate (and opinions are cheap, because everyone has one) --
GTA, obviously king of the hill > Mercs 2 > Saint's Row (1, not 2 -- never played 2 but it looks silly) > Far Cry 2, which is still a quality game.
posted by the NATURAL at 2:17 AM on May 22, 2009

Call of Duty 4, Assassin's Creed, Gears of War 1 & 2, all three Halos.

I probably loved Assassin's Creed the most out of all those and I'm primarily a first-person shooter fan.

Definitely the Orange box too. The Half-Life 2 series is like playing through a movie, more so than even the Halo series and Portal is a revelation. Half-Life 1 is seriously dated, even the Source Engine version, but makes me all nostalgic.

I have GTA IV and it LOOKS outstanding. I just haven't felt like playing it that much. Feels repetitive to me but maybe that's because I haven't gotten that far.
posted by friarjohn at 9:51 AM on May 22, 2009

I'm in my mid-thirties. I played an unhealthy amount of UT back in the day.

Halo 3 should be your first choice.
posted by mkultra at 11:28 AM on May 22, 2009

Best answer: Crackdown.
For god's sake.
Get this.
posted by Sully at 1:39 PM on May 22, 2009

Response by poster: Damn way too many choices.

For price considering Saints Row 2, Mercenaries 2 and Far Cry 2. Figure I can scoop up a couple of those for the price of some of the bigger name games. BUT also leaning towards just one of the big name games. Most likely COD 4, Halo 3.

Either way thank you all for your help.
posted by WickedPissah at 1:40 PM on May 22, 2009

Response by poster: Also now considering Crackdown after that suggestion.
posted by WickedPissah at 1:51 PM on May 22, 2009

It seems you've already decided, but I'll second jozzas' suggestion of Earth Defence Force 2017 - his description of the game is pretty accurate, and I completely understand his recommendation.

For what it's worth, I have played GoW1, Halo 3, Bioshock and The Orange Box, and I honestly prefer EDF 2017 to each and any of those games (perhaps not TOB but that's actually 5 games in 1...). It's the game I always show first to my friends whenever they come to my house to play something, and so far all who've played it loved it, unlike with most other games.
In case you haven't yet done so, I really think you should read the Eurogamer review that jozzas linked to in his post just to.

EDF 2017 is actually the third in a series, the first two games being released in Japan for the PS2. The second game was released in the West as EDF 2 / Global Defence Force, and some consider it to be the best of the three, look here for a few comments on it that, barring a few details, equally apply to EDF 2017. I've never played it, so I can't really recommend it over the Xbox 360 version. Supposedly, EDF2 has the advantages of having more levels, more enemy types, and a second playable character able to fly; on the other hand, it has no widescreen support and is more prone to slowdown.
posted by Bangaioh at 3:12 PM on May 22, 2009

Response by poster: Well opted for Halo 3 for now. So far it's pretty sweet. Thanks all.
posted by WickedPissah at 4:16 PM on June 10, 2009

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