Last year was a wonderful one for gamers. Huge titles like Borderlands 2, Mass Effect 3, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 got all of the attention, while some other great games, while not purposely, got pushed to the side.
Here are some of my favorite games from 2012 that you might not have played, but should.
Released on April 13 exclusively for the Xbox Live Arcade
Independent game developer Phil Fish of Polytron managed to create one of the best, and most unique, platformers in history.
Sometimes it’s fun to play games like Call of Duty and get really pissed and scream at your teammates when they suck (or in my case, scream at yourself). However, sometimes it’s nice to play a game like Fez where it’s (almost) impossible to get angry.
Fez is one of the most relaxing games I have ever played; it’s almost therapeutic.
You play as Gomez, a cute little two-dimensional creature living in a 2D world. Just look at him and try not to smile. It’s hard.
Gomez finds this strange thing called the Hexahedron, which gives him a magical hat that enables him to peruse the world in 3D. When he is testing out his new ability, the Hexahedron glitches and the world suddenly freezes.
Fez then “reboots” and Gomez finds that he can now see in 3D. He now must collect fragments of the Hexahedron in order to save the world.
The player can change perspectives at any time, opening up new ways to solve puzzles.
This game is not easy; the puzzles get progressively harder and provide a good challenge.
Take a break from all of the generic games and try out Fez. It’s one of the most unique and intriguing games I’ve ever played, and I would recommend it to anyone.
Released on March 13 exclusively for the PlayStation Network
I just can’t say enough good things about Journey. It’s impossible to describe the feeling you get while playing Journey. It’s a feeling completely different than anything else. Journey is another game that is extremely therapeutic. When I’ve had a bad day, I put on some comfortable clothes, grab a headset, a blanket and a cup of coffee, and sit back and take a Journey.
In Journey, you play as an unnamed Traveler. Your only goal is to reach the bright, glowing light at the top of the mountain.
It’s a very short game; it can be completed in one sitting in about two hours. Don’t fret: they will be two of the best hours of your life.
Spec Ops: The Line
Released on June 26 for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3
Source: 2K Games
Spec Ops: The Line is a just as much a psychological thriller as it is a dynamic shooter. The story gives players an inside view to the true nature of war and that no one ever leaves the battle as a whole. Although the controls are very much the same as any other shooter, the game itself proves to be action-packed as your controls respond well to what your intentions are. This game was largely overlooked, but not overly forgotten.
The Unfinished Swan
Released on Oct. 23 exclusively for the PlayStation Network (Oct. 13 for PlayStation Plus subscribers)
Developer Giant Sparrow’s first game, The Unfinished Swan, is a beautiful tale that follows a young boy named Monroe through a blank, white world, colored by a black paintball gun.
It plays out like an interactive storybook, bringing to the surface all of the childhood feelings of curiosity and wonder that were lost in the process of growing up.
The Unfinished Swan is another one of those short, artistic gems that can be completed in one or two sittings. It is a magical experience that everyone will enjoy.
Released on Aug. 14 for PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Cloud (OnLive)
Originally titled “True Crime: Hong Kong,” what we now know as “Sleeping Dogs” was supposed to be the third title in the True Crime series. Activision dropped the title, but Square Enix picked it up and gave it its new name. (Source: Game Informer)
This title was thought to be forgotten, a shade to forever linger in development limbo, but Square Enix resurrected the former True Crime title and followed through with its development, making Sleeping Dogs a game that brought us a a great cast of voice actors and a truly enjoyable combat choreography.
Released on Oct. 9 for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3
Source: Game Informer
Dishonored is one of the most underrated games released last year. Made by the people who brought you the Elder Scrolls series, this game infuses the use of weaponry and magic to carry out your assassinations. The replay value of this game is fairly high due to the numerous ways you can complete missions, and also because of the variety of endings. If you’re a dedicated perfectionist, this game will have you glued to the screen for quite a while.
Released on Nov. 18 exclusively for Wii U
A launch title for the Wii U, ZombiU received a lot of criticism from review sites. I respectfully disagree with the negative reviews of ZombiU; it is the best zombie game I have played in a long time.
ZombiU is one of the most talked about launch titles for the Wii U. It takes place in London in 2012, and it puts you in the shoes of people trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. When you die, your character dies with you; you start as a new character. You sometimes run into your old character in zombie form, which is awesome. ZombiU revived the dying survival horror genre and brings players an experience like no other.
If you missed out of any of these games last year, check them out when you get a chance. It's nearly impossible to keep up with all of the great games released every year, but it's never to late to try them out.