24 Dec 2013

Top 10 Games of 2013

While most of us enjoy the Christmas season and all of its joys, I get bored quite easily. Sure, it’s fun to go out, party, hang out or watch a movie with a nice glass of wine. But when all of that fails, I’m stuck in front of the keyboard again, with nothing to do. Obviously, the choice is playing games; but not just any game will do, but only the best. So, here’s my Top 10 Games of 2013 – they’re actually 15, but no matter. It sounds cooler like that anyway.

15. Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm is the first expansion pack to Starcraft II, and the second chapter in a planned trilogy of games. The game’s campaign takes place right after the events of the first game and you take on the role of Sarah Kerrigan and the Zerg race in an all new single-player campaign. Like the first game, you’ll decide how to proceed through the campaign by choosing your missions and your army’s upgrades— now in the form of Zerg evolutionary enhancements.

The multiplayer portion of the game is the reason you will probably purchase the game in the first place and it is also getting some major additions with new buildings, units, and associated strategies. I have to note that I still enjoy playing the first version of the game, Starcraft Broodwar, whenever I’m bored. It’s simply fun!

14. Hawken

This is a strategic, fast-paced game that features incredible alien landscapes, customizable and upgradable mechs, and dynamic gameplay across multiple competitive game modes – 4 of them, to be precise (5, with the new update). The developing team constantly updates the game, and the game updates itself automatically on start-up. The game is available for download on the official website, for free, and is easily installed. Any questions you might have is answered by the information available on the Hawken website.

Nothing can prepare you and show you the awesomeness of this game. I’ve been playing this game for a couple of months now, and I’m telling you: its possibilities are endless, and I doubt you could ever get bored.

13. Arma III

Arma III is the third game in Bohemia Interactive’s series of realistic first person shooters. It offers first-hand lifelike military experience without actually having to enlist. The game features lifesized battlegrounds, one-hit kills, and all sorts of logistical considerations that make the game pretty darn real and an enjoyable experience for self-respected gamers who want more out of their shooters than just point-shoot action.

12. Europa Universalis IV

Europa Universalis is bigger and more expansive than any other war-game before it. The entire duration of the game stretches between the mid-15th century to the late 18th century, containing every detail you ever cared to know – and didn’t – about generals, politicians, nobles, and royalty of all the European nations during that time. So, basically, the game is all about politics and war on a grand scale; if you’re into that sort of action, you’ll love spending time playing it.

11. Rise of the Triad

Rise of the Triad is actually a modern remake of the classic first person shooter from Apogee Software; even the intro jingle reminds you of an old school PC gamer. The original RoTT was the first game to feature integration of jump pads – a feature later popularized by Quake 3 and Halo – and a literal ‘godmode’ that allowed you to banish your enemies with the hand of god. Just perfect for those of you who feel pissed of this Christmas. The game offers wide open levels, verticality, tons of ludicrous weapons, and violence unlike anything we’ve seen since Soldier of Fortune 2.

10. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs

If you thought Amnesia: The Dark Descent was a scary game, then this might be a surprise for you. Even more terrifying than the previous release, the Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. Even the title gets you wondering what’s gonna happen in the next few seconds. If you’re brave enough, try it. It’s supposed to be fun – except for pigs. Nothing pleasant was ever designed for pigs.

9. Shadow Warrior

Another reboot – of the eponymous 90s classic –  Shadow Warrior puts you in the boots of Lo Wang, a “corporate shogun” hired by some mysterious enterprise to locate a mystical katana. The game features hack and slash, shooting, as well as tactical game-play against some creepy, demonic and more mundane enemies. The game also boasts numerous technological advancements and it’s only available on the PC.

8. Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock Infinite action takes place on the flying city of Columbia. There’s always a lighthouse, and there’s always a city – hence the title. While the original title wowed us with its underwater utopia gone wrong, Infinite takes us to the skies with a colorful and fast paced twist, showing us the utopia’s downfall, rather than the aftermath. Just remember this name: Elizabeth!

 7. Wasteland 2

Wasteland 2 is a tactical turn-based and party-based RPG with an “old school” isometric view. The players get to take control of a party of up to seven characters. Wasteland 2 comes from the makers of Fallout and the original Wasteland. As one of the first major games to be funded by Kickstarter – which is actually cool – Wasteland 2’s development is entirely independent from the machinations and meddling of marketing departments and corporate big-wigs. Should be interesting to check out.

6. Crysis 3

Crysis 3 is a game veering away from the corridor shooter gameplay of the second Crysis; it offers wide open spaces in a New York City overrun by flora and fauna. Much like the first Crysis and Far Cry before it, players can expect to be able to utilize free-form strategies against AI opponents as they traverse through the wide open areas. It reminds me of the I am legend movie.

 5. Metro: Last Light

Metro: Last Light is the sequel to Metro 2033, taking place a year after the events of the first game – sounds about right. Although delayed from initial release date, the game is quite interesting and fun. The writer of the books, Dmitry Glukovsky, has been signed on to work with the developers on the game. So, that should definitely help.

 4. Planetary Annihilation

Planetary Annihilation offers real-time strategy battles that take place on a planetary scale. Games may vary in duration from half-hour 2-player battles to large scale, and lengthy 40-player matches. The game is set to feature a planet-based map system spanning over multiple star systems, different types of planets, and even asteroids. Players will be able to conquer planets and even entire solar systems in their war for galactic dominance. This reminds me of an older Star Wars game; cool as well.

3. Total War: Rome II

Total War: Rome II is the latest in a series of real-time strategy games. As the eight standalone title in the series, Rome II is set in the classical antiquity with a focus on the Roman Republic. The game is set to offer a much larger campaign than any previous Total War title, encompassing the extent of the Roman Empire and its environs. That should really take some of your time.

The innovation is that, for the first time ever, players will have to make decisions which affect how the campaign plays out by assigning traits to their legions, customizing their loadouts, and more. Additionally, the game’s developers captured the uniqueness of the different cultures and fighting forces of the time. So, you’ll be learning something as you play along.

2. SimCity

SimCity is one of the most wanted games of 2013 for the PC and a player favorite for a decade now. The new SimCity offers a city simulation with more detail than ever before thanks to the powerful Glassbox engine it runs on. Beyond that, it’s got detail that’ll make use of high-end PC hardware to their max, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in a simulation. It’s got its share of problems, but they’ve been fixed.

1. Battlefield 4

Battlefield 4 is more than a upgrade to the previous game; it comes with a host of improvements to the way its maps are set. For instance, each map in the game will be subject to various weather conditions including fog, sandstorms, rain and haze with these being completely random according to the leak. This, and a dedicated single-player campaign will definitely be a hands-full, if you choose to play. But you’ll have fun, trust me.

That’s all there is to it; the list is done. All there’s left to do is play and have fun. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good day!