Best of 2010
MordeaniisChaos: Best of 2010
MordeaniisChaos: Best of 2010
I'm a big fan of what Rockstar tends to do differently, but often they fail at what others have done a million times excellently. In Red Dead Redemption, I felt like they managed to perfect the formula. The story was certainly my favorite aspect (notice the pattern?), it was just an incredible tale that was full of flawed people, but wasn't without good people, or even good people with flaws, something I feel Rockstar games often lack. Some of my favorite characters this year have been in this game, and it's been a while since I have been as connected to a world as in this game.
And to my surprise and joy, the game actually handles really really well, without most of the open world jank I was accustomed to. The world feels alive, but not overly so, it feels like a real landscape, rarely did I see a hill and think "that looks like a hill from a game", or anything like that, which is unusual in open world games. It also says something about the world that I actually avoided using the in game map, instead using memory and the landscape with the physical map included with the game to navigate.
Another quick thing I'd like to add is the sound design. The music is incredible, and all of the sound is very well done. I use a 2.1 sound system at the moment for my 360, and the sub on that makes firing a gun very enjoyable, especially with the volume nice and loud. I don't know why, but it made the shooting even more satisfying.
I don't really play RTS games. I just don't. I'm bad at them, I don't usually enjoy them, and I've never beaten one without cheats. Until this game came around. The RTS part of this game is great, and I don't know if it's the game, or if it's just me finally being able to grasp RTS mechanics, but the gameplay was incredibly rewarding and enjoyable, something I never expected as a total newbie to RTS games.
Then there is the story. The story on it's own is great, but the way it's presented in engine is incredible. The detail to the cinematics was great, not only did it visually look excellent, but pretty much all of the animation looked great, which I didn't expect, I expected the typical RTS animation quality. This game is incredible, just for getting me to actually FINISH an RTS.
I don't even feel this could be explained by anyone in any way other than this: The day I convinced my friends to try out classic with me, we all spent something like 20 hours straight playing, then continued to play hours and hours a day.
Going to the local Pizza place (which is also one of the best in the State), I absolutely adored the Hydro Thunder machine they had there. Between the crazy track designs, the excellent controls, and the pure speed, Hydro Thunder may actually be my most beloved arcade games, and Hurricane delivered on my expectations making me extremely happy.
I bought this game on sale for the Steam Holiday savings earlier, and I wasn't expecting much. I despise the way both of the Bad Company games handle on the 360, so buying this on PC I was hopeful, but not optimistic. Boy, was I wrong. This game is incredible. And let me just say, one of the best looking games I have ever played. There are textures in there that look like they are taken straight out of crysis. Typically you'd need a special texture pack to get things looking that sharp, but the characters in that game have an enormous amount of detail to them. It really blew me away, although I really wish that it had been supported by better animation.
This is another game I'd like to give props for excellent sound design. Listening to the music, I often forgot I was playing Battlefield, as so much of it has a very John Williams sound to it, and it's all very well done, and very fitting. And the actual sound is also excellent, and also makes great use of my sub. I respect a game where the sound of a tank's engine drowns out just about everything else, or any game that makes you feel every explosion, and even footstep. I found that resting my feet on the sub, it added a weird layer of involvement with the world, as I literally felt every step my character took, every shot I took, ever corner I took.
I love Civilization. One of my favorite games is Alpha Centari, and Civilization V was an example of what happens when a developer learns to perfect a formula while still pushing the franchise forward. My only complaint about Civ V was how poorly it seems to run on my computer, despite the fact that I should be able to run it without any issue at all. But that's a tiny think to take issue with in a game as incredible and fulfilling as this.
This game always looked cool. Ever since I first saw it, I was digging it. I really love the aesthetics of the game, it's so simple and pure, but it is executed with genuine mastery to produce emotion and atmosphere that many far more complex engines have failed to match on countless emotions. The gameplay might have fallen to the wayside in a game like this, but it was actually really clever and surprisingly demanding, though not in the ways I expected. Excellent game.
I love Halo, I really do. I always have, ever since spending hours with a buddy just playing local coop in the first game. I've even be lucky enough to go to Bungie and meet a couple of the people responsible for one of my favorite franchises of all time.
So when Reach came out, I was super excited. Having seen all of the incredible new things, the new engine optimizations, I couldn't wait. Playing the game, I saw how they had finally figured out that balance between where they started and where they ultimately went with Halo 2 and 3. They took all of the great things from all of the Halo games, and added in some cool new mechanics to produce one hell of a shooter. This was one hell of a send off for one hell of a series, and Bungie did the fans proud.
I know this is going to be a fairly unpopular position, but I effing loved this game. It's almost all atmosphere, but if your the kind of person who enjoys the original Fallout games or something along the lines of Morrowind, but you want something with some shooting, CoP is the best possible game for you. First of all, the game absolutely nails the atmosphere. Some of the assets in the game are a little shoddy, but the way the game is rendered, it actually looks fine, and there is something about the way the landscape looks that really adds to the feel of the game. And hiding from one of the big storms is always great, but the first time it happened and I had no idea what was going on, it was an incredible experience. Few games manage to get my heart pounding like that. I highly recommend that this game be given a chance, it is absolutely worth it, even if you need a FAQ to get into it or something.
I'm not going to lie, I never played this game. But the Endurance Run's showed me that sometimes, all you need is story. The story and it's execution are very flawed, but still somehow incredible engrossing. I couldn't pull myself out of the tale it had to tell, any more than with games like Dragon Age or Mass Effect (the original).
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