Well another year has passed and yet again we are faced with creating out top 10 lists of games that were released in the passing year. I will warn you though, this list is subject to change in the future, because I haven't had time to play every game that came out last year (nor do I intend to, in some cases)
I'll count from spot number ten all the way up to number one, so without further ado:
10# Hitman Absolution
While it didn't quite capture me like the previous games in the installment (especially not as much as Blood Money did). The game did deliver one of the best game engine's I've ever laid eyes on. If you haven't already, take a look at the "Chinese New Year" level, the amount of detail and NPC's they are able to stuff into that level is jaw dropping to say the least. It's weird but somehow the best Assassins Creed game (as I wanted them to be from the start) is not an Assassins Creed game. In the end, the game's focus on story and action hinders it from reaching it's true potential.
9# Uncharted: Golden Abyss
I love the Uncharted series, It's the main reason I own a PS3, so when I heard there was going to be a Uncharted game on the PSVita, I knew I had to get a PSVita, So I picked up one this Christmas, and I absolutely love both the console and the game. The thing that makes this game stand out so much for me this past year is that despite it being on a portable system, it can still stand tall beside it's console brethren.
8# Mark of the Ninja
Stealth games are near and dear to me, I've always liked being able to sneak through a level in a game without being noticed. moving in closer and closer to an unaware target, striking as fast as lightning, the target not knowing what's going on until it's over. Mark of the Ninja is one of the best stealth games I've ever played. because unlike it's AAA counterparts it's not burdened by it's story and non stealth gameplay mechanics, and it manages to deliver one of the purest stealth experiences ever made
7# Sleeping Dogs
A game that borrows a little bit of everything from many different genres and delivers one hell of a ride from start to finish. Formerly True Crime: Hong Kong, Sleeping Dogs emerges as a phoenix from the ashes, mixing Hong Kong cinema with GTA/Sandbox gameplay and is able to create one of 2012's most exciting new IP.
6# Spec Ops: The Line
I'll have to admit, If it weren't for Extra Credits, I would have totally passed on this one. I mean look at it, If you haven't played it, everything points to it being just another bland military shooter in the shadow of industry juggernauts like Battlefield and Call of Duty. But if you can shell out 20 Euros it costs on Steam, I highly suggest you do. No other game has ever shook me the way Spec Ops: The Line did. In the end all I can say is that it's one of the most intriguing video games I've ever played.
5# Civ V: Gods and Kings
While not a standalone game, the Gods and Kings expansion to the already fantastic Civ V shakes things up, introducing religion and espionage to the mix. The game feels fresh and new and addresses a lot of the concerns players had with the original game. Being able to spy on the competition, Spreading your own religion left and right is awesome and is sure to entice the Civ players once more. One more turn
4# Mass Effect 3
Controversy aside, Who here didn't love Mass Effect 3, Show of hands.... Thought so
I loved Mass Effect 3, While it wasn't as good as Mass Effect 2, it delivered exactly what I wanted out of a Mass Effect game. BioWare made the appropriate adjustments where it was needed (cover system finally works as it should) and delivered an epic conclusion to Shepard's story. Hell, even the multiplayer was awesome.
Could we ask for more?
If the ensuing controversy is anything to go by, I would say yes, But the community's complaints are as hollow as a Reaper Husk. Complaining that the game didn't have enough endings. ME and ME2 had 2 endings each, ME3 had 3 endings, Last time I checked, That's 33,3% more than we previously had.
I am appalled by the fact that BioWare catered to these ungrateful fanboys shipping out an extended ending that weren't at all needed.
I'll stop my rant now.
The game as it were before the edited ending, was to me the perfect ending to Shepard's story, I couldn't have asked for more and that's why Mass Effect 3 is in the 4# spot on my top ten games of 2012 list
Some times this industry will just give you a total 180. With the market currently over saturated by military shooters, with games like COD breaking the sales record every year, being increasingly worse for each year that passes, Out of the blue comes Dishonored. A game that is as far from the military shooter mold as it can get. Delivering a "play as you want to play" mentality that's reminiscent of Deus Ex, with an art style that invokes memories of Bioshock. Yes this game could just as easily have been the love child of Ken Levine and Warren Spector. It is that awesome. and luckily it sold well enough for Bethesda to say "Yupp, We got ourselves a new franchise"
2# XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Only having heard about the older X-Com (UFO) games, I didn't really know what to expect from this one when I first heard of it, Could this be the Bioshock-ish shooter that they had advertised some years ago? But then I heard Sid Meier and Firaxis were involved, and it peaked my interest, And man am I glad I checked this gem out. An invasion simulation where you play as a commander tasked with stopping the current Alien invasion in it's tracks. The slightest misstep might spell the doom for the planet. XCOM: EU doesn't hold your hand more than it absolutely have to. and if you screw up you might not even notice until 10 hours later when all of your soldiers are being slaughtered out in the field
Those of you who've visited my blog before probably saw this one coming, But come on, This games really hits home the fact that games can be art, and instead of explaining why again, I'll just link you to my other blog post about Journey