Our site-centric awards for the first half of 2012 do not exactly reflect my personal choices in many cases, so I sat down to share my top five games from that period of time. I play a wide variety of games, and there are some others I really wanted to include. But this was the list I settled on. Let me know in the comments below what your top five are.
5. Gotham City Imposters
Much like another game on this list, the beta to Gotham City Imposters was a little disappointing. I had learned from past betas that if I didn’t like the core structure I would be burned by the final product. Lucky for me, the problems I had with GCI were simply network issues. Once the final product came out, my shooter ADD mindset of “just one more unlock…” kicked in and I had a blast. With the Batman setting in place, it’s an easy sell for people that don’t play online shooters. Gotham City Imposters takes the basic Call of Duty multiplayer and enhances it with more than just a Batman aesthetic. It’s a fully functional online experience that anyone can get into and have fun with thanks to the varied classes and support options. These are just some of the reasons Gotham City Imposters made my Top 5.
4. Final Fantasy XIII-2
Some people hate Final Fantasy XIII and how it drastically changed the Final Fantasy landscape. I, however, did not. I loved pretty much everything Final Fantasy XIII brought to the table, as I did with the sequel, Final Fantasy XIII-2. I was a little disappointed that you didn’t actually play as Lightning (one of my favorite FF protagonists), but the tale XIII-2 spun was still epic. Weaving time travel into the mix, I crunched over 30 hours into Final Fantasy XIII-2 in the span of a week and loved every minute of it. Oh and that ending? (Spoiler) Jaw-dropping.
3. Birds of Steel
Flying games are kind of my “thing” here at Vagary. I love me a good flying game, but when I saw Gaijin Entertainments’ Birds of Steel trailer I think I fainted from excitement. The amount of detail in Birds is unmatchable on consoles. I still remember the first time I flew over the Pacific Ocean, seeing the sun peeking through the clouds. Oh yes: this game was for me. While I had a few minor complaints, this is the definitive World War II-era flying game.
2. The Walking Dead
I’m not usually a fan of adventure games in this style, but Telltale has been doing a marvelous job with their licensed games. The epic and branching story telling done in The Walking Dead is both intense and gripping, putting you in situations where one choice isn’t necessarily better than another. Rarely do I praise games with quick-time events, but The Walking Dead is masterful in its usage of them. With zombie games still being a popular trend, it’s nice to be able to enjoy the storytelling in such a game, instead of mindless shooting.
1. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
Let me get this out in the open: I love a good online shooter. I’m not a fan of narrative-driven shooters or single-player campaigns (generally). It’s the competitive aspect that draws me to these games, and the progression system that keeps me addicted. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier not only had a unique unlock system (the Gunsmith mechanic), but had an entrancing campaign. In fact, alongside Battlefield: Bad Company 2’s campaign, the single-player portion of Future Soldier is one of my favorite military-shooter campaigns. I also can’t get enough of the multiplayer, and any free time I get from Vagary, I can be found playing it.