Gaming in 2010

This year sucked for me, since I’m a PC gamer. There weren’t many games that came out that I really liked and very few will stick around for next year. I thought I’d mention some games (good and bad) and what I think of them. I was also going to write what I’d like to see to improve PC gaming, but I’ll put that in another post later as it would make this one too long. So, the games:

Bad Company 2

This game wasn’t so bad when it came out, I’ve forgotten it’s technical issues because they have mostly been fixed. It feels like this game has been around for a while but believe it or not, it came out early this year. For an FPS it lacks the smooth movement and controls that I’d like for a foot soldier,  but vehicle combat is great. The DLC’s for this game were awful except for Vietnam which was worth the $15. The guns sound and feel better to use and the levels are well designed. The one thing that would sway me towards a more favourable opinion of this game would be if it had MOD support. It’s sad to see a Battlefield game without community content.

Civilization 5

I’d never played a Civ game before but my God I regret it. Civ 5 is very addictive and I found it surprisingly fun! It’s a complicated game but well worth putting in the effort to learn it.

Medal of Honor

This game will never be remembered for anything. It will be in the bargain bin at Gamestop one day and some kid will be say “they made a modern themed Medal of Honor?” This is an awful end to a great franchise, the game itself was pathetic. But at least we won’t remember it, since this game added nothing new to the genre,  gaming or the series.

Call of Duty: Black Ops

This was another awful release this year. The stuttering issues that plagued it upon release was pathetic. It just goes to show how important testing really is. All of this could have been avoided if they had bothered to make a quality product that actually worked. Not only that, but it seemed only the PC version had issues which just proves that more developers are shunning the PC gaming community. Though I haven’t done my review of this game yet, here is a preview of what I’m going to say:

“Somehow managed to beat Medal of Honor as the worst game release for 2010. Another CoD console game clone for pubeless kids. I regret this purchase.”

This is yet another decent franchise Activision has managed to ruin and unless the next CoD game has a demo they won’t get a chance to get my money.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

For me, this is the biggest pleasant surprise of the year. I was expecting another lame console game added to the series. Instead I got a fun arcade racer that goes back to the roots of the franchise. Social elements in games are quickly becoming a fad but it’s done so well in this game to breed competition and fun at the same time. If GT5 was delayed again, I would not have cared if I had this game.

Gran Turismo 5

Oh boy. The big question has been answered: was it worth it? Well, yes and no…

If you had something to feed your racing game addiction, especially if it was Forza 3 or Shift, you may find GT5 not as amazing as the development time would suggest. On the other hand, if this is all you’ve been waiting for and don’t know of anything else, the game is really good.

Don’t get me wrong, let me say to you, ditch the gamepad and get a wheel. The driving model is fantastic and definitely the best racing sim on any console. Because 90% of a racing game is the driving experience (in most cases, Forza 3 I would say 80ish) this game is still worth buying. Unfortunately the game doesn’t feel as polished as it ought to be.

What’s wrong with it? The AI sucks. There isn’t any. They are glued to a rail track. Your car is made of rubber and theirs is made of rock so if you hit them or vice versa, you bounce off them and maybe spin out. They don’t even notice you’re there.

The car list isn’t that great. Forza 3 and Shift have much more variety. GT5 is padded with Skylines and Vettes. Oh and no Porsche.

Whilst we’re on the subject of the cars, they only bothered to model about 20% of them as “premium” cars. That equates to about 200 out of the 1000+ in the game, which in my honest opinion is quite pathetic. The premium models look amazing, the standard models look okay, but when you pay close attention to detail you’ll notice they aren’t as of high quality. For a game where you’d be moving faster than running pace, you probably won’t notice it and it won’t bother you as much. The same applies to the track environments, but this is less important. Overall it won’t detract from the game experience, but considering the development time I’d ask for a higher standard. Graphics play quite a large role in realistic games as they help to make the experience more believable. I wish Polyphony Digital realised this.

Fallout New Vegas

This was basically Fallout 3 but with a different story, characters weapons and location… And it was brilliant! Fallout 3 was good and New Vegas was just as good, if not better. This was one of my favourite games this year.

Final Fantasy XIII

This was another surprise. I’ve never really played a Final Fantasy game properly before so this is kinda my first one. I actually liked it, it has a complex story and gameplay has a bit of a learning curve, but it teaches you in easy to digest stages. I’ve had a lot of fun with this game but I still haven’t finished it. I think it’s going to be a long game and right now I am playing GT5, but I can’t wait to get back into this game again and will definitely play through all of it.

Despite a few good games released, as a PC gamer and an FPS fan, I felt disappointed this year. Times are really tough when developers forget about PC gamers. There are a few games I am looking forward to next year but I’m still very skeptical, but here’s hoping that 2011 will spawn some games that I’d like.

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