Some classic games for me:
1) Imperium Galactica
- I can't put into words how much fun I had with this game back in the day. The in-game videos were great, the RTS element & a neat little storyline to keep me occupied (I like my games to have some form of narrative). And it had lots of "Little things". You know from the saying "It's the little things that make up life." Like the concept that you control the game from on board a spaceship, and have the ability to wander around and stare out of the window for a bit. Doesn't do anything practical, but it's a nice touch.
2) Tie Fighter (CD Edition)
- What can I say? This game was epic! You get to fly with Darth Vader, and can get your arm branded by the emperor himself! Don't speak... just enjoy it.
3) Tachyon: The Fringe
- Another space combat sim. I particularly like this because of the storytelling. It's got a branching storyline. You are blamed for destroying a space station & exiled from civilised space, shortly into the game you can choose to fly with the slow, rusty looking ships of some colonists defending their home... Fighting the good fight, as it were. Alternatively you can sell out to the corporation trying to clear the colonists out, so you can get to the noble task of making money. You ships are better, and look nice and shiney, but you feel cold and heartless. This game probably has the best voice acting of any of the games I own. The characters really do pull you in. They even make you feel guilty when you start typing in cheat codes, by calling you pathetic etc!
4) Rainbox Six 3: Ravenshield
- My favorite FPS of.... ever! It manages to resist the urge to follow counterstrike. So there is no jumping, pulling out a smaller weapon doesn't suddenly negate the weight of your big machine gun, and the choice of weapons is immense (I think it was around 46 guns in total, each with different attachments, then different types of grenades & explosives). I particularly liked playing this when someone left the multiplayer server on the default settings. 4 minute cooperative match (upto 8 humans, vs 40 AI terrorists) Hostage rescue, with the map only progressing upon completion. Some maps wouldn't change for days. It's difficult enough just to rescue the hostages at all on high settings, but in 4 minutes your group of random players who've never met before, have to function like a well oiled guillotine. You get such a sense of accomplishment from winning.
5) (hmm..... what to chose for my last one?) Drakan: Order of the flame
- Ok you may or may not have heard of this one. Think Tomb Raider, with swords, axes, goblins, giants and most importantly... Dragons. 3rd person perspective game where you round around an open landscape killing various creepy monsters, eventually you find a Dragon, and he helps you throughout the rest of the game. You can climb on the dragon & control it, or dismount and kill everyone on foot. Not great voice acting, & the graphics didn't age very well, but this game is the GOD of "Little things". As an example... every creature & object in the game has it's own scale setting, so if you have a group of 4 goblins, they will all be the same model, but slightly different sizes. The way the Dragon's animations change during flight is good too. If flying level or upwards results in flapping, but if you descend, he glides. He will also move his head to look at you when you've dismounted and are near by. The level designs are very well thought out too. They give the impression of freedom, but you always find yourself winding up where the designers want you to. Finally my Favorite little thing, involves limbs... When you hit something with your sword or axe, if you hit it right, you can sever an arm or a hand, which then.... (wait for it) bleeds! And I don't mean, a red texture around it, the blood actually sprays out, in the direction their arm is points whilst they flail it around landing up walls and on the ceiling. Nothing quite beats some good looking arterial bleeding.
ps. I would have done the likes of Dune 2, Elite 3 and the Wing Commander series, but I though a spread of genres is better.