The year of the Mayan apocalypse is behind us, and we survived! Plus, we nabbed a bundle of great games over the past 52 weeks. In celebration of a strong gaming year, the PMS clan editorial team has put together a list of their favorites. In no particular order, here are the team's top games of 2012.
Dishonored was a fascinating experience for me from beginning to end. The storytelling and visual appeal were enough to reel me in, but it was the way I was able to choose how to play that made me enjoy this title more than any other. One of my favorite things to do in a game is explore all the avenues to complete a mission. What Dishonored lacks in open-world feel, it makes up for in allowing players to opt for the stealthiest and most strategic routes. If I never wanted to alert an enemy, much less kill them entirely, I could avoid them by carefully traversing the scenic rooftops of Dunwall or taking my chances in the dark, rat-infested alleyways underground. Dishonored was a thrill ride that continued to get my heart pounding from start to finish.
No surprise here, Halo 4 is my game of the Year. The return of Master Chief's story arc is something I've been waiting for since the Legendary ending of Halo 3 left me blubbering. Even before the game launched, the ballyhoo for the arrival of Halo 4 was unparalleled with Forward Unto Dawn – a feature length web series - data drops, and even an ARG for staff and super fans. Halo 4 revitalized a franchise that had become stagnant with Halo: Reach by revamping armor abilities, maps, and gametypes and introducing new features like loadouts and tactical packages. Halo 4 not only brought Halo back to the MLG circuit, it keeps fans actively engaged via its co-op campaign, Spartan Ops. While there are some minor issues I have with the campaign and matchmaking, 343 Industries overall has done a fantastic job curating and advancing the Halo franchise. And lastly, Grifball.
Mass Effect 3
My favorite game of 2012 would have to be Mass Effect 3, even though many fans of the series were not fond of the ending. I, personally, found a certain way to play the ending that suits me and sums the trilogy well.
The best part of Mass Effect 3, though, was the addition of multiplayer! I have played many rounds with friends and enjoyed myself immensely. With the chatter of a new Mass Effect game that may not star Commander Shepard, I can only hope that another trilogy will come out soon.
The Walking Dead
As I've grown older, my gaming tastes have changed. As a kid, gameplay was all I cared about. Why would I care about Bowser's motivations for kidnapping a princess? I just want to rescue her! But as an adult, I find story to be my primary motivation for playing games.
Enter The Walking Dead, Telltale's most recent entry in the episodic adventure game niche. Despite loving many games' stories over the course of the year, no title demanded my attention the way The Walkind Dead did. Decisions are torturous, characters you love meet untimely fates, and all periods of optimism are eventually crushed by the reality the game presents. There is no good vs. evil; it's all somewhere in between. The Walking Dead's dedication to realistic characters and situations proves gaming is a legitimate avenue for storytelling, and should be a model for story in games going forward.
That wraps up the editorial team's favorite games last year! Did we mention your top title of 2012? Let us know in the comments!
All images courtesy of Giant Bomb
Written by the editorial team.