My Top 10 games of 2010


10.: Alan Wake

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This is not a pc game, I know, but it is one of the few 360-only games that I really got into. It’s story, while a bit far-fetched has all the hallmarks of a Stephen King novel, but the delivery and storytelling out a good old-fashioned, southern-man spinning a yarn…kind of. Anyways, as a sucker of any game trying to deliver a story as opposed to just point-and-shoot mechanics, I found this game enjoyable, frustrating, but overall novel in its approach and that is why it’s on the list.

9.: Darksiders

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This game is perhaps the best amalgamation of already tried-and-true game mechanics. Throw into a very stylized apocalypse, you are WAR, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, without giving too much away, let me say this story is just as entertaining as the game mechanics. It can be anything from a button masher to a very deep strategic, combo-centric, fighting game.

8.: Amnesia: Dark Descent 

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Aside from Dead Space, and perhaps the original F.E.A.R. and Condemned it has been a while since I’ve played what I consider a good horror game. I think Monolith needs to go back to the Drawing board, because Amnesia is scarier than any of the games I’ve mentioned, with Dead Space trailing closely behind. Never have I played a game that gets my heart racing, my hairs standing, and an overwhelming desire to play with the lights on. Even though some of the voice work is drivel, this game delivers an atmosphere and intriguing story that just needs to be played—even with a walkthrough.

7.: Call of Duty: Black Ops.

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Let’s face it, anyone that has followed this series since its incarnation, we know Call of Duty 4 was THE PINNACLE of the series. Modern Warfare was decent; however with a whole host of problems, a lot of PC gamers lauded it as a deviation not-so-much welcomed. Black Ops arrives and what we have is a Cold-War/Vietnam/Conspiracy going on, and I couldn’t have gotten more into. With a character like Reznov following you at every turn you just want to hold onto the reins. With that said, the story is sometimes a bit too over the top, and unfocused, and kind of short. The multiplayer is where this game really shines, I enjoy almost every improvement, the only issue is, even with dedicated servers, the PC game feels botched and plagued with bugs that often rear their heads at the most inopportune time. I’d like to use my Chopper-Gunner without my game randomly freezing. Sadly, this will be where I end my supporting of Call of Duty as a series.

6.: Bioshock 2

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I’m going to be honest; I had a hard time remembering when this game came out. I’m glad it came out in 2010 though, because from a fun-factor, gameplay mechanics focus this is a vast improvement over the Bioshock. The guns feel right, the traps work wonderfully, being a Big-Daddy is actually satisfying, etc.. Where this game falls short is the story, while it’s good, intriguing, and encompassing of new ideologies some of the atmosphere is lost. It feels like a revolution, probably the way Russia did at some point, but there is just something more satisfying about overthrowing the dictator of the original game.

5.: Warhammer: Dawn of War II: Chaos rising

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What can I say of my favorite RTS? Great expansion, short campaign, but great additions none the less. The Chaos Space Marines are perhaps the more intriguing of enemies, if only because the dogma they follow is, well evil, dastardly, and dare I say bastardly. With strategy riding at the helm, a focus on small-squad combat, the RTS genre has never felt so intimate of a game. No longer am I the commander dictating orders to a ton of troops, I’m in the fight inspiring them. Conquering foes, and fighting for the EMPEROR!

4.: Battlefield: Bad Company 2

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Whenever a new BF game comes out I get quite nostalgic. I can remember, before DSL became a big thing, I and my friend both got Battlefield 1942, and we wanted to play online. So, what we would do is, before Xfire came out, was one of us would look up a server. Disconnect from the internet. Call our friend and tell them the name of the server and the IP address, then we’d both connect, and hopefully join the same game--never worked out too well. Fast forward to now, we’ve seen a lot of Battlefield games and they only get better, and with the most recent addition of BFBC2: Vietnam, its just added more. There is nothing more satisfying than a good game of conquest, or RUSH mode, battlefield is just battlefield, and it will always be one of my favorite games. Did I mention it also has a good single-player game?

3.: Metro 2033

Metro 2033
Metro 2033

Talk to any of my friends… They will tell you I am a very big supporter of Eastern European games. STALKER started the love affair, and Metro 2033 has only strengthened it.  An underground, and even above world, apocalypse has never been so rendered so beautifully. From the world, the living and breathing city underneath, guitar players, comes a game fully focused on its core mechanic: linear shooting. The guns feel right, the atmosphere is perfect. Sure there are a few glitches here and there. But if you’re looking for a good story, a great atmosphere, and perhaps a series that lives in vain of Half-Life, pick this up. Artyom will thank you. 

2.: Mass Effect 2

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I did not particularly enjoy Mass Effect. I played it first on the xbox, then the pc. Mass Effect 2 game out, I held off, then finally cracked. Perhaps one of the greatest improvements between games I’ve ever seen. The third-person shooting feels great, and is easy to control. The characters are memorable. The dialogues intuitive, and the story…EPIC. This is one of those games I can never really qualify well, I think you have to play it to understand. You have to fully immerse yourself when experiencing it, and those that love stories will be rewarded.

1.: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

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What can I say, my first reaction to the original game was much like that of Battlefield 1942, will you marry me? It’s been a rough go, but I think the guys over at GSC really hit the mark will CoP, it wasn’t –as- buggy, and it was just as open, and bigger, than its predecessors. With a streamlined story, and a game that still rewards exploration, I found myself loving this series again. Perhaps it wasn’t as atmospheric as the original, but each mission was crafted in such a self-contained way, I felt the need to play through twice.  There isn’t much more to say, it’s an RPG, it’s a shooter, it does both well.

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*Quick note. My next blog will concern games of 2011 I'm looking forward too, and how to best maximize getting the games at a decent price, especially if you're in college. 

Games of 2009 & 2008 that I played in 2010

Dead Space. As previously mentioned. I have not had the joy of playing very many horror games that truly scared me. I avoided Dead Space, regardless of reviews, because I thought it would be just another standard fare in the horror genre. However, christmas came around this year and my brother bought me this game. It truly is scary, and I often find myself only to play one chapter at a time. If you haven't give this game a try, go ahead and pick it up. If you like space and being scared, go for it.
Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor. Company of Heroes is one of those series that I immediately fell in love with. I'm a fan of Relic games, WW2, and anything that may seem like it's related to Band of Brothers. I was hooked. I never got Tales of Valor however, and I'm not sure why. I played a few of the Tales of Valor missions, and it may not have the same appeal as the original, but its still wholesome RTS fun, and the stories are just as intriguing, if you're a War buff as I am. 

Honorable Mention-Best Lan Game

There are few games that enter "AWESOME FUN TIME" mode at the Lans my friends. Halo 3 is one, especially the infected mode. Alien Swarm has become a favorite, too bad Valve didn't release it as a game for money and with continued support. So in the interim between Call of Duty games, and something to alleviate the frustration that sometimes follows the Battlefield series, Lead & Gold came to be the shooter we could all get behind. We don't pour as many hours in, but when we are burnt out on other games its good to divide us six into teams of three and just go at it. If you have Lans, even a dwindling number because of college & real life, pick this game up. It can at least provide an hour of entertainment every so often.