2013 Year in Review — Jeff

Jeff's GOTY: PAYDAY 2

Jeff’s GOTY: PAYDAY 2

By: Jeff Cater

TOP 10 GAMES OF 2013

10) Metal Gear Rising Revengeance — This game showed us that the Metal Gear series has more tricks up their sleeves than just cigarettes and cardboard boxes. The QTE events have been seen before, but none were really able to match the intensity of those within Metal Gear Rising. Playing as fan-favorite Raiden, gamers received a great sense of just how the life of a cyber-ninja would play out on an average day.

9) Warframe — Though it hasn’t been out for very long, and only on the PS4 (as well as PC), Warframe is a great case of “free-to-play” with virtually no “pay-to-win” angles. Whether you’ve chosen a character that prefers to slice and dice or blow thing up, Warframe is a great co-op romp through our solar system. Plus cybernetic ninjas are just badass; see above.

8) The Last of Us — Protagonists Joel and Ellie accompany the player through one of the most touching and emotive games that has come out in recent memory. With a unique take on the “zombie” genre, The Last of Us presented us with a moral challenge never presented to players before.

7) Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk — This touching story revolves around a young girl named Ayesha in her quest to learn the ways of Alchemy in order to rescue her sister from a magical void that wasn’t quite death but was a complete magical mystery. Atelier had a fun combat system and a crafting system that didn’t feel out of place in its theme.

6) Diablo III — It’s been a long time since a Diablo title has seen the light of day on consoles, and with Diablo III it just showed us that Blizzard cares about its console brethren by creating a control scheme that was immediately comfortable. They also fixed numerous glitches/complaints from the PC version, pretty much making Diablo III on consoles the definitive version.

5) Tales of Xillia — This continuation of the famed Tales franchise spruces up combat to make it fast, fun, and completely awesome to watch. The experience also changes depending on the character you’ve chosen, which instantly created a great reason to play through a second time. The awesome fighting system was also very inviting and bridged the traditional Tales experience with mechanics close to that of SSBM or Street Fighter.

4) Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag — In AC3 players were given a small chance to test their sea legs, and with Black Flag you’re set to put them to good use. Black Flag is a great deviation in the series, having a protagonist that has no ties to the assassin organization (other than the fact he killed one of their members). Whereas other AC titles grant a sense of order by being a direct member of the guild, AC4 just lets you play as Edward; a badass, rascal privateer whose in it for himself. Also, a lot more light is shed on Abstergo, the company extracting memories from the late Desmond.

3) Dynasty Warriors 8 — Before you’re like “Whaaaaaaaat?,” Dynasty Warriors 8 is a massive jump in quality and fun in the series. The gameplay is as fluid as ever, plus the infamous “pop-up” from the series is vanishing! They finally have started pushing their artistic talents fully, so what we’ve got to look forward to (if DW8 is any indication) is a long beloved series finally sprouting into what could one day be considered a “killer app.”

2) Battlefield 4 — Whether you’re contending with the flattened building in front of you or with the other 63 players in the match, Battlefield 4 is just flat-out intense. Getting 60fps across the board is impressive, and when combined with the sheer amount of players and destruction, it makes for an almost unbelievable console experience.

1) PAYDAY 2 — There’s not one title I had more fun with last year. PAYDAY 2 created several of my favorite gaming moments in a very short time. Screaming at total strangers, being screamed at back, reaching resolution while working together and nabbing the loot made me a lot of friendships this past year. Having fun with friends is what gaming was all about for me growing up, and this made me feel like a kid again. A sadistic, masked, heavily armed little kid.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF 2013

This one hit early in the year, and I don’t think any of us can forget the painful hurt that was Aliens: Colonial Marines. Teaser trailer was cool. Cinematic trailer was pretty solid. Gameplay trailer probably made me squeel a little bit. And then we got a laughably buggy bug-hunt as a marine with zero personality. The franchise is seemingly doomed to shitty games, which is pretty unfortunate, and not having a decent title to the license since Alien vs. Predator (the PC original, not the shoddy reboot on consoles) is a blow to all fans of the fiction.

MOST ANTICIPATED GAMES OF 2014

3) Thief — This long-awaited reboot to the franchise has seasoned thugs giddy with excitement. Garrett returns in Thief, which releases early this year. We will soon know what treasures the shadows may hold!

2) Tom Clancy’s The Division — As the available footage has shown, the engine running The Division has the most realistic car-door-shutting anyone has ever seen! There’s something about online features and a persistent online world, but… dem car doors!

1) Watch Dogs — Watch Dogs was supposed to be out this year, which almost landed this in the “Biggest Disappointment” category. Instead of releasing with the new console launches, Watch Dogs unfortunately was pushed to 2014; but hey, if it means a better game it’s alright, right?

PlayStation Game of the Year: Battlefield 4
Xbox Game of the Year: PAYDAY 2
Downloadable Game of the Year: Skulls of the Shogun
Best Story: Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto V (tie)
Best Shooter: PAYDAY 2
Best Co-op: PAYDAY 2

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About Herija Green

Avid gamer, adventurous lover and all-around damned handsome man...
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