Editor’s picks: top games of 2012

Editor’s picks: top games of 2012

What have we been playing in 2012? It’s been a vintage year for video games, with some great new games and some excellent sequels too.
I asked some of our international editorial team what their favorite gaming experiences were this year. Read on to see if you agree with our choices!

Daniel (Italy):

Maybe because I wasn’t familiar with the previous games, or maybe because I wasn’t aware of my killer nature, but Hitman: Absolution made me fall in love with Fiber Wire and the silencer.
I’ve never been a fan of pure violence nor of pure stealth, but with its five difficulty levels, plenty of ways to kill and a customizable gameplay, I enjoyed Hitman right from the start. I ended up playing over and over the same levels changing strategy every time in the search of the prefect murder.
I still haven’t finished the game, but after trying the Contracts mode, I already know I’m going to enjoy replaying the it by challenging other users to achieve better kills than mine. After spending many years following Ezios’s adventures in Assassin’s Creed, I now think that the return of Agent 47 Desmond’s descendants will remain unemployed…

Daniel - Softonic Italy

Jose Maria (Spain):

Although every year there’s a new version, FIFA 13 is one of my favorite games of this year thanks to its constant improvements. Each year there are more teams and players plays in the field, with more realistic graphics. FIFA 13 has much improved gameplay, a more realistic and demanding AI and an huge list of play modes. There’s a very complete online mode, and the training minigames are great fun, making cool little arcade games by themselves.

Jose Maria - Softonic Spain

Fernanda (Brazil):

Asphalt 7: Heat has the essential elements to make anyone fall in love with it (and it would be difficult for anyone to argue against it). It is easy to play. It lets you tune up your car (you can customize the vehicle from the body to the windows film). The graphics are so good that it sounds like you really are driving through Hawaii, Rio de Janeiro, London and Havana. The cars have different limitations and performances. And despite its main goal – to cross the finish line first – there are several smaller missions that can get rid any boredom you may feel.

Some people may say, ‘oh no, not another arcade racing game’. But please give Asphalt 7: Heat a chance. Crashes are spectacular. You can play alone or with others in multiplayer mode. There are 6 different game modes, 15 leagues and 150 races, so Asphalt 7: Heat has plenty of depth. The only thing you might really miss is the smell of burnt tires.

Fernanda - Softonic Brazil

Jan-Hendrik (Germany):

I like freedom in games and strong, edgy characters. Assassin’s Creed 3 offers both. The player’s character – Connor – wanders through a broad open word, hunts wild animals, collects treasure, jumps from tree to tree or plunders wagons. I prefer Assassin’s Creed 3’s great animated close combats, epic sea fights and compelling story over previous episodes from the franchise. Strong, believable motivations push Connor and make me want to help him. Only the tacked on multiplayer disappointed me.

Jan-Hendrik - Softonic Germany

Jonathan (US/UK):

Sure, the ending was controversial (even more so when I was interrupted halfway through the closing scene!) but Mass Effect 3 for me was still an epic end to an excellent trilogy. My only criticism was that the Reaper invasion made me fell I should rush through, the thought of all those people dying didn’t make me hang around and explore like I did in Mass Effect 2. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the improved combat, the huge set pieces, and saying goodbye to the memorable cast of characters.
The game I actually spent the most time with this year was a surprise: the iOS version of New Star Soccer, which is just incredibly addictive.

Jonathan - Softonic US

Rutger (Netherlands):

The game I played most this year was without a doubt Max Payne 3. The graphics of this masterpiece are astonishing, and although the gameplay is quite linear, it was so challenging that it was hard for me to stop playing. Games nowadays are more focused on graphics than gameplay and are often way too easy. This is not the case with Max Payne 3. Our hero died and died and died, completely outnumbered by all those Brazilian gangsters. At times I wondered if I’d be able to beat certain parts, but I kept coming back for more. The soundtrack also helped me to enjoy every second of Max Payne 3.

Rutger - Softonic Netherlands

Raúl (Spain):

Hotline Miami is undoubtedly my game of the year. Look beyond the outdated graphics, and you find a game where every shot, beaten enemy and completed level is enjoyable.
Playing is easy, as is dying. It’s this constant risk that makes the game so alive, as you’re constantly aware that the simplest error means death. Shots that miss by a hair’s breadth, fast paced non-stop dueling, desperate moments when you think to yourself ‘I’m out of bullets and I’m going to die’, frantically searching for a weapon… I don’t know if the developers consciously tried to make a game reminiscent of the best Tarantino or John Woo moments, but that is what they have achieved. The soundtrack is probably the best I’ve heard in the last few years.
Hotline Miami has a special atmosphere, indeed it’s a special game. It grabs you immediately, gets you hooked like a drug, and pulls you incessantly through its psychotropic world, before returning you to your computer chair. Game of the year.

Raúl - OnGames

Samuel (France):

I was simply amazed by Far Cry 3. With this chapter, the saga returns to its roots by displaying sublime graphics nearing the quality of tech demos! How could you not be charmed by the game’s wild and lush landscapes? And what about the gameplay? A subtle cocktail of tense skirmishes mixed with phases of exploration. And don’t even start me on its cast of half-crazy characters!
If Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is the equivalent of a war movie, Far Cry 3 is more of a summer movie à la Indiana Jones. Exotic, refreshing and extremely effective. My favorite game of the year! Far Cry 3 is that great!

Samuel - Softonic France

Radek (Poland):

Euro Truck Simulator 2 is one of those game that doesn’t come to your mind in the flood of COD, MOH, NFS, GTA, WOW, etc. Nevertheless it fills interesting niche in the market of simulators and driving sims. Are you really excited by pushing yet another nitro button in your flashy, pimped-out car? If you like, as I do, a little bit more realism and challenge, try Euro Truck Simulator 2. Even if you are not a big fan of trucks, you might find this game interesting, because it has such a realistic, polished driving experience, and you can sit back and enjoy the highways of Europe

Radek - Softonic Poland

Lewis (US):

I didn’t expect to fall in love with The Walking Dead game but I did. On paper, The Walking Dead seems like a run-of-the-mill point and click adventure game. On the surface, that’s exactly what it is but it’s the story that makes The Walking Dead a game to remember.

The most impressive thing about The Walking Dead game is how dynamic the story is. There is a warning at the beginning of each episode about how every decision you make affects the outcome of the story. After comparing notes with my friends and other players who’ve played the game, each of our stories were unique. Even weeks after finish the game, I often find myself thinking back to my experience playing The Walking Dead in reverie.

If you want a great story that forces you to make some truly agonizing decisions, The Walking Dead is not to be missed.

Lewis - Softonic US

So, what were your favorite games this year? Let us know!

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