2012 Top 10’s: Guest Nick Carley
Nick Carley’s Top 10 Games for 2012
(Editor’s Note: Nick’s criteria for his personal Top 10 included gameplay, graphics, story, and inclusion/enjoyment of co-op modes – Brock)
10: Awesomenauts – PC (system I played it on): Before this year, I knew pretty much nothing about the genre called MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena). After hearing about the game on Steam, I decided to try it out and was very surprised at what I bought. Unlike League of Legends or Heroes of Newerth, it takes place in a very colorful world and is controlled like a side-scrolling platformer. They are a ton of characters to choose from, including a monkey with lasers on it’s back, a ninja lizard, and a robot incredible Hulk. I really enjoyed playing this game online, but like most games in this genre there is a steep learning curve. While you are learning each character’s strengths and weaknesses, the veteran players mow you down. This game may seem silly, but it takes its strategy seriously. You get what you put into it. This game was extremely fun to play, even if I lost almost every match.
9: PlanetSide 2 – PC: This is first epic F2P (free-to-play) game I have played. The battles are massive with close to 1,000 people playing in one match on the giant planet of Auraxis. There are three factions to choose from, all with their own backstories. The class design is fantastic, with each one feeling completely different than the other.
The leveling system is very streamlined and easy to understand. The battles can get massive with the inclusion of tanks and fighter jets. Since this game is free, I highly suggest everyone at least try this game.
8: Need for Speed: Most Wanted – Xbox 360/PC: From the guys who brought you Burnout: Paradise, this game delivers with beautiful landscapes and amazing race physics. There are over 300 cars to choose from, which you can only unlock by pulling up next to them. The city is absolutely massive, which allows for some really awesome races and chases. The implantation of the Easy Drive menu is makes it really easy to navigate the city and find the races. With all the races, police chases and cars available, you can easily spend hours playing this beautifully rendered game.
7: Assassin’s Creed 3 – PC/Xbox 360: I have always been a big fan of the Assassin’s Creed Series, so I was really excited about this one. I really enjoy the American Revolution setting. Boston is beautifully designed with every street and alleyway looking great. The game starts off a little slow, but there are tons of side missions and collectibles once you get farther along in the storyline. The only issues I had with it was the story did seem inconsistent at times with some missions moving really slowly.
6: Mass Effect 3 – PC: As with most gamers this year, this title was one of my most anticipated. The gameplay is top-notch, tweaking the great cover-based shooting mechanics from the first two games. The action is intense and consistent, making for no dull moments. As with the previous two games, the voice acting is phenomenal and really engrossed you into the story. A new edition was the multiplayer, which for the few matches I played were very fun. The replay value is there with the multiple endings, paragon and renegade playthroughs, and the multiplayer. The main gripe I had was with the original ending, which made absolutely no sense.
Luckily, Bioware finally listened to their fanbase after months of pleading and released a free DLC with a changed ending. This game is not quite as good as Mass Effect 2, but is a very exciting and well designed game.
5: Dishonored – Xbox 360: I was convinced to try this game shortly before it came out, and I have thanked that person multiple times. This game is incredibly fun. There are multiple ways to take out your enemies. You can either use stealth and distraction, or just jump right in and blow every one away. Dishonored does a great job of letting you decide what kind of game you want to play. Sadly there is not much replay value besides the main storyline, but they are planning on multiple DLC packs to change that. There is lot’s of fun to be had in the city of Dunwall.
4: XCOM: Enemy Unknown – PC: Many people probably don’t remember the first XCOM game, but those that do remember it being a brutal test of willpower. This game does an amazing job of channeling that brutality and also helping ease the learning curve. You take control of the XCOM project, a top-secret group created to help protect the earth from extra-terrestrial threats. You control a squad of 4 to start with, which is completely customizable. In the vein of Civilization, you move your squad in turns against another alien squad. The difficulty levels, even on easy, make you think about each and every move. Whenever a soldier dies in combat, you lose him/her for the rest of the game. This game was so frustrating at times, but it was so rewarding when you blew an alien away.
3: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria – PC: An awesome expansion, and it really helped invigorate the game after a poorly received Cataclysm. The world of Pandaria is very lush and expansive, taking on a Japanese feel. The new Monk class is really fun to play and a breath of fresh air to the other classes in WoW. The pet battles are surprisingly fun and really time consuming. Expansions like this prove that World of Warcraft can still entertain people after 7 years.
2: Far Cry 3 – PC: This game blew me away. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I got an amazingly polished open world game. You play a character named Jason, after him and his friends get kidnapped on a remote island. The story is top-notch, the best one I have played this year by far. This game rivals Skyrim in the category of side missions and collectables. You have co-op, hunting missions, Wanted missions, Rakyat challenges, specific gun challenges, radio towers to unlock the map, and many, many more. The gunplay works very well, and the graphics are stunningly beautiful. This game is exactly how a modern open-world shooter should work.
1: Borderlands 2 – PC: This is a tough choice, but Borderlands takes the prize as my top game of 2012. You pick one of four “vault hunters” and you must fight against the president of the Hyperion Corporation, Handsome Jack. The cartoony graphics work perfectly with the style of this game. Like it says on the game box, this game has a millions of guns to find. Elemental weapons are a huge part of this game, so you can burn someone alive, electrocute them, or melt their bodies with acid. The writing in this game is the best in years, with so many hilarious jokes and badass lines that you are laughing pretty much the whole time you play. The co-op is possibly the best part of this game, because whenever someone joins the game the difficulty increases. So if you have 3 friends playing with you, the game gets real crazy real quick. Every part of this game is executed to perfection, which makes it the best game to come out this year.
I have to say, Far Cry 3 and Borderlands 2 are basically 1 and 1a. I gave the slight edge to Borderlands 2 because of the amazing co-op play that it has. Thanks for reading.
Sincerely, and here’s to a great 2013,