Damn, what a year it has been. If I think back to beginning of this year, and had someone asked me what I thought was going to be Game of the Year, I probably would have told you, Diablo 3. Honestly, I think a lot of people might have told you the same if they were to predict. If you could have magically transported to January and rewound time and said, “Nemesis, dont buy Diablo 3 it’s going to be a disappointment and you’re going to end up falling in love with a console game”. I would have straight up thought you were crazy! A lot of people did not like the actual changes in the Diablo 3 beta from systems in Diablo 2. Despite this, my confidence was still high in getting a polished title on launch. As each grinding level went by in D3 my feelings towards it being Game of the Year material dwindled like my chances of getting decent boss loot drops that didn’t have bullshit stats. Wizards need strength, right?!
Yet, here I sit, about to type out my feels towards a game I didn’t even think twice about, until a month or two ago. The day I went out and bought a 360 just for Halo 4, was quite a first world daunting situation. Taking a gamble like that, being primarily a PC gamer, and on the proverbial eve of next-gen hardware, was enough to make me almost step back for a second and rethink what I was doing. That Friday afternoon I left work like a child let out for Summer Vacation and was ready to kick off the weekend. After arriving home, I immediately open up my fresh non-red ringed Xbox and copy of Halo 4. I put the disc in, and almost immediately notice how graphically optimized this iteration of Halo is compared to the previous games. 343 Industries did an absolute amazing job of optimizing the game for this aging hardware. Before you say it, let it be known I am not even close to being a Halo fan boy. I dabbled a bit in the first Halo, slightly in the second, and maybe watched a few YouTube videos of subsequent ones after. Before purchasing 4, I decided to read up on the past lore and history of the previous games to really kind of get a feeling for the current story so Im not completely lost when I start this new version. What made me want to pick this up so much? I really couldn’t honestly tell you for sure, other than I had a feeling.
A lot of people have said Halo 4s campaign is too short, and while I can honestly say I completed the campaign in two sit down periods (the second being a really extended period of time), its easy for me to say that I felt it was long enough. Campaigns that are too long often lead to loss of interest for some players, and campaigns that are too short, leave a lot of plot gaps and lack of character development exacerbating a gamers feeling of being ‘jipped’ out of their $60 purchase. You and I know, new releases aren’t cheap these days, and most gamers have been burned before on ‘Day 1’ leaps of faith; Operation: Racoon city I’m looking at you. Personally, Halo 4 reached a good middle ground for me, even if 343 added another 6-12 hours of campaign, I still would have played to completion, but I felt satisfied when the end cinematic finished. Not going to drop any spoilers obviously, but I felt they left it at a really nice point to continue the franchise on a next gen console. I have a lot of predictions for next year that will be mapped out in my next article but I’ll leave that till we meet again next week.
This game should be judged on it’s own merits, far away from Bungie’s past iterations. The single player is exactly the right mix of classic Halo, with a battlefield dynamic that feels new and instantly more challenging. The multiplayer has plenty in there to attract new fans, and is a blast, as it always has been. And the soundtrack is mind-blowing. 343 has added their own touches to a universe that needed a good solid reboot for the franchise. From the soundtrack, plot development and overall experience my enjoyment of Halo 4 trumped almost all the movies I had seen all year. Damn, Im starting to sound like a Halo/Xbox fan boy now aren’t I? Well so be it, it was a damn good title that I will plan on jumping back into time and time again until the next comes out. So there we have it, my personal choice for Game of the Year falls with Halo 4, but that wasnt the only title I
absolutely loved this year. Some honorable mentions go to : Torchlight 2, Dishonored, Dead Light, Borderlands 2, and Guild Wars 2. I enjoyed each of these titles and a lot more for many different reasons, but suffice it to say if 2012 had a headstone for it’s grave it would have the words ” A few let-downs overshadowed by so many bad ass titles” engraved upon it. With that being said you’ve either completey skipped my wall of text and came straight for the giveaway or you checked out my thoughts. Either way, you’re still a great fan! Up for grabs today is a copy of Witcher 2! Just drop your thoughts on the following question below to automatically enter yourself! Remember to check back here for the drawing later tonight around 10-11pm.
When do you think a developer/publisher should kill a franchise and create a new one?
A randomly picked commenter will be chosen at the end of each day and announced below. Prize must be claimed within 5 days please.
Today’s Winner: The Patient ! Congratulations, you were the randomly drawn winner.
Please shoot us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or message on Facebook to redeem!