Locked and loaded

The fall promises a double-barreled blast of gaming greatness
By MITCH KRPATA  |  September 12, 2007

VIDEO: The trailer for Rock Band

Fall preview 2007
“Happy endings: Bad news begets good tunes.” By Matt Ashare.
“BBC? America!: The networks put some English on the fall TV season.” By Joyce Millman.
 “Busy busy: Something for everyone this fall.” By Debra Cash.
“Stage worthies: Fall on the Boston boards.” By Carolyn Clay. 
“Basstown nights: The new scene emerges; Halloween preparations.” By David Day. 
“Bounty: The best of the season’s roots, world, folk, and blues.” By Ted Drozdowski.
“War, peace, and Robert Pinsky: The season’s fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.” By John Freeman.
“Trane, Joyce Dee Dee, Sco, and more: A jam-packed season of jazz.” By Jon Garelick.  
“Turn on the bright lights: Art, women, politics, and food.” By Randi Hopkins.
“War zones: Fall films face terror at home and abroad.” By Peter Keough. 
“Locked and loaded: The fall promises a double-barreled blast of gaming greatness.” By Mitch Krpata.
“World music: The BSO goes traveling, and Berlin comes to Boston.” By Lloyd Schwartz.
“Singles scene: Local bands dig in with digital.” By Will Spitz. 
Okay, this is getting ridiculous. It’s already been a strong year for games, with four — four! — game-of-the-year contenders before Labor Day. And now come the heavy hitters. Over the next few months, we can look forward to long-awaited sequels, ambitious new franchises, and the one game that will finally let me fulfill my lifelong dream of busting out an epic drum solo at the end of “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

The fall season kicks off on September 25, when HALO 3 lands on the Xbox 360. You may already have encountered the marketing blitz: Burger King is plastering Halo branding all over its wrappers and drink cups, and PepsiCo has brewed up a particularly noxious Halo-inspired variety of Mountain Dew it’s calling “Game Fuel.” (Thanks for working to dispel the stereotype of gamers as junk-food-addled shut-ins, guys!) Thousands of gamers have had a tantalizing glimpse of Halo 3’s multiplayer action thanks to a beta test earlier this year. The early word? It rules, bro. But it would be nice if Master Chief’s third and allegedly final outing delivered a satisfying single-player campaign, too.

Then again, why would anyone want another single-player FPS when there’s a new Half-Life on the way? HALF-LIFE 2: THE ORANGE BOX, coming October 9 for the Xbox 360 and PC, is actually several games in one. Half-Life 2: Episode 2 has Gordon Freeman taking the fight to the Combine in an outdoor setting that promises to be more open-ended than the linear levels of past games. The Orange Box also offers Half-Life 2 and Half-Life 2: Episode 1, in case you missed them, and two stand-alone projects: Portal, a mind-bending puzzle adventure based on teleportation, and Team Fortress 2, a class-based shooter that’s been in development since 1998 (really!).

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