Tina's Top 10 Games Of 2012

Last year was supposed to be the year I got a beast of a PC set up in my tiny apartment. It didn't end up being that year. 2013 will be, though, PC gods willing.

So even though I missed out on games that looked right up my alley — like Hotline Miami or Natural Selection 2 (which I've actually played a little but of and loved) — I still found plenty to play that kept me more than happily occupied. These are my favourite games of 2012, in no particular order.

Borderlands 2

The game with psychotic personalities and more weapons than I could ever dream of. I loved the first Borderlands. It was the perfect cooperative game. Borderlands 2 took everything that first title made great — loot and silliness — and added even better writing, better characters, and more creative weapons. And on top of all that, Gearbox has been busting their butts to deliver us timely DLC that keeps on delivering. It's one of the few games that has come out this year that I keep going back to.

Sleeping Dogs

Virtual tourism at its best. Exploring the open world of Hong Kong was not only gorgeous, but it was also full of life that gave a real depth to the game. The story kept me compelled, driving (and perhaps more so, hijacking other cars to drive) felt wonderful, and the hand-to-hand combat is some of the best I've experienced.

The Walking Dead

I've talked this one to death, especially considering it's my personal nomination for Game of the Year. Suffice it to say that it was the most emotional game I played through this year, with some really powerful characters and, more importantly, relationships. This game can teach you something about yourself.

Mark of the Ninja

I only go half-stealthy in most stealth games. Mainly because most stealth games let you get away with doing so. But Mark of the Ninja's practically perfect design puts stealth at the forefront, making it not only manageable and comfortable to play stealthily throughout the entire game, but also incredibly fun to a degree that feels rewarding.

Journey

Journey is an adorable game. It makes you want to reach out to someone, help them and rely on them for help. Journey teaches you that you don't need words to communicate with people, and that encouraged people to work together to survive. And that ending? That ending was almost unbearably heartwarming. Even if it was somewhat somber for me, when I'd lost my companion just when we'd reached safety after everything we had been through together. In a way I almost preferred that ending, because it reinforced what Journey showed me: that cooperation is a beautiful thing.

Fez

I'm a puzzle person. Fez is an all at once a smart and terribly confusing puzzle game. So much so that the Internet had to come together to compare notes to solve some of the game's tougher puzzles. And beyond that, there were even more secrets to uncover. A challenging puzzle game would normally be enough for me. But the bright and pretty colours and an adorably pudgy Fez made this puzzle game an absolute joy to play through, too.

Halo 4

Being a dedicated fan of Bungie's Halo, I was a little nervous for Halo 4, the first title to be developed instead by 343. But the second I hopped in and started killing the Covies with my battle rifle, I felt at ease. And then 343 pulled a fast one on me and turned the singleplayer story into something of a romance, and a personal story of what it takes to be Master Chief. Even after the campaign is over — and after you've played it through on multiple difficulty levels, cause c'mon — there's plenty of fun times to be had in multiplayer. I must have played thousands of rounds of Flood and Oddball and straight Team Slayer.

Far Cry 3

It took me a while to finally find the time to get around to playing this one, but once I sunk a few hours in I was hooked. I love driving around the island, pulling over quickly because I spotted a tiger whose skin I really need before continuing on to my mission. I even love scaling those radio towers, including the more frustrating ones that took me a few day/night cycles to complete. But my favourite parts of Far Cry 3 — something I wish the game had more of — were the trippy scenes Jason experienced after lots of drug and whatever liquid taking. Scenery morphed, he battled weird enemies, and he faced his fears. I wasn't too sold on the strength of the storyline otherwise. Some average tourist all of a sudden turning into a badass assassin and being welcomed into tribes of warriors who inexplicably can't do anything on their own? Well thank god Jason came along, eh? It felt a little too unbelievable. But I accepted the storyline. Because the game — or perhaps really my skills with using the tools and tatau given to me that helped me wipe out entire camps of soldiers — convinced me just fine otherwise.

Jumping Finn Turbo

Here's my "wtf" entry. Jumping Finn Turbo is an iOS game. I rarely love mobile games. I enjoy some, but I'll toss them aside almost as easily as I pick them up. Super Hexagon is one that came close, but nothing kept my attention like Jumping Finn Turbo. Maybe it's the Adventure Time hook that got me. Or maybe it was the competition to beat high scores (try to beat mine!) and reach the actual "end" of the game. Ultimately? I think it was how simple and yet addictive the game was. Addictive because you knew if you pushed on just a little farther, you could unlock that next ability. Get to that next level that once felt so far away but is now in your reachable grasp. And yet, like most mobile games that come my way, I don't play this one anymore. But I played it longer than most others.

The Darkness II

Remember: this game came out in 2012! I'm a blood and gore kind of girl. The more guts I get to spill the merrier, I say. The Darkness II fed into my taste perfectly, and supplied me with two extra arms to multiply the effect. I absolutely loved multitasking between ripping enemy spines out and shooting other people in the head. I've killed a lot of virtual bad guys in my time, but rarely have I done so with such eviscerating enthusiasm as The Darkness II allows.


Comments

    In Far Cry 3 the trippy scenes were my least favourite bit. Some of them looked cool... but when you're at plot points and it goes into fantasy land... no thanks.

      I agree - overall, I loved the game - but the trippy scenes made what were supposed to be pivotal moments in the game somewhat anti-climactic.

    I agree with your first four, everything after that I can't comment on due not having played them.

      Of course you can comment on things you haven't experienced Trex! This is the internet.

    Ctrl-F *Mark of the Ninja*, 1 result found.

    I leave satisfied.

    Nothing personal Tina, and I absoluetly mean no disrespect, but taste is definitely subjective! If these were the best of 2012, 2012 was scraping the bottom of the barrel. That said, Journey and Mark of the Ninja that are all killer, no filler.

    I dunno, this past year's releases seemed a little flat compared to some of the great titles released in 2011.

    Last edited 07/01/13 2:04 pm

    2012 was a shit year in gaming, 2011 was gold with release of Uncharted 3, Deus Ex HR, Skyrim and Arkham City.....

    It's great to see Darkness 2 get a nod from someone. I really liked that game. (nowhere near as good as the first though).
    Pretty hard for the first half but the second half and playing again on new game plus was awesome, you were so damn powerful. :)

    Every time I see Tina post, I keep thinking Tiny Tina.

    I can hardly believe anyone with a properly functioning brain would subject themselves to Halo 4's campaign more than once. It keeps appearing on Top 10 list despite having a spectacularly dull campaign with some of the most tedious, lazy gameplay I've ever experienced in an action game, and I've played every other Halo campaign.

    Literally all you're tasked with doing is pushing "buttons" which always come in pairs of 3, as if 343 Studios literally just did not care about the quality of the campaign whatsoever. Cortana constantly holds the player's hand to an absurd degree, never letting you discover anything without putting a giant arrow up, not even another god-forsaken button on the opposite side of a room in plain view.

    Multiplayer is dead boring if you've played Team Fortress, Natural Selection or even Battlefield 2142. I played Halo 3 quite a bit, but only for the Elephant, so with the exception of Forge there's nothing engaging about H4 multiplayer. The vehicles are still locked to 3rd-person only and besides boost, they have no features. The least they could do is give the Warthog a winch or something fun like that.

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