With a day left to the new year I'll take the opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year and I hope your 2012 has been a good one. On my behalf it's been quite the eventful one when it comes to gaming, both in the career and as entertainment. Here's to hoping 2013 will be an eventful one, even though I currently don't have many games to look forward to at this point.
This list is based on the games I've played. If it's not in my full list, I've yet to play it. My full 2012 list can be found here.
It's also a remake of my previous list, after Dishonored slipped in to snag spot 7 after I finished it today. Was not fair to exclude it.
So which games did I look forward to this year? I had a top ten list but the top five feels like the relevant ones.
Which game lived up best to the Anticipation?
Mass Effect 3 (6th) - We all have our opinions about the final game of the trilogy and I'm definitely one who have my fair share of said opinions. With that said, it was still a good ride. I just wish I waited until the DLC's were released to experience things like Brad did, because he makes plenty of valid points in his Top 10 video.
Plus I was a big follower of the femShep initiative, so the inclusion of a proper 'canon' version of Jane Shepard definitely made Mass Effect 3 an engaging ride all the way up to the release of the game.
Assassin's Creed III - The funny part was that I thought I liked this game, and the things they show to you when opening the game definitely seemed appealing. The problem was just how nothing really felt coherent, no real goal and it suffered from a main character that just sounded bored.
Granted I loved the homestead stuff and the ship combat was both intense and some of the best I have ever seen, but when it does not really give you anything other than more money you were never given a sense of accomplishment.
Personally I'd rather see an Industrial Revolution's London for AC3 and that they made a Pirate game with the ship combat.
Place 10 - 8
10. FTL - Faster than Light - This game spoke to my inner geek and the idea of being a captain on a ship full of crew is always making me engaged.
09. Hotline Miami - It's quite simple, really. This game made me rage, but in good ways. It punished me for being bad and I cursed at myself before trying again.
08. Sleeping Dogs - This game provided a good mix of open world and the use of the Arkham Asylum combat style.
Journey (Who is that?) - This game struck me as almost insulting for a €12 price range for what was said to be a two hour game. That said, this game just grabbed me and never let me go until the end credits rolled. Though that was not even why it's my surprise of the year.
It was when I walked through the sand and suddenly spotted another traveler. I wondered if that was an AI, approached it cautiously in case it was hostile and tried to ping it. Then the traveler pinged back. "Is that another player?", I thought and pinged again. The traveler pinged back. Then we continued the Journey together and it was amazing, until the other traveler was thrown away by a dragon in the blizzard. I sat there, hidden, and pinged for a few minutes - all alone. It hit me on an emotional level I wasn't expecting. I lost a friend, and we had not exchanged a single word.
Well played Journey. Well played ThatGameCompany.
Place 7 - 5
07. Dishonored - With solid gameplay mechanics, exploration elements and intriguing story it's definitely a memorable game.
06. Mass Effect 3 - Gripes or not, it was a good ride and I look forward to more Mass Effect in the future.
05. Spec Ops: The Line - This game showed that you can be gnarly and violent - while still having a deeper plot.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Michael MacCann) - McCann's work is definitely shining through when you listen to the soundtrack. I was a big fan of his work on Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and you can hear hints of that in XCOM. The soundtrack makes it easy for you to recognize each situation depending on the music, and I can start remembering specific tales from the battlefield when I listen to it. Hearing the music when you were getting ready to deploy never got old.
That said; Journey deserves a very special mention for a beautiful soundtrack that is the first video game soundtrack nominated for a Grammy.
Place 4 - 2
04. Far Cry 3 - This one came out of nowhere and provided a sandbox that kept me exploring to the fullest
03. XCOM: Enemy Unknown - What other game can you tell the tale of the Norweigan heavy panicking and shooting the Swedish Assaulter to death?
02. Journey - This game was short but damn it was quite the ride. Will always remember this game that took me by surprise and blew me away.
Clementine - She managed to prove that a child don't have to be a source of frustration, or be there as a sole reason to create a situation you need to solve. (I'm looking at you, Jason) She will always have a place in my heart after hers an Lee's development together as two souls trying to survive on the zombie infested planet. She became both my conscience and moral compass in how I were to tackle certain moral choices, which I greatly appreciate.
She continued to surprise and never disappointed me.
SeeJay's Favorite of 2012
The Walking Dead - This game is not only my Game of the Year because it made me shed tears. Not man tears - actual tears. It's Game of the Year because it managed to prove several points this year, which I hope will continue into 2013.
1. Telltale proved they can redeem themselves - and then some - after a failure (Jurassic Park)
2. Episodic Games work well when you let players subscribe by buying a reasonable one time package
3. Gameplay can take second seat to a heavy story and still keep you engaged and involved
I'm really happy to see Telltale's rise to stardom with The Walking Dead. It's well deserved and I'm eager to play Season 2.
I'm surprised to say it, considering there were plenty of disappointments this year, but 2012 was:
Thank you for reading and Happy New Year