Top 5: Best games of 2010
2010 has been somewhat of a roller-coaster ride for gaming – at the end of 2009 I was raving about how 2010 was going to be a great year for gaming – and while the year doesn’t go by without some disappointments we also need to recognise the great games of the year – and this is where I do it.
5 – Blur
Kart racers like Mario Kart are awesome. Arcade racers like Need for Speed or Burnout are awesome. What do you get when you combine the two? MOAR AWESOME.
Easily my favourite racing game of the year, Blur gives us the power-ups that you expect from a Kart racer with the look and feel of an arcade racer. The power-ups in themselves aren’t particularly revolutionary – mostly borrowing ideas from games like Mario Kart but it feels a lot more refined to allow for more skill-based gameplay.
For example: in Mario Kart you’ve got that
blue Spiny Turtle Shell that ruins everyones fun – in Blur you can place three EMP fields in front of the guy in first place – it gives the players who aren’t doing so well a chance, but also allows the guy in first place to avoid them if they’re good enough. Skill based gameplay, we likes it.
Easily approachable to casual players but deep enough to create a large skill gap. Blur is one of the few games that is still fun even if you’re not doing so well – it’s just shame that the future of the games developers isn’t looking good.
4 – Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is my favourite adversarial multiplayer game this year – it’s simply kept me coming back for more. The games single player can get a little tedious over time but the games strength is in its adversarial multiplayer. 24 players, tanks, helicopters and lots of explosions result in an incredibly immersive multiplayer experience.
Bad Company 2 rewards players for working as a team – and is well worth looking in to if you have a few buddies who like to play together. Granted, Bad Company 2 contains a few cheap tactics, like camping on the lighthouse in Valparaiso or hiding around corners with shotguns – though most of these tactics can be overcome by simply destroying the building that your foe is hiding in. Yes – Bad Company 2 lets you destroy buildings. Call of what?
3 – Halo: Reach
In 2007 we finished the fight – but it turned out that there was a little bit more fighting to be had in Halo: Reach – a prequel to the first Halo game. Reach would have us fight a losing battle against The Covenant on a planet called, well – Reach (which is a rather odd choice of name for a planet planet if we’re honest).
As a competitive multiplayer game Reach had some appeal for a few months – but I mainly enjoy Reach as a co-operative experience these days. Co-operative campaign with four players is a blast – and the games Firefight survival mode can make for some great blastin’ and relaxin’ too.
And Reach is a generous package too – you get a decent length campaign, firefight, competitive multiplayer, a map maker, a theatre mode and online stats tracking that’s miles ahead of the competition. It’ll certainly be interesting to see what Bungie do next.
Halo: Reach is also home to one of the greatest gaming innovations of our time: being able to drive forklifts!
2 – Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
It’s amazing to think of how far Assassin’s Creed has come in a relatively short space of time. The original game was plagued with overly suspicious guards and frustrating horse sections – Assassin’s Creed 2 fixed most of these issues last year and brought us to Italy.
I was mildly worries about Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood – a new game released only a year after the previous? What seemed worse at the time was that Ubisoft were focussing on the multiplayer rather than the excellent single player offerings of the previous games in the series.
It seemed that my concerns were rather misplaced – not only does Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood have a single player that’s arguably as good as those in previous games, it also has a surprisingly good multiplayer offering. All this within the space of a year? Impressive stuff – there’s a lot to do in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood.
1 – Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 2 gets the top spot this year without question. The surprising part? A year ago I didn’t care about the Mass Effect series. Now I’ve put over 150 hours in to Mass Effect 2 – played it six times, bought all of the DLC and am currently salivating at the mouth for Mass Effect 3.
Mass Effect 2 does almost everything right. Solid voice acting, good writing (a rarity in the games industry), interesting characters, interesting alien species’, beautiful graphics, and about a million different ways to play through the game. Mass Effect 2 is a game that’s so good my vocabulary fails it.
Mass Effect 2 is unique in that your actions from the first game carry over in to it – and your actions in Mass Effect 2 will transfer over in to Mass Effect 3. That gives the game an incredible amount of consistency – and it also means that the moral (and sometimes tactical) decisions that you make actually have some weight. Mass Effect 2 comes out on PS3 next month – if you own a PS3 and you haven’t had the chance to play then you owe it to yourself to pick it up.