Time again for another GU Fantasy Draft. This time around, the staff here at GamingUnwrapped will be relaying to you their favorite game of the year thus far. Maybe it’s a title that was everything that was expected; maybe it’s a title that completely surprised us. Who knows? I will not be participating in this one myself, but I’ll let the others here at GamingUnwrapped tell their stories.
“This year has surprised me so far. After 2011, it was up in the air as to whether or not I could find games as good as the ones I’d played just at the end of the year before. Luckily, the games were there, they just took a different form.
I’ve played a variety of great games so far this year, many of which were a huge surprise as far as quality. With titles like The Darkness 2, Trials Evolution, Street Fighter x Tekken, Sleeping Dogs, and Spelunky under my belt, this year alone, I’m surprised even further that I am perplexed by a game that I am just now biting my teeth into. As tough of a choice as it was, the best game I’ve played so far in 2012 has been Darksiders 2.
This game stands miles above its legacy, by transforming standard action combat into tight, fast, and very satisfying action RPG extravaganzas. With that oh-so-sexy loot just about everywhere, and mechanics that take the best of the action RPG genre and the action adventure genre, Darksiders 2 creates a niche of its own, and will stand out as one of the more grossly underestimated titles of the year. “
“I wasn’t too interested in this game when it first came out, and the only reason I got it was because I had a little extra cash. Turns out, it was one of the best buys of the year, as the game is beyond terrific. It starts out pretty slow, but once you get past that tutorial section it becomes incredibly addicting. The game has a great lore crafted by bestselling author R.A. Salvatore, which explores a vast world to immerse yourself in. On top of that, it has an incredibly well crafted fighting system which I found to be lacking in Skyrim. With everything it has, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a top notch game, and by far one of the best 2012 has seen so far.”
“I suspect if I had played fifty new games this year, my favorite would not be changed, however. Anyone who knows me is aware of the ridiculous regard with which I hold the Mass Effect series. I have played through the first game in the trilogy seven times, and the second nine times. The third game will get its fourth play through when the Leviathan DLC launches next week. I love the series that much, seriously.
So, at this point it should not surprise anyone that my favorite pick of 2012 so far is Mass Effect 3. Though the final 10 minutes or so did irritate me, like many others, the game-play was the most solid of the series, the mood was appropriately dark, the pacing was superb, nearly all of the loose ends built in the previous games were beautifully tied up, and the over-arching story of the franchise was expertly concluded, most notably after the extended cut was released. BioWare crafted an incredible trilogy and universe with Mass Effect, and the third foray into it proved a veritable crowning achievement in my not-so-humble opinion.”
“So far 2012 has been a dry gaming period for me, however I did manage to play Mass Effect 3 and I loved…most of it. Mass Effect 3 didn’t live up to everyone’s expectations, mine especially were shat on and then incinerated by Bioware–even after the Extended Cut DLC. However I did love most of the game, getting to the ending was quite memorable and I believe it outshines the ending enough for me to say it’s the best game iv’e played this year so far (minus the last 20 minutes). I’ll even tell you how to enjoy Mass Effect 3 more: denounce the Extended Cut DLC and embrace the Indoctrination Theory.”
“The best game I’ve played all year wasn’t even a “game” at all. Look, limiting The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to just one year is kind of impossible anyway, and the Dawnguard expansion is more than enough content to be considered a game on its own, so Dawnguard it is! If you liked Skyrim and haven’t played Dawnguard yet, well, shame on you. Unless, that is, you own Skyrim on PS3, in which case shame on Bethesda for not getting their act together. Dawnguard adds abilities, items, characters, followers, areas, and quests. On top of this, it integrates very nicely with the main quest of Skyrim, successfully adding yet another layer of depth onto an already incredibly deep and engaging game. Be a Vampire Lord, be a vampire hunter, be both… it’s entirely up to you, but no matter what choice you make, expect to find the possibly most engaging series of quests in any Elder Scrolls game to date.”
Ryan Taylor – News Editor
“Honestly, I haven’t gotten many games this year. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I am a poor college student or that there weren’t that many good games so far in 2012, but I haven’t bit on anything. One thing I have been keen with is the downloadable scene, which has been very fruitful when it comes to good games. That brings me to my choice; I thought Legasista was the best game I have played in 2012 thus far.
I just recently got really into dungen crawlers, and Legasista fed my addiction quite nicely. The combat was good, the random loot made me wet in my pants, and the music was upbeat and fun. Everything about Legasista screamed greatness, and It was definitely the best game I played this year. It just goes to show that if a developer really goes all out on a downloadable title, it can be just as good, if not better than these AAA titles that we have become so keen to lately. Mass Effect 3? Psh, just give me some more titles like Dyad and Legasista and I will be set.”
Well, there we have it. Here’s been some of our staff’s pick of the year up to this month. Stay tuned for a follow-up in which we give our most anticipated releases for the Fall 2012 lineup. What has been your favorite game so far this year? Leave a comment down below.