A Round up for the year 2012
Another year went by and it’s time to look back and see what it had installed. From a gamer’s point of view 2012 was Christmas the whole year. The amount of great games was overwhelming. We can only be thankful that the world didn’t end in December as predicted. So now we still have some time to play the awesome titles that were released.
In my case last year started pretty much where 2011 left off, with Star Wars: Old Republic (released late December 2011). Between gearing up in the Star Wars galaxy there was time for some Battlefield 3. Both games got major updates during the year, Battlefield with expansions and SWTOR with content and the ability to play it for free. Battlefield 3 grew and SWTOR shrank a bit but both held their charm.
During the spring Diablo 3 was added to the list and lots of hours were spent in the deep dungeons of that game. Diablo 3 was in many cases a good and pretty, hack and slash game but one can only grind those dungeons for so long until it gets a bit boring. Nevertheless it is great fun to play.
Late in the summer I heard about a mod called DayZ for Arma 2, which had come out early in the spring. With the original Chernarus map, a 225km2 open world, this game had everything most of the other games lacked. The hardcore game style with permadeath made it the most frustrating and rewarding gameplay of the year. The release of different maps helped keep it fresh. Maps like Lingor Island and Panthera added some versatility to it. Unfortunately DayZ quickly grew to become more of a pvp deathmatch than a zombie survival game with lots of players using hacks and scripting cheats. The creators of DayZ are working on the standalone version which hopefully will be released early 2013.
During the fall titles like Black Ops 2, Halo 4 and the expansion for World of Warcraft were released. The WoW expansion Mists of Panderia is something worth looking into if you have a WoW account. The Expansion gives many hours of awesome leveling of the new race, Pandarian. Personally I am still leveling my old main characters from level 85 to 90. You can say what you want about Blizzard, they know how to make content and storylines for expansions.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 didn’t seem at the time something I wanted to waste my time on, but this might change (or maybe not). Halo 4 was also released and for me that seemed like a good chance to check out console gaming, so I bought an Xbox 360. Unfortunately the Xbox 360 has lately been more used to watch movies from Netflix than as a gaming console and Halo 4 still waits for some gametime.
At the end of the year games like PlanetSide 2 and the Mass Effect trilogy were the games to play. Free-to-play games like PlanetSide2 and Blacklight: Retribution need to get some extra attention. PlanetSide2 is just an epic gaming experience and worth trying out even if sci-fi/space isn’t that close to your heart.
What we will remember from 2012 though are the happenings around the Zombie genre. The Walking Dead game with 5 chapters was released and lived up to the Television series and comic book feel. The DayZ mod took the world by storm and The War Z tried to get a piece of that action.
The War Z game on the other hand was everything we don’t want to see in the gaming community. The way they handled PR and replied to players (even their own community) and the press was just awful. The game got into Steam in December but was taken out within a week. Even though the developers say it is a foundation release and constantly being worked on, it still looks like a game in alpha and by no means belongs on Steam. The whole charade around War Z was the only downside we found on game releases this year.
All in all it was a good year for gamers. There was something for everyone, from Mass Effect 3 to Journey and the World of Warcraft and Battlefield expansions. It’s not like we gamers were left cold. Also, Nintendo released the WiiU console and showed some new innovative ways to play on that platform.
There are so many games we could mention here but it would be just too much to write about. Here are only a few we think are worth mentioning in order of release (bolded ones we highly recommend looking into):
First quarter: Alan Wake (PC), Binary Domain (Xbox 360, PS3 – April PC), Mass Effect 3 (PS3, Xbox 360, PC), Journey (PS3)
Second quarter: The Walking Dead (PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Mac) + June episode 2, August episode 3, October episode 4 and November episode 5, Blacklight: Retribution (PC), Diablo 3 (PC, Mac), Max Payne 3 (Xbox 360, PS2, PC), Battlefield 3: Close Quarters (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
Third quarter: Borderlands 2 (PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Mac), Darksiders 2 (Xbox 360, PS 3, PC), Guild Wars 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (PC), Battlefield 3: Armored Kill (Xbox 360, PS 3, PC), World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria (PC, Mac)
Fourth quarter: Dishonored (Xbox 360, PS3, PC), XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PS3, PC, Xbox 360), Medal of Honor: Warfighter (Xbox 360, PS3, PC), Assassin’s Creed 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC), Halo 4 (Xbox 360), Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC), Mass Effect Trilogy Edition (PS3, Xbox 360, PC), Far Cry 3 (PC, Xbox 360, PS3), Battlefield 3: Aftermath (PC, Xbox 360)