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Best of 2010

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  • Bad Company 2 is an iterative piece that feels more like an update to the Bad Company 1 formula than a new experience. The game still manages to be great fun whether you're oblivious to the previous fact.

  • I said being a big daddy would be stupid. I ended up feeling more of a connection with the protagonist of Bioshock 2 than I did with the hero of Bioshock 1.

    I thought Bioshock 2 multiplayer would be ridiculous. Having given it a chance to reveal its nuances, I feel a sort of bitter-sweet euphoria in realizing that I can't fly around an arena and set people on fire with a snap of my fingers in any other shooter.

  • "I only lost because I made a mistake."

    Look past the single player and the endearingly ridiculous and inventive online custom games, and the above quote is both a reality and the testament of Starcraft 2's skill-first gameplay. Battlefield Bad Company 2 and MAG are thinking man's shooters; Starcraft 2 is a thinking man's thinking game. Now, if only something could be done about seeing Raynor's whiskey-soaked mug every time I start it up...

  • Toy Soldiers is a tower defence game with salvos of plastic-men charm that is brought to life by incisive RTS elements; Direct control of wind-up tanks, aircraft, and even your own delightfully animated turrets invests the player in the normally banal wasteland of mediocre tower defence games.

    Toy Soldiers' gameplay translates to multiplayer with startling efficiency, and the manageability of the games' core concepts make the World War 1 toybox charm all the more palatable.

  • Though the online community for MAG is miniscule - as of this writing - the game reaches important ground for online console shooters: MAG takes up to 256 players and, by some feat of Zipper magic, makes them all work together within its well-balanced online world.

  • There are plots holes and unbelievable character actions. There are some voiced lines of divisive quality.

    Heavy Rain is still the game of 2010 that, after playthrough, had the biggest emotional impact on me. Like many great villains, the antagonist in Heavy Rain still had his endearing noble qualities. The protagonists, Ethan and Norman, made me care deeply for their fates in a way that made me share their emotional duress. You ain't all there, Heavy Rain, but I'll never forget our time together.

  • Jeff said, in the caption for a Just Cause 2 video, that "this is utterly needless, and completely outstanding."

    Just Cause 2 didn't get on my good list because of its story. Although the tissue-paper thin plot wraps up well, the real driving narrative for the game, and the reason I keep firing it up, is the efficiency with which the player can create their own story. It sounds like a cop-out, but the cry of many a Just Cause player of how the banal story missions can't live up to the promises of the games' ridiculous tools is a testament to just how remarkably well the free-roaming system of Just Cause 2 is.

    When I'm drifting through a jungle pathway, surfing on a fighter plane, or lilting past gaurds on a rocket propelled parachute, my mind is everything but bored and being stimulated at every pleasure centre. Just Cause 2 is a parable of absolute player freedom, and for that, I love it.