31 December 2012

Five Top Gaming Moments in 2012

5) Curing the Genophage - Mass Effect 3 

Whatever other criticisms you might have of BioWare's latest entry in their sci-fi opus it delivered some truly spectacular moments. Priority Tuchanka: Cure the Genophage was one of them. 

This missions allowed for players to not only learn more about the krogan - the reptile like species that hale from the planet - such as their artistic expression before nuclear war laid waste to the planet but also introduced Kalros, the mother of all thresher maws. One of the core cutscenes of this mission even has kalros take down a Reaper.

Also standing out is the section where you're tasked with summoning Kalros, a frantic section which sees you dashing through krogan ruins while the reaper's massive legs crash down mere meters away even as brutes rain from the sky. 

And then there's the conclusion to the mission, which has the potential to be very saddening indeed. Mass Effect 3 may have failed to interweave and fulfill Commander Shepard's story but in this at least BioWare's writers where on top form. 

 4) Have I ever told you the definition of insanity? - Far Cry 3  

Ubisoft's media briefing was the highlight of an otherwise dull E3 which saw Assassin's Creed 3 and even, amazingly, something completely unknown beforehand with Watchdogs. But the game that caught many by surprise this year was Far Cry 3. 

Questionable sex scene aside Far Cry 3's trailer delivered on what it set to do, putting the game on many people's radars while also revealing just how extreme life on the island could be. Vaas is an unusual videogame villain in that not only is he unusually well developed as a character he also chillingly manic. 

There are many highlights in Far Cry 3 but Vaas is definitely one of them. Oh, you can also blow up rabid dogs with a rocket launcher, that's cool, right? 

3) Assassin's Creed 3 E3 Trailer

There was always something that told me the Assassin's Creed story would be better suited to the French Revolution that the American but Ubisoft did an excellent job in marketing the game with the E3 trailer driving away my doubts (all of which I think were proven correct by the final product) still it would be completely untrue to say I wasn't blown away by what they showed, so much so that I picked up the Freedom Edition at midnight, the first time I have ever done so. 

In the end I consider Assassin's Creed 3 to be a significant let down on par with Revelations at the bottom of the pile, I even named it the most disappointing game of the year (which is not to say it was the worst by any means). 

Still watching the trailer below I can remember being very excited about this game. 

2) Master Chief and Cortana - Halo 4

343 Industries laid to rest any doubts as to their ability to carry the Halo franchise forward with Halo 4 with a slightly darker story then what's come before in the series and solid gameplay Halo 4 is an excellent choice for shooter fans everywhere.

Part of the appeal though is the tender relationship between Master Chief and his AI companion Cortana. More than a mere friendship it could be argued that Halo 4 is a shooter wrapped around a love story (and no, not that kind of lover story). 

Without wanting to give too much away it shall be interesting to see what Chief does next and whether we'll see his blue partner again. 

1) Restoring Lady Emily to the throne - Dishonoured

Not so much the moment itself but rather the whole of Corvo's tale is worthy of praise. His betrayal and fall from grace - the dishonour of the game's title - to his quest for redemption and second betrayal and eventual rise. Of course, this only happens in one of Dishonoured's possible walkthroughs but there is something satisfying about seeing the young girl you rescue, not once but twice, ascend as Empress Emily. 

Wrapped around sound gameplay and with the unusual novelty so late in a cycle of being a successful new IP - as well as the Pratchett-esque flair and steam-punk aesthetic - there will hopefully much more to see and do in Dunwall or anywhere else in Corvo's world. 

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