As many people do when an old year becomes a new one, I’ve been looking back on the previous 12 months. I’ve been trying to recall any important life lessons that I might have been taught by this past year’s stable of videogame releases and I’ve made a list.
Here’s my top five things that 2012’s games have taught me, in no particular order. Because top five lists are terribly important for videogames websites and that.
What? Who, me? No, I wasn't following you. Look, it's a small island, okay?!
Wildlife enthusiasts have been telling us all for years that leopards are endangered. They say this beautiful animal has been hunted to dangerously low numbers by people who would quite like to make coats out of their fur for rich people with no taste. That’s clearly a load of rubbish.
I played Far Cry 3 this year and I don’t think I was ever more than ten yards away from a leopard, except for the times when I was being chewed by a tiger. Or a shark. Apart from those times, it was all leopards all the time.
They’re sneaky buggers. No sooner do you settle down into the shrubbery of a batshit crazy polynesian island, intent on replacing bits of goat with bits of arrow, than a leopard jumps out and eats your face. Every time.
The world needs another Micro Machines – MotorStorm RC
Now, MotorStorm RC was a great game, one of my favourite Vita games of the year. But I had one issue with it for the entire time I played it: I never got to drive around a chequered table-cloth, dodging puddles of milk and weaving between Cheerios.
As good as MotorStorm RC was, it simply reminded be that the greatest local multiplayer racer ever to grace a games console had been away for too long. It’s time to bring back Micro Machines.
You don’t need rings or cloaks to be invisible, just lean! – Dishonored.
Dishonored was packed full of important lessons about trust and duty and the importance of hiding your arcane runes a little more carefully. But the biggest revelation I garnered from Dishonored was the irrefutable fact that, as long as I’m only leaning, I become completely imperceptible to the human eye.
I discovered this while crouched behind a desk in somebody’s office. I think they were an overseer or G-Man from Half Life or maybe that shady dude from V for Vendetta, I wasn’t really paying attention. Anyway, I was crouched there, barely concealed by the functional piece of furniture when I decided I’d take a peek. So I swung my head a few feet out from the edge of the desk, only to come face to, er… midsection with a heavily armed, jackbooted guard.
I froze, because sometimes the lessons learned in Jurassic Park just take over, and I was relieved to see my nemesis swivel 180 degrees and stroll away, none the wiser to my jauntily-angled self. Mischief managed!
Peter Molyneux has a lot of photos – Curiosity.
I think I’ve worked out what’s in the Cube. It’s the password to Molyneux’s Flickr account.
The first layer of 22Cans’ much-publicised cube was just a colour. So was the second layer. But then shit got real and, in true trailblazing fashion, Molyneux’s new studio blazed some trails. Their big innovation to keep people clicking? Photos. Now, each successive layer of the tap-happy bore-o-tron is another picture of something. It’s seemingly random, too.
Also, the cube in question doesn’t appear to be shrinking by much. I looked at it a few times a week or two after it launched and then again last week, only to discover that it’s still a massive cube with a photo on it. Exciting.
It’s almost like a 3D version of an Instagram stream now, except that Curiosity doesn’t have nearly enough photos of cappuccinos in front of a bare-brick wall.
Mufasa was right – Journey.
Walt Disney’s The Lion King is the zenith of modern storytelling. That’s an indisputable fact. But Journey was also quite good at emoting a narrative. Thankfully, for those of us with limited capacity for variation, they were both telling basically the same story.
This was probably an early draft of the movie poster. I bet that, under their cloaks, the travellers in Journey are all weird monkeys with sticks.
In Journey, our protagonist is a small figure, cloaked in earthy tones and naive about his place in the world. He’s guided by unknown forces (as well as some weird paintings, a random dude on PSN and some of those tickets from the end of The Crystal Maze) to find his place in The Circle of Life.
It’s basically identical, apart from the whole bit with the Ku Klux Klan costume at the end of Journey, I’m not sure where that comes from.
Rovio devs are smarter than George Lucas – Angry Birds Star Wars
Quite aside from being a compelling, smart and often amusing development of the Angry Birds saga, Rovio’s latest showed a love for the franchise that has been mostly absent since the Ewoks hollowed out its skull and brewed soup in it.
For me, this revelation came after several levels when the Han Solo-costumed bird was introduced. The funny little pictorial introduction showed Solo-bird (who knows what to call them?) clearly shooting his blaster at Greedo-pig. And thus, balance was restored to the galaxy.
Oops, I seem to have done six. Are top six lists a thing? I suppose it just means an extra one’s worth of those hot internet hits I’m always hearing about, right? Can’t wait.