Category Archives: 2012

The top three games of 2012.

Best of 2012: Journey

I have counted down my top three games that I played in 2012. Slender: The Eight Pages and the Walking Dead were number 3 and 2 respectively, but now without further ado I present to you the best game that I played in 2012, Journey.

Journey is PS3-exclusive downloadable title that was made by thatgamecompany (that’s literally their name). It was recently released on disc along with thatgamecompany’s other two games: Flow and Flower. Journey is unlike any video game I’ve ever played. It is the strongest argument for video games being art in video game history.

Journey begins with a robed creature sitting in the desert. The player gains control of this person and makes their way towards a mountain looming in the distance. The player finds a magical scarf that allows them to briefly jump and float. The goal of the game is to reach the mountain. Almost every level features a wall of symbols (similar to hieroglyphics) that shows the player brief cut-scenes that vaguely depict the history of the land the player is passing through. This back-story mirrors the journey of the player  appropriate each level. The story of Journey is essentially a minimalist approach to the heroic journey that video games have preference for telling (Legend of Zelda being the most notable example). However, despite the common use of this trope among other video games, Journey is anything but cliché. There are no words of dialogue, and no lines of text. The story is told entirely through imagery, and it is up to the player to fill in the details.

Whether it’s alone or with a complete stranger, the trek to the distant mountain is a deceptively simple story.

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Best of 2012: The Walking Dead

This week I’ll be counting down the top three games of 2012, leading up to choice for the best game released this year. Please keep in mind that I can’t talk about a game unless I’ve played it so if your favorite game is left out, then most likely I didn’t play it.

Based on the comic book series of the same name (which also inspired a TV show), Telltale Game’s The Walking Dead is one of the best written games of this year.  Released online in five episodes over a few months and now out on disc, the first “season” is a dark, thought-provoking drama. It’s a point and click adventure game. After this game, the genre might just be rising out of the grave (get it?).

The aesthetics evoke the comic book that the story is based on. It also stands out from the bigger Triple-A titles.

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Best of 2012: Slender: The Eight Pages

Starting this week I’ll be counting down the top three games of 2012, leading up to choice for the best game released this year. Please keep in mind that I can’t talk about a game unless I’ve played it so if your favorite game is left out, then most likely I didn’t play it.

Slender is an independent horror game that was released in June for the PC. There isn’t a better antithesis of the big-budget triple-A video game than Slender: The Eight Pages. Slender was not released so much as it was discovered. There was no marketing campaign, and it’s free. It’s a first-person horror game and a damn good one at that.

The player controls a young child in the middle of a forest at night. Visibility is very poor as a dense fog shrouds the forest. You have no weapons or items except for a flashlight, with a draining battery, that can be turned on and off. You can briefly sprint but the distance you can run lessens with use. Upon starting the game, the player is told to collect eight pages.

Each page offers little more than a cryptic message, the origins of which is unknown.

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