Solo Playlist for the time being: Fallout: New Vegas (10 hrs in), System Shock 2 (3 hrs in), Dark Souls (not started), Assassin's ...

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Games of 2012 (WEEK 4)

Keeping to this deadline is proving difficult. Will make sure I get these written in the week I plan, but not necessarily at the start of each one.


Borderlands 2

  • Released: September
  • Giant Bomb Score: 4/5
  • My Score: 5/5
  • Quick Look

A solid sequel, it knows what made the original a special treat, building on its key tenants: Questin', Shootin' and Lootin'. What can sometimes be monotonous is held together and made really enjoyable by always being thrown new characters, locations, scenarios and weapons. The first game became my 'lazy afternoon with a podcast playing on the side' experience, but with the second game I played from start to finish in co-op. I'd say either way is a valid way to play, so if you're out of friends but like having a semi-mindless game to have fun with, go for it.

I played as Zer0, the assassin class, and went with snipers, pistols and close combat melee attacks. My main 'decoy' ability allowed me to stealth around and go in for a super-strong melee hit, and coupled with bonuses that activated when switching between different attacks and maintaining constant movement, it all became hectic in a way that I can get behind. The game's pretty ridiculous, and though sometimes overly referential, it got me chuckling enough times that I wanted to play on to see more.

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Trials Evolution

  • Released: April
  • Giant Bomb Score: 5/5
  • My Score: 5/5
  • Quick Look

Another sequel that plays on its strengths, but this one goes even crazier. Fast-paced tracks make way for the sort of devious tests of skill and patience that you expect, with more mini-games and more ridiculous plays on the physics engine. Add to that the ability to create and share custom tracks, and the game has endless content. Trials Evolution has been my go-to XBLA game of the year, one that I can start up and always be served up a new challenge with ease. RedLynx are great at surfacing the cream of the crop and allowing you to just dip in. I've not even made any serious effort to create my own track, but that's about the only corner of the game that I haven't delved deep into, and I can't say that about my titles these days. More than I usually get from an XBLA title.

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Current List

1Journey<> (WEEK 2)
2Forza Horizon<> (WEEK 3)
3Dishonored<> (WEEK 1)
4Hotline Miami<> (WEEK 1)
5Fez<> (WEEK 3)
6Borderlands 2NEW
7Binary Domainvv (WEEK 2)
8Trials EvolutionNEW
9SSXvv (WEEK 3)

Borderlands 2 slots into 6th place ahead of Binary Domain. Trials Evolution come just affter, in 8th.


Other Noteworthy 2012 Releases

Syndicate - Above-par, but not spectacular single player campaign, married with a fantastic co-op experience that really had legs. Mission-based scenarios for 4 player co-op, with a wealth of new abilities on offer for those that make the time investment. Which I had spent more time on it.

The Darkness II - Loved the visual style and the dark humour, its a strange sequel that goes in some interesting directions. Storytelling in first person done well, and some brutal darkness kills. Never tried the multiplayer/vendetta mode.

DiRT Showdown - Couldn't complain when more DiRT was being served up, but it certainly feels like a half-sequel in every respect. Good fun, but loses some of the shine that made me love DiRT 3 so much last year. It gets the driving model right for what its doing, and I liked the Compound mode that returned from DiRT 3, but I want less destruction derby and more european point-to-point rally.