By lim_ak 1 Comments
I'm pretty much going to let this video stand alone as it is but as I also said there are some honourable mentions that did not make it to my top 5 but definitely worth mention. In fairness I probably could've got them all into a top 10 but that would've made the job of picking through them a bit too easy so I decided to make it that much harder for myself.
The psychedelic frantic paced action of Hotline Miami makes for some great gameplay. Moving through the levels in a haze of blood and when you kill the last person in an area the music cuts out. And you then have to move through just the destruction and death that you've just brought about just because someone on the end of a phone asked you to. That message is there and while you may not pick up on what exactly it is at first you definitely feel it. It would matter a whole lot less if the game wasn't any good but the moment to moment action has that precise frantic pace that makes that part of the game so compelling.
Orcs Must Die 2
An improvement on the original in pretty much every way, it also includes the levels from the original game so there is just a whole lot of content here. If you're totally uninterested in tower defence games then this probably isn't for you but it does a good job of blending third person action, co-op and that classic tower defence gameplay fantastically well. There are definitely some levels that seem like they were built a bit too much around co-op such that it's a pain to do them alone but all in all it is a fantastically made tower defence game.
Mark of the Ninja
Stealth games, I kind of have a weird thing about them where a forced stealth game I really hate. But if you give me the choice to go stealth in a game like with Deus Ex that will totally be the option I choose. Mark of the Ninja does a really good job with marking out everything in the environment you're in so that you can really clearly see how much noise you're making and also if you're visible or not. The scoring system also reinforces what you should be doing in a level and penalises you smartly for just fumbling around the place. I still think the dragging of the mouse to do kills is a bit awkward but the game has lots of great tools to use and smart level design that it's just a small problem in the grand scheme of things.
I might also do another blog roundup of other games I've loved this year that happen to not be indie games, but it's been a good year for indies so I thought that it was worth having something dedicated just to them. And hopefully we'll get more awesome games of all shapes and sizes coming next year.