|Ubisoft (Xbox 360; also PS2, Xbox)
In gaming, the line between reality and fantasy is really beginning to blur. Case in point: Tom Clancy's future-combat opus, which often made me think I was watching breaking military action on CNN, not playing it. First, you're introduced to a squadron of elite soldiers who await your plan of attack on hostiles in Mexico City. Their movements are fluid; their appearance is photorealistic. The graphics are precedent-setting (and a perfect showpiece for your ogling friends), shown from a high-tech steadicam perspective, swaying to and fro with each step. But when the gunfire starts, it's Peckinpah circa 2013 - loud, ferocious, unrelenting. You'll check your couch for holes after hearing the front-to-rear whiz-bang of bullets. The urban battleground even extends online for limitless multiplayer warmongering via Xbox Live. Kiss your social life adios.
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