I swore I'd never get into an online/multiplayer component of games; the various offline difficulties of GoW kept me happy - ripping through the game on splitscreen with friends on Insane difficullty - I'd seen people waste their lives in Warcraft or Call of Duty blitzes.
Then somebody gave me a 6-month Xbox Live scratchcard.
That was the Beginning of the End.
Six months, and 15,000+ kills later, the "Seriously" achievement popped up - even though it should only take 10,000... I was a 0.1% ranked elite GoW player; I could take down an entire enemy team without aid, even predicting terrible online-lag, kids either side of the Atlantic craved for me to be in their online clan... But that achievement - as all achievements and trophies do - killed the game. So I never played it again.
Did I have fun? Yeah, I did. I can recall stories of online adventures, people I met. But I won't.
Was it worth the time to say I unlocked a single image - over tens of thousands of hours - just to put on my online profile? Hell, no.
Also - Unreal Engine crashes like a mofo on my workstation. Unity FTW.
EDIT: This does not include Gears of War: Ultimate Edition for Xbox One. WOW! Way to go to take a fairly good idea, fairly stable online component, and totally fuck it up. It's like reverse engineering the "polishing a turd" theory. Sure, it looks great, but GoW:UE is, without a shadow of a doubt, the WORST online multiplayer game in existence... Unless you like shooting enemies 6 times in the head, just to be shot once in return to be gibbed. There is a review for the movie "Monster Dog" in The Gore Score; it simply reads: 'sucks farts out of dead cats. FUCK IT!'
Same applies to GoW:UE.
Knowing they'll use the same netcode, which is blatant garbage, Gears of War 4 can fuck off. Just because it's 60FPS, and the devteam wring the fuck outta Substance Designer, it doesn't mean it is actually any good.
Even after blasting Oblivion like a lunatic, I wasn't prepared for the glorious and absurd lunacy of Fallout 3. Or the sheer scale of it. Or being befriended by a Super Mutant called Fawkes who would steal all my Advancement Points, slipping in the killing bullet, while happily screaming "I WIN AGAIN!"... I loved Fawkes too much to execute him/her (he/she made those bunker runs a hoot).
I've never found the doggie companion. I don't like dogs, they look at you with dead eyes, so I'd probably shoot it for a laugh if I did find it... Shooting a digital dog ISN'T REAL - so don't judge me because I'd *probably* headshot a digital canine... Judge me if I shot it and teabag'd it for half an hour and put it on YouTube, then I have problems.
I purchased Fallout 3 on December 19th, 2009 - I know this because I still have the receipt.
I didn't see daylight until February 2010 - I know this because my family tried to get me committed.
Shenmue was amazing - a whole world to kinda mess about with within limits - but unless you're gonna feed the kitten and play arcades until you're blue in the teeth (and Lan Di kills you in a dream if you spend too much time being human - therefore game over) it was a short lived beauty, like a seasonal rose- beautiful for five minutes and then leafless and dead. Forklift truck races were a laugh for five minutes - then you'd figured it out and ranked yourself to get all of the little toys and it became trite.
Shenmue II expands on the fun of gambling with random mad sailors that don't question your sexuality, throws in QuckTime Events like they're going out of fashion (THEY NEVER WILL) and basically makes you the protagonist in Bruce Lee's 'Game of Death' for the third disc. The fourth disc, where you become a hippy, is wackjuice.
You know, if games were real, I'da beat that little prick who stole all my money at the beginning of disc one within an inch of his life - or spent all my money on lighters before I hit the cutscene hitbox.
Then, if it was really Hong Kong, I'da made a mint on selling those lighters for smack.
Random lift shafts, random rooms, digitised speech (this was a big thing in the mid-to-late 80s).
The title is misleading, I completed it at least 50 times.
Jump over an enemy-robot, search an object, get outside to see if your search was worthwhile... Search all of the rooms (and I think on any given playthru it only ever showed 70% of the rooms), piece together a (literal) jigsaw and meet the bad-man.
Lives? Nah, homey, the best games don't roll like that... If you died - zapped by a robot, or fallen down an abyss - the game took minutes off the time you had to get the pieces to complete the puzzle, then your agent would regenerate.
I'll always hold Cinemaware games close to my heart - Defender of the Crown, Rocket Ranger, even SDI (it's rubbish, but the box art is great) - but none of them come close to King of Chicago.
You had to retire your old boss - via bullet or intimidation - and then you took over as head of the family, expanding your influences to the four corners of the city, balancing the books to get 'safe' politicians in your hood, but not without drive bys or reprisals... Or you could just date your moll until you got shot in the back of the head by the boss of a rival family.
Or you could take over the city. Your choice. Choice is good. The game never played out the same time.