Sometimes, when you sit down with your pad, joystick or movement sensing device (ooo-err), you don’t want to get caught up in endless conspiracies, solve intricate puzzles or examine a particular cultural or political event from an interactive perspective. You just want to run around, blow things up and cackle like a half-crazed school child on a sugar rush. Basically, you want to star in your own Michael Bay film. Here are five games that can scratch that itch:
The best thing about the Serious Sam series is that it’s not serious at all. There’s a plot, but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is destroying wave after wave of bad guys with ever more ridiculous weaponry. Serious Sam manages to take the mickey out of other first person shooters, whilst still being utterly fantastic itself. If you like your carnage with a cheeky wink and on an epic scale, then this should do you nicely.
Just Cause 2
Just Cause 2 is one of those games where the narrative hook is utterly obsolete. You don’t care whether or not the giant, fictional island you’re trying to save plunges into a bloody, civilian slaughtering civil war, because you’re far too busy jumping out of helicopters, lashing henchmen to explosive barrels and pulling the rip cord on your infinite parachute supply while stood on the top of a moving vehicle. Just Cause 2 is a playground for the destructively minded, a huge expanse of toys just waiting for you to light the fuse.
I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1NIT!!!1
Games don’t have to be beautiful to be mindless. They don’t have to have soaring orchestral scores or billions of arty farty polygons. They do have to be fun though, and Ska Studios’ twin stick shooter is most definitely that. A retina shredding, retro parody that shoehorns references to gaming and popular culture into its brief play time, IMAGWZII is as hilarious as it is entertaining. Throw co-operative gaming into the mix as well and you’re left with a game, costing just over an old fashioned English pound, that will keep you laughing for hours.
If you’re looking for an experience full of explosions that doesn’t involve shooting, then one of the Burnout titles should be high of the list of games you stick into the welcoming maw of your nearest console. There’s just something so cathartic about creating multi-car pile ups, about seeing trucks and taxis thrown into the air and then carried ever higher as fuel tanks detonate and explosions chain. It’d almost be poetic if it wasn’t so much fun.
Maybe explosions and cars and guns aren’t for you. Maybe you just want to murder as many people as you can in a short space of time. Well then, the Dynasty Warriors series is the dynastic warrioring series for you. Your job, kill everything. If it’s moving and it’s not on your side, hit it with your chopper, then hit its friends, then hit its boss. Rinse and repeat forever. It’s not subtle, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it might just sate your virtual bloodlust for an evening.