I’ve been a busy lad in the newsroom over the past few days, so rather than a “what to play this weekend” post, you’re getting a “what you should have been playing” post. So if you haven’t been rocking “Aliens vs. Predator” multiplayer or eating delicious pie in “The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom,” consider yourself chided. That said, the list of what’s looking good is fairly short this week. Not that I’m complaining. In “Mass Effect 2″ and “BioShock 2,” I’ve basically gotten to play brilliantly executed sequels to two of my favorite games of all time. And back-to-back, to boot.
“Aliens vs. Predator” (rated M, $60 on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, $50 on PC): I wish I’d had a chance to play this to give it a definite thumbs up or thumbs down because the reviews are all over the place. The shooter’s single-player campaign lets you play through different portions as a human, a Predator or a Xenomorph (the alien from the “Alien(s)” movies, but pretty much everyone seems to regard the human campaign as a waste. The joys of the game, apparently, revolve around the ability to play as a Predator or Xenomorph, as well as the online gameplay. If you’re primarily a single-player gamer but a huge fan of the source material, this is probably a renter, at best. If you like to roll up your sleeves and dive into some online multiplayer, this might be an OK change of pace.
“The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom” (rated E, $10 Xbox Live Arcade download): This stylish puzzle game from developer The Odd Gentleman follows the eponymous hero through black-and-white levels inspired by silent movies in a quest for, what else, pie?
“Everquest II” (rated T, prices vary on PC): “Sentinel’s Fate,” the sixth expansion for the popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game, released last week for $40. It promises 12 new dungeons and more than 400 new quests.
“SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo” (rated T, $40 for PlayStation Portable): It’s a portable game from the PlayStation 2′s biggest first-person shooter franchise. Worth a look at an otherwise slow time of year for PSP releases.
“Assassin’s Creed 2″ and “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2″ (rated M, both on sale for $40 at Amazon, Xbox 360 versions only): Two highly rated games from late fall are $40 at Amazon and probably some other places, as well.
What I played over the weekend: I finished up “BioShock 2′s” single-player, giving me a couple of days to sample the multiplayer before reviewing the game for Friday’s column. I also squeezed in a bit of “Borderlands” on Friday night and finally completed the “Crash Course” downloadable map for the first “Left 4 Dead.” I run a “Culdcept Saga” league over on Culdcept Central. The latest season of that finally geared up, so I’ll be editing my books and hoping to improve on my performance from last season, when I made the playoffs but was bounced in the semifinals. And while I don’t have it in my hands to play it yet, I took advantage of Amazon’s sale and ordered “Assassin’s Creed 2″ for $40.
Now that “BioShock 2″ is out of the way, I’m hoping to get some time in with “Aliens vs. Predator,” “MAG” and “Heavy Rain.”