It’s that time of year where we celebrate the memorable games from the last year. The best, the best-looking, the one’s that kept us on the edge of our seat, and the ones that nearly had us tossing the controller in frustration. Be sure to check out the other MTV Multiplayer Best of 2012 lists!
After considering the best across the three major platforms (we’re sorry PC, we’ll do you justice next year), it’s time to look back at the absolute best gaming had to offer in 2012. Will “The Walking Dead” take home yet another Best of award? Or maybe a dark horse contender like “Hitman: Absolution” just caused us to throw up our hands, declare it a masterpiece, and opt to get on with 2013.
You’ll just have to find out after the jump.
5. ZombiU (Ubisoft)
“ZombiU” had a couple of perceived strikes against it coming out this winter: it was yet another zombie game and it was that most exhausting game of all–the launch title that used all of the buttons. You know this game: taking advantage of every gimmick and trick of the new hardware to exasperating effect.
But “ZombiU” wasn’t that game: in fact, this hardest of the hardcore first-person survival horror game was the realization of the Wii U’s potential. Knocking around in the dark, praying to avoid contact with the shambling dead enemy, it immersed you in the full-on end in an exhilarating, sometimes draining way.
4. “FTL” (Subset Games)
Even with its short length, this crowdsourced indie offers hours of “enjoyment” (and rage) as you attempt to navigate your crew of intrepid explorers across the galaxy–only pirates, rebels, aliens, plagues, and fire (oh God, the fires) might stop you dead in your tracks.
3. “Mark of the Ninja” (Klei Entertainment)
We’ve already singled this title out for its expert art direction, but it’s tough to over-praise Klei’s mastery of the once-stagnant stealth genre with “Mark of the Ninja.” Offering ample ways to kill (or go unseen), it took this 2D throwback to go next-level with stealth.
2. “The Walking Dead” (Telltale Games)
Telltale did the impossible by making us care for a child in a video game. Instead of some wide-eyed, obnoxious moppet, though, they built a story around a child whose very survival in this dangerous world depended on the choices you made as a character–and you could see Clementine’s evolution before your eyes.
Moving and thrilling, “The Walking Dead” offered one of the most powerful experiences of 2012.
And the MTV Multiplayer Game of the year is…
“XCOM: Enemy Unknown” (Firaxis/2K Games)
“The Walking Dead” is an important game, but “XCOM” was a truly great game in 2012. There’s a distinction there–you just have to know how to find it.
Firaxis’ revival of the PC classic streamlined and simplified your alien-hunting experience, but never dumbed it down. Managing only one XCOM base as opposed to multiple installations in previous games still offered the same sort of panicked, frantic pleasure: what would you do when the aliens truck next? Would you sacrifice the support of the Chinese by favoring the Russians when the next attack happens? Or would you instead go rushing to the gray market to sell your hard-earned spoils from the battlefield?
Sure, the combat was idiosyncratic–okay, it was downright broken at times. Why didn’t that shot that had a 90% chance of hitting connect? And the Mutons can shoot through walls now? What’s the deal?
It wasn’t perfect, but it was perfectly addictive for all of that–“XCOM: Enemy Unknown” kept bringing you back to complete that tough mission in the hopes of getting your entire squad out alive and the tech development offered varied ways to attack and defeat the enemy. Playing it, you think it’s the foundation of something new (although it’s not–not really), and more than once this writer found himself saying “more of this” even after finishing the campaign.
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