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Unconventional Warfare

Unconventional warfare (abbreviated UW) is the opposite of conventional warfare. Where conventional warfare is used to reduce an opponent's military capability, unconventional warfare is an attempt to achieve military victory through acquiescence, capitulation, or clandestine support for one side of an existing conflict.

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Unconventional Warfare broke the mold when it evolved from miniature guerrilla tactics many years ago, and akin to that metaphorical detail that I've wittily placed here, so do these ten games from this ebbing and flowing generation. They may not all be Call of Duty sequels, nor will they be generic FPS or RPG games, however, they all at one time either started interesting trends, or they ended repetitive ones with a smooth bang. Here's to the past, and the thoughtful hopes of a brighter future...

10] Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (PS3)

Uncharted started off a new and trendy platforming, running, gunning, and puzzling adventure series which impresses still to this day, remains one of the brightest lights in the Play Station troposphere, and presents gamers with the BA male equivalent of Lara Croft. It may not be so new now- having released three stellar games, but it remains a great competitor for most interactive and ingenious this-gen gaming formula. In short, it's mostly original.

09] Alan Wake (Multi)

Few games can use light as the main means of dispatching your countless enigmatic foes or bosses- save Tron I suppose, and yet Alan Wake uses exactly this simple seeming concept to much success. While it caters to horror and suspense fans as well as to die hard or casual adventure and action ones, Alan Wake maintains a narrative-based perspective and truly brings the horror home. Don't go outside without a flashlight after playing this original and long anticipated game (or would story be a more appropriate title?)

08] Assassin's Creed (Multi)

What more needs to be said truthfully? Today, only four or so short years after it's initial release, the largely grown following of Ubisoft's risky endeavor showcases some of the best fandoms, sportsmanship, and honor among thieves- as well as assassins. The Assassin's Creed name is easily one of the more recognizable franchise names at this time as well, even proceeding Call of Duty and World of Warcraft in some countries. Polish, intriguing story, and interesting controls make up this kidney-stabbing bonanza...

07] Batman: Arkham Asylum (Multi)

There have been many Batman games created to date, so you may be surprised to find one of them on this particular list- seeing as it generally concerns new and untested topics for games. That having been said, this Batman is the Batman- and most definitely a new and previously untested endeavor. Easily the beginning of the (thus far) best Batman series of games to date, this thriller and night-calling predator will take down even the fiercest competitors at least a single notch or more. If you haven't messed around with the caped crusader's gadgets at least once, you have no idea what you are missing...

06] Bioshock (Multi)

From the haunting calls of the Big Daddy's whale-like ocean moans to the scenic and stoic beauty of the corrupted Rapture, Bioshock's narrative, action, and gameplay all impress. Ken Levine and co. did a great job five years ago created such a masterpiece of storytelling and graphical acuteness, and it still holds up better today than it's interesting sequel and many other games as well. Series' in fact- if you count the Mario and Sonic Olympics games. ;-) From the unique RPG elements to the shooter ones, this mash up of wonderful ideas manages not to overreach itself in any one area, but to achieve perfection in each category. It has stood the test of time, which is a testament to the work put into it by it's overlords and creators...

05] Dead Space (Multi)

Dead Space- it's very name calls to memory countless screams, chills, and bloody visages for many a gamer. Count yourself both blessed and cursed for having played it, as it is a fantastic horror game,s carefest, and trippy journey- all crammed into one psychotic and bloody battle for sanity and requiem. Not only has it started off a great (thus far) trilogy of games and upcoming games, but it's originality holds true throughout each- as the nerve racking 'necromorphs' and the unique space-odyssey setting all mesh together for an intriguing 'space-zombie' romp. A word of advice- ignore all dares to play this game at night. Your pants will surely thank you later for the consideration.

04] Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Multi)

It is only fair that the game known for starting the modern CoD craze and unseating the (until then) Halo monopoly upon the Xbox and FPS industry get its grand ado here. While the (technical) fourth installment of the FPS franchise (now totaling roughly nine games), Modern Warfare 1 is credited with completely overhauling the multiplayer system, bringing the gameplay to the modern world and leaving the WWII era behind and a plethora of other trivial and titanic feats of ingenuity and originality. Infinity Ward has forever left a mark in both sales numbers and ratings upon the FPS multiverse with the legacy of the series, and the Modern Warfare trilogy- as disappointing as some may have thought it ended, sure began with one of the biggest bangs ever.

03] Dragon Age: Origins (Multi)

Although technically a mish mash of classic RPG elements found in D&D or Baldur's Gate games, Dragon Age: Origins not only reinvigorated a semi-stale genre, but successfully ported it from PC to consoles without a tremendously terrible loss of creativity or control. While it console brother was somewhat more disappointing- as was the more console-oriented sequel it spawned, the original was soaked in equal amounts of ideas, speech, cinematography, and blood. Here's to BioWare's work with a wonderful series, and the great times the Darkspawn's occupation of Ferelden and your character's backstory added.

02] Borderlands (Multi)

I'll admit- the first time I witnessed Borderland's abrupt switch from realistic graphics to a retro-cell shaded art style, I was skeptical at best- however I soon came to realize (with countless other gamers) that this particular direction fit the game's essence perfectly and captured the main goal it produced: insanity. While it is not necessarily the art approach that makes the game itself, and is instead a combination of factors- the sick humor and violent skulduggery that the games' antics provided in it's entirety are truly the defining moments for the adventure. Even more intriguing is the fact that it even managed to coin it's own relatively untouched genre to boot- having been dubbed  a one of a kind "Role Playing Shooter" or RPS. Sure, many other games have gone down similar paths before, but none have captured it so vividly or imaginatively as this one- as the loads of extra content and 1700 achievable points go to show.

01] Mass Effect (Multi)

Not only was Mass Effect a relatively completed unapproachable and interesting delivery as a game, and even as a conceptual idea by the wonderful people at BioWare- who routinely create great games and series', but the very core element of the game- being such an old fashioned theme (space odyssey) still surprises gamers with it's remarkable newness and the sheen it perfectly shines. Like a coat of new primer over some old, faded paint job- Mass effect brought out lesser realized elements of the space adventure and even threw in some creative new items to boot. Combien this with one of gaming's best dialogue systems, an intriguing story, and some of the best party characters, in an RPG (especially a BioWare one) since KotoR, and you're sure to sell millions of copies. Looking back from today and seeing how far the series has climbed- it almost screams blasphemy to ponder what would have happened if it had never even been created...

And Now...

I hope that this simple glance into the creative mystery and recent history of gaming has been extremely thought-provoking, or at the very least- mildly interesting for you to read and surmise. As much of a 'getting-back-into the swing of things" as it was for myself- seeing as I haven't blogged in nearly a month due to a busy and time-crunched schedule, I hope that it was also both legible writing and some intriguing and present generation thought. Cheers folks, and until the next time.

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