Everyone loves a Game of the Year list. Here’s mine. 8 months later than planned, but hey, better late than never right? I should say before you go in, this is a list of my favourite games from 2012. Favourite doesn’t always mean best.
Before We Begin
FTL wouldn’t have been near this list had i typed it up at the end of ’12. It took me an awful long time before I got over the fact that no matter how hard i tried, i was never going to ‘complete’ this game. Its punishing, soul crushingly so. Your ‘story’ can turn on a dime. You’ll be floating happily through space one minute, and watching your ship explode 20 seconds later. The killer though, is that there’s almost nothing you can do about it. Just start again and hope for the best.. I eventually realised that the journey was a reward in itself. After coming to that revelation, i’ve given the game a second game and had a much better time. The game itself is fantastically designed, and annoyingly addictive. You don’t really do too much, but you’ll still find yourself wasting 30 minutes at a time. And thats all it’ll take to get you hooked. Provided you’re okay with being systematically crushed over and over again.
Spec Ops: The Line
Another game that didn’t immediately grab me. Spec Ops: The Line has, arguably, the best story to feature in a video game in the last decade. However, its hidden under a fairly by-the-numbers 3rd person shooter, a third person shooter, that has a pretty crappy shooting mechanic. That being said, it looks great and has an interesting local, but its the games story that makes it one of my top 7 games of last year. Its unlike almost anything i’ve ever played in a Video Game. And without wanting to give too much away, it may yet make me go back in for a second play-through.
And now for the main event..
5. The Walking Dead
Telltales The Walking Dead is widely regarded as the best game released in 2012, which isn’t bad for it being a relatively low budget point and click adventure game. The game isn’t without its drawbacks, and the game engine wasn’t designed for some of the more action oriented set pieces they through into the series, but you can forgive those moments because the story and characters are so well built. The game not only wowed critics, but it won over the heart of gamers, and is by some margin, Telltales biggest title to date. It goes to show that gamers really do have an appetite for well put together stories and engrossing characters.
4. Hotline Miami
Where did this game come from and why didn’t we see it coming? Hotline Miami blew the doors off the gaming world when it was released last year. With its strange 80’s aesthetic and its awesomely trippy soundtrack, the game was damn near perfect. Difficult and addictive in equal measure, the game see’s you throwing bats across rooms, donning strange animal hats and answering a hell of a lot of telephones. Simply put, if you’ve not played this game, you need to fix that. Immediately.
Arkane Studios built a fantastic world and managed to fill it with interesting characters, a well built story and tons of lore just waiting to be found. There’s no right way to play this game. The game won’t be nearly as much fun if you run through and kill everyone, but it is an option. Another option is ‘slow and stealthy’, this is how Dishonored is meant to be played. Take your time, enjoy the world, and you’ll find something to love in this game.
**The DLC isn’t bad either**
2. Mark of the Ninja
Mark of the Ninja is a perfect combination of tight mechanics and glorious design. I don’t usually enjoy stealth games (….), but Mark of the Ninja was different. Instead of leaving me frustrated, it left me feeling like a total badass from start to finish. Challenging and fair at the same time, i could barely put this game down after picking it up.
Wait, what just happened? I think i just declared ZombiU my favourite game from 2012. Okay then, i guess?
No in all seriousness, i absolutely loved this game and when i think back to last year’s games, this title immediately jumps out at me as my favourite. Why? Because atmosphere is why, and this game has it in bucket loads, as well as Zombies, Buckingham Palace, overturned London Buses, and a very interesting death mechanic that (for me at least) totally worked in ratcheting up the tension. Couple that with an interesting use of the Wii U Gamepad, and you’ve got one nerve-wracking Zombie (remember those?) game that also happens to be my 2012 Game of the Year.