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Added by GruntLogic on 12 Nov 2012 06:51
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Best Games of 2012

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People who added this item 105 Average listal rating (65 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
Hitman: Absolution - PC Games
For whatever qualms I may have with the really quite small changes that have been made to the Hitman formula, there is enough of what I love about Hitman games here to be thoroughly enjoyable.

I absolutely cannot suppress my impish glee when the game affords me the opportunity to execute some of the most ridiculous environmental kills, cleverly making them look like lethally tragic accidents.

People who added this item 233 Average listal rating (146 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Journey - PlayStation 4
Thatgamecompany is known for having made some of the chillest games ever, namely Flow and Flower.
This game follows suit in that it has a very relaxed atmosphere, but what an atmosphere it is.
This game is very effective at telling a story without using any words.
You aren't given any instruction as to what you are supposed to do, but that glowing beacon atop a mountain in the distance just seems to call to you...
and so you begin your journey...

In the dialogue of whether or not Video Games can be considered art, I would offer this game as a strong example of why Video Games can be art.
It is just beautiful.
Simply beautiful.
People who added this item 74 Average listal rating (52 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Spec Ops: The Line - PlayStation 3
I'm deeply conflicted about how to describe this game. On one hand, it's kind of a generic shooter in many ways, but on the other hand, it is the most unique and possibly the most important modern military-themed shooters ever made. It might not be the funnest game I've ever played, but it has given me more to think about than any other FPS. It's really hard to talk about what makes this game so incredible without giving away massive spoilers, just let me tell you to hang with it through until the end, and your patience WILL be rewarded, though maybe not in the way that you would expect from a modern military-themed shooter. I was incredibly surprised and deeply grateful for having had the opportunity to have played this game.

If you really don't care about spoilers,
a marvelous, but spoiler-filled discussion of this game can be found Here
People who added this item 24 Average listal rating (17 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 0
Duplicate - Xbox 360
If there were any concerns about how well 343 Industries would handle the Halo franchise now that Bungie has departed, those concerns were laid to rest within minutes of firing up Halo 4.
I feel that this may be the single best looking game currently available for the Xbox 360. It is really quite breathtaking.
The gameplay is still incredibly solid, which is really par for the course for Halo games. Most of the weapons found throughout the entire Halo franchise can be found in this one game, along with several new weapons.
The sound design deserves special note being that the beloved Martin O'Donnell has left the franchise as well. Again, my fears were laid to rest by Mr. Neil Davidge. His take on the audio for Halo 4 was quite different from the bombastic scores of Mr. O'Donnell. Different, but still very fitting.
I have to add that this game has made me care more about the character Cortana than I ever thought was possible.

As an avowed fan of Firefight mode that was introduced in Halo 3: ODST and continued in Halo: Reach, I was aghast to learn that Firefight was not to be in Halo 4. In it's place is the incredible Spartan Ops mode, with new content being released every week for ten weeks. Each episode is a little bite-sized story in itself, set several months after the events of the main campaign have come to a close.
Overall, I have to say that I am very pleased how 343 Industries is expanding on the sizable volume of lore of the Halo Canon, from the expanded universe beyond just the video games.
I'm very eager to see where 343 Industries takes us next.
People who added this item 181 Average listal rating (89 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Max Payne 3 - PC Games
The original bullet-time hero is back! This time Max Payne is in the more than capable hands of Rockstar Games.
I have to say, Max Payne may be one of the more depressing characters in video games. Granted, when everyone you ever cared about has either been murdered or has betrayed you, it's understandable how you'd be one cynical son of a bitch. Still, it's kind of hard to watch Max's self-destructive binges.
Gameplay-wise, Rockstar has made a few changes to the usual bulletdodge formula. This game has a much stronger focus on cover-based shooting, because as fun as diving through the air in slow-motion, pumping rounds into bad guys is, it isn't the wisest tactical decision. More than a few times I wound up dying because of a totally sweet bullet dodge into a group of bad guys, and when I finally hit the ground, and normal time resumed, it turned out that I didn't quite finish off everyone, and they just annihilated Max as he was trying to stagger back to his feet. Still, enough classic Max Payne gameplay remains to say that the game is true to it's original spirit.
Gone are the animated comic book style cutscenes, replaced with more typical Rockstar Games cutscenes, which might be a bit disappointing to some, but I felt that they were handled with typical high-quality production that I've come to expect from Rockstar.

Oh, did I forget to mention that this game is surprisingly (even disturbingly) gory?

People who added this item 73 Average listal rating (43 ratings) 8.8 IMDB Rating 0
I must admit, I was quite surprised to hear that Telltale Games was tackling The Walking Dead. Telltale is known for more cutesy-cartoon point-and-click adventures. So needless to say, I was curious how they'd handle a game of such a graphic nature.
I can confidently say that they handled it with aplomb. They really worked hard to make sure that the decisions you make in-game have some consequence. Granted, this doesn't always pan out, but it does often enough to leave a good impression. They cleave very closely to the spirit of the graphic novel by Robert Kirkman, and they have several very touching emotional moments in the game. By the end of this emotionally taxing journey, I was just about in tears.

People who added this item 139 Average listal rating (81 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Far Cry 3 - PlayStation 3
I've gone back and forth over whether or not to agree with IGN's assessment that this game is "Like Skyrim with guns."
At the moment, I'm inclined to agree. You're given a huge open sandbox world to explore, plenty of upgrades to acquire through leveling up and completing tasks & objectives. In short, there is a whole slew of things to do that end up making the main story quests seem a lot less urgent. This seems like kind of a shame, because I'm finding the story to be more and more enjoyable the further I progress, which is the opposite of how I felt about Skyrim's story.

It's very rare that I come across an RPG game as wonderful as this. Granted, this is a game that you might want to do some homework in before you start playing. And by homework, just browse around wikipedia to learn more about the world that this game is set in. It's based on a series of books by the Polish author, Andrzej Sapkowski. Note, I haven't actually read any of these short story collections, but I am highly interested now.

Many RPG games seem to almost shield you from the lore of their worlds, making them optional, rather than being at the heart of it. That is not the case with this game. They'll throw around a lot of names of people and places, and they don't come right out and tell you their importance, you're kind of expected to know something about them already.

This game is a sequel, and it definitely begins en media res. It picks up directly after the events of the first game, and this game rapidly brings you up to speed on the events of the first, when it's relevant.

I suppose I should tell you that you play as Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher. A Witcher is someone who was raised from a young age to be a monster hunter. Potential Witchers are subjected to trials and experiments, many of which are lethal. Those that survive are immune to disease, they're stronger, faster and more resilient than normal humans. This results in a kind of forced evolution -- a mutant, but there are also side-effects, such as sterility and the alteration of a Witcher's eyes so that they resemble a cat's eyes, but they can also see in the dark. In Geralt's case, the process also removed most of his pigmentation, and has granted him the nickname "The White Wolf."

I like the fact that the character you play as is a defined character, rather than a blank slate of a character that most RPG's stick you with. Geralt seems to have a lot in common with hardboiled detectives like Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe. He's not exactly heroic, but he does have a kind of idealism that he follows. He doesn't like picking sides, instead choosing his own path.

Speaking of which, I also find the fact that the game doesn't arbitrarily have "Right/Wrong" or "Good/Evil" decisions in the game. There are several major decision points in the game that will change how the story progresses. Like I said, these choices aren't right or wrong, there isn't an arbitrary "Morality Meter" measuring your level of saintliness or dickishness. However, the characters that you interact with will often remember your actions later in the game. You just use your best judgement.

I cannot understate that this game is definitely intended for mature audiences only. This can be a very gory game, and there is PLENTY of nudity involved, as well as quite a bit of salty language. But I never felt as though it was doing so just for shock value. It always felt organic to the game world. It only seems natural that Geralt would want to bone anything that moves when he's sterile and immune to diseases.

This game can be brutally difficult, even on the easier settings. My friend was watching me play and he turned away for a few seconds, and I managed to die while he was briefly looking away. This definitely isn't a game that will hold your hand. You have to remember to save regularly. Preparation is the key to winning many of the games more difficult battles. I've never felt like I haven't had adequate tools to deal with any situation, instead it felt more like I didn't make the best use of my available resources. This eases the frustration of dying for me, because I never feel like the game is being cheap, I just reload my last save and then approach the situation that killed me ealier with more caution and preparation.

The crafting interface is quite cumbersome and initially, quite confusing. Potions play a big role in preparing for the more difficult fights in the game, and you can only drink potions before a battle, not during. Again, this is explained in the books that potions that can heal wounds amongst other effects, are actually quite toxic to normal human beings. Witchers are trained to imbibe these potions in a meditative trance, and this is reflected in game by the fact that you can only meditate when there aren't enemies about. But getting back to the interface, it seemed kind of odd that I would select the potions that I wanted consume, and then I would exit out of the meditation, and I *thought* that I had consumed them, but it turns out that there is one more button I had to press AFTER I selected the potions to drink. So, select the potion(s), and then select the button to drink them. I think it would just be easier to combine the selection of the potion, and the drinking of the potion. Oh well, now I know. Oh yes, the game doesn't actually tell you this.

I suppose it seems like I might be complaining quite a bit about this game that I profess to enjoy. This game definitely has it's quirks, but I don't think they ever really prevented me from enjoying the game. I was growing tired of RPG games with overly simplified mechanics, and overly simple, tired tropes when it comes to storytelling. This game is a breath of fresh air for me. If you go into this game with the right mindset, you can get a lot out of it. The graphics are absolutely beautiful, some of the best I've seen on the Xbox 360. Which is quite a feat, considering that this game requires some pretty hefty high-end specs to run on PC, and the 360 manages to pull off some beautiful effects on 6 year old hardware. The combat is thoughtful and strategic and also fast and brutal. The story is wonderfully unique when compared to other more standard-fare western-styled RPG's. The game world has more of a feeling of Game of Thrones, with it's dirty, byzantine politics. This game is just as dark and brutal as Game of Thrones.

This is a beautiful game that I won't soon forget.

"People like to invent monsters and monstrosities. Then they seem less monstrous themselves. When they get blind-drunk, cheat, steal, beat their wives, starve an old woman, when they kill a trapped fox with an axe or riddle the last existing unicorn with arrows, they like to think that the Bane entering cottages at daybreak is more monstrous than they are. They feel better then. They find it easier to live." --Geralt of Rivia
People who added this item 31 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 0
XCOM: Enemy Unknown - PlayStation 3
I was highly curious as to how one of my favorite old-school games of the 90's would fare for this re-boot/remake. I can happily report that it has fared extremely well. All of the changes that have been made I feel are for the better. They stripped away a lot of the unnecessarily cumbersome interface and made it much more smooth and streamlined. The attempt to infuse a story was an interesting addition. It isn't necessarily the strongest addition, but again, it is welcome. It gives the events a bit of human emotion. The stern difficulty is still in place by default, with the option to scale the difficulty up or down.

All in all, I am THRILLED to see the loving treatment one of my favorite old-school PC games has received in this remake/reboot.
People who added this item 102 Average listal rating (45 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
Dishonored - Xbox 360
This game is a magnificent combination of several other superb games that came before it, namely: Bioshock, Deus Ex, and Thief: The Dark Project.

Playing as a functionally silent protagonist, Corvo Attano, you are given free reign as to how to exact your revenge upon those who have framed you for murder. The level of freedom the player is given is very similar to Deus Ex and Thief. The setting is even very similar to Thief in it's Victorian-era Steam-punk setting. I give the comparison to Bioshock because of the general similarity in gameplay, and the ease with which you can use and swap out your powers on the fly.

This game can be fairly short if you don't take the time to explore the actually fairly large levels in each mission. And it would be a shame if you didn't do some exploring, because this game takes pains to realize the world they've created. The city of Dunwall is lovingly brought to life through many in-game documents and dialogue.

The player is given an impressive array of tools to end the lives of all who oppose your quest for revenge, but some of the most satisfactory kills are when your enemies never see it coming, until they have a blade in their neck.

However, there does seem to be a bit of a disconnect between whether the game wants you to be a supernatural whirlwind of death, or a silent spectre of non-lethal justice. The game rewards the non-lethal path, but makes the game harder the more corpses you leave in your wake. The game also gives you a huge array of lethal options, but your non-lethal choices are somewhat limited. But there is a certain amount of cleverness required for the non-lethal path, which is kind of a reward in it's own way.

These are, bar none, the best games that were released in 2012, that I have played.

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