Games I recommend that came out this year.
One of the few “new franchise” tries of the year that really clicked. Sort of a steampunk Deus Ex – a game where the skills and tools actually make you feel very powerful as the game goes on.
I’ve switched to the PC as my primary platform – games like this are why. (I don’t think immersive first person works as well on consoles.)
The most fun I had on my XBox 360 this year by far.
My game of the year that’s not Fez – best open world sandbox fun I’ve had in a long time. Unlike a lot of reviewers, I also really enjoyed the story after the first few bits of it too, the writing is better than it appears at surface level, I think.
From my review when it came out: So Fez leaves that all out and it only does the adventure. It only does the discovery. It only does the puzzles. This is brave. And it works because it does those things so tremendously well. Fez doesn’t contain any filler. It doesn’t need any.
Game of the year. A masterpiece. The kind of game that is so wonderful it renews my faith in video games as a medium.
Maybe the best iPhone game ever made.
Big games I skipped this year
Mass Effect III - I was going to play it until I tried to ask myself: what happened in Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 and couldn’t come up with anything. Too long between sequels? Too complex but not memorable a plotline? I don’t know, I just didn’t even care how Shepherd’s adventure ended.
Halo 4 - yawn.
Call of Duty Black Ops 2 - normally I do actually spent the $60 to be part of the annual COD fall fun time, and Black Ops is actually my favorite of the series since the original Call of Duty, but this year I just didn’t feel it. I’ll probably pick it up when it’s discounted in a few months, but it just didn’t feel worth playing immediately.
Assassins Creed III - I stopped playing Creed after the first one because I felt it was so disingenuously different from the trailers they had shown. But maybe I should pick them up now.
Again, I end the year wishing I spent more time playing indies.
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