5 Outstanding Single Player Xbox 360 Campaigns
As my gaming experience slowly transitions more and more onto Xbox One, I thought it would be fun to look back at my 5 favorite campaigns from Xbox 360. These 5 games rose to the top for different reasons. Some purely the stories and concepts, others for the wide variety of things the game asked of you. Regardless of the reason, each game contained a unique experience that has stayed with me and risen to the top among all the other games I’ve played over the years on 360. In no particular order, here are my 5 Outstanding Single Player Xbox 360 Campaigns.
There are few games I’ve played that gave me as much satisfaction as Dead Space. On the surface, it just looks like another gory shooter, but there is so much more depth to it than that. You can’t help but sympathize for the character you play as, (an engineer named Isaac) and the fact that he has no dialogue helps you to feel his isolation and fear even more. To not ever hear the character speak, you aren’t treating him as someone else. This makes it easier to picture yourself in his situation as your own thoughts and reactions to playing the game help fill in the narrative.
The interface alone was something I very much enjoyed, as your weapon selection and inventory menus were provided in-game, via holograms. I thought that was a very cool idea, as it kept you in the moment as opposed to stepping out and looking at a paused menu whenever things got tough and you needed a break. This way you were forced to make your decisions as your character is still interacting with the environment – and the nasty creatures within it. The music cues are obviously timed purposely to try and startle the player and I’m not embarrassed to say they were successful on more than on occasion. Dead Space was followed up by 2 excellent sequels in my opinion, but it was the original that really caught my attention.
Let’s not kid ourselves: Arkham Asylum was a fantastic game. The flowing combat sequences were unparalleled, the story line was great and actually having Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill provide the voices of Batman/Bruce Wayne and The Joker respectively was the icing on the cake. Also, the breaking of the fourth wall is something I’ll never forget. Batman: Arkham City just expanded on everything to make it even bigger and better.
With numerous side missions, riddles and collectibles hidden all over the map, there is always something to do in this game. The amount of villains you face is excellent, not to mention the different tactics you’re forced to use to take them out. The fight with Mr. Freeze is a prime example of that. I also had no problem playing a few levels as Catwoman. Her attitude and mannerisms were captured perfectly and added just another element to an already fantastic game.
My first memory of Bioshock was watching over my friend’s shoulder as his character was trying to fight off a massive opponent in an old-style diving suit & mask and I couldn’t help but wonder: what IS this game and why aren’t I playing it??
For me, what set this game apart was the setting and the environments. And the story. And the gameplay.
Alright, everything about this game was awesome.
Every level is filled with beautiful and intricate detail, and I remember thinking (at the time) that it was the best digital rendering of water I had ever seen. The time period which this game takes place is absolutely perfect, the voice acting was phenomenal, and the journey your character takes throughout the course of the game as he gains abilities (most of which were far out) and weapons & upgrades is exciting. Bioshock 2 was basically a retread of the original, and while Bioshock: Infinite was a piece of art in its own right (taking the concept to the clouds), for me the original Bioshock will be something I’ll never forget.
I enjoyed Mass Effect 2 more than its predecessor for a few reasons:
1) the search for resources was accomplished by scanning planets as opposed to sending down a shuttle and having to drive around to look for elements (something I found rather time consuming)
2) there seemed to be less time standing in elevators
3) the new characters introduced (mainly Legion and Thane Krios.)
Also, 2 didn’t have the much-maligned ending that 3 possessed. I had never been much of a role playing game guy until the Mass Effect series. I usually find having to manage all your resources and weapons/equipment etc. annoying, but somehow under the guise of science fiction, Mass Effect clicked with me. In ME2 the optional missions became more intense, and the soundtrack picked up right where it left off in 1, which was fantastic in its own right.
I will admit this is the only Saints Row game I’ve played in the series, (and perhaps I’m missing out on something better in other installments) but I can truly say I have never laughed out loud more with any other game I’ve ever played (regardless of console) than Saints Row The Third.
Taking the “sandbox” style that made the Grand Theft Auto series so popular and going WAY overboard with characters and concepts (to a point of lunacy) SR3 is nothing short of pure fun. Perhaps what got me the most is one of the more simpler ideas: character customization. The amount of options available to create your character is quite extensive and really lets you go overboard. Another nice touch was the extreme variety in music. Depending on the class of vehicle you entered, a different radio station would accompany it. Whether it be hip-hop, heavy metal or classical, the music was a great accent to the game. Even some of the banter the host DJ’s had was hysterical.
While not the most thought-provoking plot but chalk full of outlandish activities (Insurance Fraud – throwing yourself in front of moving vehicles to incur the most damage to yourself under a time limit to make money) Saints Row The Third will always be a favorite.