2012 The Best Of Games Pt. 1

It’s about that time when I start thinking about which game will be crowned as my game of the year. 2012 has had some shining moments for gamers and even boasts the addition of two new consoles to our repertoire, Sony’s Vita and Nintendo’s WiiU. However there’s not one that has clearly led the way and several who weren’t initially on my radar that came out of nowhere and just blew my mind.

Over the course of a few articles I would like to discuss some of my favorites before I decide on that one game that gave me the most entertaining experience this year. At this point I’m not even sure what game I would consider GOTY but interestingly my best of 2012 is radically different from what I thought it would be and for the first time includes a PSN only title.

The first game that I will mention came out in February but has still held on to being one of my favorites of 2012, The Darkness 2. While I enjoyed the first game it was nothing compared to its sequel. Back in the lead is our favorite anti-hero Jackie Estacado, a mob boss who possesses a supernatural power known as the Darkness. Jackie struggles with the grief of having lost his beloved girlfriend Jenny as well as keeping his supernatural powers at bay but a failed hit on his life sets the motion of the events of The Darkness 2 in place.

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The game is a first person shooter but the supernatural twist and slight role-playing elements gives the game a unique edge. The look of the game is also stunning and achieved with a cel-shading technique that gives it a style that compliments its graphic novel origins. Gameplay is smooth and responsive and a big improvement over the first game. And who doesn’t love a game that offers you the ability of quad-wielding weapons.

In the end I feel the story suffered a little from the not so perfect conclusion thus keeping The Darkness 2 from the coveted game of the year title but even still it was a worthy game and one that earned a spot on my best of 2012 list. So geeks, as another year comes to a close which games were your favorites or not so favorites of 2012?

A Geeky Review- Tomb Raider

Every once in a while a game comes along that completely reaffirms my love of gaming. The recent reboot of Tomb Raider is one of those games. I had expected great things from Lara Croft‘s “rebirth” but what I got was quite a lot more awesome than I had planned. Tomb Raider is a near perfect game from start to finish and will leave you wanting more from our heroine, Lara, who finally got the game she deserves.

Through the years I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the Tomb Raider franchise. Being a female myself I was instantly smitten with the idea of controlling an intelligent female protagonist. Despite her extremely short-shorts and well endowed chest, Lara had credibility as a dual gun wielding action/adventurer who became an icon in the “boys club” of memorable video game characters. Unfortunately for Lara, she was always kind of one-dimensional and through the years lacked character development and was slowly forgotten as her male counterparts progressed and became multi-dimensional.

As we moved into the current generation of consoles I hadn’t given Lara much thought, that is until I started playing Uncharted Drake’s Fortune. Not only did I think, this is the game Tomb Raider should have become, Uncharted finally succeeded in giving me the female video game character I’ve been seeking. While Elena Fisher is not Uncharted’s lead, she has become as beloved as our hero and main man Drake. All of Uncharted’s characters were created with love and depth as was the gripping cinematic quality to the franchises stories. I largely credit this with Naughty Dog’s, Amy Hennig, who is the main creative director and writer to the Uncharted series.

Amy Hennig is a legend in the games industry and previously worked for, Crystal Dynamics. As you may or may not know Crystal Dynamics took over development of the Tomb Raider franchise in 2003 and are also responsible for the current reboot of Tomb Raider. At one point during her time at Crystal Dynamics, Hennig wanted to reboot Tomb Raider but the task was given to someone else. Hennig eventually left Crystal Dynamics and joined Naughty Dog, and a legendary series was born. In a recent interview Hennig has stated that she was disappointed she didn’t get the opportunity to revive Tomb Raider. However, I feel Ms. Hennig is largely responsible for Lara’s growth as its apparent Crystal Dynamics took more than a few pointers from her groundbreaking Uncharted series.

When we first meet the new Lara Croft, we find a young woman and recent archeology graduate about to embark on her first expedition to the Yamatai island in the Dragon’s Triangle which is off the coast of Japan. It’s here that an unsure girl will be forced to overcome a bevy of trials and tribulations that will mold Lara into the iconic heroine the character has earned.

Lara and her crew set off to explore the mysterious Yamatai and the legend of its queen known as Himiko or “Sun Queen”. Legend has it Himiko had shamanistic powers in which she could control the weather. A storm is what sets off events of the adventure which leaves the crew torn apart and stranded on the strange island that is inhabited by the Solari Brotherhood, a dangerous and violent cult. Throughout Tomb Raider’s campaign an interesting and well written story unfolds but I would be doing you a disservice to elaborate on events that are responsible in transforming a young Lara who is unsure of herself into a fledgling hero, poised to take the reigns of the Tomb Raider franchise.

Not only does Lara’s character develop throughout the game, her abilities are honed as well. Early on, when you are required to walk across a narrow beam, Lara is cautious and almost clumsy about it, but later she expertly finds herself able to cross similar scenarios with ease and confidence. When Lara is forced to kill for the first time, it’s an emotional moment you won’t forget and expertly conveyed by Lara’s voice actor, Camilla Ludington.

Initially I played Tomb Raider on the 360, but I recently scored a free PC copy through a promotion with AMD Radeon when I replaced my video card with one of theirs. The graphics of the 360 version looks great but the PC version is stunningly beautiful. AMD created a cool little feature for the PC version called TressFX Hair, and let me tell you Lara’s hair looks fabulous! If you have a rig that will run Tomb Raider on Ultra settings, I highly recommend the PC version. However if you are interested in the multiplayer portion I’d go with a console version as the PC community seems to have less interest in MP for this game than console fans do.

Speaking of MP I’ve mostly enjoyed it, which is a good thing as it was recently announced that for now, any planned DLC for Tomb Raider will be Multiplayer based. I do so hope Crystal Dynamics changes their mind on this because I would love some more single player Tomb Raider even if it’s just a few new tombs to explore.

Tomb Raider is available now for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. It was developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix. I can’t recommend this game enough, it is truly an epic experience. Look out The Last Of Us and Bioshock Infinite, a “contender is born”.

The Phantom Pain is indeed Metal Gear Solid V!

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So here we are, official confirmation that the game previously known as The Phantom Pain is the fifth chapter in the Metal Gear Solid franchise. The initial trailer fooled just about no one, the internet was a blaze with MGS theories mere moments after it was shown at the Spike VGAs. Nice try Kojima!

There’s a new trailer to help fans understand what’s going on but man I gotta say I was more confused after watching it than I was before! The basic premise is that Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain are both elements of Metal Gear Solid V and what we see is the aftermath of events that transpired in Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker.

The best news is that those of us not looking forward to scraping up cash to play the game on a new system won’t have to. Metal Gear Solid V is going to release (date TBD) for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360! Hit the break to peep the full press release and hit the MGS site here to watch the 6 minute trailer.

KONAMI ANNOUNCES METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN

Next Chapter of METAL GEAR SOLID Franchise is Revealed in All-New Trailer

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – March 27, 2013 – Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. today announced the next chapter in the METAL GEAR SOLID franchise, METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN, will be released on the Sony PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. To reinforce the announcement and address all the questions fans have been asking all year, Kojima Productions unveiled a brand new trailer for the new title at this year’s Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco.

“Following the success of METAL GEAR SOLID 4: GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS, we have extremely high expectations for METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN,” said Tomoyuki Tsuboi, President of Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. “We hope to expand and revolutionize the METAL GEAR SOLID franchise utilizing the FOX Engine, while providing fans the high-quality and immersive experience they have come to expect from Kojima Productions.”

First unveiled in METAL GEAR SOLID: PEACE WALKER, the new METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN trailer shows the fall of Mother Base and provides visual hints that unveil the connection between METAL GEAR SOLID: GROUND ZEROES and METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN. The trailer also showcases the FOX Engine’s exceptional level of visual quality with seamless integration of gameplay and cut scenes.For the newly released METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN trailer, please make sure to visit:www.metalgearsolid.com.

METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN will be released on the Sony PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.

For more information on METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN, please visit:www.konami.com

“PlayStation” is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE are either registered trademarks or trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.

About Konami Group
Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. is a leading developer, publisher and manufacturer of electronic entertainment properties. Konami’s titles include the popular franchises METAL GEAR SOLID, Silent Hill, DanceDanceRevolution and Castlevania, among other top sellers. The latest information about Konami can be found on the Web at http://www.konami.com. KONAMI CORPORATION is a publicly traded company based in Tokyo, Japan with subsidiary offices, Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. in Tokyo, Japan, Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. in the United States and Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH in Frankfurt, Germany. KONAMI CORPORATION is traded in the United States on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol KNM. Details of the products published by Konami can be found athttp://www.konami.com.

A Geeky Review- Bioshock Infinite (No Spoilers)

I’ve been anticipating the release of Bioshock Infinite for quite some time. Often when I place such high regards on a game, I’m disappointed. It’s not necessarily the games fault either but rather the unrealistic bar I set for it.

Bioshock Infinite arrived in my life shortly after midnight on Tuesday March 26. The next 48 hours would be filled with sleep deprivation and obsession. Seriously, I played Bioshock Infinite every chance I could and when I wasn’t playing, it’s all I could think about. Even upon completing my first play through my mind has been swimming with thoughts of what I experienced in Bioshock Infinite.

I recently started my second playthrough. I often play games more than once, rarely immediately after completing it for the first time. Bioshock Infinite is darn near perfect. A bold statement I know but I’d even go as far as saying it just might be the best game I’ve ever played. I’m haunted by events that took place in Bioshock Infinite. The game takes place in a fictional 1912 but presents the player with social commentary that could be applied to present day events.

It’s also worth mentioning that the poignant story is not presented with a heavy hand. If you game for the sole purpose of escapism, Bioshock Infinite also has much to offer in the ways of fun gameplay, gorgeous graphics and intriguing characters. The heart of the story is the relationship between Booker and Elizabeth. Both characters will go down as some of the most memorable gaming has to offer. The fact that Elizabeth is non-playable never deters from her charm. And for once the tag along NPC character you must look after, isn’t a thorn in your side. In fact at times Elizabeth is downright useful and never gets in the way.

It’s difficult to fully discuss the events of Bioshock Infinite without being spoilerific, so I won’t even try. I think it would be a crime having this game spoiled in even the slightest. I implore every player of this game to stop and think about the ending before judging it. I myself played the last part which is largely cutscenes a few times before I was fully able to process what just happened.

Hidden clues are found amongst the voxophone recordings as well as the sightseers that are scattered around Columbia. Speaking of Columbia, it’s easily one of the most beautiful worlds to ever grace gaming. For all its beauty and lightness, Columbia masks an underlying darkness of racism and civil war. At the forefront of this hatred and exceptionalism, is the self-proclaimed prophet, Zachary Comstock, Infinite’s answer to Andrew Ryan.

Fans of the Bioshock series will be familiar with the gameplay but I found it a little less challenging than the previous two endeavors and would suggest playing the game one level of difficulty higher. Finishing the game will unlock the 1999 mode which is an increasingly tougher mode with limited ammo and stronger enemies plus respawning will cost you $100. Should you not have enough money to pay the toll, you are sent back to the main menu.

It’s kind of bittersweet that the current generation of consoles is being ushered out by the masterpiece that is Bioshock Infinite, considering Bioshock helped kick it off. Kudos to you Ken Levine and Irrational Games. Bioshock Infinite just set a new standard in the world of games.

Ride to Hell coming this summer, going to put the hurt on!

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Our awesome pals over at Deep Silver just pulled the curtain back on a trio of vengeance fueled games centered on the moniker Ride to Hell. Ride to Hell: Retribution stars lone bad-ass Jake Conway, a man on a mission to decimate the vicious, depraved members of the Devil’s Hand Motorcycle Club. Jake must bludgeon, blast and bleed out various degenerates in a gritty Grindhouse feeling world. Watch the trailer after the break to get a small idea of what you should expect. Retribution is expected to grace the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 on June 25th.

Gamers looking for a bit of small-sized fun can play Ride to Hell: Route 666 or Ride to Hell: Beatdown. Route 666 is an arcade game for XBLA or PSN that tasks players with recruiting fellow bikers on a quest to conquer the infamous highway. The game will also be out in June 2013. Not much is rightly known about Beatdown except that is a mobile “rock’n’roll brawler”. Once we get more details, we’ll hit you awesome geeks in the brain hole with the info.

After watching the trailer, I can’t wait to see more about Retribution! It reminds me of a underlooked gem by the name of Wet, published by Bethesda. We’re talking babes, guns, blood shed and intense shooting action! Retribution is on my “Must See More” radar now. Hit the break, peep the press release and watch that awesome trailer! Oh yeah and screens!

Time to start your engines: Deep Silver is going to take you on a non-stop Ride to Hell this summer

LARKSPUR, Calif – April 4, 2013 – They say there’s no freedom like the open road, and no bigger badasses than bikers. Deep Silver is proud to take gamers deep into a world of bare-knuckle violence, seedy strip clubs, and rip-roaring motorcycles with the Ride to Hell universe, revving into homes starting June 2013.

Ride to Hell: Retribution tells the story of a lone rider, Jake Conway, a man with either a gun in his hand or a girl on his lap (and on more than one occasion both!). He’s on a merciless path of revenge against a brutal biker gang called The Devil’s Hand, armed to the teeth with an arsenal of deadly weapons to enact his vengeance on foot and on bike. The only law Jake answers to is his own. Hit hard, ride fast and leave ‘em in the dust on June 25, 2013, in North America and June 28, 2013, in the rest of the world for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Windows PC, and PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system.

Looking to lead your own pack of fearsome bikers? Ride to Hell: Route 666 is just for you, taking the player on a journey to conquer legendary Route 66. Players will recruit and lead a gang of bikers from Chicago to Los Angeles, fighting for every mile of the road using both brain and brawn. Fast paced arcade combat combined with easy to understand tactics – anyone who understands team sports will be able to dive right in to commanding their gang. Get ready to rule the road with Ride to Hell: Route 666 in June 2013 on the PlayStation Store, Xbox LIVE Arcade for Xbox 360 and Steam.

Last, but certainly not least, the Ride to Hell universe will be rounded out withRide to Hell: Beatdown, a rock’n’roll brawler set to light up the mobile space, on the go! More details on this title will follow soon.

Ride to Hell: Retribution is developed by Eutechnyx, Ride to Hell: Route 666by Black Forest Games.

For more information about the Ride to Hell universe, please visit one of the following official sites:

Web: http://www.ridetohell.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/ridetohellgame
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RideToHellGame
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/deepsilverhq

About Deep Silver
Deep Silver develops and publishes interactive games for all platforms, seeking to deliver top-quality products that provide immersive game experiences driven by the desires of the gaming community. The company has published more than 200 games worldwide since 2003, including the critically-acclaimed, best-selling zombie action game, Dead Island . Upcoming titles include the side-scrolling arcade brawler, Sacred Citadel, the isometric action RPG, Sacred 3, and the next game in the Dead Island franchise, Dead Island Riptide. Deep Silver, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Media, GmbH. For more information, please visithttp://www.deepsilver.com or follow us on twitter at @deepsilver.

About Eutechnyx
Eutechnyx is the world’s leading independent racing game developer. The company publishes a number of game brands including NASCAR The Game (console, PC and mobile) and Auto Club Revolution (PC free-to-play) . With a history spanning over 25 years, the studio has won numerous awards for its million-plus selling titles and garnered exceptional acclaim in the business sector. As well as its headquarters in the UK, the company has studios in Hong Kong, Chengdu and Charlotte, USA.

For more information, please visit http://www.eutechnyx.com

Auto Club Revolution and Eutechnyx are registered trademarks of Eutechnyx Limited. All rights reserved.

About Black Forest Games
Founded in 2012, Black Forest Games is an independent game studio focused on high-quality video games. The studio is based in Offenburg, Germany, and currently employs a team of 40 international industry professionals who specialize in building games for all major game platforms. For more information on Black Forest Games please visit the official website at http://www.black-forest-games.com

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Batman: Arkham Origins swooping down October!!

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We’ve heard the rumors that Rocksteady would not take on a third awesome Batman game but there would still be a prequel somehow. For a rarity, rumors are full on true! Thanks to the latest Game Informer cover reveal, we know Batman: Arkham Origins will grace consoles and PC this fall!

Little details are known about the game other than it takes place years before Arkham Asylum and features a less experienced Dark Knight taking on his robust Rogues Gallery. The cover did reveal Deathstroke on the back so we can safely believe Bats square off against him at some point. We’ll have to keep our eyes peeled for more info when the May issue of GI hits mailboxes! Just salivate over the Arkham Origins cover after the break!

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Farming Simulator To Crop Up On Consoles In September

The surprise PC hit game, Farming Simulator 2013 is coming to consoles in September. Developed by Giants Software and Published by Focus Home Interactive. Farming Simulator 2013 will be available for the PS3 and Xbox 360 and adds an all new North American environment to the already present European environment from the PC version.

Taking inspiration from American farms, you will be able to develop your farm with all new scenery and land. The console version also gives you access to new vehicles such as constructors made famous by Case IH, Lizard, Ursus, Kramer and Horsch. Use this machinery to make the tasks of running a farm, much easier.

Farming Simulator offers all the fine points of farming such as raising and breeding animals, harvesting crops, and selling your products for profit, all without the hard work.

Farming simulator 2013 comes to PS3 and Xbox 360 the first week in September. Check out all the official details below.

About Giants Software
Giants Software GmbH is a Swiss video game development studio based in Zurich. Since 2004, Software Giants has produced many innovative games and technologic products. In addition to the development of their successful games Farming Simulator and Demolition Company, Giants Studios offers its own game engine. For more information :

http://www.giants-software.com/

About Focus Home Interactive
Founded in 1996, Focus Home Interactive is an independent French publisher based near Paris, France. Known for the quality, diversity and originality of its catalogue, Focus has published and distributed original titles that have become benchmark titles worldwide – such as Blood Bowl, Wargame European Escalation, Sherlock Holmes, TrackMania, Runaway, Cities XL and also Cycling Manager and Farming Simulator.
During first half of 2013, Focus will publish ambitious games such as Wargame AirLand Battle, the sequel to Wargame European Escalation, the impressive real time strategy game from the creators of R.U.S.E. ; Mars War Logs, the new Cyberpunk role-playing game from Spiders Studio for Xbox LIVE , PlayStation Network and PC, and also the console versions of Farming Simulator, the #1 farming simulation game and international best-seller.
The second half of 2013 will be just as exciting, with the release of the Tour de France official games for consoles and PC; the new adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and Blood Bowl 2.

http://www.focus-home.com

Pertinent Details

Developer: Giants Software
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Platform: PC, 360, PS3
Genre: Simulation
Release Date: Out Now (PC), September 2013 (PS3/360)
Price: TBA

Thunder Wolves To Take Off Soon

As we here at Don’t Hate The Geek reported earlier, the upcoming action-flight game, Thunder Wolves from Most Wanted games will be releasing soon to PC, PSN, and XBLA. To get you psyched, a newly released trailer has been released. Hit it after the break. Check it out here and stay tuned for all the details about Thunder Wolves you’ll need.

Game Details

Game: Thunder Wolves
Developer: Most Wanted Entertainment
Publisher: bitComposer Games
Genre: Action-flight
Platforms: PC XBLA, PSN
Release Date: Spring 2013
Price: TBD

March’s prequel games not selling so hot.

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According to analyst firm Cowen & Company, the hyped prequels for both God of War and Gears of War aren’t the selling juggernauts their previous games were. Gears of War: Judgement fared better than God of War: Ascension, selling 425,00 copies. Ascension diddled out a paltry 360,00 units. Compare that to Gears of War 3 knocking over 3 million out in its first week and God of War 3′s first month’s sales of just over 1 million.

The Tomb Raider reboot and the critically praised Bioshock Infinite however are doing much better according to estimates. Tomb Raider has managed to get into the hands of 696,000 hands in March while Infinite has 665,000 copies out the door in a mere 10 days.

Could this be a sign for the recently announced Batman: Arkham Origins? It too will be a prequel game, handled by a different developer. Both Arkham games have done a stellar sales job but are gamers sick of prequels? Or was March just too packed with other quality titles? Or was it too many GoW games? Let us know what you think in the comments after the break!

Sacred Citadel Available Now For Multi-Platforms

Sacred Citadel the side scrolling hack and slash action game is now available for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. Sacred Citadel offers all of the comforts of the action brawler but kicks it up a notch by incorporating RPG elements. As if that weren’t enough, gameplay includes dual wielding of weapons, combos galore and some pretty stunning graphics.

Play solo or bring a friend or two, as Sacred Citadel offers fun co-op gameplay for up to 3 people.

Download Sacred Citadel on the platform of your choice for the low price of $14.99 on PSN and Steam or 1200 Microsoft points on XBLA. You can also add the DLC pack, Jungle Hunt for $4.99 / 400 Microsoft points.

Sacred Citadel was developed by Southend Studios and is being published by Deep Silver.

Look for my full review of Sacred Citadel coming soon to Don’t Hate The Geek. Check out the launch trailer below.

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