Year in consumables: 2010 games

Halo: Reach cover artAnd you, future OB1, went crazy as past OB1, writing lists on this day.

Unfortunately, there is no summer 2010 post to fall back on for a games post, so this is straight thoughtworks. Why couldn’t past, past OB1 have written a half year post on games instead of wasting his time on movies. That would have been more useful right now since past OB1 didn’t want to write about movies anymore. (Because they mostly all suck.)

Good thing your Xbox Live achievements will help guide you in making out this list, although you maybe played a PS3 game or two. Maybe. We’ll have to see, but doubtful it would make a ranking list.

In looking back to the past, this should be a Top 5 list, so we’ll go with that, but first, here’s what I played in 2010:

  • Batman: Arkham Asylum
  • Splinter Cell: Conviction
  • LEGO Indiana Jones 2
  • Rainbow Six: Vegas 2
  • Shadow Complex (XBLA)
  • Crackdown 2
  • Assassin’s Creed 2: Brotherhood
  • Fable III
  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  • Halo: Reach

No PS3 games in there, so that means for more than a year it was just a Blu-ray player. In fact, I have played only four games total on that system since I have had one. Which is what Sony gets for being late to the party and weak with the on-line once they did get there. And their controller, which I hate. Big hands.

Anyway, back to the point.

With only 10 games in the list, picking a top 5 is ridiculous, so let’s do three. Particularly since many of those games weren’t even released in 2010.

1. Halo: Reach
I’m not one to keep you in suspense, since you should know what game you picked, so that’s why I lead with the top game as the image. Not that others would know, but they don’t read here anymore because you don’t really write here anymore. Facebook. Meh.

I feel glowing

So, social network digression aside, there’s no way this game doesn’t win considering I picked the underrated Halo: ODST last year. This game brought me to the point of “Master Chief who?” The only thing I still don’t like about this series is the inability to play in a third person view all the time if you so choose. I get why maybe not in multiplayer, but in Firefight or campaign, why not? Not like anyone is sneaking up on you for an assassination there?

Me being assassinated
Me being assassinated, likely by a 12 year old

Plus the engine supports it because you go in that view when wielding a heavy weapon. I’m all for staying within the perspective upon which the franchise was built, but having an option is good too.

Anyway, the game is simply beautiful and it bums me out that the beauty of Bungie’s engine is not continuing on to Halo 4 with 343 Industries. Let’s hope they don’t F it up to much. Back to the “Master Chief who,” because the characters in this game made me care more about people in the Halo Universe than in any previous installment. Sure, the Chief and Cortana have a good story, but with what they did with the characters in ODST, and now in Reach, Bungie really started to show how a straight action game can make you care about characters given the care to do so. (Mass Effect is still the best for this, but it isn’t a full-on action game.)

The changed up weapons were good and bad; some that were good are gone but other new good ones came into play like the DMR. The system of earning Commendations and completing Daily and Weekly Challenges was simply brilliant and had me playing this game in earnest nearly a full year after its release. Trying to earn enough credits to continue building a bad ass Spartan armor set, or just your own Master Chief or Emile armor set was such a huge motivation, never mind just grinding thru so many games of Firefight figuring out new and different ways to dispatch Covies.

Wait for it...


It was even fun to just play around with making cool screenshots of your Spartan in action. So many hours spent playing this game I would have been happy buying it five times over.

Where is the rainbow?

You talkin to me?

Emile has him covered while I complete the kill

2. Assassin’s Creed 2: Brotherhood
Ubisoft takes a similar approach as Bungie with continuing a story that very well could have been part of the original game; re: ODST. Similar, but not exact. Anyway, by opening up Rome as a map and game unto its own, we get to continue our adventure with Ezio Auditore and get some history lessons at the same time.

I recall some folks poo-pooing this game as nothing more than a overblown DLC, but so not true. (You won’t remember it because future OB1 has a bad memory.) There is nothing wrong with having a game continue on from a previous “episode.” Not every game needs to take forever to complete or use a new engine or all that. Once you get a story and engine built out that work, start cranking out the content. If it was done right, people will buy it.

The addition of multiplayer here went unnoticed by me as it held no interest. It did seem to be an interesting take on it though and I did fire it up a few times for this game’s next episode, Brotherhood, to gain a few achievements. That said, adding multiplayer to games that don’t need it never made sense to me. Sure, good business sense for the developers as they attempt to keep people from selling their games used and turning over potential profits to GameStop instead of themselves, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t fully work that way, does it.

Great game that I will play again in the future. Because I still have mine. I do need an original Assassin’s Creed though, I had borrowed that from Ed instead of buying my own. I think I can download that one though. Which, really, should soon be the future distribution channel for everyone. I’m sure you, future OB1, is laughing at that now. Game disc what?

3. Splinter Cell: Conviction
Wow, so the top 3 are all continuations of a prior franchise? Yes, I’m sorry that this is the case, but it does say above that once you have a good story and engine you can crank it out. Well, this one had a new engine, I think, but that’s okay, they didn’t mess with the game play too much.

And, that was definitely a concern in anticipation of this title since Ubisoft had started it a long time prior and flushed it to start again. And also the thought behind Sam Fisher not being a government operative anymore, but “retired” didn’t sit well until you played it. Then you remembered the same thoughts about it’s predecessor Double Agent and recalled how that turned out okay too. That said, the gameplay was great and the story did not let down either.

The c0-op multiplayer was also welcome, which I always prefer over multiplayer versus, mostly because 12 year olds will always shoot me in the face more often than not. Anyway, it is 2012 now and where is the next installment? I’d think Fisher can still kick ass when he needs a cane or walker to get around. Bring it!

(Did they bring it future OB1?)

As for the rest, it was hard to not pick Batman: Arkham Asylum for the third slot, especially it being the best superhero game ever made. But them’s the breaks. Maybe its sequel, Arkham City, will make the 2011 list. Also, I really considered Shadow Complex, but that game came out earlier than 2010 and I had just finally got around to playing it. It was a super fun, “retro” game to play. There are definitely some great Xbox Live Arcade games out there like this one and I really wish there were more. These kind of games could definitely fill the time of year before and after the holidays since all major games now seem to only drop two months before Xmas, leaving us with nothing soon after, especially over the Summer, to play.

Fable III was also excellent, and really, this whole thing around a ranking list is stupid. I tend to only play great games anyway. So, playing out another chapter in the Fable world was of course welcome. And, it was another example of getting a new story out on the same, or similar, engine to its pred. Sure, they tweaked some things for better or worse. but the game was still a pleasure and I do need to get back and play it some more some time soon. I guess that’s what the Summer is for, playing older games again?

Bad Company 2 was good, but not as enjoyable as the first. While it kept the excellent humor of the first, since we had the same characters, it did change some game play elements which were missed. Crackdown 2 was a surprise and somewhat of a disappointment. Surprised because it didn’t suck as much as folks thought since it was not the original developers, but disappointing because it wasn’t different enough from the first in the right areas. It differed in bad spots and I eventually lost interest. I may go back and play again, but it might need to be co-op, and that doesn’t seem likely. On the whole, still too bad since the first game was a surprise number 1 for me the year it dropped.

I wish you could answer all these for me now future OB1. Especially the one about whether Halo 4 will turn out well or not. That’s the way that goes though, right? You are thinking the same thing about future, future OB1. At least both of you agree that past OB1 writing about you is stupid.