5 Anticipated Story Driven Games In 2012
Love it or hate it, Mass Effect 3 has come. My personal feelings for the final chapter in Shepard’s tale will be discussed at some point after I finish the game – university can be quite demanding apparently. I feel quite angry that Van Wilder lied to me as a child. I expected my time at university to be spent with the triple B of awesome: Babes, Booze, and Bros.
Also Tara Reid. She was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen and my tiny 10 year old brain didn’t know what to do with those feelings except to try and one day go to university and live in a whirlwind of vodka soaked women and good mates.
Then I got to university. There’s a lot more icky learning than you would think. I wanted to sue Van Wilder at first but sadly one of my courses is a Law course which taught me, with callous, brutal efficiency just how powerless we all are.
I have looked forward to playing Mass Effect 3 for along time now. A very, embarrassingly long time and here I find myself not having the time necessary to devote to it.
This got me thinking, with time becoming increasingly strained by “real world” problems; and with games becoming longer and longer – I’m looking at you Kingdoms of Amalur, you bloated, unwieldy behemoth – what will I actually have the time to play?
Naturally I started mentally making a list of the games that, like Mass Effect 3, I will make sure to find the time to play – even if I have to wait for an ebb in the sea of work I find myself drowning in.
My brother, taking a quick break from one of his girlfriends to refill the cocaine dispenser, suggested I write what I think into my article. Then with a resigned sigh my 17-year-old brother returned to the super model triplets waiting for him in his room.
My brother is basically Van Wilder.
It’s fun to watch.
As it turns out, my brothers prophecy is coming true.
A Disclaimer On The Choices
I am a singleplayer gamer. I’m not going to bash multiplayer, we occasionally go out for drinks and we have a good time when we do, but we don’t have the same circle of friends. The picks are chosen for their singleplayer offerings only.
The games will also be multi-platform. I like to ignore exclusives most of the time. They are a factor when you buy your console but for the rest of us – multi-platform titles are the bread and butter we live on.
Some hard cuts had to be made. These are my top 5, some or all of your top 5 will not be on the list – casualties of war. Sad casualties of war.
Assassin’s Creed 3
I don’t know why but I’m excited for the final Assassin’s Creed.
I shouldn’t be – Ubisoft have tried really hard to destroy the love I had for the franchise. They milked the premise, added layers and layers of fluff and mercilessly dragged out every piece of exposition possible. Knowing them, Assassin’s Creed 3 will probably be the first in a trilogy.
I will hate them for every moment I play the game. I shouldn’t give the faintest flying ffffffudge about this game, but make no mistake, I will play it.
Love conquers all.
I want to sneak through the snowy settlements. Assassinate the Red Coats, who are really the British but everyone seems to gloss over this slightly uncomfortable fact, I want to sneak into the colonies and truly help bring the current world power to independence.
It sounds like an adventure I want to have.
The ball is in your court Ubisoft – give me a reason to love you again.
Far Cry 3
I loved Far Cry 2. As a South African, it was eerily enjoyable to run around in a landscape full of the noises and sight I remember from my childhood. The music, the aesthetic and even the gun-play were all top notch.
Did it have problems? Large, bucktoothed, inbred, dumb-as-a-plank problems? You betcha sweet behind it did. It was so close to true greatness, and yet so far.
Games are personal and long. Little annoyances and minor gripes become infested thorns in our sides by the end. There is no give, no leeway and no sympathy.
In many ways we are a cruel and unforgiving people.
Yet in others we are a wonderfully simple group.
Give us stability, give us freedom, give us beauty, and give us fun, and we will be happy.
I never expected to play Borderlands. Review scores were good but not great. From everything I’d read, it seemed like it was a little grindy and repetitive for my liking.
Then I played it.
There was something magical about Borderlands. I don’t know if it was the humour,the music or just the style of it but somewhere in the great sea of binary that make up its code, the captured something special. The artstyle left me filled with wonder. The humour kept me grinning and the zany guns kept me entertained. I never even played it co-op until a second playthrough.
It seems odd to put a primarily co-op game on this list but I truly enjoyed my time with Borderlands, alone as I was.
Gearbox seem to be fixing every problem I had with the original – injecting more animated and lifelike characters, making a more involved, deeper story – the future looks bright.
Of course my expectations are higher now as well but the sequel looks to better is predecessor in every way and I can’t wait.
Not many people played Risen. I can’t blame them. That game is hardcore.
It demands you pay attention and work for your reward. It’s not necessarily a bad attitude, some might even argue that modern games need a little more of this, but it does mean the audience for the game shrinks down.
It’s a real shame because Risen is one of the most carefully crafted, authentic, and magically atmospheric games I have ever played. Like Borderlands, there was something magical in what this game ended up being. The NPC interactions and dialogue were so uncharacteristically human that the characters came to life.
Little squabbles and minor conflicts felt that much more poignant because of the extensiveness of the world and it’s characters.
Now steps in Risen 2, a game set to polish up the original’s overly sharp corners while still maintaining the engrossing, deep world that marks the Risen franchise as something truly special.
Also it’s pirate themed. How many good pirate RPGs have you played recently?
This one is already coming out in April for the PC which makes the potential it brings all the more enticing.
I know that harping on about BioShock: Infinite is nothing new, I know that at this point every man, woman, child and animal with opposing thumbs is excited for this game.
I am too.
I play games for their worlds, their stories and characters, that feeling of awesome accomplishment and sense of wonder that comes from being a hero in a magical land. Delving down into the scariest corners of my mind, making me care, making me angry, making me think. These are all the things I love about gaming. Unlike any other medium, games let you actually be a part something bigger, something greater than the world we’re in or the problems we typically face.
Games aren’t supposed to take you away from the “real world” they’re supposed to make you excited to be alive.
BioShock gave us a world and opened our minds.
BioShock Infinite looks to do the same, it is rich and mysterious, full of wonder, unanswered questions and answers to questions we didn’t know we had.
It is a world, an idea, a universe all its own. I look forward to untangling its secrets.