Best of 2010

You know? This was a pretty good for games. Yay games!

List items

  • BioWare ditched the jank (dice roll combat, bland side planets, that P.O.S. Mako) of the first game and kept what made it great (memorable characters, compelling narrative threads & a fascinating universe). The overhaul to the combat was a godsend, turning the gameplay from something you slogged through to get the good bits to something that was genuinely enjoyable on its own merits. And outside of planet scanning, every other overhaul was for the far better. Not to mention some bomb-ass DLC like Shadow Broker. There's not much of a contest for my number one this year--Mass Effect 2 completely engrossed me from beginning to end and I'm chomping at the bit for the 3rd chapter.

  • I thoroughly enjoyed Assassin's Creed II. The combination of the twisty sci-fi story and unique brand of gameplay had their hooks in me since the first game. ACII improved upon it. Brotherhood simply improved it more. But ACII was a polished product to begin with, so that's not necessarily a small feat. While the series has quite a leap to make as it seems like the present day is the next link in the chain, I was not disappointed with stepping back into Ezio's shoes again.

  • I played MNC more than a working student probably should have to be completely honest. But it speaks to how fun and addictive the core of it is. The combination of shooter and tower defense makes for a multiplayer game with approachable concepts that has a surprising amount of depth. Luckily, in my time with the game, I found myself a crew to that worked together splendidly. It made for many a afternoon as that vaguely French-like Support while my Gunner friend mowed down the opposition.

  • Redemption was thankfully more than just GTA in the Wild West. The snappy dialogue and characters were there but the game had a flavor all its own. And as Brad has said, Rockstar made old guns feel powerful and fun to shoot. That's a bit of a feat by itself. I must commend the late game shift to "Old West Ranch Simulator" too. It was a bit of a bold move by Rockstar but it fit the game perfectly.

  • Dude, they made Zelda! And they didn't mess it up! In fact, it's pretty damn good! And you play as one of the four horsemen of the freakin' apocalypse! Sold!

  • What a cruel mistress.

  • The effort and time that I assume performance capture takes pays off. You need not look further than Enslaved. You genuinely feel for the characters and their plight thanks to the in-game performances. The gameplay isn't a slouch either. Mind-blowing? No, but still very solid. Yes, the ending is a bit "Ok, ok...wait, what?" but overall, I'm excited to see what Ninja Theory can bring to the Devil May Cry table.

  • Crystal Dynamics not only made a Tomb Raider...oh wait, excuse me, a "Lara Croft" game that I actually had any semblance of interest in, they made a pretty good game, to boot. I had quite a fun time bumming around ruins with a buddy of mine. "Fun time" is something I've never used to describe a Tomb Raider game beforehand. That fact alone is worth something in my book.

  • Foaming....at...mouth....from...Pac..Man...overload...can't....keep.........writing....

  • Now, Alan Wake certainly had its faults. I'm no apologist. However, Remedy created one of the most atmospheric and moody worlds in a game I've seen since BioShock. And even if the gunplay grew tired towards the end, I enjoyed it for what it was.