The Best of Steam Green Light’s First Approvals

Steam Green Light finally approved its first 10 games to be featured on the site, and (for the most part) they’re proving why this program is such a great idea in the first place. From zombie games, to samurai simulators, to “Half-Life” mods, back to zombie games, just in the initial offering of titles we are seeing some really remarkable ideas that will soon become available for all. Ranking those initial 10 titles is no easy task, but if you want the best of the best of Green Light so far, here it is.

10. McPixel – Probably the type of game that looks fun to vote for, but won’t get that many buys, “McPixel” is an odd title to say the least. It’s made up of a series of 20 second levels where you have to achieve a goal (usually getting rid of a bomb) without many instructions on how to do so. It’s reminiscent of “Wario Ware,” and carries a very unique since of humor, but looks like it may wear its welcome faster than that classic ever did. Nothing to see here, move along.

9. No More Room In Hell – “No More Room In Hell” is a “Half-Life 2” mod that more than favors “Left 4 Dead,” but this zombie squad based FPS gets some serious points for knowing its genre. I like the variety of zombie enemies, weapons, and appropriate environments, but what I love is the scarce ammunition, lack of crosshairs display, multiple game modes (including an awesome survival mode where you hold down a zombie fort) and overall fun factor. If you’re not tired of “Left 4 Dead,” but crave something new, keep your eye on this one.

8. Cry of Fear – A “Half-Life” mod, this is one of two horror games to make the final cut. “Cry of Fear” uses the old “you have amnesia” story to throw you into a world of fear and constant terror. The goal of “Cry of Fear” is to simply throw as many unexpected atrocities at you as possible and test your limits of composure. “Cry of Fear” reminds me of a really good carnival haunted house, and its use of sound, light, and atmosphere are top notch. Also, you have to see the above video of people playing it and losing their minds to the game’s scares.

7. Heroes and Generals – Maybe the most technically proficient of the initial Green Light games, “Heroes and Generals” looks to breathe a little life in to online FPS shooters. “Heroes and Generals” allows players to either take to the frontlines in a variety of combat situations FPS style, or take the role of a commander and manage the battle in more of an RTS format. This type of game has been tried before, but has never really produced a big hit. However, the media released so far is intriguing, and the team behind the game is some of the same people who worked on the “Hitman” series and “Freedom Fighters.” It’s got a lot of pedigree going for it, and could be a quick hit.

6. Project Zomboid – ANOTHER ZOMBIE GAME? Yes, but don’t hold that against it. This may be the most conceptually intriguing zombie game I’ve ever seen, as the emphasis is on survival and not shooting. Using a sandbox mode and isometric perspective, “Project Zomboid” allows players to scavenge supplies, build safehavens, maintain their hunger and boredom levels, and of course, fight the occasional zombie. It’s so in depth, you have to consider things like hanging sheets over your windows so zombies don’t spot your lights, and already features an active mod community who contribute to the game regularly. I’m a BIG fan of this one, and you should definitely consider it if you’re a fan of the first two “Fallout” games.

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Video Game’s Dream Away Team

In case you haven’t been to Google lately, we’re currently celebrating the 46th anniversary of “Star Trek.”

Of course, providing the influence for one of the more entertaining and complete Google Doodles in some time is pretty far down on the lists of long term accomplishments for the classic series. Of those, one of the greatest has to be the cast of characters assembled on the show, which is such a motley combination of personalities that debates on favorites still, sadly, wage on with frightening ferocity to this day.

Of course many of those same fans have also wondered how they and their friends would fare as part of a space crew. The sad truth is, many of us would likely destroy the craft after getting hammered on that mysterious blue alcohol stuff and start randomly flipping switches while making the traditional sound effects.

The world of video games, however, is filled with capable crew members. In fact, I can think of a few that would I even trust enough to helm the U.S.S. Enterprise itself.

Captain: Nathan Drake

You could say that Nathan Drake’s lack of the “official” captain rank, as well as his inexperience with the finer points of space travel would make him a questionable candidate. However, as Captain Kirk himself taught us all, the real qualities of a captain lie in his fearless nature, magnetic personality, ability to seduce women of all varieties, and flawless fist fighting skills. Nathan Drake has all of this in spades, and no matter what the job (he was once the man who climbed a wrecked train in the snow with a bullet in him, remember) I have faith that he is the only character capable of leading such a crew.

Red Shirts: Lemmings

The red shirts of “Star Trek” got no love, but without their  countless sacrifices, our heroes of the U.S.S Enterprise would have fallen many times over. Much like those noble crimson clad heroes, lemmings are equipped for a variety of tasks, but their main job in life is dying over and over. The best part is they do it with glee, without a shred of discontent to be found amongst them. When I’m looking for a staff of generic, replaceable, overly loyal crew members to fill my ship with, it has to be the lemmings.

Doctor: Mordin Solus

Ok, so “Mass Effect” is basically the “Star Trek” game we never got, so this is kind of a cheat.  Oddly enough, however, the video game world is not flush with capable, traditional doctors. Mordin Solus can not only heal a broken limb, or cauterize a wound, but his interstellar work experience has given him invaluable experience into dealing with every type of galactic calamity that may arise for a variety of species, while retaining the ability to keep a calm mind not motivated by personal conflict, and instead focused on what is best for all. Combined with his ability to project fire and ice from his bare hands at will, Solus is the only sawbones I want on my video game away team.

Second in Command: Gordon Freeman

He and Solus would have both been great candidates for the number two position on the crew, but Freeman has long proved himself as not just a capable man of science (even though the one experiment we saw him in went horribly, horribly wrong), but a leader of men as well. For reasons never quite explained, Gordon Freeman is a multi-talented, never wavering killing machine that has the ability to quickly decipher a variety of on the fly brain teasing situations. Frankly, he gets it done like no other video game character. While he doesn’t have the personality to lead a crew, he’s a better second in command than anyone can hope for.

Engineer : Cid Pollendina

There’s been many variations of the Cid character, and while many of them were engineer types, and some people prefer the gruff Cid Highwind from “Final Fantasy VII,” to me the only engineer your team needs is “Final Fantasy IV’s” Cid Pellendina. He’s a little more fun loving than some of the other Cids, yet his work ethic is unwavering, and unlike Cid Highwind, you never have to worry about him falling into a bout of alcoholism, or for his nicotine withdrawals to interfere with his work. Also you can only really trust an engineer with a full beard.

Lieutenant: HK-47

There’s a school of thought that says that a good lieutenant is always learning, fiercely loyal, and ready to step up and take charge at a moments notice. HK-47 has many of those qualities, but only if the mission is killing meatbags. Otherwise this assassin droid has a slight attitude and tendency to question orders, which can tend to discourage all but the most sociopathic of crew morale. However, sometimes you want an officer who is going to question your decisions, yet ultimately follow your final orders with machine like efficiency. HK-47 is that officer.

Communications: Cortana

While lacking a physical form, though you wouldn’t believe it due to some creepy fan art out there, Cortana was made for communications duties. A constant source of information, whatever Cortana doesn’t know she can learn. Plus, much like the average smartphone, she can be taken anywhere and is ready to help whenever you need it. While she has lost her virtual mind in the past, making her something of a potential loose cannon, Cortana’s otherwise high level of artificial intelligence and intense loyalty make her the only real candidate for the job.

In any case, she’s much better choice than SHODAN.


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