I like first or third person shooters that are very story driven, but not so much that the story encroaches too much on my gaming time, which is precious with four kids 8-years and under, with a fifth and final on the way. For the most part, I like to be pulled through the game. I tend to lose interest quickly with "sandbox" games. I need to have my hand held a little bit. An exception was the first two Infamous games, which are probably considered sandbox, except for the fact that you can pretty much always know exactly where you need to go next thanks to the tight design. I enjoyed them thoroughly. The games I have garnered the most enjoyment from in recent memory are the Half-Life 2 series as well as Portal 1 and 2. I enjoyed all three Uncharted games on my PS3, as well as all Resistance 1,2 and 3. I played through and enjoyed Bioshock 1 and Infinite, The Last of Us, and the most recent Tomb Raider. I like games that make me think without making me remember too much.
Now you might just say that those are good games, so I like good games. Well let me tell you what I didn't like, or at least what couldn't hold my attention long enough to get a sporting chance: Fallout 3 seemed OK at first but then expanded way too broad way too quickly and I couldn't push through long after getting out of the bunker you start in, even though I love the premise. I don't care for Mass Effect games, and I could not seem to get into any of the new Batman games that I tried, mostly because I didn't enjoy the fighting mechanic. There have been other similar games that I could not get into, but they weren't in my machine long enough to stay in my memory this long.
Hopefully this will help you help me. I'd love some recommendations. Give me a good one and why you think I will like it and if it sounds good, I will literally go buy it tomorrow and get started on a few, because I have an itch right now, and I'm already worried that I'm going to lose interest in Deus Ex before it has a chance to draw me in. I can't help it. My gaming time is too precious to push through for hours with something I am not enjoying...
One game I would highly recommend you check it out is Alpha Protocol, this is one game where pretty every choice you make, no matter how minor, will impact the story in some way, the amount of things this game will keep track is downright insane, this gives the game a lot of replay value(i've completed it 4 times and there's still lots of options I haven't tried yet). Also this is one game where any build is a viable option for your character, whether you want to put all your points in stealth, toughness, martial-arts, sabotage, technical aptitude etc.
I'm with you lately. RPGs take me too long to get into these days. When I'm gaming I'm constantly being distracted by the dog and wife so I can't seem to focus long enough to figure out complex stuff like I used to.
On the PS3 front, have you tried the God of War series? I know it's a bit violent but gameplay wise it's aces all the way with a cool story to go with it. I think you can get the God of War collection with 1, 2, and 3. If anything its worth trying out God of War 3 for the first 30 minutes alone. It's akin to Uncharted or the latest Tomb Raiders on rail awesomeness moments. It's not a shooter but it does have all the other characteristics for an awesome game that Uncharted and Tomb Raider provide with, arguably, way better stories.
The other suggestion I have is to go back to maybe some of the games that you didn't like because of the gameplay and set it down to Easy. I've started to do this on a few games for the heck of it and found I can plow through stuff like crazy and just have fun doing this as well.
Have you tried any JRPGs lately? Those are pretty linear, so there's really no way to get lost most of the time. If you like a good story, I recommend anything by Yasumi Matsuno--Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre, Vagrant Story, and Final Fantasy XII to name a few. His games are moderately challenging but not terribly difficult to figure out. A great entry point to the tactics franchise would actually be Final Fantasy Tactics Advance on GBA.
Headhunter is a fun game (Dreamcast or PS2), also have you tried Ico or Shadow of the Colossus ! They really draw you into their worlds and you don't have to remember too much.
Ps. Is it the original Deus Ex ? That game is great but is a bit of a slow burner.
Shadows of the Damned - This quirky shooter went over really well with me. It has a simple storyline, tight shooting mechanics and great music. The gameplay was handled by Shinji Mikami who did Resident Evil 4. So the gameplay is similar to that. My favorite part is the challenge of shooting enemies. There is no auto aim, or aim assist...so the game requires actual skill. When you pull off a headshot it feels great. The game is rated M and the dialog is very immature. Suda51 did the story and created the world - so if you've played No More Heroes expect that sort of silliness. I had a lot of fun with this one and it held my interest long enough to finish it...which is saying something for me.
Resident Evil 4/5 - No clue if you've played these before...but if you haven't I think they're just what the doctor ordered!
3D Dot Game Heroes - If you have any affinity to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past then you NEED to grab this game. It's sort of this weird homage/spoof of the early Zelda games, but it's incredibly fun! It's made by From Software, the people currently making the awesome 'Souls' games (Demons' Souls). It's a top down action RPG much like a Link to the Past. It has very simple gameplay that really brought me back to the 16 bit days. I loved this game so much.
Heavenly Sword - Not sure how you feel about hack n slash, God of War-esque games, but this early PS3 game is worth tracking down for sure. It has great little story snippets that keep things interesting, but never impede on fun. The game is pretty short and actually doesn't really get fun until you acquire the titular sword about 35 mins in. Once that happens though, the game is a feast of gorgeous locals, varied stages and fun combat.
Twisted Metal - The return of this series was amazing. Read the Critic's gushing review. If you like decidedly old school style games then this is a hidden treat in the PS3's library. It flopped pretty bad and can be picked up for new for $10-$15 these days. If you are a fan of car combat games AT ALL then you need to try this. It's just fun.
I second the Gears of War series, Remember Me, Shadows of the Damned(i'd recommend anything by Suda 51) and Resident Evil 4 and 5(I would also recommend part 6 for having four campaigns all with a different feel, Leon's is very much in the vein of RE4, Chris's is very action-oriented, Jake's is much like the campaign of part 3 with being relentlessly pursued by a giant creature, Ada's is somewhat stealthy)
I would also recommend Deux Ex: Human Revolution if you haven't played it already,(to be honest I don't like the original game in the series quite as much as HR or even Invisible War) as it gets going a lot faster then the original game does.
I'm like you. I have about an hour a night, maybe, to game. I somehow want, at the same time, games to hook me into them, to last a substantial time, but not to require me to really hold onto much from one play session to the next.