Escapist Editorials

Escapist Editorials
Holiday Gift Guide 2013 - Gift Ideas for the Gamer

The Escapist Staff | 26 Nov 2013 15:30
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The Escapist staff of editors and gift-givers tells you what you should buy the gamer on your list in 2013. That's where this handy-dandy guide for giving gifts to the gamer your life (read: you) comes in.

It's the most wonderful time of the year, a time of joy, mirth, celebration and pulling out your hair over finding just the right present for the nerd (or nerds) in your life. It's also the time of year when you will be telling family and friends what exactly to get you this holiday season. But don't worry, The Escapist is here to help!

Through the next few pages, you'll find suggestions and ideas for all kinds of nerd goodies for that special someone in your life. Games, books, movies, and gadgets; we've got it all, even some ideas for those who've won (or think they'll win) the lottery this holiday season.

So grab a piece of graph paper and a pen, read on, and get ready to make some holiday wishlists!

Games Games Games

You guys like games for all consoles, handhelds and even the glorious PC? Well, here are our picks for the games to get for you and your friends.

1

XCOM: Enemy Within

Paul says: Get ready to save the world once again from an extraterrestrial menace, Commander! This stand-alone expansion for last year's award-winning tactical strategy game XCOM: Enemy Unknown features a whole host of new enemies, council missions, weapons, gear and special abilities to help you kick ET's ass back into space once more. Using the power of a new resource, Meld, you can modify your troops with gene mods to make them faster, stronger, and tougher than ever, or construct cybernetic cybersuits to turn your soldiers into walking tank-like cyborgs armed with railguns and rocket-powered fists! It's a must have for any XCOM fans or those who love a challenging strategy game. Just remember that a 95% chance to hit still isn't a guarantee of a successful shot.

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Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition

Justin says: The Baldur's Gate series is just one of those timeless classics of gaming. Developer Beamdog aims to bring those classics to a new audience, and maybe polish up the old girl a little along the way. Last year they released the first half of their enhanced edition featuring the original Baldur's Gate and the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion, but only just recently did we see it completed with Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition, which covers Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn and Throne of Bhaal. The Enhanced Editions make some improvements to the UI and add some new content, along with making the game compatible with widescreen monitors, but they are otherwise faithful renditions of the some of the pinnacles in the RPG genre. This is where these editions are at their best, bringing old classics to a new audience that didn't experience them the first time around and doesn't want to be bothered with jumping the hoops to get them working now. Though if you are looking for a more untouched version, you can find them at Good Old Games.

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Diablo III for Consoles

Schuyler says: Diablo III was released in 2012 for the PC to an audience wary of its real money auction house and displeased with the game's issues with loot drops. Then a year later, Blizzard brought the game to the Xbox 360, fixing all of these problems and giving console gamers a chance to experience one of the best franchises of the past twenty years. The Diablo experience on a console brought me back to when I was neck deep in Gauntlet and being in loot-grinding heaven. In an age where PC gamers usually get the glut of RPG games, leaving the console with more first person shooters than you could shake a stick at, Blizzard extended an olive branch of sorts and hopefully we get more of the games that were PC exclusives ported to consoles so that the masses can too partake in the fun.

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Battlefield 4

Justin says: Look, I'm just going to put my foot down and state that Battlefield is the best multiplayer military shooter series. There's just something about that theme that's been getting me itching for its open map combat for years now. Battlefield 4 continues this legacy, combining all the chaos and spectacle that the series is known for. Buildings are leveled, tanks run over soldiers and conflicts escalate until the last reinforcement ticket ticks off. There are just not many games where you can shoot a helicopter pilot out of their airship, jump off a building, steal it midair and fly off to rain fire down on their control point, at least not without a heavy dose of quick time events. If you have a shooter fan on your shopping list, get Battlefield 4.

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Tearaway

Heather says: I'm a big fan of handheld gaming systems and count myself pretty lucky to live in a time when portable gaming systems are as powerful as they are today. The Playstation Vita is no exception to the rule of awesome that has befallen portable systems in recent years, but it doesn't often get enough credit. The PS Vita is really an exceptional platform, and with front and back cameras and dual touchscreens, the Vita is already worlds above other handheld gaming systems. If you're looking for a killer game to play on your PS Vita, fork over your cash to Media Molecule for Tearaway, because it's so worth it.

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Pokemon X & Y

Jon says: Pokemon has only gotten better with age. And these, the latest, are better than ever. They're beginner friendly, straightforward, very transparent, and as complicated as you want them to be. They're so good, in fact, that I want to own both.

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Borderlands 2 Game of the Year Edition

Paul says: If you missed out on any of this crazy co-operative shooter last year, then get ready to joy puke your face off with this special, DLC-loaded edition of Borderlands 2! Featuring all 4 DLC packs, new vault hunters Krieg the Psyhco and Gaige the Mechromancer, a whole host of character skins and battle arenas and of course, the award-winning game itself!

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Minecraft

Schuyler says: Minecraft may have come out initially in 2009 but it's never too late to hop on the bandwagon. After it was released for the PC while it was still in its alpha version, Minecraft sales went through the roof making fans from almost everyone that touched it. This game has gone from an indie game to one of the best selling games on the Xbox, that doesn't happen often. Minecraft has changed the way that people look at games, you are given a world to reign over as you see fit. The only limits are your imagination, so if you want to give the gift of an experience that they won't forget I suggest that you download the game to your PC or Xbox for hours upon hours of fun.

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