Top Games of 2010: Andy Daniel's Choices

By Andy Daniel

Top Games of 2010

In each of these "Top Games of 2010" features one contributor to the site will detail their three favourite titles from the year, and explain why they made those choices. They will also provide an "indie choice", highlighting one of the best games from the independent scene. First up is writer and Creative Editor Andy Daniel.

Everyone loves jetpacks

Everyone loves jetpacks

Halo Reach (360)

If there was anything that had me glued to my Xbox 360 for the most number of over-prolonged sessions this year it was Halo Reach. Most other games feel very rough around the edges compared to Bungie's sign-off masterpiece. The story is very compelling. It should take a good 12 hours on the campaign (double it if you want to play it on Legendary difficulty) and another good 4 or 5 hours in Firefight before you get your fill of single player, and then 4,934 hours (rough estimate) of the multiplayer, helped along with the barrage of challenges and the pursuit of commendations that keep your attention better than strippers juggling monkeys juggling bananas can do.

Press X to Jason!

Press X to Jason!

Heavy Rain (PS3)

This was the first game I ever completed in one sitting. Not because it was a short campaign, it was a sizable 10 hours for me. No it was because I was completely hooked from start to finish in this epic 'interactive drama'. Heavy Rain comprises the core basics but does it very well: 4 playable characters and one heck of a thrilling plot revolving around the mysterious Origami Killer. Knowing that every action of mine could have severe consequences kept the edge, and Quantic Dream delivered on every promise.
Review - 9/10

Blur (360/PS3/PC)

Grown up Mario Kart. It says it all really. Licensed cars with power ups that are carefully balanced enough to be able to narrowly win against a dozen other racers, online or offline? Yes please! This arcade racer got absolutely everything right: AI, power ups, tracks, cars, car control, alongside a brilliant colourful neon menu theme and finely tuned multiplayer. This is my racer of the year. I just wish that Activision did a better job of advertising it so there were more online players... and so they would have avoided the sell off/kill off situation for Bizarre Creations.

My close contenders each with a brief reason:

  • Split/Second: Velocity (360/PS3/PC)
    A fantastic concept and execution but a lack of maps alongside poor car handling and extremely inconsistent enemy AI bring this game down to the brink of frustration comparable to being strapped to a cactus and having cats claw your shins.
    Review - 7/10
  • Medal of Honor (360/PS3/PC)
    A brilliant return to form for the series but it was too little too late, and heralds a return to the over saturation of the shooter genre (cast your mind back over the millions of WWII shooters)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops - aka COD Blops (360/PS3/PC)
    Treyarch's best work yet, but unfortunately it doesn’t compare to Infinity Ward’s finest moments in Modern Warfare 2. At least it's attempting a new era for shooters.
  • Alan Wake (360)
    Really compelling story and gameplay, if a little dry and sparse. What made this game lose out to the favourite? The ending. Cliffhanger endings walk a fine line between classy and frustrating. Alan Wake unfortunately fell in to the latter.
  • Fable III (360)
    A very interesting storyline, being a rebel then taking the throne and becoming a bored diplomat. However, it is a diluted form of the previous incarnations and has regressed far too much to feel like a genuine sequel.

Indie Choice: Minecraft (PC)

The game that commanded my attention the most this year. Since the humble beginnings of figuring out this strange, pixelly world inhabited with square sheep and the inevitable exploding phalluses, I’ve mastered the world of Minecraft: building solid defenses and mining down to the precious diamond and obsidian below to make the awesome tools to build kick-ass structures. Imagination is not required for the rapidly improving adventure mode, but for the best experience be sure to play with some friends.

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