Gordon Freeman is one of the greatest protagonists in video game history. He is weak, easily killed, and about as far from a soldier as possible. He is silent, and while he does have a face, his persona is so limited that while we play as Gordon, we put ourselves in the HEV suit. Gordon represents every one of us geeks that want to save the world. When playing Half-Life, we become the hero- we don’t even have to imagine ourselves as some 8ft tall space marine with enhanced genetics. Half-Life 2 was one of the greatest games ever made, and no one will ever be satisfied with how it ended. Half-Life 3 will never be as good as 2. It is possible, but Valve has so many expectations to live up to that anything less than the perfect game would be unacceptable. Half-Life 3 could be the greatest thing to ever happen to this industry, but if it is anything less, it will be compared to Duke Nukem Forever.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
(yes, it already has sequels, consider that proof of how right I am)
Call of Duty 4 was a brilliant game. It took that fluid, fun gameplay from the previous entries in the franchise and mixed in a great story, characters, and incredibly deep multiplayer. We forget just how revolutionary this game was at the time. We bash the new Call of Dutys for being derivative and repetitive, because they are. They took this game and tried to improve on it, to capitalize on it, and to turn the success of the best multiplayer shooter into millions of dollars of revenue a year. This game was brilliant, and its sequels, especially MW2 and MW3, only tarnish its memory
The best creative experience in the history of games, a virtual Lego set with zombies and other terrifying enemies, and low quality graphics that manage to amaze all make Minecraft amazing. It is one of the best selling games of all time, and because of its nature as a downloadable game, it constantly benefits from updates. It is ever improving, and its community is ever growing. Sequels are only good for two things: telling more of the story, and improving on flaws. Minecraft has no story, and its flaws can be fixed by updates. A sequel would only try to improve the graphics and add features that are unnecessary. Minecraft is Minecraft, and we don’t want anything else.
Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception
When I found out that Naughty Dog was working on The Last of Us, I was over the moon. The Uncharted series is one of the best of this generation, let alone on the PS3. Nathan Drake is a brilliant, lovable and realistic protagonist. From a purely technical standpoint, few games stand up to the environments and set pieces of Uncharted, and the story stands out as one of the best in years. While Sony desperately needs an exclusive that will carry them as far as Halo has carried Microsoft, Uncharted is not what they are looking for. It is too story driven, and it has to end. Drake is only human, and too many adventures will break him. The ending of Uncharted 3 was perfect because it was really an ending. Nate and Elena will finally be able to relax (with the occasional skydiving trip to keep Nate from going into adrenaline withdrawal). Sully can retire before his heart gives out, and perhaps play grandfather to Nate’s kids. It’s nothing exciting, but it is an end. Indiana Jones taught us that three is the best number of epic stories for a treasure hunter, and we all wish Drake a happier retirement that Indy. Sony can find another mascot.