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Gamepressure.com Staff Picks 2006

Below, you can find the best 2006 releases that earned Gamepressure's editorial recommendation.

Gothic 3
Gothic 3

RPG 13 October 2006

Third game from the popular RPG series, which began in 2001 year thanks to a previously unknown studio, Piranha Bytes. It follows the story of the Nameless Hero, once again taking us to the fictional fantasy universe, which has been significantly expanded, when compared to previous titles. The game’s world consists of 3 different lands: kingdom of Myrtana, ice-covered Nordmar and desert Varant. The player can freely shape the story, completing any number of nearly 1000 available quests for 10 different factions present in the game. Depending on which side he chooses at the end, he will come to one of 3 different endings. New chapter of the series comes with many changes in gameplay, including new skills, greatly enhanced character progression system, better equipment screen, and simplified fights, as well as significantly improved visuals.

PC

Bully: Scholarship Edition
Bully: Scholarship Edition

Akcji 17 October 2006

Also known by the title Canis Canem Edit, Bully is a controversial action game developed by Rockstar Games. Originally, it was released for PlayStation 2, it was soon followed by Scholarship Edition for the next generation of consoles and PCs. The story takes place at the fictional Bullworth Academy, which combines an elite education facility with re-socialization grounds for juvenile offenders. The player assumes the role of a teenager who is trying to survive in these unusual circumstances. The protagonist encounters both strict teachers and unfriendly peers. The game is played from the third-person perspective and the player completes different assignments requiring them both to make friends among the peers and play different pranks on the teaching staff. The protagonist can join a local gang as well, which is trying to maintain control over the area forcefully.

PS2

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

RPG 20 March 2006

The fourth major installment in one of the most popular RPG series, created by Bethesda Softworks. The game's story takes place in Cyrodiil, the Imperial Province in the continent of Tamriel. After the assassination of the ruler of the realm, emperor Uriel Septim VII, the main character has to find the rightful heir to the throne and have him crowned as the next emperor of Tamriel. Just as in previous games in the series, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion offers a great deal of freedom – both in creation and progression of your character as well as the order in which you undertake quests, many of which are procedurally generated. In the game you encounter over 40 species of monsters and visit several carefully-designed regions, characterized not only by unique landscapes, but also their own communities, history, and culture. Oblivion offers greatly improved visuals powered by the completely overhauled game engine and the Havok physics engine. Moreover, the PC version also has an expanded level editor implemented in the game.

PC

Company of Heroes
Company of Heroes

Strategiczne 11 September 2006

A real-time strategy set during the World War II. The game was developed by the Canadian studio, Relic Entertainment, famous for the Homeworld series and Warhammer 40.000: Dawn of War. The game focuses on the American armies struggling against the enemy in Western Europe. It begins with the D-Day, the legendary allied landing in Normandy. The single-player campaign is very cinematic. When it comes to the multiplayer, it can support up to eight players. Each of them has to pick a side - either the Allies, or the Axis. The game stands out thanks to the Essence Engine and the popular Havok technology accompanying it. Thus the game world makes a great impression - the environments are destructible to a large degree and the team the player commands can boast great AI - its members take advantage of their surroundings and respond very quickly to enemy actions.

PC

The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II

Strategiczne 28 February 2006

A sequel to the bestselling real-time strategy based on the very popular Lord of the Rings book trilogy and its cinematic adaptation. This time the action takes place in the northern areas of Middle-Earth where combined forces of humans, elves and dwarves face the army of evil Sauron represented by orcs of Mordor and Isengard. Players can play 15 scenarios per each side of the conflict. The second installment in the series uses the mechanics from the original game while introducing many improvements. It is now possible for players to create their own heroes and improve his skills during the game. Lists of available units, weapons and spells were increased and the fights now take place not only on land, but on sea as well. Thanks to the improved SAGE engine, graphics of the game were enhanced, as were the looks and number of units appearing simultaneously on the screen.

PC

Neverwinter Nights 2
Neverwinter Nights 2

RPG 31 October 2006

An indirect sequel to BioWare's popular role-playing game from 2002, this time developed by Obsidian Entertainment, known for e.g. the second game in the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic series. The plot of Neverwinter Nights 2 begins two years after the events of its predecessor, when the world of the Forgotten Realms finds itself threatened by a powerful evil in the form of the mysterious King of Shadows. The only way to defeat him is to find all the fragments of the shattered Silver Sword of Gith. Compared to the original game, the gameplay of its successor features many innovative elements, especially the possibility of having up to three NPCs in your party and having full control over them. Apart from that, Neverwinter Nights 2 features new character classes and previously unavailable spells and abilities. The editor, which allows you to e.g. create your own scenario and invite other players to play with you, has also been expanded.

PC

Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007
Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007

Sportowe 26 October 2006

Another installment in the soccer series developed by a Tokyo-based branch of Konami. The game introduces many novelties, the most prominent one being the International Challenge mode, which is an equivalent to the World Cup championship. Moreover, the players are given licensed national teams (including Netherlands, England, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago) as well as league clubs (featuring Bayern Munchen and Manchester United). In comparison to the previous installments, the gameplay mechanics of Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 remain unaltered, however, the developers have implemented some novelties into the game’s formula – the game is more dynamic and features fewer interruptions by the referee’s whistle. The free kick mechanism allows the players to quickly perform set pieces. The whole experience is well-accompanied by additional animations, improved textures, and well-developed soccer player models. The single player career is complemented by the multiplayer mode.

PS2

Gears of War
Gears of War

Akcji 07 November 2006

A futuristic, third-person shooter by Epic Games – the creators of the bestselling Unreal series. The action takes place on Sera, a planet, devastated by a long war for power sources, resembling Earth. In the result of aggressive prospecting and exploration, hostile monstrosities called Locust started to appear on the surface of the planet and killed 80% of human population. Fourteen years later, as the situation on the frontlines seems hopeless, Marcus Fenix, an ex-soldier convicted for desertion is forced to rejoin the war. Even though the gameplay is dynamic, the game puts a considerable emphasis on tactics and the cover system. As Marcus you make use of a wide range of futuristic weapons and pure physical strength of the heavily armored hero. Apart from the single player campaign, Gears of War offers multiplayer, including co-op and the Execution mode, for up to eight players, in which you have to kill the members of the other team. The game’s graphics are powered by Unreal Engine 3.

X360

Hitman: Blood Money
Hitman: Blood Money

Akcji 26 May 2006

The fourth installment in a popular game series about Agent 47, the perfect assassin, completing various contracts for the ICA organization. When its members are being meticulously eliminated and 47 loses contact with his superior, Diana Burnwood, he reaches the conclusion that he will become the next target. In order to save his skin 47 decides to stop the man behind the killings, Alexander Cayn, and his terrorist organization called the Franchise. When it comes to gameplay Hitman: Blood Money retains the core mechanics of the series, offering expansive missions whose objectives can be completed in many different ways. To do this we can use a wide arsenal of weapons, spearheaded by the silent and deadly fiber wire. The variety of moves and actions the protagonist can perform is greater than before, and the game offers a simple economy system. The money you earn lets you buy new deadly tools for your arsenal, weapon upgrades, and useful gadgets.

PC

Star Wars: Empire At War
Star Wars: Empire At War

Strategiczne 16 February 2006

A real-time strategy developed by Petroglyph. The action of Empire At War takes place two years before the events seen in the fourth film, with some parts of the plot invoking the story from Revenge of the Sith. The game itself enables us to control both Rebel Forces and Galactic Empire in a quest to control the whole galaxy. The campaign consists of two phases: turn-based planning and real-time battles in three-dimensional environment. The available locations include numerous planets such as Alderaan, Dantooine, Endor, or Hoth, as well as outer space areas that see the clashes of powerful fleets. Both faction sport trademark units, including Star Destroyers, AT-AT and AT-ST walkers, or agile snowspeeders. Aside from a single player campaign, the developers introduced a number of multiplayer modes.

PC

Tomb Raider: Legend
Tomb Raider: Legend

Akcji 07 April 2006

The seventh major installment of the Tomb Raider series. As the previous parts of the game were not received very well, a new studio – Crystal Dynamics, with Toby Gard, the creator of the original series, in its ranks – was entrusted with the game. Setting-wise, the title goes back to its roots, which means exploring ancient tombs and catacombs. During the gameplay you will visit a number of exotic locations, including Himalayas, Bolivia, Peru, Japan, Ghana, Malaysia, England, and Kazakhstan. The production offers new skills, weapons, and a whole new range of useful gadgets unavailable before. Lara’s character has also changed, both mentally and visually. The graphics are powered by a new engine, which allows for bigger interaction with the environment and changing weather conditions.

PC

Just Cause
Just Cause

Akcji 22 September 2006

A third-person action game developed by the Swedish Avalanche studio (Just Cause is their first AAA project). The game takes players to an exotic South American island called San Esperito, which covers the area of over 1200 square miles. The player assumes the role of Rico Rodriguez - a CIA agent tasked with overthrowing the corrupt self-made government and investigate whether the island holds any weapons of mass destruction. The players get at their disposal an open world waiting for them to explore with no limitations. To do this, the player can utilize cars, boats, choppers, airplanes, and even parachute. On his mission, Rico encounters factions fighting for power over the island - one can gain their trust by completing special missions assigned by a given faction. In total, the story campaign comprises 20 main missions and a number of side missions that can be completed in any order. The player can use a wide arsenal featuring 25 types of weapons and multiple pieces of gear - from standard pistols to rocket launchers.

PC

Viva Pinata
Viva Pinata

Logiczne 09 November 2006

Viva Pinata is a game difficult to classify. The creators - Rare team (known from such productions as Perfect Dark Zero) - combined elements known from Animal Crossing, Pokemon or Harvest Moon. In short: in the game we create and care for the garden.

X360

Dark Messiah of Might and Magic
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic

RPG 24 October 2006

Another attempt at a first-person action game set in the popular Might & Magic franchise. Dark Messiah of Might & Magic was created by then-unknown development team at Arcane Studios (who later became famous thanks to the Dishonored series) for Ubisoft, who bought the rights to the IP from its previous publisher, 3DO. In Dark Messiah of Might & Magic you assume the role of Sareth, a young apprentice to the wizard Phenrig, whose mission is to prevent the coming of the eponymous Dark Messiah into the realm of Ashan. As you are exploring 12 vast locations and follow the main questline, you will fight various enemies, such as orcs, goblins, trolls, and even dragons. The authors put much emphasis on creating realistic swordplay and offered players about 40 weapons as well as several dozen offensive spells. Moreover, gameplay has been enriched with RPG elements, meaning that the protagonist gains experience and learns new abilities and spells over time. Apart from the story-based single player campaign, Dark Messiah of Might & Magic offers multiplayer for up to 20 players.

PC

Microsoft Flight Simulator X
Microsoft Flight Simulator X

Symulacje 13 October 2006

A new installment in the most famous civil aircraft simulator from Microsoft. The new edition stands apart with its improved visuals and support for DirectX10 multimedia libraries, enabling the developers to introduce spectacular weather effects and accurate aircraft models. The world of Microsoft Flight Simulator X is built from over 24 thousand airfields from all around the world. The players can choose from numerous authentic aircraft, from commercial airliners (including Boeing 787 and Airbus A321), through stunt planes and helicopters, and up to hydroplanes (Grumman G-21 Goose). Moreover, we are also given a Learning Center, an extensive training mode, and a number of basic missions and challenges that offer a number of hidden rewards when completed. The game contains a multiplayer component, with LAN as well as online modes. Microsoft Flight Simulator X also introduces the ability to use all of the add-ons released for the previous installments of the series.

PC

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

Akcji 01 November 2006

Another spin-off to the legendary series of sandbox action games, developed by Rockstar Games for the PlayStation Portable console. As the title of the game suggests, its action is related to GTA: Vice City. The title takes place in 1984, two years before the events shown in the other game. The main protagonist is Victor Vance – an ex-soldier who currently works for various gangsters. By completing various jobs given to him by mafia bosses he slowly rises through the ranks of the criminal underworld. The gameplay isn’t very different from other installments of the series. However the developers added many new features such as the ability to swim, fly a helicopter or enter buildings. This made the game mechanics even more similar to the mechanics of full-fledged installments in the series. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories offers a large number of weapons and gadgets as well as a varied soundtrack that accompanies the player while driving cars.

PSP

LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy

Akcji 12 September 2006

LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy is a continuation of one of the best made electronic and entertainment products of 2005. According to the subtitle, this time the developers focused on three episodes of the Star Wars film cycle, shot by George Lucas in 1977-1983.

PC

Prey (2006)
Prey (2006)

Akcji 11 July 2006

A science-fiction FPP shooter, known as the legendary „in-development” game from the 90s. Human Head Studios, a new developer, had taken over the project from the legendary 3D Realms. The main protagonist of Prey is Tommy, a Native American, who along with his girlfriend and granddad has been kidnapped by Aliens. After waking up on board of an alien spaceship, Tommy decides to takes matters into his own hands and destroy all aliens in his path. Along the way, he discovers further elements of the grim plot, which indicates that an alien race, Trocara, are responsible for creating all life on Earth. The game mixes fast-paced action with original atmosphere, which is mainly generated by the gigantic spaceship and its brilliantly-designed locations, where living tissue has been molded with modern technology, and by original designs of enemies, which are often hybrids of several different organisms. Id Tech 4, a graphic engine used in Doom 3, is responsible for the high-quality visuals of Prey.

PC

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas

Akcji 12 December 2006

Another installment of the bestselling series of tactical FPS shooters, in which we follow the actions of the fictional Rainbow Six anti-terrorist squad, created by the famous writer Tom Clancy. This time the action takes us to the titular city of gambling, which has become a hotbed of dangerous terrorist outbreaks. In terms of mechanics, the game is a continuation of the line started in Rainbow Six: Lockdown, where meticulous tactical planning was abandoned in favor of more dynamic action.

PC

Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
Dreamfall: The Longest Journey

Przygodowe 17 April 2006

The second part of a great adventure game, The Longest Journey, which was realized and released in 2000 by Funcom. Its action was set in the same realities as we had the opportunity to stay in the original The Longest Journey, i.e. compilation of fantasy and science fiction.

PC

Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs
Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs

Strategiczne 17 October 2006

The first official expansion for Age of Empires III, developed by Ensemble Studios. The expansion introduces three new nations (Iroquois, Sioux, and Aztecs) described in the story campaign. The individual factions are different not only in terms of available buildings, but also by their strengths and weaknesses – the Iroquois have access to artillery and siege machines, the Sioux use horses for swift movement, while the Aztecs are known for their strong infantry. Additionally, the expansion includes the new updates introduces in Home Cities. Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs also includes new content for the multiplayer mode – aside from bonus maps, the developer added new units for the eight European nations present in the core game.

PC

Half-Life 2: Episode One
Half-Life 2: Episode One

Akcji 01 June 2006

The first expansion to Half-Life 2. Its action takes place directly after the events shown in the predecessor and expands the storyline with new plots. Once more the player becomes the main protagonist of the series: Gordon Freeman, accompanied, once again, by Alyx Vance. The two characters are tasked with escaping from an alien citadel – the place where the basic version of the game ended. During the game, the player meets many characters known from previous installments of the series and has to face not only the soldiers of the Combine, but new types of enemies as well. As for the game mechanics, the game is filled with all the elements thanks to which Half-Life 2 was successful – including a large dose of action, hard puzzles, and narrative cutscenes. The Source Engine was improved with a set of new effects that improved the game's visuals. In contrast to the original game, the expansion is focused mostly on single player experience.

PC

IL-2 Sturmovik: 1946
IL-2 Sturmovik: 1946

Symulacje 15 December 2006

IL-2 Sturmovik: 1946 is another item in the popular series of aircraft simulators, treating the Second World War. This time, developers from Maddox Games, in cooperation with Ubisoft Entertainment corporation, integrated in one product the content from all previous editions of Szturmovik, enriched with new elements.

PC

Black
Black

Akcji 24 February 2006

The Black story takes you to Eastern Europe, where as one of the members of a special strike group you are fighting terrorism. You have at your disposal a standard arsenal, known from FPS games, with the difference that this time it has been truly "pampered".

PS2XBOX

Sid Meier's Railroads!
Sid Meier's Railroads!

Strategiczne 17 October 2006

Sid Meier's Railroads! is an economic game prepared by Firaxis Games studio, which can be considered a natural heir to the legendary Railroad Tycoon series, launched in 1990 (also by Sid Meier). In terms of concept, this program does not differ from the rest of the cycle - our task will be to create a transport company, in which the first violin plays railways.

PC

GTR 2 FIA GT Racing Game
GTR 2 FIA GT Racing Game

Wyścigi 18 September 2006

The GTR 2 is a continuation of the extremely faithful, licensed FIA GT racing simulation. Compared to the original, the game has been greatly expanded in terms of content, offering an even greater dose of attractions not only for fans of ultra-realistic car races.

PC

Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach
Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach

RPG 28 February 2006

Free MMORPG based on Dungeons & Dragons version 3.5. The game focuses on exploration, fight and community of players. What distinguishes the production from others is the fact that the world is divided into smaller continents, and the gameplay is based on the rules known from RPGs.

PC

Daxter
Daxter

Zręcznościowe 14 March 2006

In the platformer "Daxter" we play the role of one of the characters creating an inseparable pair of heroes known from the series of games Jak and Daxter, we try to solve an extremely mysterious mystery. The game was prepared by Ready at Dawn Studios. The publisher is Sony Computer Entertainment.

PSP

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

RPG 19 November 2006

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is another metroidery that belongs to the best-selling series that started in the 80s of the 20th century. The story takes place in the land of Hyrule, once again attacked by dark forces. A characteristic feature of this position is the ability to change Links, the main character of the game, into a wolf.

Wii

Worldwide Soccer Manager 2007
Worldwide Soccer Manager 2007

Sportowe 18 October 2006

The third installment of an excellent series of football games, created by Sports Interactive studio, with the popular saga Championship Manager or NHL Eastside Hockey Manager.

PC

Okami
Okami

Zręcznościowe 19 September 2006

Okami is a production from Clover Studios, the developers responsible for both parts of the well received by Viewtiful Joe series players. The main assumption of the game is to base its visual and climatic style on the old Japanese art of sumi-e painting, characterized by a specific line and color palette.

PS2

Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle
Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle

Przygodowe 17 November 2006

The second part of an excellent adventure game prepared by Spanish Pendulo Studios. Just like in the previous one, here we meet two main characters: the extremely sexy Gina and the student Brian.

PC

Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror
Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror

Akcji 14 March 2006

Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror is a 3D action game released by Sony Computer Entertainment. The series dates back to the times of the first PlayStation.

PSP

Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Warlords
Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Warlords

Strategiczne 24 July 2006

Warlords is the first official addition to Sid Meier's Civilization IV - a best-selling strategy game, which debuted on the electronic entertainment market in October 2005.

PC

Siren 2
Siren 2

Przygodowe 09 February 2006

Forbidden Siren 2, like the first installment of the cycle, is a survival horror game created by Keiichiro Toyama, the author of the cult Silent Hill series. The action of the programme takes us to Yamijima Island (Island of Darkness), where Dante scenes took place 29 years ago and all its then inhabitants disappeared in mysterious circumstances.

PS2

Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops

Akcji 05 December 2006

Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops is the first real Snake adventure game for PlayStation Portable that directly follows the events presented in the MGS series of stationary platforms.

PSP

New Super Mario Bros.
New Super Mario Bros.

Zręcznościowe 15 May 2006

New Super Mario Bros. for the pocket console Nintendo DS, is a refreshed version of the classic item from 1985. Producers are returning to their roots, offering us a two-dimensional platformer containing 3D graphics based on polygons.

NDS

Metroid Prime: Hunters
Metroid Prime: Hunters

Przygodowe 20 March 2006

Metroid Prime: Hunters is the second (after Metroid Prime: Pinball) product from the popular series, which was released on the Nintendo DS console. At one time, the demo of this game also promoted the premiere of the platform, being part of the sold set.

NDS

Sam & Max: Season 1 - Culture Shock
Sam & Max: Season 1 - Culture Shock

Przygodowe 17 October 2006

Sam & Max: Season 1 is a production prepared by Telltale Games team, known for creating Bone. Like the title mentioned here, Sam & Max is an episodic game.

PC