I don’t think I’m fulfilling my nerd quota this year. I haven’t seen The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man, or Prometheus. I’ve fallen behind on seasons of Primeval and Doctor Who. All of my time is going into my gaming and work. A spur-of-the-moment vacation may be needed to knock these necessary “must-see” movies and television shows off of my list. My nerd card shouldn’t be revoked yet. I did go see The Avengers twice, and no one in the Game Informer offices comes close to touching the number of games I’ve played this year.

This weekend I managed to finish up Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, and I also went back and played Need for Speed: The Run and Lost Planet 2. I didn’t get around to Dragon’s Dogma – this game is becoming the “one that got away” for 2012. I love the hell out of it. I’m just intimidated by its size and the amount of time I still have to put into it. I feel like I need to put aside an entire day just to get into it again. If I take that vacation, that’s the game I’ll vest time into. Now I just have to find a Thursday and Friday that isn’t cluttered with meetings.

Here are my thoughts on the games I played this weekend.

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier

This game ended up being much longer than I thought it would be. The story never pulled me in, and I honestly cannot tell you the name of any character in it. The combat and environment designs are the only two elements that kept me going. I was also impressed with the squad AI. If I highlighted a sniper, my troops would successfully find a safe angle for a shot and drop the enemy in no time flat. I’m glad I played it. I just wish it had more of a narrative pulse. My score: 7.5 out of 10.

Need for Speed: The Run

I love the hell out of this game’s premise. Racing from California to New York against 199 other drivers is as ambitious as game design gets for this genre. And it works for the most part. The different race types make sense for the concept, and one-off races are introduced at the right times to break up the flow. In one sequence, I had to race down a mountain away from an avalanche. My heart was pumping the entire time. The downfall to this game: The vehicle physics are a little too heavy. I never really feel like I have complete control of my car. Regardless, I’m enjoying the race. I’m currently in South Dakota, riding in 68th place. I figure I’ll be in New York in four hours of game time.

Lost Planet 2

This game doesn’t get enough respect. Blowing away 10-ton prehistoric worms and insects is a hell of a lot of fun with a friend or three at your side. The slot machine-like loot system, which can reward a player with a powerful new weapon or a worthless new moniker with a spin of the wheel, gives the experience that “let’s play that level again to farm more spins” allure. My friend Phil Hoff and I are addicted to to it. We’re always up for playing with new people. If you have the game on Xbox 360 and want to play this week, drop me a tweet (@andrew_reiner).

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