Best PC Games 2012

PC gaming has been going through a renaissance of sorts over the past few years, clawing back the market share it lost to consoles in the last decade by offering a level of technology that is simply unattainable on the Xbox or Playstation. Granted, you need a nice computer to see these differences, but for those who have decent rigs, there really is no comparison.

2012 was an epic year for the PC, tilting the balance of power more and more in favor of the desktop method of gaming. Each of the following titles allowed the PC to thrive, and proved that if you want the best experience possible, grab a nice graphics card, bump up your RAM, and watch the fireworks.

First up is Borderlands 2, the hilarious and highly-polished FPS-RPG from Gearbox Software. Taking the role of a Vault Hunter, you must travel across a post-apocalyptic world in order to take down the megalomaniacal corporate overlord, Handsome Jack. This is not an easy road, with an army of widely varying beasts and crazy psychopaths in your way. Fortunately, you have an unlimited arsenal of unique weapons to mow down the hoards, along with special abilities gained from a tech-tree when you level your character up. With beautiful cel-shaded visuals and an unprecedented level of personality, this is one of the most enjoyable and humorous experiences you can have in gaming.

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A surprise smash hit originating from serious pedigree, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, brought tactical, isometric strategy back to the mainstream by giving players a deep and satisfying gameplay experience that took notes from the original, while introducing revolutionary new options and methods of play. With a fully operational command center at your disposal, you decide earth

Top 5 Best DS Games

The DS is almost universally lauded by its user base. A handheld, it caters to younger gamers and relies less on visual and technological prowess in exchange for a focus on simple yet immersive fun.

As the shooters and modern games of today become browner and more formulaic, the DS is the playground of imaginative gamers who just want to be entertained with bright colors and innovative gameplay.  Year in, and year out, the Nintendo DS accomplishes this goal by releasing a huge number of fantastically fun titles.

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The first DS game on the list is a title that would not seem to work on a handheld, but succeeds in every aspect. That game is Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. A series known for huge open worlds that require some serious tech to generate, Chinatown Wars goes back to the GTA origin story and switch to the top-down perspective that helped make it a household name. The cel-shaded animations are gorgeous and produce an effect similar to that of a shiny new comic book, giving Liberty City a beautiful sheen that makes the experience a delight to behold. It is almost expected that Rockstar brings the heat in the gameplay department, and GTA:CW is no exception, giving players a highly-polished, eternally playable product that offers hours of entertainment.

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Advance Wars: Dual Strike is the lone strategy title on the list, with the player assuming the role of an army General pitted against an enemy force. You must either destroy all of the enemies units, or capture the all-important HQ. The turn-based gameplay is a perfect fit for the DS, using the dual screens masterfully, bringing both a macro and micro view to the action that no other system is capable of.

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Top 5 Best PC Strategy Games

The strategy game is in a strange place at the moment. Highly demanding of the computers that power these games, developers understand that high development costs sometimes cannot justify the limited base of fans that can actually play these complex titles. This has reduced the number of strategy games in development to a handful, but that does not mean we no longer get the AAA-experiences that made the genre such an industry behemoth. Once the tech catches up, strategy titles will be right back at the top of the gaming hierarchy.

 

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Even with a smaller user base, a few brave souls continue to push the limits of a genre that truly has unlimited potential. The top dog is certainly StarCraft, a futuristic space opera involving three equally dangerous factions duking it out for intergalactic supremacy. The first entry in the series continues to be a popular game, and is in fact one of the most popular spectator sports in South Korea. StarCraft 2, the long-awaited sequel, expands on the iconic title and adds updated visuals, beautiful cut-scenes and a better user experience, while developing the epic storylines of the Zerg, Protoss, and Terrans.

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The fellas at Creative Assembly are strategy junkies, and the gaming community is truly thankful that they use this obsession to make the best games possible. The Total War series is the apex of quality strategy titles with a historical perspective. Take the role of a Caesar (Rome: Total War), a Japanese Daimyo (Shogun: Total War) or even Napoleon Bonaparte himself (naturally, Napoleon: Total War), and engage in skirmishes while creating a great society built on the blood, sweat, and tears of your loyal subjects. With the extremely ambitious Total War: Rome II releasing in late 2013, the Total War series is showing no signs of slowing down

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Top 5 Best PSN Games

A relatively new phenomenon, PlayStation Network has become one of Sony’s main selling point for its convenience and collection of high-quality titles for gamers to choose from.Many of these titles are independent, with only a small team working on its development, but as this niche evolves, we are seeing higher quality games making their way onto the network.

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Let’s start with the big one: Journey. This game received more awards than the developer who created the title has employees. Immediately lauded for its atmosphere and beauty, Journey is a game of discovery, allowing players to traverse a visually arresting desert landscape filled with mystery and life that is yours for the taking. Join up with another player, or just lose yourself in the artistic environment for hours at a time. Journey fogo’s the handholding that has become commonplace in gaming and offers users the opportunity to create their own experience, and follow their preferred path, as opposed to one outlined by the makers. This is a truly liberating feeling and makes Journey a standout not only inside PSN, but within the game space as a whole.

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Next up is the genius title, Guacamelee. An action-packed side-scrolling platformer starring an unlucky Mexican agave farmer-turned heroic luchadore named Juan Aquacate, Guacamelee is a title that is bursting with personality. Taking inspiration from the eternally interesting Mexican culture, this game is a tour-de-force of classic Latin American art and narrative. Swapping between the Living World and the Dead World, our hero must rescue the object of his affection by taking down countless waves of enemies while using his luchador skills to traverse the colourful and aesthetically pleasing landscape.

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A Retrospective Look At The Best PC Games Of All Time

Asking what the best PC games are is a tall order to say the least. PC gaming is an institution and has so many great titles to choose from. Picking the best of these is somewhat futile, because everyone has their own opinion, but there are some games that are synonymous with the rise of the PC, and those are the titles we will focus on.

Where to start? Hmmm…okay, I got it: Half-Life. This Valve developed first-person-shooter will certainly go down in history as one of the best and most influential FPS titles of all time Whereas most shooters will engage in tunnel vision and require the player to go from Point A to Point B with little thought to the immersiveness of the environment, Half-Life flipped this common formula by creating a living narrative around the user. From the very start, the game places you right in the shoes of the silent protagonist, Gordon Freeman, as he prepares for another day of work at the ominous and impressive Black Mesa Research Facility.

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The power of the ‘feeling of place’ that Valve is able to squeeze out of the Half-Life experience is still truly second to none, and other than the sequel (naturally), no game has been able to recreate this immediate sense of being transported into a fully-realized universe.

We are living in a world of loot, and we can thank Diablo 2 for this. The isometric dungeon-crawler series by the great developers at Blizzard Entertainment, Diablo 2 brought a new audience to the high-fantasy, action-rpg genre, and in doing so, helping usher in the “level up” mentality that is a mainstay in almost every major AAA-title released today. With the ability to pick up loot dropped from defeated enemies, customize your equipment and level up in power and skill, Diablo 2 continues to have a large audience still playing the game, even 13 years after it was first released.

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Blizzard proved its pedigree with Diablo 2, but it was World of Warcraft that made Blizzard an industry behemoth. The game that made the MMORPG genre a mainstay, WoW allows friends (and strangers alike) to join forces and explore the vast and beautiful lands of Azeroth. Creating your own highly customized character from a series of badass archetypes, you start from the bottom and level up to reach the highest rungs of power and influence.

 

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Many gamers consider themselves to be smart. Well, now you can prove that enormous intellect with Portal, the genius puzzle game by the genius developers at Valve. As a research test subject, you must use your brain, and your handy portal gun, to solve increasingly difficult puzzles, all while dealing with the most passive-aggressive AI ever created: GlaDOS. Funny and immersive, Portal has an amazing ability to make users think outside the box and in a way that forces them to use cerebral skills instead of twitch muscles in the thumb. If there is anyone who thinks games are dumb, unintelligent forms of entertainment, then they obviously have not played Portal.

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BioWare has been a major industry player for years, and it was Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic that truly put them on the map. Sadly (or not, depends on how you look at it), the writing in KOTOR is mountains above that found in the underwhelming Star Wars prequel films. Smart, witty and thoughtful dialogue makes the impressive and entertaining storylines that much more memorable. This is the experience a Star Wars fan deserves, and BioWare hit it out of the park.

 

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PC’s are the playground for strategy lovers two titles come to mind when considering the greatest of these: Civilization and StarCraft. Civilization, a turn-based title from the great mind of Sid Meier, is all about leading your nation to glory. Build armies, create timeless Wonders and institute smart political policies to either dominate your neighbours with an iron fist, or bring in a golden age of reason and peace. If you ever wanted to be a digital dictator, Civilization provides countless ways to become either a psychotic despot or benevolent ruler.

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StarCraft brings the intensity of full-scale, real-time war to the user, allowing you to build and lead an army against your intergalactic enemies. Take the reins and command the Protoss, Zerg or Terran forces using quick-thinking and a killer instinct as you direct your infantry, cavalry and support units in a real-time battle. Fast-paced and unforgiving, StarCraft 2 takes immense skill to master, but the depth of play will guarantee that the ascension to the top of the ranks will be a seriously enjoyable one.

 

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These titles have defined the first 30 years of PC gaming, and will certainly inspire the next 30 years. Considering the greatness of the games listed, we are in for

Best Game Soundtracks

Video games never seem to get the respect they deserve. A quintessential art form, gaming is an audio-visual feast of visceral creativity. Those who don’t see games as art, need to look closer, because there is so much to see. But sometimes you don’t even need to look to understand the artistry involved in creating a great piece of interactive entertainment….all you have to do is listen.

One of the most criminally ignored aspects of gaming is the music. Not only does nearly every singles AAA-title include an original soundtrack, even small indie games have music to die for. Needing to engage the gaming to keep on playing, the score of the title must be catchy, emotional, relatable, and fun. With Austin Wintory (Journey) being the first ever video game composer to be nominated for a Grammy, it seems that mainstream culture is finally catching wind of the not commonly discussed aspect of gaming.

 

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With that being said, we might as well start with Mr. Wintory himself. Journey was a gaming experience like no other, relying purely on atmosphere to compel the user to continue on this silent pilgrimage across a vast desert. While the visual draw the players in, and the puzzles keep them engage, it is the music that makes the experience so memorable. Longing sounds and soft voices, combined with emotional strings, bring a sense of wonder to the gamer, and encourage them to trek on and find all of the secrets contained within the endless landscape.

 

On the other side of the coin, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon brings the heat with a synth-heavy offering of catchy beats and dark tones. A retro title in every way, Blood Dragon is an homage to the 80’s action star, letting gamers take control of Sergeant Rex Power Colt, and the music is about as perfect as it can be for such an outrageous situation.

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A hall of famer in the truest sense of the word,, The Legend of Zelda could cruise to gaming greatness on the fun of the game alone, but the sounds of the series were what truly helped catapult the mega-popular series into the pantheon of video game immortality. The title screen, the fairy fountain, the plains of Hyrule and everywhere in between is supplemented by music as endearing as the silent hero himself.

 

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Electronic heavy soundtracks meet epic space opera in Mass Effect. The first game in the series also includes the best sounds and music from a now iconic audio experience. Bringing what one may call a “cyberpunk symphony” the soundtrack relies heavily on synth sounds and keyboards, while backing up the electronic foundation with traditional string and wind instruments. It is is mixture of high-tech and high-culture, making Mass Effect a top-quality title in every respect.

 

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While we have mentioned some great examples of gaming audio, no video game soundtrack list will ever be complete without giving Nobuo Uematsu his propes. The composer behind the Final Fantasy series, Uematsu has consistently brought the highest-quality song-writing to his games since the first FF in 1987. If you listen closely, the evolution of his sound is readily apparent, and he proves to be in the masterclass when Final Fantasy 7 was released. In fact, it would not be too big of an assumption that the music was what has made FF7 such a lasting experience. While 7 and 8 are the best of Nobuo, the stretch from FF5 to FF9 will be considered his magnum opus, with all five being of the highest order.

Superhot makes it’s way to Steam Greenlight

So Over the weekend we stumbled across this little fps web based game. It takes the bullet time genre and fps genre and spins it on it’s head. It’s probably the most elegant ways of killing people I’ve experience. Slipping through time and hitting that headshot in the stylistic manner of the games engine is incredibly satisfying.

It’s gained some notoriety in the gaming scene and has had rave reviews on the short demo/proof of concept game on their site.  With your support we could have a fully fledged game. So check out the video and the game itself and support if this makes sends geek chills down your spine like it did us.

To Play the game go here http://superhotgame.com/

 

Best Xbox 360 Games

The first Xbox was Microsoft’s debut foray into the console space, but the Xbox 360 established them as the top dog. Focused less on exclusives and first party titles, MS was looking to publish the highest possible quality of games they could, and considering the sales and reception of the standouts, the strategy was a huge success.

No Xbox “best of” conversation could be deemed legitimate without mentioning Microsoft’s elephant in the room, Halo. Created by Bungie as the original Xbox’s system seller, Halo had become an iconic franchise, rivaling even Mario as the most recognizable and popular videogame IP in the world. The 360 brought gamers the conclusion of the original trilogy in the form of the critically acclaimed Halo 3, and kicked off the next generation of Master Chief-themed games with the 343 Industries-developed Halo 4. With Bungie out of the picture, it is 343 that must continue the grand tradition, and has started off very strong with an initial offering that includes the feel of a Halo game, coupled with new features, weapons and enemies that can only come from a new and energetic take on the classic series.

 

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The second largest Xbox exclusive, Gears of War was the other AAA game that has helped define the console and convince on-the-fence gamers that they should pick up an Xbox. Cliff Bleszinski and crew at Epic Games succeeded in every category in this high-octane, post-apocalyptic thrill-ride.. Gears of War 2 can be looked at as the perfect sequel. Bigger, prettier and nastier than the original in almost every way, the polish of this AAA-title is readily apparent right when you pick up the sticks to play as Dom, the badass commander of of Delta Squad.

 

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Many top game’s lists will inevitably include a Rockstar title. The creators of GTA, Rockstar might just be the best dev house in the world. Red Dead Redemption is, by far (not even close actually) the best Western-themed game of all time. This Xbox 360 open world frontier title was a breath of fresh air that took the gaming community by storm. Taking the reins of popular protagonist, John Marston, you can go anywhere and do anything in the Wild West. Following the competent Red Dead Revolver, the sequel went all out to create an experience that built upon the foundation of the first, while ripping down every static, uninspired mechanic, in order to develop a game that would accept nothing less than greatness. Mission accomplished.

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One of the few original IP’s that truly made an unexpectedly big impression on gamers was Crackdown. Successfully crafting a GTA rival that allowed players to go anywhere and do anything as a genetically modified law enforcement agent tasked with taking down drug kingpins and cartel bosses in the fictional Pacific City, Crackdown was gaming escapism at its best. Developed by Real-Time Worlds, this sandbox game is a funny, high-octane, over-the-top experience that never takes itself too seriously…something that other titles should certainly take note.

 

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The final entry in the best Xbox 360 games list is BioShock, the brainchild of industry scion Ken Levine and the rest of the crew at Irrational Games. A spiritual successor to System Shock, BioShock ups the ante in every way and provides what may be the greatest gaming environment of all time: Rapture. The underwater dystopia drips with personality and atmosphere. You enter not knowing what to expect, with no knowledge of Rapture ever existing, and must figure out the mystery of this vast city and what role you play in its future. With one of the greatest antagonists in any game (Rapture creator, Andrew Ryan) and roving boss battles with the now iconic Big Daddy’s, BioShock is as immersive a game as you can find, and should not be missed by anyone who considers themselves a gaming enthusiast. Scratch that, it should not be missed by anyone who considers themselves an entertainment enthusiast…it is really that good.

 

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Best PS3 games

This article is a farewell to the PS3. To celebrate the end of this generation and look back at what the Playstation 3 had to offer in it’s time as Sony’s primary console.

If the Xbox 360 were described as a pop concert, then the Playstation 3 would certainly be a symphony performance. Much more technologically complex, with an emphasis on art rather than spectacle, the PS3 is the thinking gamer’s console. Difficult development and complicated hardware made the PS3 tough to work with, but once game designers figured out how to unlock the system’s true potential, Sony’s console showed that it was the true beast of this generation.

The PS3 sold less units than both the 360 and the Wii, but it can be confidently stated that the PlayStation 3 was home to the top exclusives during this console generation. The sheer innovation, dedication and creativity brought forth in their top exclusives is very impressive and shows that Sony is focused more on the gamer than the bottom line.

Early in the latest console cycle, Sony was reeling after introducing the PS3 at too high a price point, so they needed some big system sellers to make up for the expensive price tag. Fortunately, Naughty Dog, one of the best developers in the world, was there to save the day with their mega-popular Uncharted series. Starting with Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, greatly upping the ante with the stellar Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and finishing strong with Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, the Santa Monica-based developer hit it out of the park.

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The other big seller early in the cycle was Sony’s other “ace up its sleeve” God of War 3. Already a massive series that helped solidify the PS2 as quite possibly the greatest console of all time, the God of War franchise was a necessity for the PS3 and did not disappoint. The David Jaffe created mythology epic brought ultra-violence and the power fantasy to the PS3, allowing gamers to take the role of the biggest badass in the universe, Kratos, the god of War.

 

The 10 Most Violent Video Games Ever to Hit the Market: God of War 3

The final established franchise to help make the PS3 what it is today is Metal Gear Solid. Already one of the most well known video game IP’s ever, Hideo Kojima ratcheted it up to 11 with the fourth entry: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. With updated visuals, polished action, and an epic backstory, MGS4 showed a mature and war-torn Solid Snake (aptly codenamed Old Snake) several years after the events of MGS2: Sons of Liberty, while also moving the perspective from the classic overhead third-person to a streamlined over the shoulder view, increasing the visceral nature of the stealth series.

 

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While these franchises brought Sony great success and help define PS3 as a console, it is the risks that Sony took which should be applauded. Xbox always played it safe, but Sony was more than willing to take a chance on something that no one had ever seen before.  This is where Heavy Rain and Little Big Planet enter the equation.

Heavy Rain is a dark and mysterious title that follows a very well-developed narrative, placing the player in the shoes of a private detective who must solve a mysterious murder before it is too late. Using innovative gameplay mechanics and hyper-realistic visuals, Heavy Rain was (and still is) the closest we have gotten to a fully interactive and immersive experience.

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Going the opposite direction, and introducing a whimsical ability to simply create, Little Big Planet brought countless hours of fun to gamers in the form of cute little characters made from burlap sacks. A puzzle-platformer, Little Big Planet not only has a fully-realized game you can play through, the true selling point is the ability to create new content using the in-game tools. The results have been nothing less than extraordinary, with LBP fans around the world developing original game scenarios and sharing them online, so their friends and the rest of the gaming community can play the end result.

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But no best of PS3 list will ever be complete without the inclusion of the Naughty Dog magnum opus, The Last of Us. The last great PS3 game of the generation, The Last of Us is the story of Joel and Ellie, two survivors of a worldwide apocalypse who are trekking across the United States to reach a resistance group called the Fireflies. Simply put, The Last of Us is a game of the highest order, bringing unprecedented visuals, innovative gameplay and one of the most arresting and emotional storylines ever created. Suspense and anxiety follow close behind as you make your way to your final destination, forced to avoid diseased humans and corrupt gangs that will not think twice about killing you. The Last of Us will not only be known as one of, if not the best, PS3 games, it will surely be looked at as one of the best game ever made.

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