Cary G. here. Even with such a busy year during 2012, I was able to actually get some video game playing time in. I wasn’t able to finish every single game that I wanted to, sure, but I managed to get some great quality time with my systems. This is not my top 5 or any such nonsense, but my favorite games of the past year. It seems like I played a lot of games this past year, but nothing really jumps out at me as “Best”! There were definitely quite a few games that I didn’t get a chance to play through as well, like X-Com: Enemy Within seems like it will wind up being a favorite just from the demo. So the following is my favorite games of 2012, in no particular order.
Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning
What a glorious and fun game this Reckoning is. I can’t remember having more fun in any video game this past year. The hack and slash combat was spot on, the magic system was excited, and the gameplay really made the game stand out. The only complaint I can really come up with is that sometimes it was a chore to get through, as the missions and the structure was pretty paint by numbers design. I really need to venture back into the game and really complete it soon. I am actually yearning to return to the adventure. It really is a shame with what happened with 38 Studios, and we will never see a proper sequel to the game is sad. Curt Schilling did a great job obtaining a top notch team to work behind the scenes on the game, including the entire mythos and script being written by fantasy author, R.A. Salvatore, and concept art by Todd Macfarlane. You can probably pick this up on the cheap by now, and I can’t recommend it enough if you are looking for a fun action game mixed with RPG elements.
The Walking Dead
Well, what can one say about The Walking Dead that hasn’t been said before? Is it game of the year material? Nope! Is it really a game at all? Yeah, sorta. Is it the best experience I have had in front of my game system all year? Definitely! The Walking Dead is Telltale’s tour de force, and no one can deny that narrative style games are not popular and can’t be done the right way. Telltale has really hit this one out of the park. I have played through all 5 chapters of the game, and there are some tough decisions in this game that are heart wrenching. I don’t want to give anything away for anyone who hasn’t played it yet, but the story is top notch and worthy of the Walking Dead name! This is not a zombie killing game, but rather a game about the characters that live in this world, just like the comic book, and the tv show. Superb job, Telltale, and I am wanting to delve back in and play through again.
Dust: An Elysian Tale
Besides The Walking Dead, Dust: An Elysian Tale is the best game on Xbox Live Arcade that did not get enough respect. This is definitely one of my favorite games of the year. If you are looking for a Metroidvania style of game, with leveling up and magical powers all set against an amazing beautiful hand painted world, then you have found your game. Although, it can get a little difficult at times, Dust is definitely not one to be missed. You have no excuse not to purchase, as it is available to you for download anytime you feel like it. This is high up on my need to finish list, and will get back to it! The most amazing thing is this entire game was designed and developed by one guy, Dean Dodrill, and this is a huge accomplishment in my opinion. Do yourself a favor, and seek it out, and enjoy one of the best action adventure games released this year. The controls are responsive, the adventure gameplay takes its cues from some of the great games of the past, and the backgrounds are vivid! What more could you want?
Yeah, Yeah. I know what you are going to say. I am just jumping on the Borderlands bandwagon. Absolutely! Borderlands was one of the most fun and inventive shooters to come out in a really long time, and part 2 just continues that quality. Everything about the game screams quality, from the writing, the plethora of weapons, the level design, and just the sheer plain fun of it. Sure, it’s really not that much different from the first game, but I am OK with that, It’s still a damn lot of fun to play, and I have devoted a lot of play hours into this game. In fact, I need to put this back to the top of my play stack since I just bought the DLC season pass. Journey with me to Pandora!
Halo 4 - I’ve always been a fan of the Halo series, even though the story can be convoluted and difficult to understand sometime. Well, the single player game is still the same quality gameplay experience, even though it is under development by a new developer, 343 Industries. The single player game as adequate, but nothing worthwhile really. The game is an amazing and beautiful sight to behold, and maybe the best looking game on the system. The multiplayer is always still top notch, and I really enjoyed playing through the free DLC Spartan Ops missions. It’s a great package, but I am getting that been there done that feeling from the series.
Rock Band Blitz – I am a huge fan of the Rock Band series, and was super excited to get my hands on Rock Band Blitz. That excitement really died down quickly for some reason. I need to get more hands on time with the game. If you are a fan of music rhythm games, and tired of your plastic instruments, then Blitz is the perfect choice, and all of the RBN songs you have purchased automagically will work with the new game. Yes, I think I need to play more.
Darksiders 2 – What do you get when you mix God Of War and Legend of Zelda, with the comic book aesthetics of Joe Madureira? Darksiders 2, of course. An amazing game, with balanced fighting and difficult at time puzzles, Darksiders 2 makes an honorable mention since it is so much damn fun to play. I need to real get back to it, and finish.
Here is the list of games that I actually was able to finish in 2012: