Gear junkies are a separate breed of gamer. We are rarely satisfied with simply moving through plot-points toward a game’s conclusion. We need to have the best toys along the way. No stock sword will do though. Rather, we want the epic sword of awesomeness that we spent days scavenging for, with +1 to damage and a unique color scheme. Flames are optional, but wholly appreciated.
Here are a few of our favorite games for gear junkies, conveniently categorized for your particular style:
For the Gun Freak
Gearbox Software created a paradise for gear junkies. You never know what type of gun will show up in a chest, and should you pass it up, you may never see it again. That’s because every gun is generated on the fly from an expansive supply of barrels, stocks, ammo-types, etc. There are over 17 million combinations, and that number rises with each round of DLC. Borderlands’ is filled with so many toys that a main complaint at launch was the lack of a place to store all of those treasures. That issue has since been fixed, as have many others, which shows Gearbox’s commitment to sustaining Borderlands as one of, if not the best, cooperative shooters on the market.
You might also enjoy: Army of Two: The 40th Day, Combat Arms
For the Adventurous Traveler
Fallout: New Vegas
If you can look past a laundry list of bugs (slowly but surely getting patched), New Vegas has more toys to play with than any other game in the series. You can hide behind the banners of good or evil, but we know what really drives you forward: loot. From lever-action shotguns to grenade launchers and bladed gauntlets, New Vegas has something for every destructive taste. Perks (unique character enhancements) allow you to specialize in select weapons, such as cowboy-style revolvers or explosives, ensuring that every playthrough can be vastly different. New Vegas also features a crafting system that allows you to make your own bullets, food, supplies, drugs, and guns. Who doesn’t love a gun that fires baseballs, books, and whatever else you shove down the barrel?
You might also enjoy: Demon’s Souls, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion,
For the Old-schooler
The third installment is looming closer and Diablo II turned 10 this year, but Blizzard’s dungeon-crawler is still at the head of the pack. Without Diablo, there might not be a Champions of Norrath, Torchlight, or Borderlands. Blizzard has addiction down to a science. I might be ashamed to admit how many all-night sessions I pulled, and how many classes I subsequently slept through, if Diablo II wasn’t so incredibly enjoyable. Of course, the best part is putting your spoils to the test in online duels. Diablo II has seen better days, but don’t let age mislead you. The game still receives updates to this day and new players continue to find their way to the holy grail of dungeon roaming.
You might also enjoy: Torchlight, Titan Quest
For the Do-it-Yourselfer
The post-apocalyptic Grand Canyon is not a friendly place. While not as unforgiving as Darkfall or Ultima Online, Fallen Earth is among the most hardcore MMOs. NPCs rarely have good equipment to offer, wolves don’t carry guns or epic axes, and you’re unlikely to loot more than a few scraps of material after shooting an enemy full of holes. Despite this, Fallen Earth has an incredibly expansive item-list. You simply have to make the gear yourself, or find someone to do it for you using the powerful crafting system. With 22 equipment slots, you can easily spend a few days without questing to make and try out different clothes until you nail down the perfect look. Even better, specialize in crafting and get experience for the items you make.
You might also enjoy: EVE Online, World of Warcraft
For the Tactician
A Squaresoft action-adventure/RPG game without shops? That’s almost unbelievable. Instead, Vagrant Story requires players to disassemble and recombine weapons and armor into new constructions. Bigger is not always better though, since each item has affinities and weaknesses pertaining to elements, enemy classes, and what type of weapon/armor it is going up against. The creation system and all of its affinities and weakness can be overwhelming, but ultimately rewarding when you discover the perfect weapon to take down a seemingly unstoppable opponent.
You might also enjoy: Syndicate Wars, Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman