Best of 2012

Top Ten games I remember from 2012.

(I'd also like to add Far Cry 3 & Sleeping Dogs but as much as I liked those games there's not much to say about them)

(Read from 10 onwards, I still cant seem to start my list at 10)

List items

  • I have yet to play through all the DLC which supposedly makes some of the games lesser moments more acceptable but even in it's original state Mass Effect 3 is a great game. Many people seem to forget how bad the level design in ME2 was or how unsatisfying the guns felt. While not quite Gears of War, Mass Effect 3 managed to refine it's mechanics to the point of actually feeling like a competent shooter while still keeping all the great character moments that define the franchise. And despite having a grindy F2P vibe about it the multiplayer wasn't that bad.

  • I've always liked the idea of adventure games but every time I've attempted playing one I've gotten to a puzzle where after hours of pixel hunting I've come to a conclusion that's so stupid it instantly took me out of the experience and stopped me playing the game. Thankfully The Walking Dead's brand of adventure comes more in the form of 'which horrible thing do you want to see the most' and 'who would you rather have it happen to' what's worse is it actually try's to get you to care for these characters and in some cases succeeds. It's also one of the few instances of episodic gaming that actually works and allows everyone to be at the same point in the game, so the risk of accidental spoilers is non existent.

  • My initial reaction to the announcement of Halo 4, 5 & 6 was one of disgust. As much as I like the franchise, enough is enough. But as it's release drew closer I couldn't help but get hyped. So I guess I hadn't had enough. Come to think of it I've spent a lot more time playing this than I did Reach. As so to whether it's a better game or not it's hard to say because honestly... I don't remember Reach. I know I'm looking forward to seeing what 343 can do with it's sequels though. I just hope Durango arrives in time.

  • After playing a fair amount of Super Meat Boy when it first came out I wasn't sure I could handle Hotline Miami's trial and error take on brutal murder. But as frustrating as it at times each kill, whether you end up dying in the process or seconds later helps alleviate the stress. So even if you're stuck in the same room several minutes later, the will to go on remains. It helps that the story as trippy as it is actually adds a lot to the game.

  • It's hard to explain my love/hate relationship with this game. Leading up to it's release I wasn't even sure I was going to get the game despite my love of Dead or Alive 4 because I wasnt sure Team Ninja was capable of making a worthy sequel given how they treated the Ninja Gaiden franchise. But I'm glad I did. DOA5 isn't perfect in fact it's fairly broken in a lot of places but the core fighting mechanics are the best they've ever been and I look forward to the day I can finally play this game online without having to endure endless rap, connection issues and lag.

  • The closest experience I've had to the original XCOM was my feeble attempt to try and get into the original Fallout games but it's take on turn based combat was too dull and anti-climatic for my liking. XCOM though is neither. Having you invest in your characters for dozens of hours, putting them into increasingly screwed up situations made each encounter interesting. It also made you welcome the base building aspect where aside from the incredibly tedious air battles nothing bad could really happen. Except for riots and various countries telling you what you're doing wrong, but fuck those guys.

  • Speaking of Japanese weirdness, WTF Atlus? A block based puzzle/adventure game featuring people dying in their sleep looking like sheep? While I'm not really into most puzzle games Catherine's plot was interesting enough to make me suffer through my own incompetence. In the end if it were between Asura's Wrath and Catherine for the most WTF moments in video games this year Catherine wins easily. If only because I'm used to DBZ style action and tend to avoid the kind of subject matter that Catherine delves into.

  • When this game was announced I was amazed by how generic and stupid it looked but what really shocked me was that it was headed up by the guy who created the Yakuza series, easily one of the last good things Sega has going for it. So on that note I figured I'd give the game a chance and while not setting the world on fire Binary Domain was a well made action game with interesting characters and just the right amount of Japanese weirdness.

  • While car combat games are'nt anything new playing through Twisted Metal was a refreshing escape from all the convoluted quasi-RPG mechanics that make there way into every competitive game out there these days. Twisted Metal basically plays like Quake on wheels and has all the classic game types you'd expect plus some sort of cross between CTF & Bombing Run called Nuke. The story was also a lot of fun in Co-Op even if it was just a tutorial with FMV thrown in. I could've seen myself spending a lot more time with this game if it had a matchmaking system that worked and it wasn't on PS3. As it is though it was fun short lived nostalgia trip.

  • One of the things that's always put me off a lot of stealth games is it's emphasis on playing it 'the right way' Thankfully Dishonored is of the Deus Ex elk in that there is no right way. Each approach is equally viable. Playing it on the default difficulty I wondered why you'd ever rely solely on stealth when your character has all these powerful supernatural abilities that make life so much easier. As it turns out completely wiping out an entire street of thugs has consequences. Security's tighter, plague spreads and people get pissed. Essentially making the game harder. Which is great! And actually immerses you more in the world making everything you do feel as if it has more weight. The game could have been a bit more open and longer but given the amount of different ways each scenario could play out it's understandable why it isn't.