Friday 17 January 2014

My Top 5 Games of 2013

So here's a list of my personal top 5 games I played in 2013.. In no particular order..

1. Grand Theft Auto V
No questions here. I know I said no particular order but this game topped it all. Biggest, craziest open-world game ever created. 

Rockstar took a big 'risk' with implementing 3 playable characters, which could have turned out disastrous. A lot of games put plenty of emphasis on their protagonists to sell their game. The main character, the hero, that's who the gamer takes control of. The protagonist is the Star of the Game.

So with 3 characters in GTA V, who's going to take the centre stage or will the focus keep shifting too much that neither character is memorable? But this is Rockstar.. the masters of the Open-World game. They have been the trend-setters for years. To me.. I feel they aced the 3-character system.

3 protagonists and each a character of his own..

Franklin - The typical rags-to-riches kinda guy. He's my typical GTA protagonist. The guy from the hood trying to make a name for himself, running errands for every one in town but his surroundings just keeps pulling him back down.

Michael - The guy who has it all, including a shitty past, that keeps coming back to haunt him over and over again. I can't help but pity this guy. Everyone around him seems to be a jackass, including an extremely dysfunctional family. It was just entertaining to watch him lose his mind each time and I was quietly hoping that it would be a happy ending for him in the end, No doubt, my favourite character of the trio. 

Trevor - Trevor, Trevor.. what can I say about this guy? Probably the craziest character in GTA history.. what a fitting entrance for him. To me, Trevor is the guy every GTA player becomes when he gets tired of completing missions... the player goes on a rampage. Trevor is the epitome of every GTA player's wet dream!

Of course, with a great story and an enormous open-world filled with missions and activities, GTA V was the most stunning game of the generation.

And I haven't even started on the Online. GTA Online could easily have been produced as another stand-alone game and it would have sold millions. For years, GTA fans have wondered about the possibility of bringing their friends into a GTA game.

With GTA Online, Rockstar has delivered a near-perfect experience. Opening up the entire GTA map to a lobby of 16 people, the GTA world becomes your playground. With human players and AI characters all posing a threat, GTA Online has provided a realistic living, breathing GTA world that was every GTA fan's dream.

2. The Last of Us
In terms of plot development and story-telling, this latest project by Naughty Dog, takes top spot.

Never has any game kept me at the edge of the seat like this one. A thrilling story from start to finish, with deep character emotions, this was one helluva emotional roller-coaster ride. 

Post-apocalyptic themes and survival-horror genres have been done before, but no game has combined the two together with a gripping storyline like The Last of Us. Each moment was captured so beautifully and it really brought out the Survival instinct in me. 

I could see myself genuinely trying to avoid confrontation with the enemies instead of attempting to fight my way out of a situation. Never was there a moment that I left my character was strong or well-equipped enough to take on the dangers in front of me.

I did try out the Multiplayer and it was a unique experience. The Multiplayer brought the survival of the fittest theme into it's game modes and it was very different from your typical run-and-shoot modes.

3. Marvel Heroes
A highly under-rated game and one of my favourites of this year. I'm currently hooked on this game, so-much-so that I have gone on hiatus from GTA Online.

This MMORPG from Gazillion Entertainment has plenty of similarities to the Diablo games. No surprise as the President of Gazillion Entertainment is David Brevik, the same master-mind behind the original 2 Diablo games. 

However, the game didn't get off to a great start in my opinion and I blame 2 factors for it. 

1) Its release in May 2013 was at a time where many Diablo 3 players were starting to get tired of it. Marvel Heroes' game-play and mechanics were very similar to Diablo 3 and this brought nothing new to players. More of the same just got players bored and there weren't enough positives in the game to keep players hooked to the game. The fatigue from Diablo 3 and it's similarity had a big say in people's opinion of this game.

2) No decent end-game. This really worked against in favour of the game. After completing the story, there just wasn't enough reason for me to continue playing it. Having paid US $200 for the Founder's pack, I was highly disappointed and was seriously hoping for more content.

After not touching the game for several months, I decided to give it another try after I received an email stating that plenty of changes have been made. Besides, I needed a reason to justify the amount I have paid for this. 

Boy, did they improve the game! The game has so much more content and goals to reach that I'm addicted to this right now. Of course, having paid for the Founder's Pack, I have access to all the heroes that I can never get tired of. 

I intend to start a new section on my blog for a "Marvel Heroes Diary" where I put up the latest updates on my play time in this game. In a way, I'm trying to get more friends playing this game with me or just a place where I can put up my updates for other players to check out. Hope it will be an interesting read and hopefully I will be able to keep up with the updates unlike what happened with my GTA V Diary.

Hopefully, you guys will/are enjoying the game as much as I do.

4. Assassin's Creed IV
I'm going to play cheat a little. To be honest, I have hardly played this game enough to really be able to add this to my Top 5 Games list. Largely, due to Marvel Heroes. Considering this was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and obviously being a huge Assassin's Creed fan, it really shows how much Marvel Heroes has got me hooked.

However, I have seen and heard enough of this game to be sure that this would have been in my Top 5 list. (Whatever sense that sentence makes...!)

5. Injustice (Mobile Game)
I couldn't complete this list without adding my mobile companion for most of this year. Injustice was another hugely addictive game that I had spent most of my travelling time playing. 

Injustice is a simple fighting game which also implements the card-upgrading system. Each character is equivalent to a card. As you gain points winning battles, you can upgrade your "card" in several ways. Add different outfits as a different card, and you have a niggling need to collect them all!

While the first few challenges are easy stuff, you will need fully-upgraded characters to complete the last couple of stages. 

New character cards are introduced into the game as challenges. This is where the game becomes interesting. Challenges forces you to use your weaker category of cards, (There are 3 categories; bronze, silver and gold), as well as certain characters for different stages. Till now, you would probably only have trained your best cards so this forces you to improve the other cards as well.

Just as it was getting a bit mundane, a recent update has made these challenges much tougher. This really improved the replay value of this game and a welcome improvement to the game.

I have really enjoyed this free app on my iPhone this past year and I'm looking forward to see more updates in 2014. Hopefully, NetherRealm Studios will do a similar app for the next Mortal Kombat game as they have done for this.

So, that's my Top 5 games of 2013. Don't give me flak for including Assassin's Creed IV into the list alright? Have you tried any of these games? What do you think of them? Post some comments below!

My Top 5 Collectibles of 2013
My Top 5 Wants for 2014