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5 Great PC Games for Military Members
My Mission: Prevent Boredom
Deployments are a significant aspect of serving in the military, and often one of the worst aspects for those who are not in a specificly combat oriented job can be boredom. It even falls onto the list of factors of combat for Marines, which includes dust, smoke, dirt, debris, enemy fire, boredom and stress. So, for those of us who aren't worried about the obvious threat of enemy contact, we tend to run into the boredom the most. I have compiled a short list of 5 Great PC Games for Deployed Marines to give you some ideas of what to take, or perhaps even order while you are deployed. Army, Navy, Air Force guys, this guide isn't biased beyond the title, we all work for the same team! These games are not only picked by my personal choice for gameplay and depth of content, but it includes older games that are cheaper, and don't all require a high end computer, since the weapon of choice is likely a laptop.
Serious gamers, you will likely have far newer games, but these are for everyone. I chose them based on the ease of use (IE, no internet connection required to install), price point, and single player focus. Games like Battlefield 3 for example, which are amazing for the online multiplayer, are not very convenient for a deployed service member since the game is expensive, and you wouldn't even be able to use the best aspects of the thing anyway. In addition, the first two games on this list can be ran over a LAN and played between you and your friends without the internet. Simply go into your network and sharing center, set up a new connection or network, and pic ad-hoc mode (computer to computer wirelessly). Thank you for reading, and I hope these games keep you as entertained as they have kept me!
1. Command and Conquer: Generals
Real Time Strategy
A strategy game where you build up your base and defences, then assemble an army to battle your oponnent. This takes place in 2020, so the tech is current period, with a few exceptions of more advanced items. Overall, its generaly based on modern units, such as tanks, jets, and infantry, but it also has a few advanced units such as particle cannons. This is a great game for deployment, because with the multiplayer LAN capability, there will be an endless stream of challenges and competitions between you and your buddies. This game runs well on even older computers, and the single player modes are fun as well. Setting up a multiplayer game is easy, and can be done with both a virtual lobby or a direct IP connection over a wireless network created by someones computer. This game has probably filled the most hours of my Afghanistan deployments.
I recommend getting the Zero Hour expansion if possible, because it gives you alot more options in your strategies without changing the fundamental gameplay. Each country gains three General types, each focusing on a different area, such as air general. These add lots of depth and challenge, as each has its own strenghts and weaknesses and you have to change your strategy to meet these demands. The AI also plays alot smarter and tends to be pretty quick to attempt to engage you.
2. Rainbow 6 Vegas 2
Tactical First Person Shooter
This is a first person shooter (FPS) based on a series of terrorist attacks in Las Vegas. This is a tactical shooter, so you are often working closely with a small team, and rambo style tactics will quickly leave you full of bullet holes. This can be computer AI that you control, or it can be multiplayer over LAN. Cover and tactical placements are vital to this gameplay style, and you still get your all out firefights, but you really have to plan before you run into a room to come out on top, especially on realistic difficulty. The two modes are story, where you persue and try to defeat the terrorists in the city, or Terrorist Hunt mode, where you choose a single level, and set the difficulty, enemy density, and weather or not you have team mates, then the goal is to eliminate all enemy on the map. This is great for filling time gaps, as you can run terrorist hunt modes in under 10 minutes, as well as the longer play of the campaign mode to keep you (and a friend if you prefer co-op) busy for hours.
3. Fallout 3
Role Playing Game / Shooter
For the single players, this game is a really great experience. The game came out a few years ago, so most computers can handle the requirements for it pretty easily now. Set in a post apocalypse era Washington D.C., you emerge from a protective shelter and begin the journey to find your father, who had left the "vault" under mysterious circumstances. This game has incredible depth and story. You will have plenty to do, and even better, you are not required to directly persue a certain story. If you choose to do the main story right away or put it off for later and do all kinds of side stories, you will never feel locked down into any particular mission. The weapons range from regular guns, to laser weapons, and even plenty of hand to hand options for those who like to brawl. I put this game on the list because with all the extra content, it still only costs $20.
Falllout: New Vegas is the next in the series after this, so if you really like it, or would rather buy the newer game for more money, you are getting a very similar game as far as play and things, but a significantly different story (but also a related story). I have played the newer one, and it has not at all reduced the playability or fun of Fallout 3, this one just fits more in line with the goal of the list.
4. Plants VS. Zombies
Arcade Style Defense
A game for those who are not really big into games, this is a more simple defense style game, easy to play, and doesn't require huge time commitments to play a single session. The story is simple, you plant things in your yard to ward off zombies (such as pea shooters, and many other pun based plants). Its suprisingly fun, and always worth a try. It has tons of mini games and two survival modes to really keep you going. This game is even playable without a mouse if you don't have one handy, or don't want to get all your stuff out. The game also offers the option to make multiple profiles, so you don't have to worry about letting other people use it if you like, they will progress and save their own profile without messing up yours. Definatly check out the Plant Almanac in the game after you unlock it for heavy doses of plant and zombie puns.
This game can be as low as a few dollars on Amazon as a digital download, and you can get quite a few gaming hours from it, despite what you might first think. I got it for Christmas, and I really thought it was going to be a younger kids game mostly because the cartoonish art on the game box, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. It is still kid friendly though, so it won't go to waste when you come back if you have children who use your computer.
5. Roller Coaster Tycoon 2
Building / Management Park Simulator
To include a little something of a different type, this game lets you build and manage a theme park, from the placement of bathrooms, to the custom designing of fantastic roller coasters. A simulator of sorts, you will choose a scenario with its own objectives and try to meet them. These could be park value, number of guests in the park, or income levels for certain aspects, it all depends on the map. This provides many hours of fun, and is great if you like designing things in detail and managing financial aspects. There are plenty of premade ride designs too for quickly filling up space in the park or to make income to pay for your big custom ride dreams. Again, there is a newer version (Roller Coaster Tycoon 3) but I prefer this one because it has a more realistic, albeit aged look. This game is also going to run you about $10, and leaves the option to buy a few expansion packs too if you like, Roller Coaster Tycoon 2: Time Twister and Roller Coaster Tycoon 2: Wacky Worlds.