There's one game on everyone's minds as of late, and it's doubtful it even needs saying what it is. Destiny has finally launched, to the ravenous crowds clamoring for the summer blockbuster, and all is right with the world of console gaming. But what of the players without an Xbox or a PlayStation to flock to? What of the hardcore gaming fans foaming at the mouth for their next fix on Steam? The answer is simple: there's an entire world beyond Destiny that's rife with new adventures to embark on. There are plenty of games, new and old, vying for your attention. And you don't even have to go to the moon to find them. They're probably already languishing in your Steam library or lurking in that avalanche of a backlog around your PC. Here are some alternatives to Destiny, if you find yourself jonesing for something different to play.
What can be said about Borderlands 2 but loot, loot, loot? True, it did little to advance the franchise, but it did excel at what the games have done best at so far: giving you plenty of doodads to pick up and equip -- or sell for some sweet, sweet cash. Handsome Jack was a deliciously devious villain, the additional characters were entertaining (especially latecomer Mechromancer Gage), and we all choked back a few tears when some of our favorite teammates come face-to-face with some unfortunate circumstances. It's an excellent co-op challenge, and if you're looking for something to feed that MMO-lite urge, Borderlands 2 will scratch that itch nicely until Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel releases on October 10th.
Ah, yes, the other mammoth title from earlier in the year. We can't let the Xbox One steal its spotlight, can we? The offspring of developer Respawn Entertainment, or the company born from the ashes of Infinity Ward, is, quite simply, Call of Duty with mechs. In fact, the two franchises handle quite similarly, with silky smooth movement and delectable accuracy. It’s as tight as you would expect, and combat even when in the enormous Titans fits like a glove. But then, we knew this would be the case. If the triple-A status of Titanfall is what you're really searching for with Destiny, why not suit up with a Titan instead?
Rise of the Triad
No overwrought narratives, checkpoints, or hulking space marines -- just body parts flying willy-nilly and good old-fashioned shoot-’em-up fun. Though considered a dusty old relic by some, Rise of the Triad is an excellent example of the right way to combine memorable mechanics with a gorefest that could sate even the most grisly of players. This is the quintessential balls-out, guns-blazing killing spree that truly caters to players who revel in bloodbaths and free-for-alls. Rocket launchers, machine guns, flak cannons, and even a lightning staff that’s a force to be reckoned with are at your disposal. Whether you loved the original PC classic or want to check out Interceptor's cheeky remake, Rise of the Triad should keep any hunger for killing sprees at bay.
It may require a little digging in the vaults to procure, but until Star Citizen makes its debut in 2015, the premiere name in space combat is 2003's Freelancer. Pilot your own ship while becoming entangled in dogfights with other ships, or simply become a bounty hunter and break all the rules. Whether you choose to embark on a solo quest as Edison Trent or hit up multiplayer to play whomever you want with players across the world, Freelancer is a satisfying and expansive riff on space combat. And since Destiny won't be able to deliver the same experience, you might even be getting a better deal with Freelancer.
System Shock 2
System Shock 2 was revolutionary from beginning to end, and a classic that you'd do well to complete before moving on to other titles. It's probably hanging out in your GOG account or even in your Steam library. What are you waiting for? The reveal of SHODAN, a malevolent supercomputer, is waiting for you to uncover it, because the first time is always the best time. And that's all that needs to be said about that. The Von Braun is rife with treasures you absolutely need to discover for the first time, and if opting for System Shock 2 over Destiny is how you have to play it, that's just a sacrifice you've got to make.
Look at you, hacker. Brittany is fueled by horror, rainbow-sugar-pixel-rushes, and video games. Until her dying breath she'll be wielding a BFG made entirely of killer drive and ambition. Check out her work at PfhorTheWin.com. Like a fabulous shooter once said, get psyched!