In fifty years’ time, children will ask their grandparents, “Where were you in the summer of 2012?”. For many, the response will unfortunately reference Assassin’s Creed 3, a title which, although necessary to complete the bizarre mystical story arc, was let down by uninnovative design, an “I-just-necked-a-bottle-of-Robitussin”-long prologue, and a script that makes me wonder if they just picked characters and twists by throwing darts at a grid. For the money many keen gamers paid (and if you remember back to last year, I advised against purchasing the title), they were right to expect better from Ubisoft’s flagship release of 2012.
We move, then, to Dishonoured, Bethesda’s critically acclaimed game which despite being novel, open and interesting in some respects, felt wholly unfinished. With the turds being served up to the public in recent years, this is the best of a bad bunch. For Australian consumers, the $70 price tag was a bit too much to stomach for what you got: drab textures, clumsy combat and the weird feeling of déjà vu (Bioshock anyone?).
Next up is a title that has been in alpha development for some time: DayZ. This title is a mod for the hyper-realistic combat simulator ARMA 2, and is thus still quite buggy. It will be released as a standalone when it’s finished, but for now, this game is certainly worth playing. My pure hatred for the endless zombie titles recently gave way to elation when I began to play this game. Gameplay is hard, and it’s not for gamers who want a casual experience. Ten hours of gameplay can be ruined by a second of carelessness, or by simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. For those that want to invest in a game that is Paradox-level difficult, DayZ is worth jumping during the seemingly endless Steam sales on the ARMA titles.
For anyone who enjoyed SimCity 1-4000, the wait is almost over for the latest title. Fully 3D, curved roads and the style of play that wasted many weekends of my youth are just some features to get on your roof and howl naked about. There’s multiplayer too, and if the ‘CitiesXL’ experience was anything to go by, it will be an excellent feature to add. I think I speak for all fans of the genre when I say that SimCity Societies never happened, and I’m willing to forgive Maxis if they can swing Woroni a preview copy of their new title.