What We Have Been Playing – January 2013
Each month of the year our regular staff members come together to tell you what each of them have been playing over the past few weeks, we like to call this our Monster Month. Read on to find out what each of us have been playing over the month, as well as give an insight in the games we are looking forward to playing in the coming month.
Hack and slashing through January.
I have been rather busy with the latest hack and slash that is DMC, I even written a nice review on the game. DMC has been one game that has kicked of 2013 in style and sure will have some more contenders on the way with Dead Space 3, Tomb Raider, GTA V, and also with E3 on the horizon, plenty more surprises on the way from the big companies that want to take our bucks.
Another game I have enjoyed playing this month was Forza Horizon and I still play on when I just feel like wanting to drive casually around Colorado in the latest Jaguar. The latest DLC for the game was a rather let down for me and my review reflects that.
A Far Cry from 2012 being over
It has been a mixed month in January. While I have played catchup on some missed gems of 2012, I have also had to review Zone of Enders HD.
Zone of Enders was an average game that I found myself playing to review rather than because I wanted to play it or was drawn to it.
LEGO Lord of the Rings is a great little platformer and what you would expect from a LEGO game, if you have played any of the previous LEGO titles that came before it. I have not even scratched the service of what I know will be an entertaining romp through Middle Earth. It took up the start of the month but was quickly eclipsed by my main love of January 2013, Far Cry 3.
As we did our roundup of 2012’s best game, my vote would have gone to Walking Dead or Hitman: Absolution but I hadn’t played Far Cry 3 yet. What a game. This is the best game of last year by a mile. This could be the best game of the decade so far (next to Skyrim).
Far Cry 3 – This is how to make an FPS. The environment is expansive; the story a perfect mix between open world and linear shooter. The plot is immersive as you fill the role of Jason Brody and take part in saving his friends. The villain as his counterpart, Vaas is exceptional and one of the best villains I have seen since Bowser or Robotnik. Literally, I cannot write a love letter to this game as I would gush and become nonsensical, it is just so good.
Then before you know it, January has been and gone and I have missed the release of DMC and now have 5 or 6 games I am looking forward to getting hold of in February and March. How does that saying go? Time flies when you are having fun, and January has been a fun month for gaming!
New Year, new you… kinda
The expression “New Year, new you” was one that was thrown around at the start of 2013. This is something I decided to adopt, though I wish I hadn’t.
Rise of the Guardians, based on the film of the same name, was certainly an experience. In my review of the game, I described it as a title that “doesn’t bring anything new or exciting to the table… This is one to avoid”.
However, another expression is that “some things never change” and the fact that Halo 4 and FIFA 13 have been on a rotation system in my console’s disc tray has proved that.
Halo 4 certainly does the series justice and, while the single player has remained untouched since I completed the campaign, the multiplayer certainly has the legs. This is a game I can see myself playing for another few months. As for FIFA, it’s really easy to play a single match then switch off (unless I tell myself I have time for “one more game”).
Looking ahead, unfortunately there’s nothing that particularly stands out in February – the perfect opportunity for gamers to return to their ‘pile of shame’. Although, Halo 4 does look pretty tempting…
Just one more outpost…
The first month of the year had me raiding many remaining outposts around the island in Far Cry 3. Suffering with the post Christmas Man Flu, Far Cry 3 saw me through my physical highs and lows. With the game now complete I found my self hooked, almost OCD-like addicted, as I just had to secure the outposts that remained on the map.
Each outpost in Far Cry 3 felt like a puzzle. The antenna masts also became a huge 3D maze whilst climbing to the top, and it was this that made me realise that if I didn’t play the game sooner, it would have been my game of the year in 2012. The game has been brilliant fun throughout, being plonked on the island and told to survive and make do just opens up the many possibilities – brilliant.
The next few months tell me it’s going to get very busy in gaming. If I can get a fresh clean pair of “backup pants” I might attempt Dead Space 3, which is looking good if the demo is anything to go by. Crysis 3 also hits in February along with Aliens: Colonial Marines. So it goes without saying, there is going to be plenty of alien butt-kicking next month.
This must be it, welcome to the new year
This past month brought not only my birthday, but a decent chunk of gaming as well, which helped me cope with the underlining depression of growing yet another year older.
I started January out with the newly released Retro City Rampage; a love letter to the 1980s and gaming in general. Filled to the brim with parodies and cameos, I found the game to be a fresh revisit to the days of gaming’s past, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. (Even if I’m still stuck on the final boss due to the fact after dying 100+ times I nearly had an aneurysm.)
Next was something totally different from the ‘hack n’ slash’ genre. DmC: Devil May Cry and Anarchy Reigns, both of which I found to be solid games, but lacking in the story-telling department. Anarchy Reigns’ storyline feeling a tad flat, and DmC becoming nearly embarrassing at times.
Next month’s gaming will be spent pretending that Dead Space 3 is actually a game based off John Carpenter’s film “The Thing”, hacking up cyborg watermelons in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and wishing I had a better PC while playing Crysis 3.
Finishing old games
Well, January has been and gone again and I have a plethora of old games completed as is expected of a dry month!
I started by running through Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare which was an absolute pain on veteran. It was a time where developers thought making a difficult harder was having your enemies one shot you from any distance, so popping your head out of cover meant bye bye! After that I polished off Far Cry 3, which was a nice change from the torture beforehand. This game is stunning and for any of you who have yet to play it I would highly recommend picking it up – even with all the new games hitting in a matter of weeks!
Dead Space and Dead Space 2 were finish off to make way for Dead Space 3 and it was great re-visiting this series and made me super excited for the third instalment. If you think Resident Evil has gone the way of the dodo (even though I like the newer ones) then Dead Space is the game for you. It has everything that makes survival horror work and has a gripping story with fascinating characters to boot.
The game I spent most time on was Fallout 3. Yes, I know I’m late to the party on this one but I’ve finally finished it all and I loved it! I nabbed New Vegas too but I don’t think I’m ready to climb into another Fallout game so quickly, however the news surrounding Fallout 4 has me very excited! I cannot wait for a reveal of that one.
After these console games I spent a while shifting some of the many Windows Phone games I have to finish such as iBlast Moki, geoDefense and Cut The Rope, which are all equally fun and a good way to spend your time on a long train journey!
With Ni no Kuni released this week, I am going to finally put some hours in on my PlayStation 3, which is long overdue and I don’t know when I’ll next be touching the Xbox 360…properly…
So that wraps up our Monster Month for January. Why not let us know what YOU have been playing this past month, leave us your gaming antics in the comments below! Until next month, happy gaming to all our fellow Monsters!