December 29, 2010
Top 10 games of 2010
It’s that time of year again were every gaming information outlet post their top whatever games of the year. This year we saw a large number of great titles right off the bat in January and they just continued on into the crammed holiday season. Now just to note, this is not a list compiled by all the writers of this site this is just mine but I feel that a lot would agree with some of the choices I have made. So here it is my top 10 games of 2010.
10. Dante’s Inferno (PS3, 360) – This game received more flack for being a God of War clone then any game before it, but it is the best of the bunch. The story was loosely tied to the epic poem and there were large amounts of unnecessary nudity, but the setting is what kept me playing and replaying. The combat was solid and the sound was haunting, but the absolute best feature of the game was Visceral game’s twisted view of hell. Using the damned as ladders; hearing and seeing the awkward silence of the suicide part of the violence ring, descending into hell has never been more fun or uneasy.
9. Medal of Honor (PS3,360,PC) – DICE is the king of multiplayer military shooters hands down, and this game shows that great pedigree as well. Medal of Honor has been boycotted by the military, yet the military helped to make it one of my favorite games of the year. The story was more down to earth than Call of duty has been of late, yet some thought it was boring. Danger Close made a great campaign that flowed with the normal MoH overtones like brotherhood and facing insurmountable odds. DICE constructed the multiplayer in the same vain as Battlefield 1943; three classes to choose from, some great maps alongside the same great team based game play the Battlefield franchise is known for. The multiplayer kept me occupied well into November and December despite Black Ops being released, if it wasn’t for the Bad Company 2 Vietnam expansion I would still be playing the multiplayer.
8. Limbo (360) – This summer of arcade title may have been one of the best downloadable games this year. A small shadow of a boy wakes up in a dark and malevolent world with the only plot driving you forward is your ongoing search for your sister. Is he dead? Is he dreaming? Are the challenges and foes you face some of the boys greatest fears? These are never answered and the entire game is up to your interpretation. Great 2D platforming and some gravity defying puzzles made this game the best of the downloadable bunch. Check out my review I did during the summer for more on this great title.
7. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii) – There were a lot of good hardcore games that Nintendo finally decided to put on their system that was catering more towards the casual audience, and this is the best of them. Yes, there were plenty of others that could have made this list and hold a special place in my heart (Donkey Kong Country Returns) but this is what defines the Nintendo experience. The first Galaxy was one of my favorite early Wii titles and this game honed in on what made that game great and took it a step further. The refined 3D platforming is at perfection and the bright and colorful Nintendo art style is there for you to love. This is 25 years of Mario condensed on one disc. If you want a Mario game this is the definitive one for this generation, I bought a second Wii just to play this game.
6. God of War 3 (PS3) – Why wouldn’t this be up here on this list? The first two titles were some of the most defining games on the PS2, and this one is a defining title on the PS3. More than 4 years in development and switching leads well into the dev cycle, this game still came at you like a titan. One of the best looking games of this generation, a visceral and satisfying combat engine, a sense of scale like no other game before it; some of the sequences have to be played for you to believe. The story falls a little short towards the end but the game play holds strong. God of War 3 is brilliant finish for a fabled franchise and one that has defined the action genre for years.
5. Assassins Creed: Brotherhood (PS3,360,PC) – The most successful new IP of this generation surprises yet again with the follow up to last year’s Assassins Creed 2. More refined game play, answers to some of the questions left by the last title, and one of the most massive environments ever in and AC game. The true testament to this title is the multiplayer, one of the smartest multiplayer games I have seen. Two teams of 4 hunting each other in a crowd of NPC that start to move as you do a very satisfying and deceptive game that is paired with a Call of Duty like leveling and unlocking system, equals one of the most unique multiplayers to date. I have never loved throwing a spear so much in a game.
4. Red Dead Redemption (PS3,360) – a sequel to a previous gen game that Capcom dumped and Rockstar picked up and made it into possibly their greatest open world game to date. I love the western setting and closest game to get this right was Gun until RDR. A massive, breathing environment and one of the best stories Rockstar has crafted makes this game the true Wild West (minus Will Smith). To make this package even better it receive the best DLC for a Rockstar game, the Undead Nightmare pack. There are few games that are set in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s Western America, there were only two the last generation and this game makes up for any ground we lost with both of those. If you thought GTA 4 was great, check out this one. RDR is the crown jewel in the Rockstar crown of games.
3. Halo Reach (360) – What’s this? A complete Halo nerd not putting his beloved game at the top of his list? I am a writer after all and what would I be if I was biased? This game is Bungie’s swan song to their franchise that made the Xbox and Xbox live. The culmination of 9 years of evolving game play has brought us the greatest Halo yet. A single player campaign that many could argue is the best of the series, a story that is tense, personal, and heartbreaking, and new features make the 8-10 hour fight a blast to play through. But where would this legendary franchise be without the multiplayer? Halo Reach is the best multiplayer experience the series has to offer. New additions like load outs and game modes, the return of theater mode, and a complete revamped forge mode. Bungie sent their beloved series out with a huge bang and was very happy to have the chance to review it. Will we remember Reach? Oh yes we will and for years to come.
2. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Vietnam expansion (PS3, 360, PC) – Two DICE games on one list? You bet your ass there are! I said DICE is the leader in multiplayer military shooters, and this game cements that statement. The single player campaign is not as good as the previous game, but the most work went into the multiplayer, which is pure bliss. I have stayed up way to late some nights playing the best multiplayer game this year. That’s right you can certify that statement. BC2 is a game made of teamwork, C4, and many buildings being brought down on top of the enemy. Massive maps, 12 on 12 team based game modes, lots of vehicles to blow up or be blown up by, and all the destructible environments you can handle. Not to mention this and Medal of Honor have the best sound design in any game, they are the reason Dolby keeps creating more channels of surround sound. The Vietnam expansion for BC 2 was released just before Christmas and is better and more historically accurate than all of Call of Duty Black Ops. 15 weapons that are in their correct time period, age specific vehicles, over an hour worth of music from the era, and four (one to be unlocked later for a total of 5) unbelievably well design maps and you have a 15 dollar rival to Limbo. Hill 137 is perhaps one of my favorite maps of all time and it looks amazing to boot. If you want a military shooter that just oozes greatness out of every orifice, then look no further. This would have been my pick for game of the year if it wasn’t for the next game.
1. Mass Effect 2 (360, PC, and coming soon to PS3) – One of the first games to come out this year is also the best. Hitting the top of everyone’s list and there is a very good reason why. Bioware continues to 1-up themselves with the second installment to their massive space opera. Sheppard returns to take on the reapers and their blight against humanity with a new handful of recruits, revamped combat system and the most robust conversation system ever to date. How they punched this game out as quickly as they did is beyond me. (I guess they learned a few tricks from Naughty Dog) The ability to import your characters from the first game with consequences intact is mind blowing. To run into the reporter I shoved out of the way in ME1 and her have a hostile attitude towards me or to see Liara and for her to remember we were romantically involved in the ships lower decks was incredible. Any problems I had with the first game (too many elevators, late texture popping in thanks to the crappy Unreal 3 engine, and control issues in combat) all have been fixed and have taking this game to the next level. The writing is incredible and the stories with in the main story are just as excellent as the main tale. This is a world that can make you wish we were exploring the stars; all the diverse and beautiful environments, and amazing character design can put other games to shame. This is a game I spend at least 20 hours on the first play through and I felt like I rushed it. On my second play through I am taking my sweet old time and I want to see everything. This is a game that sets the bar and you wonder how the third game in the trilogy will be able to pass it. We shall see next fall, until then I give you my 2010 Game of the Year.