Well we’re fast approaching the Top 50 and there are still plenty of great games to come.
If you’ve missed the previous installments, catch up here!
Please bear in mind this list doesn’t take into account multiplayer aspects of games, it’s based solely on single player experience.
Let’s kick off Part Five!
Dishonored puts you in the shoes of Corvo – Royal Protector (Bodyguard) of Empress Jessamine Kaldwin. You arrive back from a trip abroad investigating potential cures for the plague that is ravaging your city, only to find yourself framed for the murder of the Empress and thrown in jail. As you escape, try to clear your name and find Emily, the Empress’ daughter, you’ll take on the role of assassin rather than protector.
Dishonored looked like being one of the freshest, inventive games of the year – unfortunately the design choice of not allowing you to unlock more on your first playthrough hinders things somewhat. It’s a good, solid, rewarding experience but I was just left feeling it could’ve been so much more.
59. SOCOM 4
In SOCOM 4 you take on the role of Cullen Gray, a Spec Ops Commander and leader of a 5-man NATO special forces squad. Your team is dropped into Malaysia to help deal with the rising threat of both local rebels, the Naga, and a mercenary group called Clawhammer.
While the story is standard Spec Ops fare I found most of the characters likable and it was one of the more enjoyable stories I played through in 2011.
58. Mass Effect 3
Mass Effect 3 takes place after the conclusion of events in the Mass Effect 2 DLC expansion ‘Arrival’ and now that the Reaper threat is real and imminent Shepard finds herself reinstated and back on active duty.
Your decisions from the previous game carry over and any casualties your crew sustained are also mirrored here. So it’s a similar set up to before as you go about the galaxy recruiting your new crew and trying to do your best to prepare for the upcoming fight against the Reapers.
Whilst the ending proved to be controversial for some (me included for some aspects) this game was definitely still worth playing through.
57. Max Payne 3
The third instalment of Max Payne sees Max at rock bottom – drunk and addicted to painkillers while working as low rent security for a wealthy Brazilian family down in South America. As you can imagine things go wrong quickly and Max is left trying to pick up the pieces while fighting his own demons.
Graphically the game looks fantastic, taking in various different areas/scenes as Max’s adventure continues. Some wonderful use of bright colours really makes a difference and reminded me at times of the Uncharted series.
When Max Payne 3 flows it is a wonderful, gritty, dark yet vibrant gaming experience. Unfortunately it doesn’t always flow. I was expecting big things from this game and Rockstar have delivered for the most part but some minor niggles along the way mean Max Payne 3 doesn’t quite hit the heights I’d been hoping for.
56. Battlefield: Bad Company
Chock full of explosions and with some really impressive destruction of buildings etc, Battlefield: Bad Company is like a huge big budget Hollywood blockbuster.
It’s a great, mindless blast of a game. Add some memorable characters into the mix and you’ve got yourself a very enjoyable, and playable, package.
In Prototype you take on the role of Alex Mercer as he awakens during his autopsy, wondering what the hell is going on. He quickly escapes, realising he now has various superpowers.
Mercer needs to find out what the hell has happened to him and why New York is infected with a virus that has turned half the population into zombies.
Prototype is definitely a game worth playing despite it’s various faults – it was a blast to play through if a little frustrating at times.
54. Bioshock 2
Bioshock 2 brings you back 8 years after the events of the first game (1968) to take control of a Big Daddy who has no memory of the last decade and wants to find the Little Sister he was originally paired with.
A sequel to such a unique title was always going to be tricky to pull off. However 2k Marin have done well to recreate the atmosphere of the original game while keeping it different enough that you can tell time has passed.
At the end of the day this is definitely a title that revels in the world created for it by the previous game. You don’t have to have played the original to enjoy this game but you’ll probably get more of it if you have.
53. Binary Domain
Set in Tokyo far into the future (2080), Binary Domain tells the story of Sergeant Dan Marshall and his team. They are a ‘Rust Crew’ sent in to investigate and, if needed, eliminate ‘Hollow Children’ – robots that can pass as humans that have been banned by the New Geneva Convention.
Gameplay-wise the game treads familiar ground – it’s a third person action title but with some nice combat ideas. You can dismember the robots to slow them down or disarm them (literally!) and if you can knock their head off they will just attack whatever is closest to them – very handy when faced with large groups of enemies.
52. Batman: Arkham City
Taking place in a city environment, as opposed to the enclosed Asylum setting of the first game, Arkham City sees Batman facing off against several well known villians. Of course The Joker is the main antagonist here, along with Hugo Strange, but you won’t be short of cameos from familiar faces.
Graphically the game looks great and the atmosphere is nicely set up with ambient noise coming in the form of rain and the chatter of henchmen, among other things.
Arkham City is a really good game. You can tell the developers have tried to think of everything to improve upon the first game and they have delivered a bigger, more open and content packed title. The question is – after Arkham Asylum, was that what you wanted?
51. The Darkness II
Jackie Estacado is once again the main character of the game and following the events of the previous title he now finds himself as ‘Don’ of the Franchetti family. The Darkness II is set two years after the last game and Jackie has been doing a great job of keeping the ‘Darkness’ (a hugely powerful supernatural presence) under wraps.
The Darkness II plays like your average first person shooter… right up until the moment your release the Darkness. The power manifests itself as two demon snake-like tentacles. Controlled with L2 and R2 (L2 to grab an enemy, R2 to swipe an attack at them) this means you have twice as much firepower as usual and can hand out some serious beatings to the onslaught of enemy thugs.
The story is well told and I think one of the more interesting campaigns I played last year. I really liked the characters and for me, The Darkness II was a hidden gem in the game releases of 2012. I’d recommend you unleash your inner darkness and give this one a shot.
So there we go, another 10 down!
As always let me know if you enjoyed (or didn’t!) any of the games in this batch.