Since I have to play a fuckton of games on a daily basis and the Mercury has a limited amount of review space, a lot of games fall through the cracks. Consider this my (hopefully weekly) attempt at covering as many of these titles as possible. I'll mostly be choosing stuff that I've been enjoying recently, but if there is anything you want me to specifically review, let me know and I'll try to make it happen.
Call of Duty: World At War — $60 — Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
World at War isn't as good as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. It lacks that game's heart-wrenching, ripped-from-the-headlines tale of contemporary soldiers staring down a realistic technological threat. It never manages to replicate the perfect pacing or intense firefights. What it does do, however, is offer the coolest easter egg to be found in a game since id Software offered up the bloody head of John Romero as a target for talented Doom players: Nazi zombies.
I can't recommend a game purely on the strength of a bonus mission, but if you're wandering the aisles at Hollywood Video and you happen to agree with me on the misappropriation of the undead mythos in Left 4 Dead, World at War's shambling Teutonic hordes makes for an excellent rejoinder.
Verdict: Rent it.
I Made This. You Play This. We Are Enemies. — Free — PC
Fuck the pretentious "are games art?" debate. Every time I have to spend hours at some gaming event listening to some dumb bastard journalist "colleague" of mine try to justify the $40,000 in student loans he's struggling to pay back by comparing Braid to Lewis Carroll or Morrissey it takes all of my ever-weakening composure to not stab the (usually fat) idiot with a fork. Thankfully Jason Nelson is a bit more subtle than my "death by stabbing" tack.
His latest creation, I Made This. You Play This. We Are Enemies., is yet another perfect example of the irrelevance of the entire debate. Enemies simply exists, asking for neither your affection or even your thoughtful discussion. Whether you like it or not is unimportant. What is important is that Nelson's creation reminds people of the limits of gaming as a form of expression — or, more specifically, that the limits extend far beyond the blockbuster homoeroticism of Gears of War.
Verdict: It's free. You already own it. Why aren't you playing it?