2013 was a great year for video games, but when deciding on what game impacted me the most, I always had two games that I kept coming back to. These two games were hands down my favorite experiences of 2013 and both games couldn’t be more different in the gameplay department. But they couldn’t be more similar in how they made me feel long after the games were over.
There were many games that I consider for my game of the year, so I thought I would go over some of those games to set the mood. The first game that comes to mind was the Tomb Raider reboot from game developer Crystal Dynamics. Tomb Raider was an absolute blast, it did some really interesting things with protagonist Laura Croft. Also the crafting and skill trees that were used in the game made it just a riot to play and made me want to keep exploring the island while making Laura more powerful. Tomb Raider allowed the gamer(me) to not only play the game, but grow with Laura as a character.
The other game that comes to mind was also another reboot from developer Ninja Theory, that game was DmC: “Devil May Cry”. DmC came out of no were and left an enormous impression on me. This game wasn’t even on my radar before its release and after playing it for just a couple hours, I found myself not being able to put it down. The story in DmC was very intriguing, but the thing that made DmC a candidate for my game of the year was the hack and slash gameplay. Nothing felt better than getting a 30 or 40 hit combo to defeat an enemy. Such a special game that I feel hasn’t got the credit it deserves.
Lastly, the game that really made my decision tough was from game developer Irrational Games, that game was BioShock Infinite. This game was strange for many reasons. For one I don’t even really like first-person shooters and secondly I hadn’t even played the previous BioShock games. But being a hardcore gamer I thought I’ll give it a try and see how it goes. Wow! the feeling I felt after the credits rolled was one that I had never felt after a game. I felt confused and dumb-founded of what just happened, no game had punched me in the gut like BioShock Infinite. Without giving spoilers, lets just say the game ends in a fashion that most games don’t.
But in the end, there was one game that melded gameplay and story in such a way that I just couldn’t deny my game of the year ….That game was The Last of Us.
The Last Of Us was an experience I will never forget. I picked up the game on mid-night and started playing immediately. The Last Of Us began messing with my emotions right off the bat. 10 mins into the game I felt fear and sadness, I knew this game was going to be something special. I beat the game in two days, it took me 13 hours and 28 mins to complete it on my first try. After I beat the game I told many friends that it was an experience that I would never be able to re-create. I was so wrong, I decided to play the game again on Survivor difficulty.
Playing the game on Survivor makes the player completely change his or hers strategy while playing. Features such as “Listen Mode” are removed from the game and force the player to play each section of the game blind to what will be coming next. This forced me to experience The Last Of Us in a whole new way. I suddenly found myself more frightened and stressed out during the survivor play through. The game-play also changed dramatically, I found myself saving my ammo more wisely and at times decided to attack enemies only if provoked. The incredible story and the amount of times I played through this game make it The Last Of Us not only a great game, but a game that will make people look back 10 years from now and say that changed gaming as we know it. The Last Of Us is an experience that will evoke different emotions in different people. From the soundtrack to the gameplay and even the well crafted cut-scenes. This game is about as close to movie quality as you’re gonna get from any video game.