Brian's Top 5 Games of 2012

Once in a great while (every 12 months give or take), those of us who play games for a living ("Other people get paid for this!" yells my wife) come together to deliver a holy list of (A top 5) the GREATEST GAMES OF THE YEAR!!!!! (yeah, that works). The tablet has been laid at my feet... here is my list.

5. Sleeping Dogs

There were a few open world games that released this year, and Sleeping Dogs is the best out of all them. An entertaining story, Batman-esque combat, stat-tracking, collectibles and some kick ass car chase mechanics all add up to a ton of hours lost exploring Hong Kong, and absolutely zero regrets. Would love to see GTA V take some cues from this open world master class.

4. Mark of the Ninja

Who knew that all stealth games needed to be fun was a little bit of information sharing? Klei knew, and delivered THE stealth experience of this generation. I have never had as much fun sneaking around and delivering death from the shadows, and Mark's 2d approach feels fresh and unique. If you haven't played this yet, stop reading, download this, and come back when you're finished. It's ok, I'll wait.

3. X-COM: Enemy Unknown

Death is a fickle mistress. Nothing can prepare you for her coming, nothing readies you for her chilling embrace. As an XCOM soldier, death is not only expected, it's the norm. Coming out of a mission, any survivors are lauded as heroes and veterans, while the dead are immediately memorialized, celebrated, and promptly forgotten.

My campaigns against the alien menace have left many bodies in it's wake, old timers and newbees alike, and each death was devastating, yet rarely did I find myself restarting a save to keep them alive. Their deaths, like nothing else in video games, are what make XCOM a humbling, awesome experience. That, and double-tapping aliens in an archangel suit from three stories up.

2.  Mass Effect 3

Say what you have to say, but I had ZERO problems with the ending of Mass Effect 3. Even before the extended addition, even with the out of nowhere 3rd act in the 3rd act, Lilane Shepard, sister to the Krogan, Uniter of the Quarian-Geth Alliance, Lover of Asari, was more then happy to give her life to bring peace to the galaxy. So much of her story had been impossible, hell, unbelievable anyway that one last harrah into the starry night at the behest of a "star kid" wasn't that far fetched anyway. Loved the journey all the way through.

1. The Walking Dead

This is good. (I've done three podcasts on The Walking Dead. I've said everything that needs to be said by me on the subject. This is all you get.)

Honorable Mentions: Darksiders 2, FTL: Faster then Light, Borderlands 2

Reviewer and Editor for Darkstation by day, probably not the best superhero by night. I mean, look at that costume. EEK!