I want to play Rage…umm that’s all I have to say about that…I got it for $20. Not sure it’s worth $60. The demo I played was a competent shooter but kind of felt like it would get old very fast with its extremely linear pathing. The world setting seems bland and the story seems even blander. But for $20 bucks I’llshoot me some mutated people from the future!!
9: Assassins Creed: Revelations
Maybe in a few years or months I’ll be ready to go back to Ezio’s world but for now I haven’t even finished Brotherhood. I feel like if you’ve played one Assassins Creed game you’ve played them all and you either love that gameplay or you don’t. I’m in between I’ll admit, but only because I really enjoyed playing the first two games and then tiring of all the side missions that feel like game filler to me to distract you from a short main story.
One of the things I loved about the first Assassins Creed excluding the long buildup to the boss battle assassination was that the game was designed around the stealth and take downs of these bosses with a few different options on how to assassinate the target. I feel like that element of game was reduced and almost removed entirely only focusing on how many soldiers one can kill on a street corner or the platforming.
To me Assassins Creed seemed to have steered away from stealth and focused more on combat, killing tons of dudes and how much climbing I can do in platforming arenas. Now some may appreciate that and prefer the direction it took but I’m one of the few apparently that enjoyed the first game for what it was. I think there could be a fair balance between the game mechanics but it hasn’t been tempered yet in my opinion. Maybe Assassins Creed 3 (hopefully by then I’ll have finished Brotherhood and Revelations) will have done this for me.
8: Dead Space 2
I haven’t played Dead Space 2 I had it but never played it and traded it in. I wasn’t ready… Like the Assassins Creed series I was burnt out of the game play and just wasn’t ready to revisit the world or gameplay. I still feel that way with Assassins Creed but having finished Skyrim recently I need a new game experience/world and for some reason Dead space 2 has been calling my name. I hear it’s good and worth playing. I hear it is much more action oriented than horror and I’m ok with that.
Hopefully I’ll get a chance to play it this year and see for myself. I really enjoyed the first Dead Space but I worry that EA may try to milk the franchise into the ground like Ubisoft is doing with Assassins Creed.
7: L.A. Noire
When I first started playing LA Noire I was blown away at how awesome and immersive the story, gameplay and world was. It looked amazingly real, the CGI is amazing but after you do a few cases the game play goes from best game ever to stale gameplay and wishing it was over. Too many cases bog down the game and studying witnesses and suspects for facial reactions to guess if they’re telling the truth or not seems more luck than skill.
I’ve never been an open world fan I’ll be honest but there are some games that do it very well. The city of LA in the 50’s while looking impressively recreated doesn’t offer much in terms of player interactions and bustling metropolis for the player. Compared to games like Red Dead Redemption where you can find all kinds of things to do in the towns and villages like gambling games, side quests and encounters. LA Noire is pretty vanilla offering only straight cases with some side missions involving shooting and chasing criminals or car collecting.
LA Noire was a definitely unique new angle at playing a game but a lot of people called it a glorified point and click game.
As a game its worth picking up to experience especially if you are into story driven games as it really feels like you’re playing through an old time detective story TV or movie serial series. How you feel about the game compared to beginning to end may vary. The ending was disappointing and kind of fell flat but overall it’s a unique game. Rockstar took the risk at creating and pushing the envelope. If anything it’s a promise for great gaming ideas going forward and the progression of the video game storytelling medium.
6: Dead Island
Well DeadIsland was surprisingly fun game to play this year. I kind of heard it was shit nearing its release but when I picked it up for lack of better judgment I was really pleasantly surprised. This game has a terribly lame story but if you like killing zombies this is right fucking up your alley. The combat seems solid and there is a weight to the weapon swings that’s severely lacking even in Skyrim. Granted the Zombies can take a lot of fucking hits and you have to repair your weapons all the goddamn time (Biggest gripe in the game weapon decay) but it’s a fun experience with your friends. The game has drop in drop out online coop with up to 4 players and that’s where the fun begins, slaughtering zombies and getting from point A to B.
Granted that is the entirety of the game and can get old after a while which may be why I’ve yet to go back to it. Well most of my friends just rented it so I didn’t have anyone to play with. The single player experience is doable but you have to play much more conservatively. You can’t try to slaughter every zombie, you have to run for your life to the mission point and kill only what stands in your way. The game is increasingly difficult single player and if you’re looking for a horror game genre experience the stress of this game on single player may be close to what you’re looking for. The game is definitely less stressful in a group and more fun to play. Not to say both experiences aren’t fun but single player is definitely a lot more stressful and solitary experience (which makes it more of a horror game).
While Dead Island isn’t perfect it’s definitely a game worth picking up to play with your friends if your friends all pick up their own copy that is as there is no split screen.
5: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
This was probably one of my most highly anticipated games this year and when it came out I was strapped for cash bigtime. I finally got my hands on it via my roommate (thanks buddy) and proceeded to plow through it in less than two days. The campaign seems very short to play through. All the right elements of Uncharted were there but something was missing. Something in the story never quite took off. Some plot points were never explained, the puzzles weren’t that challenging (says a lot about the puzzles if “I” thought they were too easy) and the shooting was fucked up. I heard Naughty Dog was trying to go the realistic route in terms of the games shooting mechanic but every fucking gun kicked back and was nearly impossible to aim to get any accurate shots off which was NOT FUN (remember this is a video game not a shooting sim).
All the wow moments were there but it just seemed like Uncharted 2 had already blown its load and Uncharted 3 was just drunk sloppy seconds. It was surprising that an AAA title like this just didn’t seem all that polished for a 3rd game in a series.
In the end Uncharted 3 is still fun to play (aside from some of its many choke point moments). There are some great wow moment sequences in the game and you still love the characters but Uncharted 2 is still the king baby (And to me personally the best PS3 title to date and one of the best games this gen).
I have since heard they have patched the gun aiming in Uncharted 3 and have yet to go back to it. Before you read this and think “man screw this game!”I did buy it on sale for $30 during black Fridays deals because the game was good enough to play and own for $30 but $60 dollars?..I’d say no. It’s hard for me not to want to point out all the disappointing moments in this game as it really affected my experience, but it is definitely worth playing. If you loved the other Uncharted games its mandatory you experience this one but just know it won’t top the second game. You just can’t help but think they were so close to hitting it on the nail but somehow didn’t achieve it.
4: Batman: Arkham City
I’ll admit I kind of hated this game in the beginning. There is a huge lack of instruction or clear clarification on what to do or where to go in this game (not just in the beginning but throughout). I can agree that there is a fine line between developers holding the players hands through the experience and just letting you dive in the deep end on your own (Dark Souls I’m looking at you) but there were many times I just didn’t know what the fuck I was supposed to do in Arkham City and that points to poor player navigation.
Overall Batman Arkham City was actually pretty great, if you enjoyed Arkham Asylum then this game is for you. It’s mostly the same game overall but on a much GRANDER scale. More enemies, more missions, more gadgets, more upgrades, more everything (and a much larger open world to traverse through still not sure if I liked the open world or not).
I think I can say I liked Arkham Asylum more simply for the flow of the game was fairly straight forward and direct where is Arkham City you had to direct your next actions yourself than the game doing it for you.
For me I really enjoyed the unique variety in boss battles of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. Being a Batman fan I really enjoyed seeing all the different villains and their take in these worlds. Not to say they were all perfect boss battle encounters that were fun to play…I appreciated the fact they took the time to make each experience unique in their own right related to the villain.
I appreciate the scale Rocksteady was going with this game and I’ll admit about after the time I finished the game I became familiar enough with the controls, gadgets and combat combos that I became proficient enough but I would have preferred to pick it up sooner than after I had finished the game.
Arkham City is definitely an experience I recommend but be patient with its learning curve in the beginning, as the game expects you to have played Arkham Asylum just a few days ago and hours upon fucking hours of it in that time haha!
Aside from some issues of direction within the game Arkham City was a really great experience. The main story is somewhat short, there are interesting side quests that are spiced up with unique villains from the Batman universe that made the side quests much more interesting and more worthwhile to complete compared to the typical “kill contract” or “fetch quest” offered by many games of its ilk like Assassins Creed.
Catwoman’s gameplay segments were surprisingly short throughout the game and hopefully we’ll see more story based DLC with her and Robin since they are playable characters models in the Challenge Maps (Why spend so much time developing these character models with their own unique fight systems to only include for challenge maps for the most part?..).
Also I could give a fuck about challenge maps. Who needs 20 maps to beat up dudes?! I think Rocksteady was trying to cater to the Street fighter crowd for this game genre with all the combat combos and challenge maps available.
In the end I’m glad I made it through the game but will I replay it?Not sure and this coming from a guy who played Arkham Asylum 3 times (granted achievements were involved)
3: Gears of War 3
If you’ve played one Gears of War game you’ve played them all but each game is still a lot of fun to play. I feel like the 3rd iteration in the series really smoothed out many of the game controls and allowed the veteran players who mastered the controls to handle even better.
Basically Gears is a Shooting gallery game where you advance from one area to the other clearing out waves of enemy horde. While it sounds simple a lot can be said for teamwork and communication in Gears and that’s what this game is all about. You play online with up to 4-5 people depending on game type having a blast shooting alien horde or other online opponents.
For me the best way to experience Gears of War is by playing online with friends and not use the AI as partners. The game really shines while using teamwork on multiplayer and horde modes as you work together trying to take down the enemies it can be really rewarding.
The stories not terrible and the characters have been around long enough that you mildly care about their outcomes. If were talking Multiplayer game of the year Gears 3 would be it for me. For $60 you are definitely getting your money’s worth of content assuming you play online and all the different game types appeal to you. Epic Games really outdid themselves on the final installment of the game and cheers to them for giving a game such strong legs to stand on for a good awhile with a games legacy which is hard to top.
2: Dark Souls
Granted I never did finish Demons Souls and I still have yet to finish this game. DarkSouls is ass slappingly difficult with no mercy for mistakes. If you respect the games challenges then you can learn to play the game patiently which reduces death (Death being the largest penalty in this game and losing souls).
Dark Souls has a unique world and was my game of the year until Skyrim came out. I will say one of the things that keeps Dark Souls on top is its rewarding experience as you progress through the areas and bosses, because..Well… you fucking earned it (Cheats and all)! But while the game is very stern on respecting its challenges it is also its downfall. As when Skyrim came out I loved being able to play a game that didn’t penalize me so hard and I have yet to go back to Dark Souls as I needed a break (Hopefully I will return soon).
I would have to say the biggest point DarkSouls still has over Skyrim is in regards to the weapons combat is truly amazing and well done. Skyrim combat gameplay is mostly a pull the right trigger sword swat move where in DarkSouls each weapon interacts and performs differently (Parry’s, blocks, charges, lunges, stabs, swats, dodges, chops all in the games weapon combat and then some) while in combat and not many games can claim this kind of interesting weapon combat (MMOs combat has nothing on DarkSouls). Sometimes you almost feel like you’re actually sword playing. Yes there are a lot of Hack n Slash games that incorporate and offer unique weapon combat for each weapon but Dark Souls really does this well (And you can lock onto targets).
It’s interesting to watch other people play Dark Souls to see which weapons they prefer and how they go about handling the combat along with the world in DarkSouls. As a Sword, spear, axe all perform differently as do the enemies.
Also the boss battles of Dark Souls are some of the largest most intimidating, terrifying bosses you’llever encounter in a video game and to that earns its place here. There were so many times I encountered a new boss for the first time seeing it freaking out thinking… There was no way I could defeat something this fucking huge and ridiculous, but after learning the strategy many bosses were reduced to harmless pests (Some still fucking difficult as hell).
The key to DarkSouls is learning the strengths and weaknesses of your enemies and being patient enough to make your move against them. There’s not much for story here but there is a lot to be said for a game lacking story but the hearty combat and challenge is rewarding enough on its own. The world is also fantastical with a ton of variety in enemy encounters although it can be terrifying & exhilarating to advance into the unknown of a new area within the game (Each area offers some new unique level of challenge to overcome). I did feel at times that some of the level design as you progress further into the game was more about taking cheap shots at the player and going a bit overboard with it at times too.
I think this is a game worth renting if you’ve never played before but it’s also highly suggested you do a bit of homework be it online or buy the guide to help familiarize yourself with some of the game mechanics as the game kind of just throws you in with little instruction. If you have friends who have played ask them for advice as that was the best way to help me overcome the games initial intimidation. Once you get over that initial difficulty curve you actually find the game more an interesting challenge than a date with misogyny.
1: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
For some, Skyrim isn’t an entirely new gaming experience. For me it was my first real time with an open world RPG of this magnitude or any Elder Scrolls game for that matter (and all the Dragons). As I review a list of games I’ve played most(according to raptr.com), Skyrim takes the lead at 160 hours. Halo Reach multiplayer coming in at a close second with 157 hours. That says a lot for a single player game and having only just released this last Novemberversus Halo Reach’s 2010 release.It’s amazing how many hours were invested in such a short amount of time…
At the time of its release Skyrim was a new game experience that was scratching the itch I needed in a rather doldrums game sequel “been there done that” release schedule (Mind you I had never played an Elder Scrolls game before so it was new “for me”). Within Skyrim I found a vast world of quests, surprises and unique encounters throughout my adventures in a world that seemed almost alive on its own.
This is definitely my game of the year. No other game can deliver this kind of immersion experience like an Elder Scrolls games and to this point probably the best use of Video Game Dragons encounters to date. There was so much to do for hours and so much to find (and still have yet to find) it took quite some time for it to become stale at the obsessive pace I was playing it. I hadn’t dumped this much time into one game with long play sessions since MMO days. This game took me away from the usual action oriented, platforming, gun shooting games I’d been playing, to a world focused on exploration more than the game mechanics itself (Though it was fun to kill whatever evil magical enemies I happened upon in my adventures). For the most part a rather casual gaming experience compared to other more involved types of game play (Very easy to kick back and drink and play this game without a lot of effort).
My only gripes were load times, mountain traversing to locate paths to quests locations, Horses die too easily and shouldn’t combat enemies, along with a bit more enemy and weapon variety (although there is quite a bit out there) and the merchants always having less money than I did…
The Amount of content in this medieval fantasy setting alone is worth the $60 price tag and will have you occupied for hours on end depending on how immersed you allow yourself to become and time available to play. Easily one of the best game experiences on a console today.