The Best of 2012
My favourite five games of 2012. Why five? Don't know. In order? Not really. More questions? Probably not.
1) Sleeping Dogs. If you've dabbled in the wonders of Hong Kong for any length of time (or China in general) you'll have had a whale of a time with Sleeping Dogs. The acting was top rate, and though they didn't push the policeman / triad schism far enough it still did enough to be one of my entries here. Shame the DLC looks to be the all too common "cheap pricepoint and little content" so beloved of most games around these days. Fighting tournaments and "spooky" Halloween events? Bleh. You have a rock solid storyline to flesh out, guys. Don't waste it.
After a wonderful experience on console, this game almost soured me completely due to the infamous hkshop.exe error on PC (go Google it, then weep). In fact, this sounds more like a rant about things I hate than "my top games" so I'll shut up now.
2) FTL. A powerhouse of decision making and random luck blessing the brave. Best thing to come out of Kickstarter? It might well be. Anybody with the mildest Star Trek hankering needs to have this on their PC. Also here's a few tips (I'll also add to those that Drones are essential).
3) Hotline Miami. If you ever wanted to pretend to be Professor Pyg while powerdrilling the heads of those who truly deserve it, then this is the game for you. I keep seeing "Drive: The Game", but "Professor Pyg: The Tribute Album" would be more appropriate. Not so much what your character does, as the overall feel of what takes place keeps reminding me of him for some reason.
5) Spec Ops: The Line. This shunted a fair few titles out of this spot quite late on, as I only recently played it. The campaign is around six hours on normal difficulty and probably closer to ten on hard. It's powerful, it's bold, it's dramatic, it doesn't shy away from the horrors of war and almost everything it does is very, very smart. In fact, something it starts to do later on with a common videogame "thing" will slowly but surely start to freak you out a bit. And that's before you get to the plot, and the multiple interpretations it bears the weight of. A phenomenal title, and something that everybody should play.
It also doesn't contain a single QTE, and that's quite remarkable in this day and age.
The rest of the best of the bunch
I haven't done much with Torchlight 2, but it seems like a lot of fun. XCOM probably got doinked off the above list by Spec Ops, but is a really rather sensational game. Legend of Grimrock would have booted FTL or Hotline Miami out of the top spots, but again - not enough playtime. Borderlands 2 is phenomenal, but somehow it doesn't quite squeeze into the list. I guess I might just be a sucker for the first game.
And, me being me, I couldn't let this blog post finish without a closing complaint so I'll just come right out with it: my biggest gaming disappointment was Far Cry 3 which - I've come to realise - isn't as good as Far Cry 2. Blog post incoming, release the hounds and happy new year.