Friday, December 13, 2013

NRS Video Games of the Year (Not Necessarily Released this Year)

Didn't play a whole lot from this year, and most of what I played were shooters, surprisingly. My best game of 2013 was Dark Souls, which I put one-hundred hours into, with only a few of those being composed of pure frustration. I loved the game world (bleak and strange), the art style (somehow reminiscent of Quake), the combat (simple yet difficult to master); yet it's one of those games that I probably won't come back to, seeing how my first play through was so thorough, and because it's a stressful game, really. Sure, you eventually come to catharsis after you beat the Four Kings or Seath the Scaleless, but every single failure builds up to that catharsis, hence the stress.The experience of playing Dark Souls is like becoming a geyser of emotion that only erupts periodically, unlike Old Faithful. 

Civilization 5 was a close second. It was the first strategy game I've played in a while, and it's certainly very addictive. The wife even liked it too, so bonus points for that. I'm not a veteran of the series, so some of the complaints others might of had didn't register. Loved that it allowed single computer multiplayer.

X-Com is number 3. The combat is great, the tech tree is okay, the random environments are a bit boring after a while, but overall an excellent game. Kind of wish that there was more to the interceptor mini-game, and that base building was more evolved. The expansion is on my wishlist.

Honorable mentions-Shadow Warrior, Metro: Last Light; Dishonored DLC; Hotline Miami.

Biggest Disappointment. Yeah, Bioshock Infinite. It's somehow too much like the previous games while simultaneously being too little like them. It wastes its wondrous floating world on a contradictory story about time travel (although all stories about time travel have similar problems). I liked the shooting, Elizabeth, and the main twist. I understand why they didn't just make it Bioshock in the sky. But we should've been able to explore Columbia, and like many others, I found the violence to be a little out of place. Still a good game and one worth playing, but still a disappointed. It was almost doomed to be.

Honorable disappointment mention. Crysis 3. Did you remember that it was released this year? All I remember about it are respawning enemies, lots of cutscenes (though thankfully fewer than the previous title) and giant guns that take up most of the screen. Why the hell did they switch the protagonist again? What the hell happened to Nomad and Alcatraz? Why can't I just run around on an island throwing turtles at Koreans?

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