The Holidays are over and its time to get back to the grind of an exciting new year, but before we all put 2010 behind us I wanted to take a few minutes and honour a few titles that stood out amongst the rest. 2010 was a great year on gaming and provided many new advancements in the world of hardware and software, normally gamers would have been introduced to a new console this year, instead games took over the market and new motion tech was introduced. This I feel worked out for the better, our consoles are finally being used to their full potential. With all that said I have compiled a list of what I feel were my five favourite titles of the year, just to clear up now I played all of these games on the Xbox 360 so all of my favourites land on that console. There were many great games this year, but these following titles take the cake. I will list the games from last to first…
#5 – Call of Duty: Black Ops – Treyarch
Treyarch had some very large shoes to fill in the world of Call of Duty this year. After the shake up with Infinity Ward losing most of its staff, hardcore fans began to wonder if the future of CoD would keep its integrity and winning annual formula. Well let me just say that Black Ops is a fantastic game and Treyarch should finally be able to shake there CoD3 and WaW stigma. Black Ops is action packed regardless of the mode you play or who you play with. Their is plenty of variety from what I feel is the franchises strongest campaign, to combat training with bots, to a deep multi-player experience, and of course the classic zombie mode. New features like the theatre mode were welcomed with praise as well. With the sales of this game sky rocketing since release, CoD does not have much to worry about this year. This game is a great step in the right direction and proves that an annual CoD instalment can and will succeed with the right team building the game. We owe our thanks to Treyarch…great game guys!
#4 – Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit – Criterion Games
This title slipped into my top five just over the past few weeks of the holidays, racing games in general do not grasp my attention for longer than a rent or quick run through, but this was different. Hot Pursuit is a car-chase fans dream, Criterion had already paved the way with past titles like Burnout Paradise and you can definitely feel that prior influence. This game is fast, fun, and approachable even if you are not a car buff. The courses and tracks are varied and massive in most cases and the mission variety jumps all over the place. Combine all of that with a great progression system for both racer and cop classes and you are left with only wanting more. Through the game you are always rewarded with either a new vehicle, a new mode, or upgraded equipment. This game has reinvented what a modern racing game with a twist could be and I am very excited about the rebirth of this classic franchise. Just remember that if you are not a racing fan, the action will keep you playing instead, you will see what I mean when you start EMP’ing helicopters out of the sky at warp speeds!
#3 – Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – DICE Software
After the questionable success of Modern Warfare 2, the FPS community was craving a rock solid experience that would usher in a new era of modern combat on the console. DICE and Bad Company 2 were the answer to these out cries, this game swept the FPS community like a storm and still continues to dominate the online charts with recent DLC releases. Bad Company filled a great spot in the crowded genre of shooters, it provided new game mechanics and the ability to work with a four man squad on land, sea, and air. This game is sometimes most rewarding when you finish a round online at the top of the score board and you have spent that match distributing ammo and health. This game is epic and explosive in all the right places and has paved the way for a very promising Battlefield 3 in the future.
#2 – Red Dead Redemption – Rockstar Games
After receiving game of the year at the VGA’s it is hard to leave such a memorable experience out of my top 5 for 2010. Don’t get me wrong I am not putting Red Dead on my list because I feel I have to, I genuinely love this game in all forms. I have never been so convinced or compelled to finish a story then when I was playing through the eyes of John Marston. Marston is also my favourite new character in gaming this year, he was real man’s man who only wanted to be with his family. You could say he was a man of true grit, the attitude that Marston represents was carried through the whole Red Dead experience though. This game was huge, natural, and real; it would be hard to find a better open world game this year I think. The missions and characters were all memorable in there own way, who would have though herding cattle could make it into a Rockstar game. Even at the core of Red Dead Redemption the hardcore game mechanics are rock solid through out. The shooting mechanics and animations in the game are perfect for open world exploration and leaves the player feeling in control and ready to explore. On top of an incredible game Rockstar continues to improve the experience with DLC like Undead Nightmare. With a bright future set in stone Rockstar has truly blown me away again and this will go down as one of my favourite games ever, a game like Red Dead cannot be described you must play it for yourself!
Oh Halo…where do I begin. I feel as if Bungie studios has been an integral part of me growing up in this fast crazy world. The Halo series are the games that made me want to become involved with the video game industry in the first place, so you can only imagine how a title like Halo: Reach would effect me as a gamer. After waiting 24 hours in line and receiving the first copy in our city, I raced home to dive into a game that I had been watching grow on Bungie.net for over 12 months. In short this game met and surpassed all expectations that I had ever set for myself. Halo: Reach is filled with enough Halo content to keep hardcore Halo fans coming back long after 343 Studios takes over. Bungie has always been a studio that represents passion and love for their art and Halo: Reach represents that idea in every way. It seems as if Reach was a greatest hits of the past 10 years in Halo, and then they turned everything to 11. Reach is a game that has set the standards to what a new FPS needs to keep its legs. First you have a hefty campaign that can be played with four of your friends, firefight mode that is completely customizable, and top that off with the best multiplayer in the console industry. This is the tripod that makes Halo Reach what it is, but the experience is so much more than that. With Halo having a massive and vocal community, Bungie had a serious task of keeping everyone comfortable but still progressing and changing. This is where the game really takes off, it lies within all of the little things. Details like your character being placed in all of the cinematics and constantly being able to upgrade your spartan regardless of the game mode. This game rewards hard work and loyalty and provides a gorgeous polished experience through out. I have always had a hard time writing about Halo, honestly because it means so much to me. I guess when it comes down to it I am more of a fan of how Bungie approaches their games, the men behind halo are wizards and magicians in my eyes and deserve nothing but success and a positive community and that is exactly what they have. I am excited for the future of both Halo, Masterchief, and Bungie studios (even without Halo), and cant believe how great these past 10 years have been with my friends, our warthogs, and our Battle Rifles.