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Alasdair Duncan's blog
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Alasdair Duncan avatar 10:24 AM on 01.05.2013  (server time)
Backlog challenge 2013 Part 1

So in the vain hope of reducing my backlog, Iím throwing open the chance to all of you lovely folk as to what game Iím going to play next in my backlog. When I say my hopes are in vain, it basically means that Iím hoping to play as many games as I end up buying in 2013 so I start 2014 in pretty much the same position as I started this year. Anyway, with that cynical thought out of the way, hereís a couple of ground points I want to make.

1) Iím going to provide 5 options each month for people to vote on. Iím planning a theme on each set of games, so I donít end up

2) If I end up completing a game really quickly, then Iím reserving the right to play another game of my choice in the same month. If I finish that game, then Iíll start the next vote early

3) Iím still going to be reviewing games for the site, so if something comes my way, Iíll be dropping everything to play the game and review it. Last year I did about 7 or 8 reviews, so that wonít happen too much, but...

4) When it comes to big new releases, I am dropping everything to play them. So when Bioshock Infinite comes out, I am playing that straight away. Like, maybe taking some days off work to play. Again, wonít happen too much but at the same time I need at least 10 games for my end of 2013 Best Of... list, right?

5) I reserve the right not to play DLC that extends the game and also to play the game on Easy mode (if applicable) should I choose. Also, I ain't playing multiplayer but I may play co-op if I can guarantee people will play with me.

So with those excuses out of the way, letís get to the theme for January and the games youíll be voting for:

Best of 2012 I didnít finish.

So hereís a list of games that I either bought but didnít play in 2012, or started but never finished. I think youíre going to see a lot of repeat themes here...

Sleeping Dogs seems to have been a case of ďhey, this is way better than expectedĒ, considering itís troubled development. I bought Sleeping Dogs at launch knowing my new PC was going to be arriving soon but two reviews and repairs to my desktop meant I had to shelve playing it until this year. I have only played an hour but that was mainly to see how good the HD texture pack looks on my PC (spoiler: it looks reeaaaaallllyyyy good)

Fez was more of a case of ďwow, this is really greatĒ and then ďI have no idea where I am or what I should be doingĒ. The seemingly maze-like series of doors and passages meant I quickly lost my bearings and my puzzle solving skills are so lax that I know I wasnít going to make it far. But I donít want to give up on Fez, I want to experience that ďah hah!Ē moment that everyone seems to have with that game.

File under the ďhey, this is way better than expectedĒ category too. I want to play another modern military shooter set in the middle east like I want an extra couple of holes in my head. Yet Spec Ops seems to have gotten a lot of praise with elements of itís story and itís non-glamorous take on warfare. Worth a shot it seems, after I picked it up in the Steam Winter Sale for next to nothing.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown was something that was on my radar but it wasnít until I played it at PAX Prime last year, that I knew I wanted to play for sure. I wasnít ideologically opposed to the FPS reboot but seeing Firaxis update the older XCOM games for modern times was really pleasing. I know I will dig into this at some point but will it be next game I play?

Just like XCOM, I wasnít opposed to the idea of an FPS reboot of Bullfrogís classic Syndicate; the only thing I remember from the original game was playing it at my friend Martinís house when I was a kid and guys in trench coats gunning down people with miniguns. And Starbreezeís update has both of those. I got about halfway through and got frustrated with seemingly invincible boss fights and the nagging sensation that I maybe missed out on some gameplay info.

So there's your 5 choices, I'm gonna keep voting open until Sunday midnight GMT, afterwards I'll post what the choice of game was in the comments and start playing. Bear in mind there were more games I got in 2012 that I need to finish but these were some of the big ones that came to mind. With all that, get to voting!

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