We're gamers. This typically means that we'd rather spend more time playing video games than actually working. Unfortunately, this often leads to a distinct lack of money, and any cash that's left over after our basic needs met (Doritos, Mountain Dew, etc), is generally not enough to purchase all of the games we've been salivating over. This is only made worse by the holiday season.
So, as a public service to our budget-minded gamers, I'm going to compare and contrast two of this year's biggest games: Black Ops 2 and Far Cry 3. This should make your decision easier if you don't have enough scratch to pick up both titles.
Far Cry 3 is definitely going to give you the best bang for your buck in the single-player campaign department. The central storyline is probably 15-20 hours long, but even after you've killed a few hundred pirates and ousted their leaders, there's still plenty of work to be done. You've got to bases liberate and side quests to complete. Plus, as an added bonus, you can lose all of your money at the poker tables and then take out your frustration by murdering a nearby animal. Black Ops 2 doesn't have any animal murder.
However, Black Ops 2's branching storylines give the game a replay value that Far Cry 3 just doesn't have. So, even though the storyline is only 6-7 hours long, you may want to replay it several times in order to get the entire experience.
Verdict: Far Cry 3 wins in overtime.
This is by far the most complicated category to compare. Far Cry 3 has a co-op campaign and a standard competitive multiplayer component, but both are severely lacking when compared to Black Ops' Multiplayer. Call of Duty titles are some of the most multiplayer-heavy games that have ever been developed, which means that most comparable games quickly fall short.
But, the two modes aren't exactly comparable. Black Ops 2's Zombies mode is arguably a co-op component, but they're very different animals.
However, even given the shortcomings in Far Cry 3's co-op campaign, it's definitely worth playing, and it's a nice little perk for co-op lovers like myself. But it's certainly not a selling point by itself.
Plus, the replay value of Black Ops 2's zombie mode easily outshines Far Cry 3's co-op component, and BO2's competitive multiplayer mode is far, far better than Far Cry 3’s.
Verdict: If we're forced to compare, Black Ops edges a win.
For those of you in the hardcore shooter fan club, Far Cry 3 might be a bit of a stretch. The game has a stockpile of RPG elements that might not be entirely in your wheelhouse. But if you're equally addicted to RPGs and FPSs, Far Cry 3 is going to be your new best friend.
Activision has already begun releasing additional content for Black Ops 2 and has an intense schedule for DLC drops throughout the next ten months. Ubisoft, on the other hand, has only made a vague promise about a co-op expansion coming to the PS3 in January.
Verdict: Black Ops 2, by a mile.
At the end of the day, Black Ops 2 is going to be a better value. Between the branching storylines, the endless multiplayer component, and Zombies, you're basically getting three extraordinary games for the price of one. But if you're an RPG fanatic or don't have any friends, Far Cry 3's single-player campaign will keep you entertained for a very long time.
However, the most attractive option would be to pick up both games and spend your holidays locked in a dark room. That's my plan. Screw my family.
Date: December 17, 2012