El33tonline’s Most Impressive Games of 2012: Bryan’s Picks

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I guess my life is currently one part family, one part work, and one part gaming. Comparatively speaking, the year 2012 has been a very dry gaming year for me. I attribute most of the dryness to the busy year I’ve had in the other parts of my life.

I’ve heard it been said that three of the most stressful times in a man’s life is moving home, having a kid, and changing jobs. To put it in context, it was in early January that I learned that we were going to have baby number two, the following day we found a place available to rent in Kloof, and then the day after that I was offered a new job. Life pretty much snowballed after that and suddenly I find myself at the tail end of 2012 wondering where the year has gone.

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Despite all the responsibilities of being an adult taking up my personal time this year, gaming-wise, there were still a few highlights even though there were plenty more “if only I had the time for this” moments too and the limited gaming time I’ve had these past twelve months is evident when you see my top ten list – it should never be this easy to narrow down your year’s top ten!

Besides my actual gaming activities, I also have very fond memories of the DBNGamers gatherings (thanks largely to POItjie and Smuroh for always coordinating good times and great vibes), the oodles of prizes I have somehow managed to win at these gatherings (everyone’s a winner!), and watching how the El33tonline gaming community has grown into a virtual family.

One final comment about my list: Only two games made my top ten that I’ve actually played thoroughly this year, which goes to show that I’ve not made very productive use of my available time!

Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition

Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition Large Icon I am not one to fall into the trap of the hype monster. By nature, I am a sceptic (oh, really? – Bryan), so I like to taste the pie myself before I come to any conclusions. And so it was with Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition. Anyone who’s got an internet connection has heard about this gaming phenomenon and when I was given the chance to get my hands dirty with a review copy, I leapt at the opportunity.

What a remarkable and refreshing sandbox experience!

With drop-in / drop-out co-op on the Xbox for up to four players, it’s a game you’ll either love or hate, and judging by the fact that it’s the fastest-selling game on the Xbox LIVE marketplace, I guess the odds are high you’ll love it as much as the rest of us do. Undeniably a timeless classic.

Read El33tonline’s Review

The Walking Dead Series

The Walking Dead: Episode 1 Large Icon If there’s one thing in gaming that everyone knows I love, it’s zombies. And if the zombies are the dinkum infected, shambling, relentless, classical variety (I just said ‘classical’ and ‘zombies’ in the same sentence), then it’s like eighth heaven, cloud ten, and all of that.

I haven’t even finished the five-part series yet (it’s not quite the sort of game you can play in front of your impressionable kids) but the fact that it’s a zombie game my wife actually enjoys watching me play speaks volumes for the quality of the narrative.

Although I haven’t really spotted the full impact of decisions I’ve made in the earlier parts of the series, I am led to believe that the consequences are there and they become more profound as the game develops. I simply cannot wait for time to finish this series – undeniably one of the top two games of the year for me.

Read El33tonline’s Review

Other games I’d have loved to play if I had the time to…

Dishonored: I’ve been told it is a very similar setting to Bioshock, and that is enough to get me interested! – Read El33tonline’s Review

Borderlands 2: Oltman and spent about ten minutes deliberating over whether or not to buy this game at rAge to play it co-op but in the end we decided we had too much else to get through first but this is definitely a game I intend to make time for … a LOT of time! – Read El33tonline’s Review

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Large Icon XCOM: Enemy Unknown: I have always been a fan of the series, ever since I used to wake up early to get in a few minutes before school with the original PC classic. Graeme rates this very highly (so highly that he’s reluctant to lend it to me yet) so it sounds like Firaxis has managed to revive the franchise if they’ve convinced a grumpy gamer like Graeme (sorry, G!). – Read El33tonline’s Review

Assassins Creed III: I’ve not yet played any of the Assassins Creed titles but all the coverage this title is receiving has me very interested. I am a big fan of American history too, so the setting is right up my alley! – Read El33tonline’s Review

DOOM 3: BFG Edition: DOOM has to be one of my absolute favourite classics and the opportunity to relive the four player co-op in split-screen is high on my list, not to mention the fact that I never did get around to finishing DOOM 3 when I had it on PC all those many years ago… – Read El33tonline’s Review

Mass Effect 3 Large Icon Mass Effect 3: Please don’t shoot me; I’ve never played the Mass Effect series but I know that I have some friends with very sound judgement when it comes to gaming, and if they rate Mass Effect 3, I know I’ll enjoy it too! Okay, the rest of the world also influences my decisions sometimes, and if they consider ME3 to be a good game too then I suppose I will consider their opinion too… – Read El33tonline’s Review

Resident Evil 6: Zombies! Co-op! Zombies!Read El33tonline’s Review

LEGO Lord of the Rings: The LEGO series of games is absolutely epic and they’e the perfect games for couch co-op with my wife. Bagginses! ‘nuff said. – Read El33tonline’s Review

Honourable mention…

ZombiU: Zombies! New console! Absolutely ‘nuff said! – Read El33tonline’s hands-on preview

If you enjoyed this feature, be sure to read the rest of the team’s top picks for most impressive games of 2012 (so far):

El33tonline’s Most Impressive Games of 2012: Oltman’s Picks

El33tonline’s Most Impressive Games of 2012: Peter’s Picks

El33tonline’s Most Impressive Games of 2012: Oliver’s Picks