Games Of The Month: August 2012
With August been and gone we decided to look at what released during the month. Our staff each selected one game and stated the reasons for their choice. From consoles to PC, and even the handhelds, our choices were indeed varied. This is not a definitive list of all the great games that came out in August, it’s merely what our staff enjoyed. Feel free to tell us your picks in the comments below!
If there’s one thing I go nuts for it’s innovation. Give me a gaming experience I’ve not had before and I will throw money at you, christ I even bought Datura. So when Soundshapes appeared (on Vita and PS3 for one purchase) I had to try it. What could be more fun than a music-making fried egg platformer?
Turns out not much, not only does it have an untouchable retro feel to its design, the perfect synergy between sound and vision is a genuine wonder and has to be played to be believed. Add to that the brilliant play-create-share element and this game is not just game of the month, it’s one of the year’s essential purchases.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Few games were released in August that I purchased but of the ones I did, Counter-Strike stands out simply because of how much of a back-to-basics and purely addictive experience it truly is.
I never had the opportunity to play the earlier iterations of Counter-Strike when the rest of the world did, so Global Offensive was my first experience of the CS formula and what an experience that was, and still is. The game simply gives you a gun, an enemy team to go up against and tells you to get on with it, and whether you succeed or fail, fun will still be had by those competing. There is an inherent charm and sense of competition in Counter-Strike that refuses to be diminished regardless of how age tests it.
Make no mistake that Global Offensive is a game designed with a mouse and keyboard setup in kind, making the use of a controller in the game difficult to get used to, but once you’ve overcome that obstacle, GO is an updated version of one of the strongest and most influential multiplayer shooters and even in 2012, it stands tall with its crown gleaming in the glory.
The Walking Dead Episode Three “Long Road Ahead”
Telltale show their strength in the third episode of their The Walking Dead game which covers a mature subject with an ease and subtlety; something rare within video games. Having multiple other titles that failed over the course of episodic releases it’s great to see Telltale finally hit the sweet spot and provide something that is haunting and nuanced.
Long Road Ahead forces players to make choices they should never have to make and will have you begging for some way to ease the decision as a timer runs down; no matter how horrific things get the joy and relief from the minor moments of clarity is beyond compare. Long Road Ahead moves away from focus on the simplicity of a zombie attack and turns inwards, looking at the characters that fill the ever shrinking roster, their motivations and very existence. Although an episode within a larger release and something that lasts little over two hours it deserves credit for the boundaries it successfully stretches with such ease and confidence.
With so many games that have been released on an almost continuous schedule this year, choices are becoming difficult to make due to sheer volume of content! One which particularly caught my eye this past month was Sleeping Dogs. It snuck under my radar as a game I didn’t really pay too much attention to, however nearing its release and having more time to focus on new titles coming out, this caught my eye.
The gritty story being set in the ghettos of Hong Kong, then letting you have free reign to choose where to direct your in-game puppet. As is typical of a Square Enix game, you will not be left wanting! From the combat system to in game interactions, stunning visuals and brutal fight scenes. This may appeal to a lot of people wishing they could become Jet Li for a day, or perhaps this is the game you wish to avoid. There are plenty of other releases in August which will be sure to satisfy your hunger!
Guild Wars 2
The whole MMORPG deal has become a poison chalice for many, both industry-wise and consumer-wise. The required grind is always something that halts the enjoyment of any MMO. Guild Wars 2 throws out the grind and instead gives you a beautiful world to explore and enjoy. Sure there is quests to be completed but they are presented and carried out in such a wonderful way.
Not once did I ever think to myself that completing a quest was a chore. At no point does Guild Wars 2 send players in a relay race between NPCs, instead Guild Wars 2 just lets you play. The gameplay is smooth and accessible while offering depth. The PvE and PvP is outstanding. The world is stunning and easily a contender for one of the best looking games of our time. Guild Wars 2 is truly a beautifully crafted piece of work that needs to experienced by all. Game of the month? Certainly, Game of the year? It just might be.