Looking back on the best 5 games of 2012 – I’ll warn you now, some of them are contentious!
At number five it’s Sleeping Dogs. It’s basically a Grand Theft Auto game with slightly less humour but a much better game mechanic. Set in Hong Kong, you’re an undercover agent working for the cops and the Triads but as with most undercover stories, your loyalties are soon tested. With a superb combat system that almost matches those of Arkham City and Asylum, this is definitely worth picking up before GTA V eclipses everything.
At four it’s FIFA 13. After playing 12 it was tricky to see how the game could be improved but EA Canada have delivered in spades. With a tonne of new features on the pitch including First Touch Control, Face Up Dribbling and a refined Player Impact Engine as well as a highly addictive FIFA Ultimate Team and management mode this is definitely the best football game ever made.
Sneaking into number three it’s Hitman: Absolution, Agent 47’s been away for over 6 years but he’s come back stronger than ever. The game may borrow heavily from Splinter Cell and Arkham City but it still feels very much like a Hitman game with so many different ways to deal death to your hits that it’s guaranteed to keep you coming back for more.
Taking the number two slot, it’s Far Cry 3. I thought I’d had enough of open-world FPSs but this one surprised me with superb voice acting, a rich, lush island to explore and plenty of extra items to discover and collect. This one really is more than the sum of its parts and I just couldn’t put it down so that’s why it takes the runner up spot. So what’s number one?
It has to be Mass Effect 3. Although some fans were disappointed by the ending, I found it quite a ride as the Reapers prepare to assault Earth and Commander Shepard has to recruit all and sundry from around the galaxy to come together against this superior threat to life as we know it. With breath-taking set pieces and characters we’ve genuinely come to care about over the last 5 years this one is a fitting end to a trilogy that in my opinion is the best science-fiction world ever created.