By gaminghooligan 0 Comments
I figured I'd go ahead and put this out there since more than likely I won't be playing much else until after the holidays. There were a lot of great games, and having my PS3 finally kick the bucket has limited me to PC and XBOX 360 games for the time being. So don't expect any PS3 exclusives here.
The 2012 Game of 2013
It's Crusader Kings 2! This little gem by Paradox has been my major time sink since it's release last year. With amazing support through patches, game changing DLC, and insanely detailed mods made by it's fantastic community Crusader Kings 2 is the gift that keeps on giving. One minute I'm riding high on a wave of gold plundered from the Anglo Saxons, spreading the wealth around to gain influence among my Norse court. The next I watch as my brother leads a rebellion that ravages my lands and leaves me a prisoner stripped of my titles in a dungeon. The random nature of each game you play let's you tell your on stories in an alternate history Europe where the Republic of Venice rules all of Italy or the Mongols conquered Ireland. I cannot stress how much fun the game is for someone who enjoys grand strategy and while it may seem overly complicated at first, a little time with this one will show you how much depth there is to it's gameplay and keep you coming back for more.
Biggest Letdown of 2013
It's Sim City.
Best Episodic Game That's Still Running
Kentucky Route Zero is something special. A beautiful point and click adventure set on a strange road that seems to lead to another world, this one grabs you from the beginning with its strong writing and style. Accompanied by a hauntingly gorgeous bluegrass soundtrack performed by The Bedquilt Ramblers this is an easy recommendation. Though Act 3 has taken awhile Cardboard Computer has said via twitter they are working hard to finish it, and as far as I'm concerned they can take as long as they need. It's well worth the wait.
The Top Ten
10. Payday 2
Payday 2 is a latecomer for me that I hadn't even considered before picking it up during the Thanksgiving Steam Sale. The first game never caught my attention, but after the disappointing launch of GTA: Online I was looking for my cooperative heist fix. I found it in Payday 2 Electric Boogaloo. With a four man team the player is tasked with robbing various things and using whatever means necessary to get their ill gotten gains to the escape vehicle. It's tense and frantic since even the best laid plans can turn to complete chaos with the introduction with a few well placed armored cops.
An indie title devoted to letting you live out your dream of being an immigration inspector at the border of a made up nation. As the game progresses the guidelines used to identify those who are allowed to cross the border get more and more complex, making your job even more difficult since the more people you process successfully, the more money you make to feed your starving family and heat your government assigned home. I found that Papers Please really tested my morality, and more often than not I left a session feeling guilty or tired. It's a game that deserves your attention. Also the title screen is awesome.
When you tell me the guys who made Mortal Kombat are making a fighting game featuring the DC roster, I'm going to buy that game regardless. Thankfully Injustice is a lot of fun. A pretty good roster of characters takes part in a the single player story mode and the fighting just feels right. As I'm not someone concerned with balance issues this game has finally dethroned Mortal Kombat as "that one fighting game I play."
7. Tomb Raider
When they first announced the reboot of Tomb Raider I was more or less uninterested. After a string of Tomb Raider games I found boring I had given up hope on the series. However a friend demanded I give this game a chance and I'm glad I did. The reboot takes Laura and changes her from a boring overly sexed up adventurer to a competent character who feels more real than her predecessor. Combat feels harsh and violent, and every battle feels like you're fighting for your life. A strong story revolving around a shipwreck and Laura's fight to reunite with her crew offers a promising start in a new series.
6. Saints Row 4
Say hello to the flying samurai who is President of the United States and leader of the infamous street gang The Saints. Even though the fourth installment of the Saints Row franchise doesn't change a whole lot from the third, the additions more than make up for the reuse of the city from three. Those additions are the super powers given to the player character via the simulation in which the game takes place. There is nothing more satisfying than flying around the virtual city and power bombing into cars from the sky. Packed with great music, fun characters, and tons of stuff to do Saints Row 4 is the total package.
5. Rogue Legacy
Rogue Legacy is a erhm.. ahhhhhh.. ooooo..... game with... roguelike elements in which you play as a hero from a long line of heroes who is tasked with adventuring through a perilous castle. If you die you restart with the treasures of your previous run to upgrade a new hero born from the previous heroes lineage. It's awesome and will have you looking at the clock wondering where the time went.
I fell in love with Metro 2033's post-apocalyptic Russian world instantly. Last Light is the continuation of one of my favorite games in recent memory. Set shortly after the events of the first game, Artyom is tasked with recovering one of the last known Dark Ones for his order. The game is gorgeous, and some of the scenes outside of the cramped tunnels where the humans now reside are breathtaking in their execution. The actual mechanics of the game have been greatly improved as well. The gun play feels solid, and stealth feels like a real alternative play choice. What kept me going though was a solid story that didn't overstay it's welcome filled with characters who felt like the real results of a twisted society. Play this game.
Where do I even start with GTA 5? It's world is so massive in both scale and execution that I find myself spending hours wandering aimlessly through its cities and forests. The characters that you play all feel like individuals, to the point where I have various ways of playing with each one. For example Trevor always listens to punk or country while driving recklessly down Vesspuci beach. The heists, while few, all gave me the same feeling you get watching Heat or The Italian Job. I could go on and on about GTA 5 but you already know how you feel about it more than likely and I won't try to sway your opinion. I loved it, even if it's online component was a little bit of a let down. It's one of the few games I find myself popping in for no reason, just to revisit that world one more time.
Never again. Never again would I buy another Assassin's Creed after the third (well sort of) installment of the series. However here I am, eating crow and telling you just how much I love AC4 Black Flag. It's got ships, pirates, swashbuckling, treasure hunting, whaling, a big open world, and even SEA SHANTIES that you can unlock by collecting them. It's amazing how much better this entry is compared to the last. Edward Kenway is a main character I can get behind and doesn't start the game bogged down by ideology or a lust for revenge. Instead Edward is his own man and the game shines because of it. The story just works and putting it within the Golden Age of piracy adds a special cast of characters I won't soon forget.
The sequel to one of my favorite games of all time. Infinite is just the whole package. A great story. Great characters. Great soundtrack. It's a game that had to pull itself up to the lofty pedestal of its predecessor. For me it did and continued climbing past it. The world of Columbia is like a painting. A vision of America from a different time, from a different reality. For me it's a masterpiece. A game I recommend to everyone without question and one I've already completed three times since its release. If you're still somehow on the fence about playing this game, I hope you'll give it a chance.