I know a lot of you come here because I talk about MMO issues and news. I’ve also heard that deviating from your format in blogging = death. That said, here we go;

If you haven’t tried The Orange Box from VALVe yet, I can’t recommend it highly enough. For those of you who don’t know about it, it’s a bundle of Half Life 2, Half Life 2 Episodes 1 and 2 (VALVe’s new episodic content for the HL2 universe,) Portal (An addictive and challenging, if short, puzzle/action game,) and Team Fortress 2.

I got The Orange Box a while back after my son got it and recommended it to me. I already had Half Life 2 and HL2 Episode 1, so I initially didn’t go for The Orange Box (TOB) since I hate re-buying stuff that I already own. I had been looking forward to TF2, and the only way to get it currently is in TOB. It’s still technically in beta, and this is a stroke of marketing genius. The TF2 trailers are amazing, and the art direction on the game really flipped a switch with me. If you haven’t seen it yet, it reminiscent of Warner Brothers meets The Incredibles (see video above. ) The game play is definitely classic team First Person Shooter (FPS) and it’s one of the most interestingly balanced games that the genre has seen. There are 9 classes to play and depending on the scenario there are needs for certain classes more than others. There are also interesting class interdependencies unlike most other FPS games I have played. VALVe resisted the urge to make all the classes playable solo, and made a game where teamwork and quick thinking are at as much of a premium as quick reflexes and the ability to aim. Manual dexterity IS required, but the way the game looks and plays make it the most accessible FPS to date.

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