It's that time of the year. We've seen all the major releases, we've played the games that matter to us. The game of the year awards are being handed out by the various game related media outlets. But they never represent an individuals list of 'best games of the year' so I like to put my own out there.
No game this year has matched Portal 2 in character. I'll say I 'love' a game when I'm enjoying one, but I adore Portal 2. That is that extra step above the rest, I am in awe of it and just thinking about the development of it intensifies that so much more. It's funny in a way games that is so rare of video games, it's full of appropriate fan service, and the game itself was just so enjoyable. Not a single game this year had me smiling throughout, I couldn't name one moment during the game which I felt let me down. It was top quality throughout.
It isn't just the best game of the year. It is one of the best games ever.
The big name RPG of the year may be Skyrim, and I've given that ago, I completed the main quest, which wasn't that long. I've given some side quests a try, and It's great but it isn't The Witcher 2. It was a beautiful game graphically, it was full of extensive, well written lore. It's production was spot on, and it's combat was challenging, but fun. It had a genuine difficulty that presented a real challenge. That doesn't mean the game was too hard, it wasn't, it just felt like it was a fair difficulty, if you went wrong, it was your fault, not the game's fault.
Best RPG of the year.
Now, I know I came across as a little down on Skyrim just then. But I still enjoyed it. It just wasn't as good as The Witcher 2, like I said. But Skyrim is a pretty extraordinary game, it's vast world is detailed beyond belief, the characters are seemingly impossibly unique given the amount of them, and the combat is fun. Now, I still want to go back to the game, because it is the first Bethesda game since, perhaps Morrowind that I've played for more than 10 hours and enjoyed.
Assassin's Creed: Revelations
To some, this may be a strange one. Ubisoft have been churning these out year by year over the past three years, and they've shared pretty much the same gameplay mechanics and core concepts throughout the series, which started in 2007. But I don't know, I think they've done really well to create such great worlds, to integrated and take their own twist on historical characters and events, I've always enjoyed the gameplay and it has been refined more and more with each new game.
ACR came do a typically insane ending, but before it reached that confusing part, it ended off Ezio's story rather well. It wrapped up Altair's parts, with some great "memory" sequences, it was a fantastic looking game graphically (at least on PC), and even though Ubisoft really need to stop trying to hard to confuse the gamer in their endings to these games, it works. It makes you want to know what it means. I am looking forward to the next game.
Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception
For many people, I imagine this is top of their list, or at least second. For me, I've extended this list just to fit it on. It's a superbly made game, it is one of the most polished pieces of digital entertainment out there. But it just didn't impress me that much, not as much as Uncharted 2 did. I've never been a huge fan of the game, the first game of the series was annoying to play, terrible gun mechanics and enemies, but I could see it had huge potential.
Uncharted 2 made the gun mechanics and enemies much better, but it was still quite annoying. The rest of it greats, the controls, the animations, the story, the graphics, the performance, the characters, all brilliant. But the core part of the game, the gun play, was still very annoying. Uncharted 3 seemingly made it worse, the gun play was frustrating, the difficulty was stupid, the enemies hadn't been improved from the last game and the story, while polished up and produced to an extremely high standard, didn't grab me.
I'd feel so bad if I didn't include this game. There is clearly a massive amount of effort been put into this game, so many things it does better than pretty much anything else, but it doesn't click with me as it does with others.
There hasn't been much this year in regards to good multiplayer games. But I'm a Battlefield fan, and the release of Battlefield 3 was always going to be high on my list of most anticipated games of the year. I'll start by saying it has a dreadful single player campaign, but I almost don't care, I didn't buy the game for the single player campaign, I bought it for it's multiplayer. I've probably played more Counter-strike: Source multiplayer this year than anything else, as usual, but it wouldn't be fair to discount my second most played multiplayer game this year because of that.
This game offers more than any other game in regards to it's multiplayer. It lives up to it's name, you can just sit back and watch a real battle going on across the large maps, you can see jets dog fighting above you, or helicopters being fired upon from the ground, tanks firing shells across the map and just a fuck load of explosions everywhere. It looks glorious, both graphically, and just the fact you're watching 64 players battle it out in all different forms, with different weapons and vehicles is quite impressive.
I'm currently enjoying the game mainly for the jets, but have had fun playing the game in the various different ways you can.
Here is one I almost forgot. It was released at the start of the year, but it was a sequel to one of my favourite super hero games. It was an improvement in almost every way, it wrapped up Cole's story and really, for me, captured that 'super hero' feel that has always been missing properly from a game.
I'll update this list after I have completed Zelda and Arkham City. They may be included.
Dark Souls is shit.