Games I played during 2012.

2012 - End of Times? Best play some awesome games then!

Rules; Games listed are either:

  • Finished, for singleplayer, that means "Credits have rolled", for multiplayer it means: "I've played enough".
  • "Seen enough of to know I don't want to play anymore" (specify!).

Doesn't mean I won't play more of them, though!

List items

  • Pretty much exactly what I expected - fun game with pretty gross characters that grow some degree of decency by the end. Fun ideas for game-play, even if for me it pretty much ended up being the game of "how can I kick dudes into something lethal"-the game.

  • Beautiful! Very fun in coop, even if it is largely "more of the same" (as Trine (1)). Playing as the Wizard, I think it's hillarious how you can't levitate what YOU are standing on, but you can levitate things below things you are standing on. MAGICAL PHYSICS! ... and a last cop-out way to manage puzzles where the Knight and Thief leave you behind :|

  • War in the North is and does a lot of things - a decent Co-op distraction, taps into that desire for better loot... it's unfortunately also a buggy mess - especially if you have an AMD graphics card. Throughout the game, to the last chapter, the game was sporadically barely giving me 1 fps then suddenly giving me super-smooth framerate for a bit. Regardless of graphical settings and resolution. In the final chapter, the performance issues became so bad that I was no longer able to stay connected to the multiplayer game, and I had to finish the game in single-player.

    But, yeah, it's a pretty decent game - even if it is very similar to an MMO in strucutre. The combat is fairly interesting, though.

  • Battlefield 3 is a strange beast. In multi-player, it is an experience that is closely related to the Call of Duty games, but has it's unique flavor that makes it it's own thing - indeed, the greatest criticism I can give Battlefield 3 is that it's been done before - to me, Battlefield 3 is pretty much the same game as Battlefield 1942, Battlefield: Vietnam, Battlefield 2, Battlefield: Bad Company, Battlefield: 2142, Battlefield: Bad Company 2; It's just prettier, and a bit modern. It can be fun, but... it's been done before.

    The Single-player campaign though, is something else entirely. Here Battlefield 3 is aping it's greatest competitor, yet failing in many ways. It's clearly intended to be a series of "OH SHI-" moments rapidly following one another. And it largely is - which means it suffers from the same "All highs, no lows" problem that I think Call of Duty has: Because there are no low moments (or they are so brief as to be insignificant) the constant high becomes a middling average. Similarly, the game tries to evoke some sort of feeling for the multitude of characters they present and kill off during the game. But so little time is spent building up personalities and relationships that they are meaningless.

    However... those problems are hardly nique to Battlefield 3. No, Battlefield 3's single-player campaign's greatest issue, in my opinion, is how tightly scripted it is. In many parts of the campaign (on "normal"), I felt more like I was playing a game of "stay within the box the game wants you to", forcing me to not stay too far behind, and not run too far ahead. Doesn't help that load times are fairly long when there are several situations where you can take an RPG to the face (killing you instantly) or a scripted event can cause you to die instantly if you are in the wrong place.

    That said, Battlefield 3's campaign is not nearly as bad as some people are making it out to be - it's decent, if extremely frustrating at points.

  • I've struggled to really get into/through dual-joystick shooters recently, but I feel that Renegade Ops has found a perfect balance between Story, Gameplay and Length. The loose controls were a bit off-putting at first, but I think that if it wasn't so loose, it wouldn't have been as interesting either (or so stylish). Game looks great, plays great, and I hope to come back for more DLC at some point in the future - clearly, we must get some sort of explanation where Inferno and Coldstrike come from, yeah!?

  • One of the best titles of the year. And yeah, I mean the title of the game. The game itself has great value and an amazing chiptune soundtrack. At 4 hours long it feels a bit short - but it's a great experience.

  • My main complaint towards the Darkness is probably it's brevity with a 6 hour single player campaign. However, with a(n optionally) co-op campaign to explore as well - that feels like weak criticism. The other complains would be that I feel like Starbreeze's interpretation of The Darkness moved a lot faster - because a lot of actions in this game, performed by the Darkness, will stop you from moving - such as the "execution" moves you can perform on grabbed enemies - I appreciate that it puts a lot more focus on those executions (and makes you think more about what you are doing), but I found it disrupting gameplay - to the point where I would avoid doing grabs because I rather wanted to keep moving. That said, it's a fairly pretty game (art-style similar to Borderlands stylized quasi-cell-shaded look) with a story that will tug at your heartstrings. I feel like Digital Extremes keeping the "slow parts" of the game from the first game was very well done - too many games these days spend so much time on the highs that everything just feels middling.

  • Wow. I'm really torn about this - on the one hand, I really like the character development, and I don't think Lightning and co. being supporting cast was ok - it gave Serah and Noel room to grow as characters. I did not have any particular issues with Mog - though, to be fair, I've always found moggles to be annoying, and Mog is pretty much exactly what I imagined Moggles to be. But yeah, most of the primary parts of Final Fantasy XIII-2 is pretty good. Unfortunately, they stink it up with some pretty stupid mechanics around the middle of the game - almost as if they are trying to make the game seem longer. The Fetch-quest at the middle of the game almost broke me, and the final boss' special ability was not telegraphed nearly well enough - forcing me to brute force it (and still struggle). Not cool. But still, pretty cool. Kind of.

  • Having now finished Mass Effect 2 three times, putting more than 130 hours into it, I do feel like I have to place the game apart from other games I've liked - it's very rare that I feel the need to replay a game, and it's very rare that I find parts of games I replay exhilarating. The final sections of ME2 are just breathtaking and the final decision is an extremely difficult one - there are so many reasons to go either route. That said, I feel like I'm done with ME2 now - and hope I don't feel the need to come back for another round in a few months.

  • After 20 hours, I still don't see what all the buzz about this is about - while it's a fairly competent 3rd person action RPG, with focus oddly on the middling story, rather than the pretty decent combat system. Unfortunately, as for story-content, Reckoning is clearly a game of quantity over quality. I found my enjoyment of the game improved significantly after I started skipping all but the most central story bits. And even then... pretty obvious story. Other than that - it's not a far leap to see that 38 Studios wants to make an MMORPG out of this - it has all the markings of an MMORPG - the weak story, story written so generally that anyone could be the protagonist, and an open world with a quest progression that leads you through the zones of the game. While I'm not going to make the art comparison to World of Warcraft, I am going to compare Reckoning to it on most other points. Less interesting story, more interesting combat. Finally, I don't think Crafting Systems work very well in most of these games - and yeah... it works pretty terribly in this game. Every time I attempted to craft an item, I realized that the items available were significantly worse than the items I found during my travels. Bonus complaint: Managing inventories is not fun.

    Conclusion: Middling. May come back for more if I get bored, but doubt it.

  • One of my more anticipated games of 2012 - Sequel to one of my favorite Bullfrog games and Starbreeze's latest, a studio who has always produced really cool stuff. Unfortunately - the campaign is a bit flawed in the execution of it's story, it's difficult to care much about any character - the most sympathetic character is pretty much a terrorist leader... and the player-controlled character is barely given an identity at all - another character describes you as something like "nothing but meat on a chip" - which I found accurate. That said, mechanically, Syndicate is one of the most exciting shooters in a very long time - the handling is amazing, the animations are great. By making "hacking" something you do in parallel to everything else, game-play easily becomes super-frantic. The only complaint is that at times it's hard to keep track of how your hack is going (or if you've got one going at all) in relation to getting the "score bonus" for acing a hack.

    On top of all of that - there's also an amazing co-op mission, which works more like story-based horde missions. Cooperatively, you move from area to area, eliminating non-player character enemies. Players are very fragile so you need to work together if you want to have any chance of succeeding with anything. Oddly, while the campaign left me rather cold and confused, the Co-op has me craving for more!

  • Wow. Asura's Wrath does a lot of weird things. Asura's Wrath does a lot of things that some would consider odd or even bad. Hell, Asura's Wrath shows credits 19 times - I'm rather torn on that behavior. On the one hand I see what they are trying to do - each Episode becomes truly episodic - and gives you a better feel of each episode (each being manageable to finish in 10-30 min) being separate. What Asura's Wrath does right though is upping the ante on visual insanity - I didn't think it quite reached Bayonetta levels, but there was some insane anime-style stuff going on here - nigh-Dragonball stye fights with hundred if not thousandds of hits. So... yeah, Asura's Wrath has a lot of things - but primarily, it has style and charisma. Very interesting!

  • For an iPad game, I think Infiltrator is pretty cool. I had expected it to factor more into the main game (Mass Effect 3) than it appears to have done - but I guess I shouldn't be surprised about that (it's an optional tie-in game on a separate platform, after all). It's easy to draw parallels to Infinity Blade - it's about as pretty, it has great controls (best iPad shooter I've experienced so far!) and it's pretty interesting. Unfortunately, I found the voice acting to be rather spotty, your main contact past the opening being particularly bad. I may play through the game another couple of times - as I had fun the first pass through.

  • On the one hand, I sympathize with what Casey Hudson and the rest of the developers at Bioware was tasked to do with Mass Effect 3. To write an end to possibly the most epic game series created so far. I'll say that the end was a disappointment to me (even if I were to accept the unexplained philosophical end, there are still significant parts that don't make sense.)... but everything leading up to that moment was awesome. I laughed. I cried. I worried. I rejoiced. I soared and I was crushed. Mass Effect 3, bar the end, is probably the most emotional game I've ever played - and it deserves credit for that. It IS a shame though. Beyond that, I've probably put more hours into ME3 multiplayer than I did into Syndicate at this point, which was probably more time than I've put into any other shooters throughout all of last year. That speaks volumes, IMO! Anyway. Looking forward to the DLC - I hope they can salvage the situation and we can find a way to close out the game without selling the franchise out, without sacrificing artistic freedom, without players leaving the franchise with a bitter taste.

  • Short. Succinct. Not sure if I was supposed to have an emotional high-point at any time during the game -all I felt was a headache (unrelated). That said, it's a pretty cool game, and the emergent Multiplayer is really cool too - had pretty nice moments moving up that mountain... as we huddled together to stay warm. Felt ironic that we got separated at the very end - finishing the game the way I started it - alone.

  • On the one hand, Brawl Busters does a couple of things that are pretty good. Decent core-mechanics, strong emphasis on individual skills. On the other hand, they also have one of the most disgusting Micro-transaction model I have experienced thus-far. Buy item-upgrades with a 25% chance to succeed. Then pay more to increase your chance of success to a maximum of 50%. And we're talking about changes of around a percent. Rad menu music, though.

  • It's strange. I remember playing Sins of a Solar Empire before - down to specific mechanics, imagery and other specifics... but I can't place it. Coming back to it years later has been interesting - even if it is the sort of game I always end up being extremely self-destructive with. First thing I do, is set up the largest/longest game I can manufacture and then go nuts for 20 hours only to promptly get tired of it and not play it again for a long time. Appropriately, this is exactly what I did with Sins of a Solar Empire! Also made me think of how odd it is how I've "fallen out of love" with the Strategy genre - I used to be really psyched about these kinds of games... but these days, I find there's a huge threshold for me to even start playing them (even though I go full-hog once I finally do)... much like Civilization, I feel guilty about putting the game down after just playing 1-2 games, but... on the other hand, after more than 20 hours, maybe that's not a terrible thing.

    Anyway - yeah, if you like games like Master of Orion, or want something like Civilization, but runs in real-time - IN SPACE, then Sins of a Solar empire may be a game for you.

    Maybe I'll get the new Sins of a Solar Empire that'll be out this year? Maybe?!

  • Cool game. I'd been meaning to check it out since I saw a TotalBiscuit video on the game back in... November? GiantBomb's coverage of the game reminded me of it's existence and got me to try it out for a couple of hours. Kind of a mix between Herzog and "yet-another-MOBA", I hHad a bunch of fun with it, even if it could not quite get me to insert my credit card... unfortunately, It'll take a bunch more content for me to stick with it for a longer period of time.

  • Leading up to Fez' release, I wasn't sold. Sure, the retro-graphics were interesting, but... I saw nothing that compelling. 24-hours after purchasing the game, I'm sitting here, having S-ranked the game.It's really quite engaging, and I think it's quite delightful. The game has a lot of problems, especially technically (crashed multiple times, kept ending up in situations the game couldn't recover from... and so on), but also a few from design. It's clear that the game wants to create some Mortal Kombat-class myths, regarding some of the harder puzzles. Further, with a leaderboard that has people at ~209% completion. It's frustrating and confusing, but I'm not sure if I think that's a good or bad thing.

  • Decidedly better than I thought it would be, though still entirely an average game. If you like Transfomers, though, or have nostalgia for "G1", then you'll probably find something interesting in Transformers: War for Cybertron. However, like most games, it suffers from mechanics that are extremely... gamey. Like having a final boss that is just... frustrating. Anyway! Pretty good game, enjoyed the post-game sequence! :)

  • Fun, charming - feels like one of the best realized Tower-defense games in a good while. Not really that much new being brought to the genre (though I don't think there are that many third-person tower defense games?) - more a question of charm and polish.

  • While Puzzle Agent 2 is still about as fun as Puzzle Agent was (that is to say, that it is), it also carries some of it's predecessor's with it. The art is charming, at a distance, but closeups - while kind-of looking like something out of a book of drawings, and probably being a deliberate art-style, is not something I felt looked very good. Similarly, the charmingly stop-motion animations look quite good for walking animations (and similar), but I cringe every time Agent Nelson gets on the snowmobile....ugh. On a more game-mechanic level, the puzzles are mostly fun and engaging - but some puzzle mechanics are repeated a few times too many to stay fresh. There's also the problem of some puzzle descriptions being so vague that you probably will fail at least one first attempt of a puzzle because you had misunderstood what the rules were.

  • Unfortunately, I didn't like OMD2 quite as much as I did the first game. It was much better that the entire game was fully co-op enabled, but all of the traps felt a lot less ... effective? Powerful? And quickly got really difficult.

  • I've been playing this for a long, long time now, but I keep running into problems or getting annoyed at the Puzzles, which disappointingly mostly only accept one solution, while the puzzles often have more than one valid solution. Diss-a-pointing. The final puzzle was also a bit silly because of what it required, but... fine. I did think that the story payoff at the end was pretty good though.

  • [by ways of Metal Gear HD Collection, PS3] MGS:Peace Walker is a strange beast. It's pedigree as a PSP title is very obvious from it's structure. On the one hand, you have the classic Metal Gear Solid game-play - with a single soldier sneaking around (though the MGS4 improvements to controls are in full effect, so going in guns blazing IS a valid strategy), which is really good, with a thought provoking story (I love how the Metal Gear games make me think about subjects like Nuclear Deterrence). On the other hand, there is also the Pokemon structure of "collect all the soldiers" and "collect all items and weapons" which extends the content available to a play from about 20 hours to 40...and far beyond that. As a PS3 game, it's a pretty good game - that suffers a bit from it's PSP-origins (but that does not make it bad) and from being a flawed title for the PSP system from the get-go - I still don't understand who the game is made for - but I guess the Japanese commuting times are longer than I am used to. I just can't see a situation where I would want regular 30-40 minute missions with 10 minute cut scenes. It's still a great game, and I would probably have gone for S-ranking it if it wasn't for the multiplayer achievements.

  • [played on PC]Wow. Being distracted when Binary Domain was originally released on consoles, I opted to wait for the PC release. Shame too, seeing as how it's a pretty shoddy port. Mouse and Keyboard is practically unusable due to input lag... and menu-navigation is crazy (ESC unbound, F is "back" in menus!?) and the settings are all done through a separate application. It's pretty crazy how broken it is. However - as soon as you sort out your settings and connect a game-pad, you are presented with a pretty awesome game! It's like Gears of War - except it has an interesting story, better game-play - and the enemy robots really fall apart nicely!

    Really, you should play Binary Domain. Playing Binary Domain right after playing Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and watching The Avengers had some crazy synergy. The story is largely about existentialism and deterrence.

  • While I sometimes feel frustrated when I discover that I really enjoy a game that was released some time ago - that I bought at release but for some reason or another did not play much of when it was first released... Terraria is not like that.

    When I bought Terraria, I was just about done with Minecraft. As a result, all I found in Terraria was "more Minecraft". Now, though - just as Minecraft was being released for Xbox, I found an interest in such a game again, and dropped about 40 hours into Terraria. My only regret is that all my friends who were interested in Terraria have since stopped playing - so I've not been able to experience the Multiplayer experience.

    Anyway, really fun, minimalistic game. I'm still a bit unsure about how I feel about it's similarities (both in concept and release window) to Minecraft (even if that isn't the original of that concept - Terraria felt a bit like a "me too!"-game, at the time). So far, I've defeated the Wall of Flesh, but not any of the hardmode bosses - I'll probably keep playing until I defeat them as well.

  • Diablo (1) was... phenomenal. For me, it was revolutionary, it was... one of the best games I had played when it was released in 1997. I played insane amounts of Diablo (1) online. When Diablo 2 was coming out, I was extremely excited about it. but... it turned out to be pretty much the same game as Diablo, but I didn't like the classes as much.

    12 years later... Diablo 3 has some of the same problems for me, as Diablo 2 did - the Wizard (disclaimer: I've not put that much time into the Wizard yet) doesn't feel nearly as powerful as the Mage did. On the other hand, Blizzard has yet again shown why they are among the best in the business at product polish. Diablo 3 is so extremely well-polished that it's almost silly. Every blow the Monk delivers has an incredible umph to it. Every monster looks amazing. And the framerate is solid, even on high settings (my PC is about 2 years old at this time). While the online-only problems have been frustrating, I know that Blizzard will get past it and we'll be left with an amazing game.

    My first character, a monk, is currently level 56 and is about to finish Act 2 on Hell. I expect to give Inferno a go, but I'm not sure if I have the patience to get through it - but we'll see.

  • *sigh* So, Crysis 2. *sigh* <br><br>

    Crysis 2 is a game that almost goes the whole way. It's a game that is almost good. It's a game where it shows you cool and interesting gameplay/story, only to pull back and slap you in the face with the some utterly boring tropes. <br>

    It's clear that Crysis 2 is a showcase for CryEngine 3.. and that's a bloody shame. <br><br>

    There are a lot of things about Crysis 2 I like - I like how the powers have been streamlined. Sure, it was cool how it worked in Crysis 1, but it never REALLY WORKED all that well, and this way, it's just much smoother. I understand, and quite like the way the "tactical options" appeared on the visor - it gave me some hints on what I could do. Then I completely ignored those options and played the deadliest game of hide and seek with the enemy. I thought a lot of the story was fairly interesting (for a shooter). I liked a lot of the gameplay vs human soldiers. <br><br>

    On the other hand, I think that CryTek needs to stop for a moment and realize that releasing games where the graphical options are HIGH, VERY HIGH, ULTRA and MAXIMUM is not cool. Especially not when all of them run like shit. Where's the Performance setting? The game is very pretty... but gameplay is a lot more important, and I never really found a good setting where the game moved smoothly. <br>

    Unfortunately, Crysis 2 falls into the same trap that the first game did - halfway through the game, SUDDENLY ALIENS, and now you are faced with enemies that don't use tactics - they are either jumping across the level at blinding speeds, or they are rushing straight at you... or they are these stupid bulletsponges. <br>

    Also, the Pingers are stupid, and the "tip" given in the game on how to defeat them is INACCURATE. <br>

    Also, the lawnmower man sequence near the end is pretty dumb.

    Another thing that bothered me, is how "civilians" are portrayed in the game. It feels like the game parades out a couple of civilians whenever you are supposed to "feel" something. Unfortunately, most of the time, those situations makes the game feel more like Typing of the Dead, rather than giving the game any form of depth, it's almost comical. Maybe it's because of how inhuman the civilians are? Maybe it's because of how poorly written they are? I don't know. It's bad, either way.<br><br>

    Unfortunately, the latter half of Crysis 2 had me thinking a lot about Doom 3, which is probably the last game before Crysis 2 where I spent a significant part of my time with the game wondering why it existed, other than as an extremely expensive commercial game engine advert.<br><br>

    Will I get Crysis 3? Maybe. Possibly. Probably? But I hope that next time, it will be less of an ad, and more of a game.

  • Mirror's Edge is a game that I hold in very high regard. It's musical theme is, as far as I am concerned, magical. Sure, the game is not perfect - the shooting elements are not great and it's a shame it's just shy of 4 hours long. Then again, I've finished the game once (on PS3) and I found that the controls worked much better on PC, which is doubly true for shooting controls (which I indulged in this time, unlike my foray into Mirror's Edge on PS3). Anyway... I was surprised how well it's graphics hold up. The graphical novel segments aren't the best... but they work. What works though, is the gameplay. When the parkour works, it's silky smooth and whenever you pull off some amazing parkour stunt, you feel *awesome*.

    Also, I realized that it was penned by Sir Terry Pratchett's daughter, Rhianna Pratchett. Does not diminish my appreciation for the game.

    So... about Mirror's Edge 2... ?

  • After reading that Reddit article about the 10-year Civ 2 game, I knew I had to go back to my 2 year old Civ 5 game. That was literally my first game of Civ 5, which I customarily had set to low difficulty, but marathon length... and set out to be the best at everything! After about 30 hours, I found a rather crippling bug (the game had a 50/50 chance to crash whenever I ended a turn). So I took a break!

    2 Years later, jumping back in... was surprisingly smooth. I quickly found my way back to being the Emperor of Rome and in a mere 300 turns managed to get to the brink of space victory... but decided to abandon that in order to see what nukes look like. Another 100 turns later, I found myself winning a domination victory. It's still a great game, and I'm looking forward to Gods and Kings.

  • Wow. I find it funny that I found myself playing Lollipop Chainsaw as one of the biggest sexism debates in/around the games industry raged. It's funny because I think that Lollipop Chainsaw walks that edge... and mostly gets away with it. Of course, Juliet is eye-candy. Dressed in a skimpy cheerleader outfit - it's meaningless to deny... but, playing the game, you get a feeling that she has standards. She's intelligent, but ditzy. She's clever and clueless. Somehow, that makes her character surprisingly human to me.

    The humor in the game is very adolescent with a lot of big swear-words and cheap shots. But it still manages to be fun. The characters are extremely caricatured - which work in their favor, as I feel that almost every character in the game is somewhat unique. Especially Josey comes to mind - a Baron Samedi-inspired zombie lord, wearing a fluffy pink fur coat, wielding a pink keytar, has an autotuned voice... and gets around in a flying saucer. Almost seems like he'd fit better in with the Saints Row crowd, really!

    Unfortunately, there are some negatives as well - the game repeats itself a lot. Everything from dialog-lines to music to mechanics. It's easy to get focused on these things... but also feels silly with how many other parts of the game are so great.

  • Heh. Quantum Conundrum is cute, charming and challenging (but not extremely demanding), the puzzles are mostly fairly easy to figure out... but everything is delivered extremely well-polished.

    Considering the game's pedigree, it's hard to imagine that the comparisons to Portal are that positive - but, it's hard not to make comparisons. But that's not really a bad thing from a quality point of view.

  • I'm having a hard time really recommending Spec Ops: The Line. It's a fairly competent third person shooter. The story does some interesting things... but it's largely an experience you come away from feeling unclean. Maybe that's what they were going for? Another problem with the game is how it beats you over the heat with mechanics. Early in the game, you come across a group of enemies who are clearly alive - yet the game stops you from using your gun, even though I've been walking around shooting bottles just seconds earlier.

  • Aliens vs Predator, the 2010 edition, has a lot of potential. Most of the mechanics are there. The game moves well... but it always feels lacking. The environments you move around in during the single-player campaign feels more like multiplayer deathmatch maps than story mode maps. Especially once you realize that with few exceptions, you will revisit almost exactly every corridor you see in one of the race's stories... in the other 2 races as well. At the end, I didn't hate it, but I don't feel particularly fond of it either.

  • I did not expect what I got out of Max Payne 3. I still don't see what others see in Rockstar games, and I think they write bad characters. I would've liked to have seen any character I cared about in the game. Without it, the story feels so shallow. Still, it's a decent murder/rage/power-fantasy. That said, Max Payne 3 (on PC) is quite possibly one of the best engineered games in a very, very long time. I love the smooth transitions throughout the game - very few apparent loading screens, with a smooth transition from chapter to chapter. Everything is super-smooth.

    I didn't even feel the need to mess around in the options because the game worked so well. That is an achievement. Bravo Rockstar Vancouver!

  • Prototype 2 surprised me. In the InFamous (1) vs Prototype (1), I found that Infamous was clearly the winner pretty much across the board (though the web of intrigue stuff was very well done). So when InFamous 2 was released last year, and I wasn't that impressed (it was good, it just wasn't as good as I hoped it would be), combined with the issues surrounding Prototype 2's final hours of development - I started doubting I would like Prototype 2.

    The final product makes me grieve Radical's closing, as I found Prototype 2 to be very interesting.

  • Utterly charming and very lovely Puzzlegame that suffers from 2 flaws: First: And really the only seriously faulty with the game - some of it's minigames outstay their welcomes by 3-4 times. Such as an early balloon-shooting minigame, that JUST. KEEPS. GOING. Second one is one of it's greatest strengths - there is never text on the screen explaining what to do. This becomes a problem at the end of the game. But suffice to say, when you see puzzles identical to what you've seen before - you've just reached the glorified level select. Other than that - loved it!

  • A pretty good 4X game - though it feels a bit... unfinished? Largely, it's quite polished, but here and there, you see past the facade, revealing a game missing some critical features (IMO), like co-op victory, and some minor things here and there.

  • Wow, this really is a rampage. I found the game to be quite a mix of hillarity and tedious boredom - largely dependent on the luck of the draw of the random loot - I found myself not getting any new weapons for about 20 levels - which is the core of my complaints, I believe.

  • Originally not at all interested, Giant Bomb's coverage of this game made me pick it up, and wow - it's really an interesting game! I like the colors, I like the UI (though it's not perfect), and I like the game! The story is pretty obvious (though there are a few clever twists). I also like how the game clearly builds up your skill at driving in the game throughout the game.

    Fun game!

  • I'm still in the grips of Telltale-tiredness, but Resonance managed to really intrigue me and felt a lot more like those classic adventure games that have so defined gaming. Resonance is a great game with a great story. Well worth experiencing!

  • Future Soldier is... pretty good. It really is. It's been one of the best co-op experiences I've had in quite some time. It's not really a classic Ghost Recon game - but I felt like it still maintained a lot of the philosophy of previous ghost recon games while somehow meeting halfway with the mechanics of modern Splinter Cell games. Some scenarios in the game are almost like puzzles if you try to remain stealthy. Play cooperatively, if you can!

  • As someone who has made no secret of how lowly he thinks of third person open world games taking place in a modern gangster environment, Sleeping Dogs surprised me. Sleeping Dogs is a really good open world game. Unlike most other similar games, the main character is not some inhumane monster, but rather seems to have realistic-seeming struggles between his loyalties to the triad and those to the police. I even thought the end was pretty good.

  • I really liked Darksiders (1). I liked the pacing, I liked the combat and I liked the visuals. I also liked War - I thought the stereotypically gravelly voice and "Space Marine inspired looks" (despite not being a Space Marine) was very appropriate for a character that was the personification of War, which was something that character really lived up to, being a walking, nigh-indestructible tank. I was also really psyched for Darksiders 2 following the extremely strong end of Darksiders. That final line in the Darksiders script was so powerful that I have been chomping at the bits for Darksiders 2 since... so... I have to admit that I am disappointed. Darksiders 2 is not a continuation of the story, it's a story that plays out next to the story of the first game, though it's difficult to pin-point exactly the timeline and how the games interact and intersect (which they largely don't). Unfortunately, I found Darksiders 2 to be a bit too long in the tooth, largely because how the structure of the game is laid out: Death is constantly redirected from his goal...while the question of "Why am I doing this?" is often fairly easily answered, but it tends to be a bit complicated as almost every single time Death is trying to do something, something forces him to take a detour...

    And there's another problem - while War really lived up to his namesake, I don't feel like Death does. He's a cool and powerful character, but he differs from how I would characterize Death, a character whose motivations are never really delved into. For some reason he would raze heaven and hell to save War, all consequences be damned, but he murdered his entire people (which he apparently is very guilt-ridden about?)to "maintain balance"? Uhm. Ok?

    Other than that though, and despite the very poorly made PC version (including an entire section of at least 2 hours without sound!), the aesthetics of the game is AMAZING. The game regularly throws you vistas that are truly "out of this world", with extremely detailed worlds (world-detail, not texture quality) and very well designed enemies.

    I like the game, but not as much as I wanted to, I'm afraid.

    I hope we'll see a Darksiders 3, but I also really hope that we'll see the story progress at that point. I also hope that we might get a world that doesn't feel so barren and dead, as this game felt... desolate, lonely and dead (which may be intentional and fitting, but not that great feeling).

  • I played War for Cybertron earlier this year, and I was expecting Fall of Cybertron to be more of that. Finding "Fall" to be lacking Co-operative play was nearly enough to loose faith in the game.

    I'm quite glad I did not - this feels like an extremely faithful rendition of the G1 Transformers that I remember. Megatron is brutally efficient. Grimlock is kind of dumb, but super-powerful. Optimus is compassionate, pragmatic and inspirational.

    Also, I really like what they did with Cybertron. Often in games that take place on alien planets... you don't really get the feeling of it being really alien. Cybetron in this game, though, regularly taps you on the shoulder to remind you just how different it is.

    I like it. One of the stronger titles of the year, surprisingly!

  • Mark of the Ninja is pretty impressive, great animations, and a fairly good story. It has some elements from Tenchu, and it does some clever things with Slow-motion and Stealth. But... I felt like there was something missing.

    It's well worth playing.

  • While I was a kickstarter backer, I didn't pay that much attention to it, and had almost written it off by the time I got my Steam key - which would'be been a mistake. I'll probably keep hammering away at this for quite some time, being a roguelike.

  • I've put almost 50 hours into my first (and so far only) game of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, playing on the "Classic" difficulty. As someone who has always loved the original XCOM games, I was greatly impressed with this game. The tension I felt through much of the game was unbearable.

    This is definitely a game that is a lot more about the journey than the destination, as the ending, while not bad, left me a bit cold (though interested).

    Overall, I think this was an excellently done rejuvenation of the original game, while there are some changes to the formula, they are all made to keep the spirit of the originals, while making the game a modern product for 2012. At the same time, I was hoping for a bit more forward movement.

    Still, a job well done, Firaxis!

  • Considering how odd the marketing for this game was - announced late, then non-stop spoiling (seriously, avoid trailers and pre-release coverage!). That aside, it's a very competent game that is clearly of Arkane Studios pedigree.

    Either way, Dishonored is a great game, with a surprisingly satisfying conclusion (at least with low chaos).

  • Borderlands 2 is REALLY good. REALLY good. It's funny and it's got great mechanics. Of course, it's exactly what it says on the tin. It's Borderlands TWO. It's more Borderlands. Mechanics have been refined, some have been added, but it's largely the same game. That's not really a bad thing. It could be called "playing it safe", but I think Gearbox have earned a lot of praise for the very polished product they have delivered with Borderlands 2, and it seems like they are dedicated to supporting this sequel far more than they did the last one (which was already supported very well!)

  • Wow. Hotline Miami feels like a sleeper agent programming program. It's so far beyond "split second reactions" to the point where it becomes intuitive. Hotline Miami, gameplay and soundtrack together are ... disgusting and beautiful at the same time.

  • Pretty torn on AC3. On the one hand, it's a really good game. On the other hand, parts of it is pretty bad. For instance, I like the Desmond parts... most of the time... but without the HUD (which is not present outside of the animus for obvious reasons) doesn't work so well from a gameplay point of view. On the bright side, Connor is a pretty good character. Significantly different from Ezio and Altaïr. Downside here, really is that this is the 5th Assassins Creed game, and the series is starting to show it's age. And unfortunately, I did not feel much resolution here.

    I hope they do something new for next iteration, even if this was pretty good?

  • Forward Unto Dawn, the mini-series was really what got me to play Halo 4, and I'm happy for it, as watching the series added quite a lot of weight to the game for me. It was nice to have that extra level of understanding of the relationship between Chief and Lasky.

    That said, I'm a) surprised at how the game ended - even if I'm sure that it won't change the fact that: b) I feel like I probably know exactly what is going to happen in 6.

    Oh well, we'll see what happens next! Good game, even if Halo 4, as pretty as it is, really makes the Xbox look TERRIBLE. Ugh, jaggies and rendering artifacts all over the place. Eugh. Of course, human faces in this game are some of the BEST CG-faces I've seen - amazing level of quality... on the downside, I really, really, did not like what they've done with Cortana. She looks... off? odd? Not sure how to describe it without getting super-offensive, so... yeah. She does a lot of cool things - and I like the "Man vs Machine" themes going on.

  • Bought as a result of Giant Bomb's quicklook - a very charming and curious little adventure game, if somewhat short (5.6 hours, unassisted, did not "S-rank"). Some fun parts, some clever parts. Unfortunately has a lot of cases of non-sequitur logic, where you'll be combining stuff like lampshades with bulldozers to solve puzzles. There's a certain of level of logic, but it does get crazy at some places.

  • I'm impressed, and that surprises me. I didn't have a great time with BLOPS and I passed entirely with MW3 - and fully intended to pass on BLOPS2. Hearing some rumors of changes within the formula made me interested, and I decided to check it out. <br><br>

    Singleplayer: I've always come ot the Call of Duty games for the Singleplayer campaign - I've clocked more hours in MW2's campaign than in it's multiplayer, and I didn't even touch BLOPS multiplayer. That said, Strike Force missions feel impossible on Veteran, but may just be not having time to figure out what's going on. <br>

    That said, once I decided to pass on the Strike Force missions, and later lower to Hardened difficulty (just to get it over with), I found the campaign extremely interesting - the branching is... extremely interesting! Feels somehow like there's about as much branching (if not more) in BLOPS2 as there is in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which is extremely interesting. Of course, it's still the CoD4 engine, and as such... mostly doesn't look great.<br><br>

    Multiplayer: Having not put any time at all into multiplayer CoD since MW2, and only dabbling there, I've realized that I've had something of an unscratched itch for a twitch shooter for quite some time (having put a lot of time into multiplayer Quake and Quake 3), and this has been a great cure for that. Of course, the Call of Duty community is as corrosive as it ever was, unfortunately.<br><br>

    Overall, I'm extremely impressed, and I think that it's well worth giving it a shot. It's a pretty good game - and I've barely touched the Zombie stuff.

  • Hitman is a mechanically competent Hitman game. It has a lot of the mechanics and tropes you expect, though ... disguises seem pretty week, and there are a few janky things going on, where things have a certain looseness to it can make things turn out any number of ways at times. <br><br>

    I'm a bit torn as to the Story. I feel like it does what it needs to do - it provides the framework for the game in a competent manner. Unfortunately, while Victoria is a sympathetic character, she doesn't have much ... character, and mostly the story is entirely forgetable.<br><br>

    Oh well, at least it's a good game?

  • Yeah!<br>

    I've been looking forward to Planetside 2 for a long time. And largely, it's exactly what I thought it would be - it's got some changed from the original story, which was obviously going to happen as the first game was not a huge success, but largely, the game stays loyal to it's own pedigree. It changes things, but keeps things feeling "planetside-y", which I think is exactly what I wanted. <br><br>

    The main issue with the game is it's free-to-play model, really. On the bright side, despite what some people are saying - it's not really "pay to win". Rather, everything is rather expensive, which gives the illusion of "pay to win". Of course, it's not made better by the fact that Sony uses a "points" system to abstract the costs - reason why this is an issue is because the "game provided currency" is "Certifications"; a currency you will gain from "playing" - which is pretty slow, especially when weapons cost in the range of 500-1000 certifications...<br>

    But there is a lot of width in the store, and most alternative weapons are specializations, not "better" than the standard issue. <br><br>

    I certainly intend to play more. It's a fun game.

  • I can't remember the last time I just had a really... good time, playing a game. But that's really what Thomas Was Alone is all about - It has a great soundtrack, great narration, good gameplay mechanics and ... it just feels good.

  • Hell Yeah! is a competent game, it's a ludicrous game, where you are constantly bombarded with over the top, silly scenarios. It's a crazy game... but it often feels like the game's mechanics are just a little bit... loose. In a bad way, where you'll often end up dying for silly reasons. <br>

    On the bright side, there isn't much penalty for dying, and you'll often be back trying whatever you failed at within a couple of seconds.

  • Individually, most components in Far Cry 3 are great. Vaas is one of the best characters in the game - I can't remember last I saw such a great... unhinged... character.<br>

    Then there's the world, which feels large, but not unreasonably so.<br>

    From what I can tell, the Multiplayer is quite competent. It's a bit less polished than Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, but it's difficult to fault a first foray into the Multiplayer Shooter genre for not being as polished as the King of the Hill who has been up to it for the last ... 10 years?<br><br>

    Unfortunately, all of this is held back by one core component. The main character and most of his friends are not sympathetic people. At all. In any way. I don't understand why the game goes so far out of it's way to show me how terrible people Jason's friends are... or rather, his male friends. It's curious how saintly his female friends seem by comparison.<br>

    I'm... torn?

  • I'm still tired of Tell Tell Games' games. The Walking Dead hasn't changed that. I had to force myself through the game and the weight of the actual game didn't make it easier to force myself through it.<br><br>

    That said, The Walking Dead is incredibly well done. They understand pacing. They understand how to give decisions weight. They have good writers. <br>

    I can't say that I'm happy about how the game ended, I feel like there are a few things that could've gone better.<br>

    I started playing the way I would've gone into the Zombie apocalypse, I believe - "Fuck everything, I'm going to make rational decisions. I'm going to make sure not to fall for the traps", but I feel like Clementine partially melted my heart on those decisions.<br>

    Still, I made the hard choices. I talked people down from making bad decisions. I took responsibility for my actions. I carried the weight of some difficult decisions.<br><br>

    *sigh* But I'm still tired of Tell Tale Games' games, and I'm unlikely to get around to Jurassic Park or Back to the Future any time soon. *sigh*