2012 was a great year for video games. We got a massive variety of games, some bad, but most good. Sequels were definitely big, with the likes of Halo 4 and Borderlands 2 dominating the market. But in addition to those sequels, we got a bunch of original games. Games that, in many cases, were actually better than a lot of the sequels that were released this year. So please, bear with me through my top 5 games. If you disagree, or think I’m an idiot for even liking one of the games on this list, let me know in the comments. Please try not to be too offensive though.
5. Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes
I got this for Christmas a few days ago, and I haven’t finished it yet, but from what I played, it’s not only one of the best games of 2012, but probably the best Lego game. For the first time, we get to hear the minifigures talk. And while I never had a problem with the minifigures not talking before, it’s still pretty awesome. Unlike other Lego games, Lego Batman 2 doesn’t follow a set story. While past Lego games are all based off movies that we know, Lego Batman 2, like the first one did, crafts an original story. And that’s definitely a nice turn for the Lego franchise, especially since the story is so good. Plus, it still manages to incorporate some of that Lego humor we’ve all grown accustomed to in these games. And, on top of that, the gameplay is awesome. Sure, it’s not that different from past Lego games, but some additions to the combat system (like combos and counters), as well as the different suits, make the game feel fresh. Even after I’m done with the story, I’m definitely going to play it again for all the collectibles. Lego Batman 2 is the perfect game for gamers of all ages.
4. Spec Ops: The Line
Spec Ops is essentially the polar opposite of Lego Batman 2. While Lego Batman is pretty light hearted, Spec Ops is a grim exploration of what war can do to a person. While it at first may seem a little like your run of the mill war glorifying military shooter, it quickly deviates from that path, portraying war as it really is, not a romanticized version of it. That alone makes the game worth playing. It’s also because of that that Spec Ops is probably the darkest game that I’ve ever played. The moral choice system is a major component of the game, as there are parts where you are forced to choose who lives and who dies. The game will not only make you question your character, but it will make you question yourself. The horrific scenes throughout the game that would have been used only for shock value in other shooters, contribute to Sergeant Walker’s very real descent into madness. A descent that the player will feel. The game does an excellent job of building connections between the player and Walker, which makes the dark mood all the more real. All this and it’s got some great gameplay too. While I won’t necessarily call it fun (watching a sane person turn into a hallucinating, homicidal, maniac isn’t exactly fun) it is a great game, and one that should be played for it’s story, if nothing else.
Dishonored is a game I knew that I would really enjoy even before I bought it. I got it pretty much in release date, before reviews came out. All I knew about it was the demos and what had been said about it. And, from that, it sounded really, really awesome. But I didn’t know I would like it as much as I did. I was sure I’d only play it once, but I’ve played it three times, and each time my experience has been different. The thing about Dishonored is that there is so much choice, it’s hard, maybe even impossible, to play the game the exact same way twice. Each mission is essentially it’s own sandbox, allowing the player to reach the objective however they want. Obviously, you can use the straight forward, charge and attack method. And I have tried that, and it can be a lot of fun, especially later in the game when you have more abilities. But where the real fun of Dishonored lies is in thinking up a different way to accomplish the objective. And having that choice is something I love in a game. I like it when games let you play how you want. Plus, the moral choice system is executed almost perfectly, and is probably the best I’ve ever seen. In addition to that, the story, while maybe a little cliche at first, is pretty awesome. And so is Dunwall, the world that Arkane studios masterfully crafted for the game. This game is proof that am original game can be better than most entries in an already existing franchise.
2. The Walking Dead
I haven’t even finished The Walking Dead yet. In fact, I’m only about halfway through episode three. But there’s a reason for that. That reason? Every time I finish an episode, I play it again under a different game. Many may wonder why I do that. And it’s not because of the fact that it’s am action packed game. In fact, it really isn’t. The reason I’m playing two games simultaneously is because of all the decisions. What makes The Walking Dead so good is the fact that the game adapts to the choices that you make. Many games will advertise this, but very few can actually deliver on that promise the previous game, Dishonored, certainly does, but The Walking Dead does it better. Everything you say and do affects how the other characters interact with you. You can make people hate you, love you, and pretty much everything in between. The game is extremely intense because of those choices, especially since you’re given a time limit on most of them. And your choices don’t only affect how the group sees you. They affect who lives and who dies. Despite it’s fairly simplistic gameplay, the game makes you think. Don’t expect it to hold your hand. Almost from the very beginning, you’re on your own. You have to figure stuff out for yourself, and, personally, I love that.
1. Halo 4
Pretty much ever since I’ve been playing Xbox, Halo has been, easily, my favorite video game franchise. And at first, I wasn’t sure that a new studio could handle the franchise I loved so much. But they more than lived up to the high standards already set in place by Bungie. In fact, they surpassed them. Despite having three games based around him, we never really got to look into the Master Chief before Halo 4. To me, the story is the most important component in any Halo game. And Halo 4 nails it. We get more character development than ever before, and it’s awesome, both in the cases of Master Chief and Cortana. Halo 4, like Dishonored, crafts missions that, while linear, are essentially miniature sandboxes. And while there isn’t as much choice in Halo 4, you still get to choose how you want to play the game. The variety of environments, weapons, and vehicles essentially ensures that everyone’s play style will be catered to. And then there’s the multiplayer. I doubt that anyone thought that it could eclipse Halo Reach’s stellar multiplayer. But it does. The maps are awesome, with none feeling too similar, and new game modes add a lot to the game. Sure, you can still player Slayer and Capture the Flag, but there are about a dozen other game modes, and there’s sure to be something for everyone. Not only is Halo 4 the best game of 2012, it’s probably also one of the best games of all time.
While those five are certainly my favorite, these are games that were awesome as well. However, some of them I haven’t played enough to put on the list, and the rest, while certainly good, can’t compete with the games on the list.
Lego Lord of the Rings
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron
Assassin’s Creed 3
Far Cry 3