Saturday, September 22, 2012

The top 5 games of summer 2012

Summer is at an end and with it the so called "gaming drought" the season is usually tagged as. I contest that claim this year, seeing as how the summer has been filled with incredible titles, some we'll all be talking about as potential game of the year material a few months from now. To celebrate the changing of the seasons and into the massive holiday season release schedule, we've compiled a list of the greatest games of the summer along with our own personal list. If you haven't played some of these games, you'd better get moving!

Seeing as how Summer officially began in the northern hemisphere on June 20th, anything right around that area and up until today was considered for our grand magistrate of summer lists. If you don't see your most favorite game, well, it's probably because we didn't like it.

A little fun aside, here's some of the most important and overall quality games released over the summer:

Spec Ops: The Line
Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013
Quantum Conundrum
Orcs Must Die! 2
Darksiders 2
Sleeping Dogs
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Mark of the Ninja
Double Dragon Neon
Guild Wars 2
FTL (Faster Than Light)
Borderlands 2
Torchlight II

Those are the quality titles, but lists are no fun without a clear-cut winner. So let's condense this mighty fine list of games everybody should play and hammer it into our complete top five games of the summer. Why don't we start with...

5: Torchlight II

Why it's so good: It only just released, but already Torchlight II is showing why its formula is miles better than what the world expected out of Diablo III. It's not nearly as shiny nor is its story terribly compelling, but the unadulterated gameplay mixed with rewarding systems reminds us how hack and slashing dungeon crawlers need to play.

Expected longevity: You'll be playing the game for at least 30 hours, which is the nature of the beast, but expect to dump nearly hundreds because now your journey can be experienced with friends.

4: FTL (Faster Than Light)

Why it's so good: While we're still in the process of crafting our video review, FTL is one of the first major successes to be released straight out of a Kickstarter fund. It may look overly complicated and, perhaps, simple to some, but FTL is decidedly deep and contains virtually limitless possibilities in its rogue-like world. While I may be piloting Big Blue straight into the end-zone here, each moment is filled with high-stress, life-changing decisions you have to make on the fly. One wrong move and you're gone. Forever.

Expected longevity: FTL can go on for as long as you'd like it to but can also exist in short bursts. Progression is based on learning the game, past errors and death. Hmm, sounds an awful lot like...

3: Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition

Why it's so good: Dark Souls was one of my favorite games last year and of all-time. The game never ceases to impress me and that goes quadruple for the Prepare to Die Edition. While the port job was handled in a rather awful way, the mods immediately made it the definitive version with astounding visuals and a, gasp, tolerable frame-rate. The new content is hard as hell, but adds so much to the game that it makes other forms of DLC look anemic.

Expected longevity: Depending on who you are, you can get through the new content within 10 hours or so. However, being Dark Souls, you're going to be there for a lot longer. Trust me on that one.

2: Spec Ops: The Line

Why it's so good: Spec Ops seemed like one of those standard-fare military shooters with no personality whatsoever. Going deeper than just the first chapter, you'll see that Spec Ops leaves out all the cliches and delivers a seminal, intriguing story that still holds as the best ending I've seen this year. It's definitely one of those titles you have to play.

Expected longevity: Spec Ops is a pretty short game and you can be done with it in less than 8 hours. Still, with some of the decisions you can make and solid gameplay behind such a great story, you might find yourself going through a few more times.

1: Orcs Must Die! 2

Why it's so good: It may seem silly, but Orcs Must Die! 2 is such a great game in every possible way. Expanding on the first one by adding new traps, weapons, endless mode and a fully functional co-operative component with new weekly maps to play, OMD!2 is the full package. There's something to do for everyone and if you still aren't sold on it, maybe our video review will change your mind.

Expected longevity: OMD!2 can be fully completed within the 15 hour mark, but that's just the beginning. I've invested well beyond 40 hours into this title and now that more and more of my friends are picking it up, there's no end in sight.

Well, what did you think? Did you agree with our top five or are we terrible people? Say something about it in the comments and thanks for reading!

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