Best of 2010
Svenzon: Best of 2010
Svenzon: Best of 2010
Possibly the most complete video gaming experience I have had in years, Red Dead Redemption sits firmly in my #1 spot of 2010. Whether you're wandering dusty wastes or exploring snowy forests, Red Dead Redemption is a fantastic achievement both in technology and gameplay. It is also a great showcase in just how good storytelling in games can get, with a mature plot and razor sharp dialogue. Rockstar made me cry with this game and I applaud them for it.
Like Rockstar, Bioware have matured immensely as story-tellers over the years. Mass Effect 2 is great proof of that. While the main plot of the game may not exactly be ground-breaking, the sidemissions and setting feel fully realised, with some great dialogue and attention to detail. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Bioware's cast of characters. If you need a master class in how to make a sequel, look no further.
I'll admit right away that I have been a Harmonix fanboy since the day I first picked up Guitar Hero 2. After Rock Band 2, it was hard to see how the franchise could go any further. As it turned out, Harmonix still had a few aces up their sleeves and proceeded to revolutionize the rhythm game genre once again. The addition of keyboards, pro modes and vocal harmonies, as well as the great overshell interface and an updated graphics engine, make Rock Band 3 the greatest rhythm game ever released.
It's been a long six years since Alan Wake was first announced. I was skeptical when the game first dropped, but an hour into the game my doubts were all but gone. When it comes to atmosphere, it is hard to beat what Remedy created here. I could almost feel the chilly winds sweeping into my living room as I explored the dense forests. The combat is not half-bad either.
I can't say I was terribly excited about a sequel to Just Cause, which was a good-looking but honestly pretty awful sandbox game. A friend of mine persuaded me into trying it out though and well... color me surprised. Not only does the game look absolutely fantastic with its vibrant and colorful scenery, it also plays great with the awesome addition of the grappling hook. Granted, a title with this much content doesn't hold up forever, but how can you not love a game where you can tether an enemy to a fighter jet and take off with him screaming in tow? Avalanche have come a long way both with their technology and design philosophy and I'm curious to see what they'll come up with next.
Another surprise hit of 2010. I didn't know what to expect from Darksiders when I decided to try it out on a whim. What I got was a brilliant little Legend of Zelda/God of War-mashup that I got many hours of fun from. What Darksiders doesn't have in originality, it makes up for with great pacing, thick atmosphere and charm. It also has Mark Hamill in full Joker-mode. What's not to love?
Obsidian delivered two games in 2010 (this and Alpha Protocol) that turned out to be exactly what I expected them to be; bug-riddled unpolished games with great writing and interesting RPG mechanics. The game delves deeper into the lore established by Obsidian's writers in their Black Isle days and explores it beautifully. There is a lot of great fun to be had here, as long as you put up with the aging Gamebryo tech.
The first Dead Rising was one of the games that made me finally break out my wallet and buy a 360 back in 2007. It turned out to be an incredibly fun and incredibly frustrating experience. Thankfully, the sequel did away with some of the most annoying features while keeping the core experience intact. Slaughtering zombies with awesomely ridiculous duct-taped objects is nothing short of awesome. Daddy can fix anything.
Let me get this straight: Yakuza 3 is not Japanese GTA. It is much closer to a 3D River City Ransom with a story that feels genuinely heartfelt. The characters, while sometimes ridiculous, feel realistic, not far from the people you'd see in one of Takeshi Kitano's milder films. And what a varied game it is too. One moment you're brutally beating up street thugs, the next you're playing beach football with a group of kids. And suddenly you're invited to a game of golf with a local politician. Definitely one of the best games to come out of Japan in recent years!
I never did finish Bad Company 2's singleplayer campaign, so its inclusion on this list is based on the multiplayer component alone. And that multiplayer I sunk a whole bunch of hours into. Playing on your own is a mostly frustrating experience, but get yourself a working squad and watch it all come together beautifully. Add to that the (arguably) best audio work in the genre and you've got yourself a winner.
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