I’m going to be frank here -- I am astonished by those who constantly feel the need to tell me that this year has been shocking for gamers. On this very site, I’ve seen cries of disappointment at 2012’s offerings, and I simply can’t make sense of it. 2012 really has been one of the best of the millennium for gamers -- anyone who denies this is trolling or blind.
Perhaps my strongest motivation to write this article was a friend telling me that he “can’t wait for the Steam sales, because some cheap indie games will make a year worth of shitty games worth it” (exact quote). As an avid indie gamer, I was happy to see some support for the smaller studios out there. However, this year is one of the first where I have truly embraced the more mainstream offerings, and to discount this year’s efforts in big-name titles is simply foolish. Here’s why:
Assassin’s Creed 3, Black Mesa, Borderlands 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, DayZ, Diablo 3, Dishonoured, FIFA 13, Guild Wars 2, Halo 4, Hitman: Absolution, Mass Effect 3, Natural Selection 2, New Super Mario Bros. 2, Orcs Must Die! 2, Pandora’s Tower, Pokemon: Black and White 2, Sleeping Dogs, The Last Story, Torchlight 2, The Witcher 2 (consoles), and X-COM: Enemy Unknown.
That’s just off the top of my head, and only includes games that have already been released or found their feet throughout this year. If you look closely, you’ll find there’s at least two or three games for everyone in that list, be you a Nintendo fanboy, a FPS fanatic, or an RPG player. Personally, I don’t fit into any of the above categories exclusively -- and still I have played, been immersed in, and completed, eleven of the above games.
Yes, eleven. That’s pretty solid for a gamer who otherwise might buy one Battlefield title per year and just play Indie titles and retro games for the rest of the time. If someone like me can get into all of the above games, why can the average gamer struggle? This chain of thought leads me to the belief that anyone who is disappointed with 2012’s games simply hasn’t given them a fair go.
The fact is, this year’s offerings have been more diverse than in previous years, and all of the above titles have performed very favourably with critics. And there’s still 33 days remaining in this year.
In those 33 days, Far Cry 3 will be released, in addition to Nintendo’s new platform, the Wii U, which itself has an incredibly strong launch lineup (in my opinion, the best in three generations). In fact, in this lineup are the likes Scribblenauts, ZombiU, New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendoland, all original titles which are in the green on Metacritic. If anyone can tell me none of these four games are worth playing, I’m not sure what is..
If anybody can truly say they are not appeased by at least a handful of the above twenty-something titles, I would be shocked. Even then, this is just a snapshot of this year’s mainstream titles -- there is so, so much more on offer. So if you’re one of the many who constantly whines about how bad this year has been, do the rest of us a favour: consider all of the above titles, and if you choose to ignore them, look at the smaller releases. I can promise you there’s at least a dozen titles you’ll be interested in all up. If that can’t convince you that this year was amazing (and not a flop), then I don’t know what will...
By Harry Hughes - Bio