2012 has been a very busy year for me, a great year but a busy one. Gaming-wise it’s been incredible, I’ve had the amazing opportunities to attend Capcom’s Captivate event in Rome in April, E3 for the first time in Los Angeles in June, and went to Cologne in August for the Gamescom fair. In between this overseas travel, I’ve been to Cape Town and Johannesburg to join in the community events, and also leant a helping hand at our local DBNGamers gatherings.
I’ve been fortunate to meet the development teams behind some terrific series, I’ve spent time chatting to them and playing their games, and I’ve brought as much of the knowledge I gained along the way (and that could be fitted into my skull) back and shared it with you. I’ve also made new friends, gaming is a language that transcends translation barriers and I met some truly awesome people from all over the world. I’m so happy to have kept in touch with a few, I managed to meet up with a friend from Brazil at E3 and make sure that my friend in New York was doing ok when Sandy arrived on his shores.
I’ve also made some great friends online, some of them I was able to meet during the course of the year and some I hope to be able to meet next year. These friendships have grown during tournaments, chatting on El33tonline, at DBNGamers meet-ups and when we’ve joined forces to co-operatively take down the bad guys until the wee hours of the morning. It’s when the world is ending and you have the power to save it where real friendships are made, and I’ve saved many worlds this year.
Being in the gaming industry and in the role of Editor I’m often given the opportunity to play many games, most of which I would never had thought to try or simply not be able to given the restrictions that budget and time place on each and every one of us. It’s been fun to experience these different worlds, but there have ultimately been just four games that truly captured my attention and became my personal favourites of 2012.
There’s nothing that I enjoy as much as looting and shooting in Pandora. This was one of my most anticipated games of the year, and with the game releasing on my birthday in September it certainly looked as if the stars were aligning in my favour. It’s been a long time since I stayed up half the night playing a game on launch day, and even longer since I got up the next day and continued playing for the next 12 hours non-stop. This is how addictive Borderlands 2 is, tread with caution! The game is only made better with co-op, and setting out with three mates to take on the skags, robots, contructors, Saturn, and finally Handsome Jack on this beautifully created alien planet have to be some of my most awesome gaming memories yet. It’s an incredible game that just keeps you coming back for more, and with two downloadable content packs already available, more is exactly what you’ll get!
The Darksiders series has been close to my heart since its inception, I’d followed the development closely and being able to play the sequel at E3 was truly one of the highlights of my trip. Although my busy schedule didn’t allow me to play the game at launch, I was able to savour the experience when I did play the game and enjoyed a title that will forever remain etched in my memories as a masterfully crafted journey. There are so many wonderful games that echo in Darksiders 2, games like The Legend of Zelda and Shadow of the Colossus that have left a marked impression on me. Just three questions remain in my mind now. Why do gamers not buy such incredible titles that truly show how creative a videogame can be? Will Vigil Games let us share in the journey of the two remaining Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Strife and Fury? And what on earth am I going to do with Death’s mask? If you haven’t played Darksiders 2 get ready for Death, don’t worry turns out he’s a very likeable fellow.
Resident Evil 6
I love the Resident Evil series, both the videogames and the movies based on the videogames. I have many fond memories of playing the earlier instalments (with the lights off of course) and being suitably terrified. Resident Evil 6 captured my imagination for days, the branching storylines, the shooter experience, and facing the horrific zombies as some of my favourite gaming characters truly immersed me into this world and kept me coming back for more. The story that runs through the series has always had a certain B-grade horror film quality to it, but without this it just wouldn’t be a true Resident Evil game, and to me videogames has always been about suspending your disbelief and entering another world. If you step inside this world, Leon and Chris will take good care of you.
ZombiU is the first title that I’ve tried on the Wii U, it’s terrifyingly good and will have you absolutely glued to the screen, looking over your shoulder when you go on a drinks break, and wishing away the hours until you can continue this frightening journey after work. It’s incredible how a game that can scare you this much (without using cheap tricks either) can keep you up way past midnight even though you know the horror will simply deepen as the hours tick past on the clock. It showcases just what the GamePad controller can do, and gives you a glimpse of how this new peripheral has already changed the way we play games. If you have a Wii U this is a must-have in your collection, and certainly enough of a reason to buy the console too.
Special Note: There are many games that have been released this year that I haven’t had the chance to play yet. Some of them are still sitting in shrink wrap, waiting to be unwrapped, some of them I’m still hoping to buy over the next few weeks. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to enjoy a few of them when the holiday season finally swings around, most likely I won’t get to play all of these, but as all of you know it’s never too late to explore a new world so make a list and jump in when you get the chance!
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):