Kevin VanOrd has the best top 10 list, no over-hyped game in the list if you know what I mean.. But I would exchange Spec Ops with Max Payne in that list.
The GameSpot editors reveal their personal top 10 lists for 2012.
Dan Chiappini, Editor Follow
I applaud innovation. While Iím mindful of the fact that not every attempt at something new can be a success--and now more than ever the entertainment industries are weighed down and measured against the reality of commercial viability--I feel that those who dare to try, even if they stumble, deserve to be celebrated. Many of the titles on my personal GOTY list earn their place not only because they took a risk, but because in doing so their contribution furthered what games are, and what they can be.
10. Diablo III
Dat loot chase. I knew before I started playing that I would fall down the Diablo rabbit hole again; and, sure enough, it happened right on cue. A strong emphasis on social play, and the abundance of gold and items with randomised properties to collect, hit the reward receptors of my brain. Sure, the game made you play the normal difficulty campaign as a glorified tutorial before you got to the meaty parts, and then smacked players in the face with Inferno and its gear-check and auction-house-dependent progression, but I had a blast in the Nightmare and Hell modes.
9. Sound Shapes
Iím not a musician. I can tap out a beat on a table, and Iíve always kept what I deem to be great music within armís reach, but I canít play instruments that arenít plastic, or follow notes that donít scroll down or across a screen. But I can play the hell out of a platforming game. Navigating each level as I found myself immersed in the progressive construction of tunes was an absolute pleasure. Enemies moved in predictable ways in time with the bass, and because of this, a wayward jump or a mistimed manoeuvre was always my fault, and never a cheap death.
8. Papo & Yo
Child neglect and substance abuse typically arenít the first ports of call for inspiration when youíre building something fun for people to play. Wild power fantasies where the character you control eats danger for breakfast and saves the day have become the status quo for games, so itís a refreshing change of pace, and a sign of the mediumís flexibility and growing maturity, when developers reach beyond the low-hanging fruit for something with real meaning. As Carolyn put it so eloquently in her review, ďEven adults need to see the world through a child's eyes once in a while.Ē
Quick to pick up, with room to become a master, and underpinned by a thumping soundtrack that drives you to take action, Hotline Miami is one my standout indie successes of 2012. Brutal, unforgiving, and quick to get you back into the action when you inevitably die, this builds on the hallmarks of great mobile games, and epitomises the ďone more turnĒ hook. While the strategy and twitch gameplay will have you trying to perfect your approach to combat, the music alone is worth the gameís very reasonable price of admission.
Yeah, I know, I can hear the booing from the back of the stands. Gamers think itís cool to point at Call of Duty as the poster child for industry stagnation and dead horse flogging, but this year's game deserves some props for stretching the mold. Thereís a lot of diversity in the package, and whether youíre the lone wolf campaign player, online competitive shooter, eSports junkie, or just want to screw around with friends in the zombie mode (or any mix of the above), CODBLOPS2 has something for just about everybody. Strike Force missions were a great way to break up the campaign's pace, and while Iím not going so far as to suggest a dedicated game in the same style, it gave me hopes for something more than a continued vanilla, corridor shooter franchise.
This was a tough one. Whether or not you think the sluggish character controls and hum-drum third-person shooting helped drive home the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder themes bubbling below, or resulted in a disconnect between creative vision and execution, Spec Ops is an aware and gripping experience. Itís an uphill slog with a heavy pack, and I donít blame anyone that stops before the payoff, but the best parts of the narrative are drip fed through found intel, making what would have been an otherwise unremarkable military march into a twisted, surreal and poignant tale.
Borderlands 2, youíre literally dick and fart jokes, and you know what? Iím fine with that because you make it work. While you might get the impression from the other games on my list that Iím trying to strong-arm game makers into producing nothing but serious, mature video computer products, nothing could be further from the truth. Fun comes in many different shapes and sizes, and from Borderlands 2's laugh-out-loud exchanges with Claptrap to its gun-collecting, tight shooter controls, light role-playing elements, and co-operative multiplayer mode, this game scratched a lot of my metaphorical gamer itches.
DayZ was the perfect storm. It hit at a time when PC gaming has seen a resurgence in popularity on the back of this console generationís gradual wind down. It was a bit indie, cheap to pick up and offered players willing to learn the ropes a game with genuine challenge. But where its wonky AI, finicky inventory management system, and brutal learning curve should have scared people off, myself included, this became one of the most interesting and enjoyable games Iíve played in a long time.
Its simulation roots (combined with some weird physics) meant that every action needed to be carefully considered. Would falling even a short distance to the ground break my legs? Could I trust other players even when they appeared friendly? Most importantly, what would I be willing to do to stay alive when food and ammo were so scarce? DayZ is a microcosm of human existence amplified by extreme duress, and regardless of which role you adopt (bandit, tourist, saviour), youíre constantly kept on edge as you eke out basic supplies after starting with nothing, or fight desperately to defend the virtual empire youíve amassed.
My favourite aspect of DayZ is the freedom it offers. Survival and gear acquisition is everything, and while character death is permanent regardless of whether you fall prey to an enterprising fellow player or are torn limb-from-limb by the ravenous hordes of undead, each new life adds one more knowledge feather to your cap, another rich spawn deposit to search for gear, and a fresh start to do it all over again without feeling like youíve simply been treading water until the inevitable.
I wrote at length earlier this year about my feelings on Journey, and how and why it touched me so personally. It was an incredibly moving ride for me, and one of the high points of this hardware generation. More humbling was the number of people who contacted me directly afterwards to tell me about their experiences--not only their in-game experiences but the life struggles the game reminded them of. This itself was confirmation that such a simple premise for a game could elicit such powerful responses. It wasnít long, it wasnít difficult, it wasnít penned by prize-winning authors, voiced by celebrity talent, or draped in marketing hyperbole. It was a simple, elegant, and unpretentious experience of introspection, and something I hope to see more game studios strive to produce in their own way.
Iíd be lying if I said I thought The Walking Dead was a faultless game experience; itís not. But even now, simply thinking about it makes my heart skip a beat and my stomach begin to knot because of what it was. Some have likened it more to an interactive novel than a game, with its sprinkling of basic adventure mechanics and hokey quick-time events. But like DayZ, in spite of all its unwieldy, gangly arms that swish and fight for your attention, or attempt to obscure your vision, it is the gem at its core that makes this my favourite game of 2012. The Walking Deadís storytelling and the way it elicits player reaction play to our raw, primal need for self preservation; juxtaposed with the drive to act (or pangs of guilt for ambivalence), it holds a mirror up to the player at every turn.
This game works because we are free to choose our path, but in doing so weíre faced with the often tough repercussions of our actions. The series is brilliantly written, the voice acting (particularly by Lee and Clem) put human souls in their virtual husks, and it will be a long time before Iíll forget the harrowing conclusion of the season. All of the games on my list come with my recommendation, but if youíre looking for a place to begin, I canít speak highly enough of The Walking Dead and its significance for storytelling in games.
†@666NightsInHell†It accepts box 360, PS3, and third party controllers just fine. The game was build ground up for the controls to work with a controller and there isn't a good transition to mouse and keyboard.
Either I'm continuing to drift away from enjoying video games or nothing fun or interesting came out this year. Either way, I'm saddened by it.
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†@Suikogaiden†Games can still be great or memorable yet have flaws to them. Also Chris is the one that reviewed the game and it isn't on his top 10 list.
Look for the podcasts Gamespot Gameplay, they talk often on there about Spec ops and what makes it good. Very good show that gives you insight to the staffs true thoughts and opinions about games.
Don't look at one review and take the number for granted. Compare it to similar games so you get an idea of how much it will appeal to you, then watch a number of reviews/impression videos on youtube. This game obviously appealed more to the person who wrote the article than gamespot's reviewer.
I?m definitely feeling this taking Q3 2013 by storm http://goo.gl/yNmuP
[i]It's also a huge criticism of the many shooters out there that glorify and justify their subject matter.[/i]
its the line of the year ...
1. Deus Ex Human Revolution,†like every year since release
3.Max Payne 3
4. Planetside 2
kevin and carolyn sure are my fav reviewers , both of you should review bioshock infinte when released
If anyone ever has a problem with GS review scores, just check out these lists: Some editors don't know how to count to 10.....
Mass effect 3, Dishonored, The walking dead, Amalur, FTL, Xcom, Hotline miami and Guild Wars 2 are my games of the year.
1- The Witcher AOK EE
2 - Max Payne 3
3 - Hotline Miami
4 - Mass Effect 3
5 - Far Cry 3...and what else honestly...
1-Far Cry 32-assassin's creed 33-mass effect 34-saints row the third5-kingdom of amalur reckoning6-†Max Payne 37-Sleeping Dogs8-Darksiders II9-Dishonored10-†Hitman Absolution
Good ol' Chris Watters! If it hadn't been for him, I would have made a HUGE mistake and passed on Dishonored.
Thanks for that list Danny. As is so often the case I find myself agreeing with you yet again. Max Payne 3 is a real gem of 2012 as is F1 2012. I'll get round to Journey & FTL eventually...
Every blessing for the new year!!
oh Tom Mc Shea†like anyone cares what u have to say or like. u are by far the worsr reviewer on game spot. with a new year coming soon i hope u loose your job so u can stop being paid for your bad reviews. i hope all the bad things in life happen to you and only you. pos
†@jcwainc†Baseless†accusations and attacks†don't go very far, you should take them elsewhere.
There are many people, myself included, that respect and enjoy what Tom has to say.
†@Toysoldier34†its not baseless attacks. look at his reviews then look at the people telling him off. if u like him thats fine but in my and a lot and i mean a lot of people he is the worse reviewer here on game spot. his shinning moment is his the Simpsons review. please understand reviews really dont mean nothing to me cause i'll buy a game cause it looks good to me. but people look at reviews in a means to buy a game. its sad but true (thus why metacritic is a good and bad thing). well i could go on and on but why the kool aid drinking people will believe what they want to. while others will see with eyes open†
†@jcwainc†There is no need to hide behind your keyboard and say things like you have about him that you would never say to a person. It only reflects poorly on yourself.
†@jcwainc Boo hoo McShea writes OPINIONS I dont like, boo hoo I am too childish to look for second opinions, boo hoo there was something else my whiny ass wanted to say but the rock between my ears cant hold water.
Happy new year mate, hope everything goes swell for you too this year.
†@jcwainc†Regardless of how you feel about the work someone else produces, to me, those who wish bad things on others, especially to the severity that you just have, are the worst kinds of people in this world. Nothing he has done is so evil that he deserves to suffer for it, so you seriously need to wake up and smell the roses and stop being so selfish and immature.
†@jcwainc Dude, he's just a piss poor reviewer. No need† to get personal.
Aaron Sampson had the best description for ME3 being his 2nd choice (besides the fact that he chose Control) lol
Lot's of good games missing: Xenoblade Chronicles, Kingdom Hearts DDD, AC3, Kid Icarus Uprising, The Last Story
†@Kenshin0011†We recognized Xenoblade Chronicles in our 2011 awards. Both The Last Story and Kid Icarus Uprising actually do appear on one of these lists!
†@carolynmichelle††@Kenshin0011 No disrespect but why are there soooo many arcade games up there? I mean come on, people don't even take half the time REAL developers do to make there games. Where is Dishonored, Borderlands 2, AC 3, and so many other GOOD games that people had sweat and blood in to it. I'm just saying that ARCADE games need to be separate from RETAIL games. And by the way, you are one of my favorite reviewers on this website :D.
Hotline Miami is a great example of a game that doesn't have a massive budget and marketing campaign or is even that long. While it may be short it uses every moment to the fullest and is one of the best games of the year.
It is funny that you mention people putting blood and sweat into projects when indie games are often the ones fueled by†entirely†that. While they may be solid games stuff like Assassin's Creed 3 is being pumped out year after year for money, not because of the passion of its creators and all the blood and sweat they put into making it.
You should look up Indie Game the Movie, watch it and see if you feel the same way. That even smaller arcade games don't have countless hours and sleepless nights poured into their creation.
@Livefantasy7"I mean come on, people don't even take half the time REAL developers do to make there games."
how are they not real developers. If any, they are the real ones. And remember, these lists are "personal perspectives"
I think it's unfair to assume arcade game developers aren't putting in the same time and effort as the teams making retail games. If anything, because of the escalating cost and time required to make successful retail games, we're already seeing far fewer games made each year. If all the development efforts were going into making the next Uncharted, Mario or Halo to put on a disc, we'd probably never have experienced amazing games like Journey, The Walking Dead, Minecraft or Hotline Miami.