Happy Holidays our dear readers! Once again, that magic time of the year is almost upon us. The Christmas holiday is one of the few ones that reunites families, and tries to make us better people. Besides all that, there is also that beautiful part, which involves gifts.
Whether you’re a gamer, searching for the latest and hottest video games of 2012, or a parent/grandparent, looking to buy your children/grandchildren the games they would so much desire, you cannot go wrong with our holiday gifts list of 2012′s video games for the PC. There is something for everyone here. Shall we take a look?
Assassin’s Creed III
Assassin’s Creed III is a 3rd person action/adventure open-world game, focusing on melee fights, with a bit of guns in the mix. It’s the 5th and final iteration in the titular franchise. The main protagonist is a modern-day assassin, called Desmond, who’s trying to defeat the modern-day Templars and avoid a major catastrophe, by reliving Connor’s life, an ancestor of his, which takes place during the American revolution. All of this is possible by using a special machine, called “The Animus”.
“Providing the best story in the series, and one of the strongest tales of the year, along with one of the most wondrous examples of a living-breathing, open-world to explore, this game is one of the strongest entries in the franchise. Including some gorgeous visuals, and the brilliant inclusion of pirate-inspired ship missions, Assassin’s Creed III does so many things extremely well. It is definitely worth the experience and a must-buy for fans of the franchise.” For our full review, click right here.
Alan Wake is a 3rd person shooter, action/adventure thriller. The game centers around the titular character, a successful writer who suffers from the typical „writer’s block”. As a result, he goes on a trip with his wife to forget all their problems in a cabin up in the mountains, near a town called Bright Falls. As soon as they arrive, things start to get weirder and weirder, up to a point where Alan’s wife gets kidnapped by mysterious entity called „The Darkness”. From that point on, Wake goes on a rescue mission, and also to figure out what this entity really is.
“The story is great, the gameplay is solid, and the atmosphere is creepy in a totally awesome way.” For the full review, check out our article right here.
Hitman: Absolution is an action-adventure, stealth game, featuring Agent 47, a widely-known, and highly effective assassin, who takes on his most important, and personal contract yet.
“IO Interactive has brought Agent 47 back in brilliant fashion, providing one of the stellar experiences of the year. Hitman: Absolution shows the competition how a modern day stealth game should play, giving player’s incentive to replay levels to experience the array of options available. With crisp visuals and some excellent environmental experiences, Absolution creates an atmospheric setting that captures the player’s full attention. Though the disguise system has issues, gameplay is mostly smooth and is a delight to play, offering players the all the abilities they need to be the deadly predator known as 47. Campaign lacks the ability to compare scores, but Contracts Mode offers players the ability to create their own contracts and aim for high scores between friends, which will give the game legs for months to come. Hitman is back, providing a top echelon quality experience. IO Interactive has absolutely delivered on Hitman: Absolution, creating an adventure fitting of Agent 47.” Want to know more? Check out the full review here.
Sleeping Dogs is a 3rd person action/adventure open-world game. The main focus is the very well done hand to hand combat, driving fast cars, and shooting your way out of difficult situations, all of these actions taking place in Hong Kong. The star of the game is Wei Shen, an undercover police officer trying to bring down Hong Kong’s biggest triads.
“Along with some memorable characters and a very likeable main protagonist, the city of Hong Kong delivers a fresh experience that open world titles have been lacking. United Games was able to create an experience that rivals many of the best open world games available. Their dream may have been on shaky ground at one point, but they have been able to push that to the side and deliver one of the best titles of 2012.” For more on the game, check out our own review.
Mass Effect 3
Mass Effect 3 is a 3rd person shooter, action/adventure game, with a few RPG elements as well. It marks the conclusion to one of the best franchises that have come out this generation. Once again, you take the role of Commander Shepard, who is tasked with stopping the incoming Reaper invasion, from wiping out all the species in the galaxy.
“Mass Effect 3 is an absolutely amazing game, one that successfully puts a bow on the Mass Effect trilogy while still leaving gamers hungry for even more. It looks and plays great, but Mass Effect 3′s true strength lies in its ability to tell a deeply-woven story. Better yet, the sheer ambition shown by BioWare in announcing an intersecting trilogy complete with save importation becomes fully realized in Mass Effect 3. BioWare deserves applause for not only having the courage to attempt something like the Mass Effect trilogy, but for pulling it off with such exceptional poise and skill.” - IGN
Mark Of The Ninja
Mark Of The Ninja is a 2D side-scrolling, action stealth game, in which you take the command on an unnamed ninja, tasked with killing Karajan, the evil “boss” who attacked your ninja base.
“Mark of the Ninja illustrates how digitally downloaded games continue to be a breeding ground for some of today’s most creative content. This is stealth done right, with the presentation prowess to match. It’s easily a contender for Downloadable Game of the Year and it absolutely deserves a place in your digital game collection.” – IGN
Dishonored is a 1st person, action/adventure stealth game. Set in the fictional industrial city of Dunwall, modeled after Victorian London, Dishonored follows Corvo Attano, a legendary bodyguard to the Empress who is framed for her murder, and forced to become an assassin to seek revenge on those who conspired against him.
“Dishonored is a testament to those that believe true single player experiences are dead, by combining some of the best ideas from some of the best games out there today. It would be near impossible to not recommend this. This is a game that everyone should play, not once, not twice, but as many times as there are ways of tackling a mission. Whether it’s to find more about the city of Dunwall or for the sheer enjoyment that comes from repeating story missions, this is a game that will be remembered as an instant classic that few people can really say there were looking forwards to.” For more on Dishonored, check out our own review right here.
The Walking Dead
For all you zombie lovers out there, we’ve got The Walking Dead. It’s an action/adventure interactive game, focusing on a group of survivors, in which you play the role of a history teacher named Lee Everett. The game is structured into multiple episodes, each having multiple outcomes, depending on the player’s choice. The game is different from the other usual zombie themed games, because in this one, you’re trying to avoid the walking dead, as they are called, not fight them, and this creates a very tense atmosphere. Not to talk about the harsh decisions you’ll have to make. There are 5 episodes in total, and you can read more about them here on Analog Addiction. Episodes: I, II, III, IV, V.
Max Payne 3
Max Payne 3 is a 3rd person shooter, action game. It features the titular character, who tries to get rid of his horrid past by moving to South America, and becoming a bodyguard for some important people. Things go wrong, and Max finds himself once again in need to save the ones he cares about, in order to “save” himself.
“Max Payne 3 has set the bar high in terms of quality in the third person shooter genre; games released post MP3 will be judged to this standard accordingly. Rockstar has taken a step away from their norm to take you on a non-stop action thrill ride. Sure the game may only allow you to be directed down one path, but that path allows Rockstar to take you on a story driven experience like no other. The game features an excellent story, gorgeous environments, a brilliant soundtrack, an intriguing main character, and overall, the best Rockstar gun-play to date.” For more, check out our review.
Call Of Duty: Black Ops II
Another year, another Call Of Duty, right? Yes, but this time, things really have evolved. Black Ops II is a first person, action/adventure game. It is a direct sequel to the first Black Ops game, featuring missions from both the cold era, and 2025. Besides a diverse campaign with multiple outcomes, you have the usual multiplayer mode, AND the highly addictive zombies mode.
“I have yet to see a Call of Duty game offer so many new features since the original Modern Warfare from 2007. Black Ops II not only brings an exciting new multiplayer approach but the introduction of a tightly focused narrative with a fully fleshed villain are the factors that really stand out. Whilst not every character has their strong points, David Mason in particular feeling one dimensional, Raul Menendez really steals the show. Couple this with a more than generous multiplayer offering and the great Tranzit mode for Zombies, Call of Duty Black Ops II won’t be leaving you anytime soon.” For the full review, don’t forget to click here.
Far Cry 3
Far Cry 3 is a first-person, open-world, shooter game. Far Cry 3takes place on a tropical island found somewhere at the intersection of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The main goal of the game is to save your kidnapped friends and escape from the islands and their unhinged inhabitants.
“It’s easy to see why someone would want to visit Rook Island – it’s a stunning tropical location with plenty of fun activities, scenic views, and history worth discovering. Far Cry 3 disrupts that paradise to challenge your feelings about enjoying violence. Because of lunatics like Hoyt and Vaas, you’ll see beautiful things you never would have. You’ll do terrible things that make you uncomfortable and meet fascinating, disgusting people. You’ll sympathize with Jason Brody’s difficult choices as he turns from vapid young man into a monster. Far Cry 3 is important for the same reason as Far Cry 2. It’s a shooter that considers shooters thoughtfully, both in the way they’re designed and the way we play them, and then asks us to do the same. Should massacring hundreds be a great way to entertain ourselves? Maybe not. But it is.” – IGN
Do you like loot, but don’t feel like playing an isometric game, like Diablo, or Torchlight? Then how about an FPS? Borderlands 2 is an action, role-playing, first-person shooter video game. Players complete a campaign, consisting of central quests, and optional side-missions, as one of four vault hunters on the planet Pandora. Key gameplay features from the original game, such as online collaborative campaign gameplay, randomly generated loot, such as weapons and shields, and the character-building elements commonly found in role-playing video games are found in Borderlands 2.
“If you like games where you run, gun, and loot, you’ll love Borderlands 2. If you love being able to explore vast video game environments, specialize your character’s talents to fit your style of play, and laughing almost constantly, you’ll love Borderlands 2.” For more, check out our own review here.
The Witcher 2: Assassin’s Of Kings (Enhanced)
The Witcher 2: Assassin’s Of Kings is a 3rd person action, RPG. The game came out in 2011, but if you haven’t bought the game yet, then this is the definitive version to get. You not only get all the DLC packs, but the game has been improved to run better on multiple configurations. In The Witcher 2, you take the role of Geralt, one of the few remaining witchers. Witchers are humans that have been genetically enhanced and trained to fight monsters from a young age. They have special powers, differing for each witcher. These include alchemy, magic, and sword handling. From the beginning, the witcher’s luck runs out (to say at least) and he sets on a quest for personal revenge.
“The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings – Enhanced Edition is a superb game, embracing many of the elements we love about RPGs without skimping on any of them. But it’s the way it handles player choice in particular that makes it most notable. There are no contrived right-versus-wrong decisions to exploit. The results of your decision don’t just influence minor details: they lead you down wildly disparate paths, each as entertaining as the others. The Witcher 2 is a mature game indeed–not just because of its sexual themes and violent images, but because of its complex portrayal of morally ambiguous individuals struggling in a morally ambiguous world.” – Gamespot
Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning
Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning is a 3rd person open world, action/adventure RPG. What differentiates the game from the other RPGs on the market, is the incredibly well realized, and fast-paced combat. You’ve never seen anything quite like it, in any RPG before.
“Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning will be discussed when Game of the Year 2012 rolls around. It has brought the conversation about what combat can be in the role-playing genre to the forefront and sets the bar exceptionally high for its future contemporaries in the genre. But don’t let its competition-shaming gameplay lull you into think that that’s all this game has to offer, because that’s just gloss on an overall package that’s bound to impress the RPG faithful. no matter what you’re looking for, whether it be amazing gameplay, immersive storytelling or perhaps a riveting new world to explore as you fully customize and re-customize your character at will, Reckoning has it all.” – IGN
Diablo III is an isometric, action, loot-driven RPG. The game takes place in Sanctuary, the dark fantasy world of the Diablo series, twenty years after the events of Diablo II. Deckard Cain and his niece Leah are in the Tristram Cathedral investigating ancient texts regarding an ominous prophecy. Suddenly, a mysterious star falling from the sky strikes the Cathedral, creating a deep crater into which Deckard Cain disappears. The game is all about finding the next gear item, that will make your character more powerful.
“So many systems from previous Diablo titles have been improved, making for an approachable, rewarding and deeply satisfying treasure hunting game. It’s addictive on a level few games can match, so much so that it’s easy to largely overlook its flaws. Sure, if you want you could really nitpick Diablo III’s design, but ultimately any minor grievances seem so trivial when compared to the enjoyment you will have Diablo III for years to come.” – IGN
Tired of Diablo III? Or maybe you want something more lighthearted. Maybe you want a pet to tag along? Well, not to worry, ’cause I present you Torchlight II, another action, loot-driven RPG.
“Torchlight II does everything incredibly well. It fits all the pieces of varied monster behavior, interesting items, excellent skill design and random surprises together into a near-perfect formula, where the action never stops and rewards are never far away. Every level up, skill boost and item replacement flirts with a sense of invulnerability in a world obsessed with killing you, demanding continued play by teasing eventual omnipotence. The story and characters aren’t particularly memorable, but that hardly hurts the strength of Runic’s focused design in what’s one of the finest loot-driven action-RPGs available.” – IGN
Dark Souls (Prepare To Die)
Dark Souls is a 3rd person, action/adventure RPG. The game came out on consoles last year, and now, it’s available on the PC as well. The first thing you’ll definitely notice about the game is that it’s painfully brutal. It never holds your hand through the dark environments you’re facing.
“Dark Souls, comes at you larger and more intimidating than ever. A dungeon crawler that understands that the crawling, the exploration, is as important as the combat. An action game that dares to teach us patience, and caution. A video game with respect for the player, that dares you to be an actual hero. Not once when you die does Dark Souls help you back up, not once does it let up in its astonishing quality or turn to padding, and not once do the ideas stop coming. Buy it.” – IGN
Need For Speed: Most Wanted (2012)
Need for Speed: Most Wanted is a 2012 open-world racing video game, developed by Criterion Games, the same people who brought us the Burnout series. Need for Speed: Most Wanted takes on the gameplay style of its first installment, Most Wanted title in the Need for Speed franchise. Most Wanted allows players to select one car and compete against other racers to reach a destination. Cops are integrated into certain racing sessions, in which the police deploy vehicles and tactics to stop the player’s car and arrest the player, like the original Most Wanted.
“Despite some slight gripes with the game’s menu systems, it is a phenomenal racer with a perfect difficulty scale and a great soundtrack. The controls are tight, there’s a metric ton of billboards, speed cameras, and security fences to find, and before each event, a very stylized little cinematic plays (which you can skip if you so desire) and adds some visual flair to the title. If you’re a fan of the Need For Speed series, the Burnout franchise, or a fan of racing titles, I highly advise you to pick up this game, you won’t regret it.” For more, don’t forget to check out our full review here.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a turn-based tactical role-playing strategy video game. The game is a “reimagined” remake of the 1994 cult classic strategy game UFO: Enemy Unknown. Set in the near future following an alien invasion of Earth, XCOM: Enemy Unknown puts the player in control of an elite multinational military organization called XCOM (short for Extraterrestrial Combat Unit), which is tasked with defending the Earth against the alien forces.The player commands troops in the field in a series of turn-based tactical missions; between missions, the player directs the research and development of new technologies from recovered alien technology and captured prisoners, expands XCOM’s base of operations, manages XCOM’s finances, and monitors and responds to alien activity.
“XCOM is a great addition to the strategy genre, complete with an engaging campaign full of tension and challenges. The characters grow in satisfying ways, but the tactical game doesn’t ever quite give players enough room to make the most of their abilities”. – IGN
Would you prefer a more lighthearted strategy game? No worries! Worms: Revolution is an artillery strategy game. The gameplay is 2D, turn-based, but it is rendered with an all-new 3D engine. There are both single player, and multiplayer modes with up to four players online or local hotseat.
“It’s the same classic Worms gameplay with (optional) gameplay tweaks and a lovely new coat of paint. If you’re a die-hard fan, then the classes add a new element to multiplayer competition, and make the customization options even more robust. All told, this is a great game for a great price. Worms Revolution introduces some thoughtful twists to the formula, and as fans would expect, is a blast with friends.” – IGN
Massively Multiplayer Online
Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Set in the fantasy world of Tyria, the game follows the re-emergence of Destiny’s Edge, a disbanded guild dedicated to fighting the Elder Dragons, a Lovecraftian species that has seized control of Tyria in the time since the original Guild Wars. The game takes place in a persistent world with a story that progresses in instanced environments.
“ArenaNet has built one of the most exhaustively detailed and rewarding MMOs in existence, one that never unfairly penalizes and fosters an incredible urge to explore through a generous reward system and achingly pretty environment design. It’s a virtual world that more than anything wants you to work together with others, and provides a huge number of possibilities for cooperation while minimizing restrictions. Whether you’re looking for competitive play, want to be told a story or simply want to go for a walk through fantastic countryside, Guild Wars 2 lets you do it all with a minimal amount of arbitrary, irritating limitations, and all without a subscription fee.” – IGN
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Star Wars: The Old Republic is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game based in the Star Wars universe. The story takes place in the Star Wars fictional universe shortly after the establishment of a tenuous peace between the re-emergent Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic, 300 years after the events of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games, and more than 3,500 years before the events in the Star Wars films. Players join as members of either of the two main factions – the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire.
NOTE: A monthly subscription is required (besides the initial cost of the game) to play Star Wars: The Old Republic. Players will be able to select one of three different subscription options:
- 1 Month Subscription: $14.99 (£8.99/€12.99)
- 3 Month Subscription: $13.99 per month (one-time charge of $41.97/£25.17/€35.97)
- 6 Month Subscription: $12.99 per month (one-time charge of $77.94/£46.14/€65.94)
“The Old Republic is a stand-out, wonderfully crafted MMO. The story elements deliver on every front, the vocal performances are excellent, and some genuinely clever innovations have been applied to PvP combat. There’s also a massive volume of content to keep you hooked for a long time.” – IGN
Fifa Soccer 13
“FIFA 13 is a refinement of a winning formula rather than an entirely new equation. While the gameplay changes are more subtle, they really consolidate upon the success and innovation of FIFA 12. But that success hasn’t bred laziness – there are new features, new services, even new leagues. If you’re a fan of the sport or FIFA in general, it’s hard to imagine a game that you’ll enjoy more this year. Doesn’t reinvent the game but improves upon it. Fast, fun, and now with 100% more cardboard boxes. FIFA 13 is a must.” – IGN
“It’s both scary and exciting to think how good a game we might get if NBA 2K actually had a serious competitor pushing it to new heights. But even when left with a clear, unobstructed path to the basket, 2K13 throws down a monster jam with this year’s edition – probably the last one developed solely for this generation of consoles. It’s obviously the best hoops game out there, and it might even be the best sports game of all, period.” – IGN
So! Did you find what you were looking for? What games are you going to buy? Let us know in the comments bellow, keep on gaming, and Merry Christmas!
After a few stressful high-school months, Vlad Pintea will get the most out of his free time during the holidays, in order to play every game he might have missed, or didn’t really have time to finish. It’s yet another good year to be a gamer. You can contact him via e-mail at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, on Skype, My IGN, Steam (all at the same name: vlad94pintea) or Facebook (Vlad Pintea). Have a good day and remember! Stay calm and keep on gaming!