Another year has sailed by and left a series of bad games, some dull games and some brilliant games, and both Darren and Matt have spent their time and handpicked several games from each year of the decade, the next year on the chopping board is 2013.
The third, and arguably the best Bioshock in the series Bioshock Infinite traded in the underwater world of Rapture for the sky city of Columbia, in the swashbuckling adventure where players control Booker DeWitt, a man who is given the task of “finding the girl to wipe away the debt”, but the game slowly starts to unravel and show more layers.
It’s a Bioshock game, so you know you’re getting more than whats on face value, so when the ending does come — it really does stick with you. When I finished it back in the day (I’ve since gone back and replayed it several times) and the ending still gets me to this day, and is still a hot topic talking point, if you haven’t finished this game, you’re seriously missing out.
If you ask me before 2013 what I thought about being a border guard. I would probably say a bit dull. Well a former Naughty Dog employee Lucas Pope created Papers Please which completely turn this on its head. Set in 1982 in the fictional country of Arstotzka where we play as a nameless immigration officer and your job is to process people through the border to make enough cash to keep your family living.
Now, before you doze off there, what made this a standout was that firstly, it started off simple then gradually became much more complicated to the extent you were processing what felt like a business proposal from the apprentice, and every so often it throws a little moral dilemma curveballs. From vengeful fathers seeking retribution for their murdered kids, to girls escaping a life of prostitution. Either supporting the regime or try and help an uprising, so do you help those in need and bend a few rules but your family will suffer, or stick with the totalitarian regime and look after what you have got? All the while adapting to the ever-changing political climate. An incredibly unique game and utterly brilliant.
Everyone and their mum knows about GTA V, it’s the nearest rival to Skyrim for how many times it’s been ported to different consoles. First released on last-gen consoles, then updated to current consoles and then finally to PC. The crime sandbox follows three characters for the first time ever and allows players to swap between 3 of the most unlikable characters, rather than just the usual one, and allows players to complete missions, heists, and side missions and races to gain more ill-gotten wealth, on top of the other ill-gotten wealth.
From a story point of view, it makes very little sense – but it’s a GTA game, so the writing isn’t designed to tell a heart-warming tale. The gameplay is easily the best from a long line of GTA titles, there’s so much to do within the world and the constant updates and no story DLC shows how much content has been squeezed out of the title.
Started out originally in 2011 as a mod for Half Life 2, The Stanley Parable takes us into the shoes of Stanley an office worker, and walks through the environment. All the while a pompous British narrator delivers the exposition. Now, while it was quite a funny game with more 4th wall breaks that would make the likes of Deadpool envy with glee.
It offered a look into the world of how we interact with games. We can easily choose to go with the narrator or start sidetracking and go against the critical path. Where the narrator will try and suggest getting back onto the main path, a bit like playing Fallout 4 but instead of finding out what happened with your kid, spending the entire time building a little village. An interesting and yet entertaining game that allowed us to reflect on how we interact with games.
Up until now, Naughty Dog was focused on Uncharted and the adventures of a wisecracking pillock with a bad hair game. But after Uncharted 2, Naughty Dog started work on Last of Us. where we play as Joel. A smuggler who is given the job in escorting a teenage girl Ellie across a post-apocalyptic United States. Full of all sorts of nasties from bandits to fungus zombies which would look like if someone did their makeup with axe. There are firearms and weapons to use but rather limited to an extent so things will get stealthier and more unconventional. It was nicely broken up with quieter moments where Joel and Ellie will chat away and some puzzle solving as well.
Now, I would try and explain why it was a standout but that would spoil the fun. Brilliant story with brilliant pacing, brilliant characters, brilliant gameplay, brilliant soundtrack, brilliant everything. If you have a PlayStation 4 and not playing this right now, I seriously question your sanity.
Saints Row as a series has been one of 2 things, 1 a quirky sandbox game inspired by early GTA games, and second that its fucking bonkers. Which peaked when Saints Row 4 came about where the leader of the 3rd street saints after an intro that brilliantly takes the Mick out of the film Armageddon. The game follows the president of the United States seeing aliens invade, kidnap the gang, placed within the computer simulation where through a glitch in the system the boss gets superpowers.
What made this brilliant other than the absurdness been cranked up to 47. That it was a big goofball of a game and I loved it for that – super powers, aliens, more piss taking than what I can manage talking about E3, just a daft goofball of a game and I love it.
Assassin pirates, I mean what’s not to love about that? The 6th (not the 4th, counting isn’t high on Ubisoft’s list) and easily the best, because it remembered what these games were meant to be about – fun, and killing, but mostly fun. Sailing the seas with your crew, plundering ships you see and taking their loot, it was an extremely fun pirate adventure, and really should have laid the groundwork for Sea of Thieves, if SoT was interested in making notes.
The combat is the same as it’s always been in the Assassin’s Creed series – the old wait, counter and hit combo, but it was a brilliant adventure. Even the nowadays sections weren’t too bad, and that’s saying something.
Agree with this list? Think we missed any out? Let us know in the comments.