With 2010 behind us I thought I’d take a look back at some of my favorite games. It was a pretty busy year for me but I managed to complete 18 titles and hit a couple of milestones along the way.
To start, I earned my first platinum trophy with God of War 3. I usually don’t go back and replay games to grind for trophies/achievements but after my initial playthrough I felt like the final few trophies were too close not to try. Titan difficulty was a challenge but well worth it for that first plat.
Next up was unlocking the 100% completion achievement in Red Dead Redemption. I haven’t really been a fan of the GTA games or their formula but this time it clicked with me. I guess being in the old west, on a horse, with gunplay that was much more refined made all the difference.
So in 2010, I completed the following games.
God of War 3
Mass Effect 2
MK vs DC Universe
Splinter Cell Conviction
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
The Beatles Rock Band
Red Dead Redemption
Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
Transformers: War for Cybertron
God of War: Ghost of Sparta
A decent list, I think. Didn't get to any Wii games though. I started Metroid Other M but kind of forgot about it. Maybe in 2011 I'll go back to it.
Below is a list of my favorites from the games I played. I'm picking one exclusive per platform and an overall favorite.
PlayStation 3: God of War 3.
God of War games typically begin with a great boss encounter and this installment did not disappoint. That first battle with Poseidon is probably my favorite of the series and really gave a great sense scale and momentum to the rest of the game. While the puzzles weren’t nearly as challenging as the previous adventures, the combat had not been as satisfying. Tearing through god after god, especially Helios, more than made up for the weak labyrinth I strolled through late in the game.
Xbox 360: Halo Reach.
I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about Reach after the somewhat disappointing ODST. At first I felt that another game without the Chief might fall a little flat but I took to Noble Team in no time at all. Besides being the best looking Halo, Reach brought so much more with new weapons and armor abilities. The new DMR was probably my favorite weapon and carried me through my solo run on legendary. My lone complaint is that they didn’t work the Chief’s absence into the story. A mission explaining he was down for upgrades and needed to be escorted off planet during recovery could have fit nicely, I think.
Runner-up: Alan Wake
I thoroughly enjoyed this game. Its episodic structure and use of lighting was outstanding. My only real gripe was the terrible lip syncing.
PlayStation Portable: God of War: Ghost of Sparta.
Another Ready at Dawn masterpiece. How they make handheld games at PS2 quality is beyond me. For me, its main appeal was the filling in of Kratos back story. Completing the threads of Kratos’ mother and brother fit well and went a long way in further explaining his rage towards the gods.
Runner-up: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
This probably would have beat out Ghost of Sparta had I finished it. I played for a good bit and was having a lot of fun with knocking out soldiers and recruiting them for my private army. Hopefully I can finish it in 2011.
Cross Platform: Mass Effect 2.
I was surprised by the changes Bioware made from Mass Effect 1 to 2. Without having to micromanage armor and ammo, the game really opened up for me. That angered a few as the game moved to more of a standard cover shooter rather than an RPG. For me though, that allowed the game to become entirely about the story and characters rather than the minutia.
Runner-up: Red Dead Redemption.
Originally I had said that I would skip RDR because I was tired of the GTA formula but I kept hearing great things about it. Once I started playing it though I found it to be my favorite game from Rockstar. This game was making a great case for GOTY but then the GTA conventions started taking a toll on me. After meeting the snake oil salesman and for basically all of the Mexico missions, the game fell apart for me. I wish Rockstar would make a true open world game with factions and consequences for who you choose to ally yourself with.
Overall Game of the year: Mass Effect 2.
It seems like every year we're lucky enough to get a game that raises the bar. Mass Effect 2, in my mind, was head and shoulders above every other game in 2010. I was completely invested in the game, its characters, and its story. I can not wait to see what's in store for us with Mass Effect 3.
That was a look at my 2010 and 2011 is shaping up to look even busier. There's a ton of great games coming this year and we still haven't seen E3 yet. Until then.