Best of 2010
Giantstalker: Best of 2010
Giantstalker: Best of 2010
Original setting, excellent characters, amazing voice over work, and an expansive game made this, for me, the sleeper hit of the year I didn't think I would enjoy. Rockstar turned a middling series into something great; I'd liken it to turning lead into gold, although I haven't tried its supposedly impressive multiplayer.
I've put countless hours into this modern shooter, and I keep coming back for more. Incredible sound design (coming from someone who's used weapons for a living) and intense gameplay make every round something awesome - the singleplayer is passable but this is the multiplayer game of the year for me.
I've never really liked games in this genre until this came along - what God of War, Devil May Cry, and Ninja Gaiden have failed to do Bayonetta has done - I love this game. This incredibly tightly designed game is also so utterly crazy it's hilarious, in a good way, which just makes it all the better to play through.
Although I haven't played as much as I would've liked, Civ V has in its brief time already managed to be wholly more enjoyable than IV and its expansions. Improvements to gameplay, music, graphics, leaders, and overall design have streamlined the game and made it something more about your creation of history than it is about management of it.
Mass Effect 2 manages to be better than the original, but in some ways it takes two steps forward and one step back. Gunplay's been improved, exploration's been streamlined, and the game has more characters than before. The thrilling, more intense storyline is told better than the first game but was less interesting for me. ME2 holds up the standard however and still manages to be an incredible game.
Bar none the best RTS of the year, Starcraft 2 is an incredible title with amazing production values. It has stellar single and multi-player, but in some ways, I felt it kept too closely to the 1998 original. I also found the extremely competitive Battle.net difficult and frustrating for low skill or novice players.
Still, there's no doubt this will be played for years to come.
Dragon Age is a game that successfully combines modern design and amenities (such as voice work) with the old-school design of some of the great western RPGs from yesteryear. The storyline is decent but told in an excellent fashion and the game, although some would say oversimplified compared to older PC RPGs, still manages to be engrossing and challenging. The best "true" RPG of the year in my opinion.
I was tired of 3rd person shooters. I was never going to play another Gears of War again. Then Vanquish happened, and that all changed. This utterly insane game is like Bayonetta with guns, and although less crazy, in some spots it actually manages to be more intense. This is the Japanese attempt to make the most western game they could think of, and it's all the better for that fact.
I had to add this addictive game here as it's the only Wii title I've played that's taken over fifty hours away from me. Although a little frustrating in terms of animations, a bit slowly paced, and requiring no small amount of patience, MH3 offers thrilling fights and a lot of variety along with a surprisingly robust online mode.
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