(p) Xcom 10
(p) Mass Effect 3 10
(p) Far Cry 3 9.5
(p) Spec Ops: The Line 9.0
(p) The Walking Dead 9.0
Guardians of Middle-Earth 9.0
Borderlands 2 9.0
(p) Asuras Wrath 8.5
(p) The Amazing Spider-Man 8.5
(p) Game of Thrones 8.0
(p) Dragons Dogma 8.0
(p) Playstation All-StarsBattleRoyale 8.0
(p) Sound Shapes 8.0
(p) Darkness 2 8.0
(p) Counter-Strike: Global Offensive 7.5
(p) Final Fantasy XIII-2 7.5
(p) The Testament of Sherlock Holmes 7.0
(p) Kingdoms of Amalur: The Recokoning 7.0
(p) Prototype 2 6.5
(p) Battleship 6.0
(p) Brave 6.0
(p) Rise of the Guardians 3.5
(p) Ben 10: Omniverse 3.0
(p)Madagascar3: The Video Game 2.5
(p) Men in Black: Alien Crisis 1.0
(p) Starhawk 1.0
Best of 2012
5) Asuras Wrath This spot should rightly belong to Far Cry 3, one of the best sandbox experiences ever. Or Dragons Dogma, a game I sunk a hundred hours into and a series with great potential. Or Guardians of Middle-Earth, a MOBA Im so hopelessly addicted too that if it werent for the garbage connection issues I would probably be playing it every available minute. Or Game of Thrones, a decent classic rpg with a knock your socks off story worthy of the books and show. But looking back over 2012 the one game that stands out more in my mind is Asuras Wrath. Its such a crazy, over the top, artistic game that toys with so many video game conventions while still being an enjoyable and emotional video game. Its not fake artistic or creative like the boring, not-really-a-game Journey type junk. Its truly captivating and original.
4) The Walking Dead I play games for story and I feel that video games can tell better stories than any other medium due to choice if its used correctly. Walking Dead is probably the best story game Ive ever played. The game shook me. It made me cry several times. After episode 3 I woke up and held my kids until they wondered if their dad had gone crazy. My wife, aka the video game hater, was glued to it, which is an incredible feat. Its difficult for me to say, but Walking Dead delivers on the promises of games like Heavy Rain and LA Noire by telling a more interesting story, with more realistic dialogue and richer characters. Whats even more cool is how this is an episodic game, a mature game, a low budget DLC game, and an adventure game. By showing that those four ideas can still be viable, Walking Dead does a hell of a lot more to advance the industry than garbage like Journey.
3) Spec Ops: The Line Everyone needs to play this game. It is nothing short of brilliant. It turns every violent, military game youve played on its ear. It challenges you as a gamer and makes you question assumptions that you didnt even know you made. This is gaming art, achieved not with a paintbrush look and nice music, but with manipulation of the elements that form the gaming experience. I could write an essay about all the things this game does right. Usually it takes some flax for supposedly not having great gameplay but I found it to be a solid 3rd person shooter. Certainly much better gameplay wise than most, including Uncharted. And on FUBAR it has to be one of the most challenging games Ive ever played.
2) Mass Effect 3 I play games for story and experience, not necessarily for fun, so I usually give people a hard time for picking purely fun games for GOTY. If all I wanted was fun then I would never play anything but Team Fortress 2, Killzone 2 or Civilization. But this year I was faced with a dilemma. ME3 or Xcom. In terms of gaming experience we might never see a game more epic than ME3. The best scifi universe since Star Wars. Three games and hundreds of hours worth of character driven story coming to one big conclusion. I cant see myself ever getting more excited for a game. But pure gameplay wise, ME isnt much fun at all. Pit that against the most pure fun Ive had playing a game in years and years. Fun versus experience. Normally I would give it to ME. That haunting piano theme still gives me goosebumps. But I have to give the edge to Xcom because of just how brutally terrible the last ten minutes of ME3 ended up being, not to mention the even more embarrassing enhanced ending.
1) Xcom This is my perfect game. Ive said Demons Souls is my perfect game, but its just my perfect action game. Top to bottom Xcom is my perfect game period. Everything I love about gaming in one wonderful package. I played hundreds of hours of Xcom this year and its one of the few games I can foresee myself picking up again and again and again. I love the campy presentation and graphical tone. Im sure its not for everyone but in my humble opinion, theres nothing better than this.
Worst of 2012
5) Dishonored I just dont understand why I cant get into this game. It has all the elements I should like. Bioshock was greater than the sum of its parts. Dishonored is much, much worse than the sum of its parts somehow. It could be the goofy graphics, the brutally bad voice acting, or the fact that the FPS stealth doesnt really work well, but none of those things would really be enough to ruin how good this game looked on paper. Ive restarted it five times in an attempt to get into it with no luck. The fact that it has walked away with numerous GOTY nods is fine with me though. There have certainly been much worse choices than a new IP, stealth game with a mature setting and theme.
4) Rise of the Guardians While I would love to toss Journey, FF13-2 or Kingdoms of Amalur in here. This game shares a very prestigious honour with FF13. They are the only two games boring and simple enough that Ive actually surfed the internet while playing. The combat in this game, much like FF13, involves absolutely nothing but pressing x repeatedly. There isnt even a jump button.
3)Madagascar3: The Video Game Aside from the occasional stupid mini game (most of which involve walking around), this game is made up entirely of walking around cities looking for collectibles. In fact you have to put on a disguise around crowds that make you walk even slower. This game is physically painful to play.
2) Starhawk Warhawk is one of the best mp games ever. Starhawk unfortunately falls very short. The RTS/shooter combination was interesting but ultimately flawed. People just dont coordinate or work together well enough to make this game interesting. Matches were all just lopsided, sloppy wastes of time. Toss in the worst singleplayer campaign Ive ever seen along with the worst example of video game voice acting ever and you have yourself a winner. But the real reason this game sucks so much is that they threatened to ban my PSN account for self boosting their ridiculous trophies. I bet theyre really sorry now that I gave their precious failure of a game a 1 I sure showed them.
1) Men in Black: Alien Crisis This is the worst game Ive ever played. No contest. I urge people to play this game just to give you some perspective on how bad games can actually be. This game is like the condition called word salad. Your brain is simply too organized to allow you to pretend to have word salad. Your brain would be too organized to allow you to make a game this bad even if you were trying to make the worst game ever. It would take a thesis to describe all the ways this game stinks.
Most Anticipated of 2013
5) Dragon Age 3 This is Biowares last chance for me. Will it go back to its complicated and engaging Origins roots. Or will it tumbled down the bs EA white washed, one city, press x constantly, lazy game design feces ridden slope.
4) Watch Dogs This game looks awesome.
3) BioShock Infinite I have a very bad feeling about this one but fingers crossed it can come close to recapturing the magic of the original.
2) GTA 5 I love the GTA series and I love the direction GTA 4 took. Heres to hoping GTA 5 is more of the same. The initial trailer blows by mind with the level of detail already show in what is bound to be a gorgeous living city.
1) Beyond: Two Souls Quantic Dream I shouldnt have to say anything else.