19 December 2013

So, 2013 comes to a close. I hope you had a good year. I sure did. I thought about doing some “year in review” thing, but I got lazy, so I figured I’d just write about what I think is the best game of 2013. And by that I mean the game I played in 2013 that left the largest impact on me, and not which game released in 2013 is the best. Every media outlet and their dog does that, so if you’re looking for that, just go to Polygon or Kotaku. I’m betting that Grand Theft Auto V will top most charts.

By that rule, my game of the year 2011 is Bastion, and the 2012 one is Fallout: New Vegas, and while Bastion did came out in 2011, New Vegas is a 2010 title, so I was really late there. However, the fourth and final DLC was released in late 2011, so it’s not that bad. I can’t remember what blew my mind in 2010. Maybe StarCraft 2? Or was it Assassin’s Creed 2? I don’t really know. And before that, I wasn’t playing enough games to really be able to make up my mind on that. So, with that in mind, let’s talk about 2013.

While writing this article, I tried remembering the games I played in 2013. I remember how BioShock Infinite was pretty, entertaining and ultimately pretentious as fuck. I remembered the SimCity disaster, and how they managed to repeat the same mistakes that Blizzard did with Diablo 3 despite saying several months beforehand that they wouldn’t. I recall that Dishonored was a technically competent but bland game, Crysis 2 was a very good shooter, and Darksiders and its sequel reached the dizzying heights of “basically all right”. There’s also both Saints Row: The Third and its sequel Saints Row 4, which are very entertaining but not really thought provoking. I also started but never finished several games, including Metro 2033, Thomas Was Alone and Hotline Miami.

So I looked back and felt “meh”. I couldn’t choose. And then I realized that 2013 is the year I discovered League of Legends. I’ve already sunk hundreds of hours in this game. In fact, I spent more time playing LoL in 8 months than I did on StarCraft 2 over two years. So, I was about to cast LoL as my GOTY 2013 when I realized that, while I enjoy the game a lot, it didn’t really strike a chord. It’s fun, but it didn’t made me think that much, except on the strategy or “metagame” side of things.

Then I realized that 2013 was the first year in my life during which all my gaming was done on a PC, discounting that one time where I helped my brother go through a particulary hairy moment in Dead Space 2. So I went on Stream to look at my purchase history. I noticed I bought a lot of Humble Bundles, but didn’t play any of them with the exception of the THQ and Origin ones. There’s also the very interesting The Stanley Parable and the disappointing Gone Home. Both of those are disqualified since they’re not really games but rather interactive stories. So I kept scrolling, and I noticed something very interesting.

As it turns out, I purchased Spec Ops: The Line on January 9th, 2013. I know that’s almost 2012, but, SOTL blew my mind so hard that I can’t help but mention it here again. Go buy it. You won’t be disappointed. Or, rather, you probably will, but you’ll also feel like you’ve actually learned something.

So, there you have it, folks: my game of the year 2013 is none other than Spec Ops: The Line. I know, kind of a cop out, but this is my blog, I make the rules, so suck it. If you want to know more the game and why I’m recommending it, I wrote an article on it, and on why it is an important game.

In any case, happy holidays! I’ll be doing nothing productive at all for the next two weeks, and that include writing for this blog. So, with that said, I’ll see you in 2014 with a new article. Remember that “Guide to gaming for newcomers” thing I was talking about? I’m gonna kick that off then.

Peace out!