Thursday, 2 December 2010

The heavy weight 3 for GoTY

Ok so here it is my final three games from where I think the Game of 2010 will come from:

Starcraft 2 – you know its been 10 years since we saw the first game and its been a pretty dull wasteland for strategy game fans, I mean we had the Command & Conquer series to keep us happy in the mean time with games like Red Alert 2 & 3, and Dawn of War - but really there was nothing that could hold a candle to this series. I mean I was late to the party with the first game (only just), but this has always held a special place in my heart. Now I bought the collectors edition (you know the £70 version which came with the art book, DVD, USB stick etc) and would do it again for this game. I mean I rebuilt my computer JUST to play this game! The graphics – AMAZING, Cutscenes – JAWDROPPING, Music – ATMPOSHERIC. All in all the game leave you wanting more and has so much to offer and is clearly worth its price, one minor (well major) is that the game has no LAN play supposedly to lower piracy levels which is a bummer when you want to play offline. That aside the game is pretty much the package for what you want in an RTS (yes notice I remembered the acronym now) just don’t expect much till 2012 when we get the 1st add on Heart of the Swarm

Heavy Rain – Ok so I bought a PS3 this year and watched a review about this game and thought – “you know what? I think that sounds kind of cool, I’ll give it a go”. So I did. The game is a very immersive experience with you having the standard look and move controls but in set moment you need to use the six axis to carry out a move, like shake left to avoid the oncoming car as you drive down the freeway in the rain, THE WRONG WAY to prove that you’re a worthy father to a psycho-kidnapper. This plays like an interactive movie, and has the score to boot, throw in a story that really does belong on the Silver screen and reward the player with a set of multiple endings you’re in for a treat. This game has a couple of minor flaws, mainly around the camera system (a bit clunky) and the controls need precise movements otherwise it throws a hissy fit and spits the dummy, however over looking this minor issue its a great game and worth a good solid 10 hours gameplay at least 2 or 3 times making those really massive moral choices like Save my child or CHOP OF MY OWN FINGER!!!!

Mass Effect 2 – so this is a sequel to a game that was a good solid first go at a brand new IP from Bioware (legendary RPG makers), it had its faults but it was a good mix of RPG and 3rd person shooter. With the sequel we were teased that the main character, Commander Sheppard (you know the guy / girl from the first one – the very one you made and can import and continue with in this game) is dead, dead as a door nail, bought the farm, currently found orbiting a planet in space after an encounter with an enemy only known as “The Collectors”. Well he / she isn’t dead (not yet) and those bastards that shot at you, well they’re abducting humans for some unknown reason and the only people who are willing to help you are Cerberus (pro-human terrorist group from the 1st game – you know the people who wanted to release the Rachini on the universe again). Anyway off you go to build a crew of suicidal nut-jobs all with specialities (Archangel – the badass merc killer, Jack – biotic psycho, Thane – super cool assassin, Grub – super solider Krogan, Mordin – crazy scientist with a penchants for Gilbert and Sullivan (modified) and Legion – a Geth – go look it up I’m not going there!) to go on this mission to save humanity. The game splits over two disks and transfers well, the music is superb, camera work is good, music is really there, and the voice acting has both humour and seriousness to really drag you in. The more I went into the game the more I wanted Sheppard to live (yes if you don’t do this game the right way Sheppard will die no Lazarus this time!) as well as the rest of rag-tag crew, all of them. I mean I put at least 50 – 60 hours into one save and really enjoyed this. My minor fault, the cover system it just didn’t work right sometimes I’d bump and he’d be like “erm no this isn’t cover I’m not ducking down”. Which became rather annoying in the final rush through the Collectors ship.

So what’s the answer? On innovation and gameplay it would be Heavy Rain, however in my heart Mass Effect 2 grabbed me by the balls and didn’t want to let go until the end. The game just felt complete and what makes it better is the fact that other parts of the background are reference and written by the writing staff so it make the expanded universe all a part of the game experience, even if you don’t realise it

The games of the year - the crowd

So this year has been a pretty epic one for gaming hasn’t it? We’ve seen a sequel to what is the biggest selling non-MMO RPG of all time (finally!!) be released, many, many, MANY more sequels to games be released (Mass Effect 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Assassins Creed), some reboots (Medal of Honour), and plenty of new innovative Ip’s (Heavy Rain, Dance Central, Naughty Bear). All in all its been a
pretty epic year.

So what takes the crown, and by crown I mean what is truly THE GAME OF THE YEAR. To look at this you need to cast your mind back to January (keep going ....... little further ....... bit more ...... come one tiny bit ..... no too far come back) where we left our Console and PC hero’s battling it out with Modern Warfare 2 in the online world and many people were still thinking – “Will I ever see GT5 in my lifetime?” “I wonder if Duke Nuke’em Forever will ever be ready?” “Is Commander Sheppard really dead?” “Did I leave the oven on?”. Yes it was a simple time when choosing a game would have been easy, now fast forward to December 2010 and its a bit of a traffic jam, here are my highlights:
Now before I run these down I want to make something clear, I’ve not played all of the great games this year (I do have a life you know!) so this is from what I’ve played ok?

Alpha Protocol – ok I’ll be honest I’d never heard of this before I bought the game after seeing some of the adverts for it. A spy RPG? Sounds kind of cool. Well it is kind of cool for about 2 or 3 plays but after this it sort looses what flash it has, you that one trick pony? Well this is it I mean the controls are ok, the story is deluded, while the camera can be frustrating leaving the game enjoyable and yet frustrating wanting more. Its a game I want to hate, but just cant – its a .... a ..... a pug – you know it just does look like a dog but it gives you those eyes and you fall for it like a sap.

Fable 3 – Fable 2 was a fantastic game and was very well polished, the third iteration in this franchise thought it was fun to use copy, paste, and buff – problem is you buff too much the shit comes through. The game has a great sense of humour (very English / Python like) and has a pick up and play mechanic – the shit lies with the story, I mean it just lacks any life what so ever which makes the game slightly dull. To add insult to injury the game is buggy as hell and after a while I’ve sort of given up with finding fault and just got on playing it

Medal of Honour – you know I was excited to hear a new modern age of Medal of Honour was being released. “Finally” I thought “Something to for real shooting fans to play on and we can leave all the dicks in Modern Warfare.” Oh how wrong was I, while the game has a very realistic look and feel to the game it feels hollow. I mean Call of Duty games drag you in kicking and screaming into the action while Medal of Honour sort of leaves you alone with a sign saying “I’m a good game, give me a go”. Best to leave it in the corner of the dance floor for now.

Naughty Bear – ok this one is going to be short. The game is like the Teletubbies on acid! Seriously its all cuddly and fluffy with bright colours everywhere ..... then you take an axe to things, or a sword, or golf club – seriously funny and good to distress with.

Halo Reach – you know I have to admit something here, I’m not a Halo fan (ducks for cover from flying fanboy shit). Yes you heard me right, the story just felt disconnected – “I’m a space marine, he’s an alien we fight blah blah blah blah”. I mean come on its nothing we’ve not heard before right? Well Reach sort of took all of the good points of this series and made this game. The story actually felt like I should care about it, the characters felt engaging (even if their deaths were poor), and the controls finally fit. Multi-player finally added a “No-Dickheads” option which means I can enjoy an online game without the 12 year old screaming how bad I suck down my left ear. All in all a worthy end to what has been the Xbox work horse for the last few years.

Comic Jumper: The Adventures of Captain Smiley – ok I’m now a fan of Twisted Pixel I mean come on this game was funny, it had the humour levels of Conkers Bad Fur Day, simple controls, and references left right and centre to films, tv, and games. Minor issue – its on 11 with the weird stuff all the time and the Manga section just made me feel almost ill with its craziness!