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Frontlines: Fuel of War

With the price of oil surpassing $100 a barrel, the apocalypse imagined
in Frontlines: Fuel of War may not be so far away. In this vision of
the future, the world’s remaining superpowers—split between two
factions—clash in a winner-take-all war for Earth’s last oil reserves.
Lucky for us, this makes a great backdrop for some intense multiplayer
skirmishes.

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Sins of a Solar Empire

4X (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate) strategy games rarely
gain widespread popularity. They’re like the mathletes club in high
school—a haven for only the most hardcore of geeks. Sins of a Solar
Empire vitalizes the genre by automating most of the micromanagement
and replacing monotonous turn-based drudgery with faster-paced
real-time gameplay.

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Unreal Tournament 3

Since the last Unreal Tournament game was released four years ago,
no worthy contender has managed to dethrone the now-classic shooter as
the best game for online deathmatches. With the much-delayed Unreal
Tournament 3, we get the uneasy feeling that Epic Games has grown a bit
complacent with its multiplayer crown. The game’s brand-new graphics
engine and glut of maps mask some very familiar weapons and gameplay
mechanics. And while we appreciate that the developers haven’t broken
from a proven design formula, we’re disappointed by the lack of
innovation in this long-awaited sequel.

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World in Conflict

Nothing flexes our imagination like alternate history scenarios, and
World in Conflict delivers one that has us on the edge of our seat.
It’s the late 1980s, and the Cold War is far from over. The commies
have already made a push to invade Western Europe, and in a desperate
move, have decided to mount a sneak attack on American shores. It’s
your mission to contain the Soviet invasion and retake Seattle before
the invaders paint the country red.

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Quake Wars: Enemy Territory

When we think of Quake games, we think of fast-paced deathmatches in
their purest no-nonsense form. In Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, the
latest iteration of the shooter franchise, that visceral run-and-gun
experience still makes up the foundation of gameplay, but the
integration of deep teamplay tactics and mission objectives makes this
a whole new multiplayer animal. The meld of cooperative squadplay and
frenzied firefighting makes for compelling matches, but both deathmatch
and tactical purists may find themselves in slightly unfamiliar
territory.

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The Orange Box

Finishing The Orange Box left us in a state of shock. It wasn’t
Half-Life 2: Episode 2’s requisite cliffhanger ending that floored us;
rather, it was the realization that Episode 2 is the low point of the
entire Orange Box package. Portal and Team Fortress 2 completely
eclipse what Valve bills as the “centerpiece” of the bundle.

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