Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Gearbox Software
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC, OS X, PS Vita
Our Top 5 bestest, most extra special video games of gamescom 2012.
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Gamescom is over and we sure had fun, so here’s our Top 5 games from this year’s German expo, only this time we’ve decided to hand out a series of bolt-based awards for our favourite games. The Top 3 titles win Bronze, Silver and Golden Bolt respectively with the biggest pleasant surprise being awarded the Bolt From the Blue award.
5. Sim City
One of the best possible thing you could want from a reboot is that breathes new life into a classic franchise by updating and refining it to meet more modern expectations, and that’s precisely what Sim City does.
The interface is sleek and refined, polished yet still easily navigable. They key difference is the implementation of more social, competitive elements. This is the first Sim City to feature bonafide interconnected online modes, pitching cities either against each other or forcing them to work side-by-side.
Online regions shake up the entire city dynamic, inviting real players into your region to create vast, interconnected states, each affecting one another is hitherto unknown ways.
Even small tweaks like pollution creating visible and tangible smog bring a degree of authenticity into your cities; never before has a Sim City game felt as alive as this.
4. Borderlands 2
There was a time when first and foremost games stood for fun, carnage and vomiting through joy. Borderlands 2 is all that and then some, a robust exploration into what’ll be one of the most joyous 4-person co-op experiences you’re ever likely to have.
Refined and injected with ever more personality than before, Borderlands 2 makes Pandora more open and more varied than ever before. It’s only now you can really look back and accuse the original Borderlands of Chronic Brown Syndrome even though it’s one of the more colourful entrants into the shooter genre.
In fact, Borderlands 2 makes Borderlands look like crap, taking every element and extrapolating it to ridiculous ends, which is really what the Borderlands ethos is all about.
Oh, and Tiny Tina, she’s the absolute boss.
Winner of gamescom 2012 Bronze Bolt and Bolt From the Blue.
Now for something completely different, and perhaps the surprising entrant into our gamescom 2012 Top 5 list. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a 2K reboot of a classic 1990’s turn based strategy game widely regarded as having some of the very best PC titles of that era. To the extent that to this day the 1994 UFO: Enemy Unknown -coined XCOM in the American and PlayStation releases- still garners an impressive fanbase.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown manages the spectacular feat of both being being a slick, turn-based strategy game for the current generation, but also captures the very essence of 90’s PC gaming in a neat little bag of nostalgia. The pre-rendered cutscenes whilst in glorious High Definition hark back to the juddery, pixelated mush of games gone-by, gently tickling your reminiscence in a way that’s almost magical.
The turn-based nature provides a plethora of tactical possibility and ingenuity, one can’t simply blame a faster trigger finger for failure in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, for failure you are to blame. Failure also has consequence too, once a solider is dead then forever they are departed from this world, meaning these seemingly faceless individuals may garner significance for the playing; potentially a significant disheartening loss both tactically and also emotionally.
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