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Good Old PC Games – Part 1

Okay. So you can’t afford a new Nvidia video card because you are a broke college kid. And the computer your parents got for you when you were in Junior High is still the same computer you’re using right now and it’s barely running.

Not to worry! There are many old PC games out there that are still waiting to be discovered. Many of them are even better than the current crop of games out in terms of gameplay. They might not have the graphics of Crysis. Crysis isn’t that fun anyway (actually it is). Here is a list of games that will work on your old computer and your old video card. The requirements for these games are very minimal. If you have a Geforce 2 computer graphics card and 256 megs of SDRAM, you should be able to run all of them without a hitch.

Let’s start with the obvious.

Counter-Strike 1.6

Many will tell you this game is more superior to its successor, Counter-Strike Source. CS is one of those rare shooters where you need to have both speed and intelligence to win over your opponent. And teamwork is essential if you want your team to win.

Gameplay

Counter-strike 1.6 is a tactical 1st person shooter. Pitting terrorists against counter-terrorists in different objectives with the bomb plant/defuse scenario being the most popular. The game is mainly played online with and against other players. Counter-strike was originally a mod for Half-Life. It became so popular in the gaming community that the game went on to sell on its own in retail.

The original CS is over several years old yet. It is still being played today around the world. CS is still being played in competitive gaming tournaments. Its longevity comes from the fact that it is one of the most addicting games to ever come out. The hardware requirements for this CS 1.6 is so minimal. Especially right now that even some of the newer built-in graphics accelerators on motherboards are able to handle this game fluidly. You will, however, need a high-speed internet connection if you want to compete against the other players online. There are many CS 1.6 servers with communities still thriving and they are a blast to play in.

Counter Strike 1.6
Counter Strike 1.6

Natural Selection

Natural Selection is a strategy/action game played through a 1st person perspective. This game is also a mod that was developed from the old Half-Life engine. This game requires very minimal specs like Counter-strike. Natural Selection or NS, is a fun online multi-player game. Where players get to choose sides between space marines and a morphing alien species. Each side plays totally different from the other. The marines revolve around a captain who commands the other marine players.

The captain gives orders on where to build weapons such as gun turrets. And also give out health packs and firearms to the team accordingly. There are no captains on the alien side. While teamwork is involved, the aliens tend to be more individualistic. They can “morph” to upgrade their attack strengths and abilities. Where else the Marines are more dependent on the captain to give them the guns and armor needed.

The game has some very nice environments to play in. Most of it looking like an abandon space station from a sci-fi movie. There is also a very loyal fan base for this game. Who have developed new maps and add ons for Natural Selection.

Strategy

NS requires even more teamwork than Counter-strike. A microphone is recommended to coordinate with teammates. After a player dies in the game, the player spawns back pretty quick. So typing is seldom used unlike in CS. This is a terrific game and it is the second most popular Half-Life mod.  After the original Counter-strike. If you have half-life or the retail version of the original CS, then you can download this game for free.

Natural Selection
Natural Selection

Max Payne

This game was pretty revolutionary for its time. Max Payne combines film noir with the Matrix. You play as Max Payne, a good cop who returns home one night to find his wife and child murdered in cold blood. Max gets framed and he goes on a mission seeking to clear his name while taking out the scum occupying the city.

Gameplay

Max Payne is a shooter but it is played from a 3rd party perspective. The story slowly unfolds with the gritty voice of Max narrating the cut scenes. The cut scenes themselves are designed to look like old pulp comics which adds to the noir atmosphere.

How is this like the Matrix, you ask? This is one of the first PC games where you can slow down time and shoot. You can actually see individual bullets coming at you or from your own gunfire when you slow time. It gives you an advantage over your enemies, but you are only allowed a certain amount of this slow-mo feature. Use it up and you will have to wait for it to charge up again.

Weapons

There is an assortment of weapons you can pick up in the game to wreck havoc with besides your regular side-arm. There are uzis, grenades, shotguns, dual handguns, and even a bat to hit a bad guy upside the head with. The graphics for this game was very good when it was released with breakable environments and highly detailed textures for its time.

This is not a game for the very young though since it contains adult subject matters, drug use and the overall body count from beginning to end. Max Payne is an overall good game that won’t put a strain on your graphics card and is one recommended to gamers who want a story with their shooters. And if you’re a fan of Revenge stories such as the Death Wish movies, this is up to your alley.

Max Payne
Max Payne

Serious Sam

While Max Payne has a story behind it, this is a 1st person shooter has none. You are Serious Sam and you kill everything in sight. Ironically, with a name like Serious Sam, the game doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a parody of first-person shooters. The enemies are all weird looking like a headless body running with a bomb and one-eyed rock creatures.

Weapons

The thing that stands out the most about Serious Sam compared to other shooters is that the enemies come at you in herds and the relentless pacing never stops to let you breathe. Think of Smash TV where you are surrounded by an insane amount of enemies. It’s like that but it’s in 3D and from your own perspective. Like any good shoot ’em ups, you are given a wide variety of weapons such as a shotgun, a lasers cannon, a quadruple missle launcher, a chain gun and even an old fashion tommy gun.

Game Engine

The game engine that was designed for Serious Sam is brilliant from a technical standpoint and has not gotten the accolades it should have received. The staggering amount of enemies on screen charging after you in wide open environments did not slow the gameplay down and the graphics were first rate (at the time). Serious Sam has one of the most impressive end bosses in the history of PC game end bosses which needs to be seen by anyone who wants a jaw-dropping experience.

The end boss was impressive then and it is impressive now. The bull-like monster is around 20 stories tall in the game compared to you, destroying everything in its path before you dual it head on in the final showdown. It’s amazing this PC game is playable on a Graphics card with only 32 megs of ram with no slowdown.

Serious Sam
Serious Sam
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