#10 – Mass Effect 3
- Developer: BioWare
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- NA Release Date: March 6, 2012
- Read WGTC’s full Mass Effect 3 review
Christian Law – When has the third entry in a series ever been the best? Just look at The Godfather Part 3 or Back To The Future Part 3 for proof of that theory. But leave it to the already fantastic Mass Effect series to save the best for last. Revamped gameplay, an epic, sprawling plot, and deep characterization all came together to present a near perfect ending to the beloved series.
By this point, your Shepard has been through more than anyone can imagine, carrying the weight of all life (sentient and non) on his/her shoulders. The final battle against the Reapers, with the might of many universes at your back, represents a culmination of the grand scope that this series has covered in the past few years. Characters you’ve grown to love will die in front of your eyes if you’re not careful, and more than a few will have their loyalty challenged based on the decisions Shepard will make.
The usual good/evil morality system is deeper in Mass Effect 3 than in any game ever before, presenting players with choices that have no clear answer. Who are we to make decisions that could destroy entire species? It’s an experience that requires multiple playthroughs just to see the effects of each choice.
Not only is Mass Effect 3 packed with several moments of high-adrenaline action (the sprint to the conduit at the end is my favorite sequence of the year), but it packs a powerful emotional punch that fans of the series have been waiting years for. The final assault on Earth contains images of a shattered world that will break your heart and replace it with rage towards a race that has no love for our species.
Mass Effect 3 is the definition of a masterpiece, plain and simple.
#9 – Quantum Conundrum
- Developer: Airtight Games
- Publisher: Square Enix
- NA Release Date: June 21, 2012
- Read WGTC’s full Quantum Conundrum review
Justin Alderman – Without a doubt, the best first-person puzzle platformer with a snarky narrator (FPPSN) released this year was Quantum Conundrum from Airtight Games. Thanks to Kim Swift’s influence as director, the game’s structure will be extremely familiar for anyone who has played Portal (the mother of the FPPPSN sub-genre). However, once you move past the basic similarities, you will find that Quantum Conundrum offers its own unique set of puzzles that surpass its predecessor in many ways.
Instead of solving puzzle rooms using portals, Quantum Conundrum has the player take control of an IDS glove that lets them switch between four dimensions — all of which drastically change the physical properties of all objects in the room — on the fly. Its a little hard to grasp at first, but after a short while it becomes second nature to throw a plush safe in the Fluffy dimension, switch to the Slow dimension to easily hop on the now steel safe, and then flip the Reverse Gravity dimension on and off to ride the airborne safe across a deep chasm.
By the way, that is exactly as much fun as it sounds!
Add a whimsical cartoon art style and witty/snarky commentary from the player’s crazy scientist uncle — who is voiced by John de Lancie of Star Trek fame — to the dimension shifting puzzle formula, and you have all the makings for one of the best video games released in 2012.
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