Top 100 of 2012 Recap: 60-56 – Resident Evil, Syndicate and GRID

Hello there dear readers, and welcome to another instalment of the Top 100 of 2012 recap! Bit of a mixed bag, this one, but four of the five have actually already made it out this year. Hooray!

60 Resident Evil: Revelations

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Whilst we never reviewed this one, its Metacritic rating of 82 suggests that’s Revelations (or is that Revelaitons?) was largely successful in bringing an entirely new chapter in the long-running horror series to the 3DS.

The first western title to support Nintendo’s Circle Pad Pro peripheral, Revelations released at the end of January, with reviews praising the game’s graphics and story, while admitting that the game’s enemy variety and secondary characters could use a little work.

In the Top 100 post that this one is recapping, Jim wrote that Revelations was:

“without a doubt…the most detailed game for the platform we’ve seen to date, with an equal amount of focus also being lavished on atmospheric audio and voice acting. No, it won’t pull as big of an audience as the recent duo of Mario titles but if well executed Revelations will be another milestone in the handheld’s road to recovery following a fairly sluggish launch.”

While sales data isn’t openly available, the game did make number one in the UK individual formats chart at launch, and the 3DS is certainly doing much better now than a year ago. That can’t be specifically attributed to this one game, but Revelations certainly contributed to that catalogue of great games that any platform needs to really get going.

59 Inversion

Jim, writing in December’s Top 100 post about Inversion:

Without wanting to question the potential of Saber Interactive’s upcoming multiplatform release, we can’t help but notice that it’s drifting dangerously close towards a whirlpool of ill-fated “gimmick” shooters such as Dark Sector, Fracture, Mindjack, and Dark Void.

You know the story by now – a game that focuses on one particular “special feature” ends up pulling that off (to some extent) while sacrificing much-needed work on the design, graphics, story, and other elements. We didn’t review the game ourselves here at TSA, but take a look at what Digital Spy had to say in their review:

Overall, Inversion is a game that feels instantly familiar, and not in a good way. The game lifts heavily from more illustrious sources, while its own unique selling point, gravity powers, never feels fully exploited.

Bingo then. It’s a shame, because when I played the game back at EGX last year flinging enemies off to their death with gravity powers was a lot of fun. Inversion ended up with a Metacritic rating of 61 on PC, and the mid 50s on console, and despite only being released just over a month ago, can be found for about £18 online.

58 Syndicate

“Syndicate all starts so promisingly,” is how Dan, promisingly, starts his review of EA/Starbreeeze’s Syndicate reboot. However, while the game’s bloom-heavy style is lovely and shiny, and the DART abilities are fun, the actual game design sounds decidedly next-gen. I appreciate leaving out the explodey set pieces common to a lot of modern shooters in favour of actual gameplay you can control, but Syndicate’s alternative doesn’t sound all that appealing either:

Syndicate is just room after room after room of enemies. There was one point, about halfway through the game where I thought I’d hit a bug, because there was about 10 minutes worth of endless enemies.

Just when I thought it was over, another door would open and out streamed another dozen or so guards, all shouting and cursing in my direction. This happens far too frequently, and even the DART 6 abilities lose their appeal.

We decided against giving the game a review score, as we were unable to connect to the apparently much better online modes. “Co-op resuscitates the experience,” writes IGN in their review. “Syndicate[‘s co-op] feels similar to Left 4 Dead, a classic in the co-op game space. Not only do safe rooms full of ammo stagger the action, but without working together there’s no way to tackle the futuristic forces of evil. The challenge of these missions supersedes the unbalanced single-player campaign, making replays worthwhile and satisfying.”

Syndicate mustered mid 70s with its Metacritic scores, but more importantly than that, you gave it a solid “Buy It” rating when the game took its turn on WeView.

57 Silent Hill: Downpour

Downpour was the latest attempt to bring the Silent Hill franchise back from Decidedly-Average Land (the Actually-Pretty-Good Shattered Dimensions excluded). The 6/10 bestowed upon it by Jim in our review, however, suggests that the Silent Hill series is still a fair way from the top of the pops:

Going into Silent Hill: Downpour as a fan of the genre, it’s easy to overlook a number of the game’s niggling issues and instead focus on the immersive atmosphere. However, for those yet to build a rapport with the iconic franchise, this may not be the best place to start. It may be a visually sound package that throws a few unique spins on the Silent Hill template, though the sometimes awkward puzzles and irredeemably abysmal combat are enough to drag Downpour down the gutter and towards mediocrity.

Downpour managed a mid-60s Metacritic score, but it sounds like if you’re looking for a solid survival horror game to sink your teeth into, you might want to look elsewhere. Just not at Vita’s upcoming Silent Hill: Book of Memories, which is more of a top-down co-op action game. Or at the appalling Silent Hill HD Collection, which is probably the most-criticised release of the year so far. And with no other mainline Silent Hill games yet announced, that looking elsewhere means looking away from the franchise that was once the one to beat in the genre.

56 Race Driver: GRID 2

“It’s back, and it’s bigger and better than you might have hoped for,” writes Al in his preview of the unnecessary-subtitle-dropping Grid 2.

Announced last month and heading for a 2013 release on PS3, 360 and PC, the sequel seems to be keeping the racing as solid, while dropping in some more of that recent Codemasters flair in its style.

“Codemasters are billing Grid 2 as a “cinematic” race experience, something that’s echoed in the trailer and the screenshots,” Al says. “It appears that there’ll be a similar style of presentation to that found in the more recent DiRT games – cutaway camera shots and so forth – and to back this up the developers are punting something called Total Race Day Immersion.”

That “Total Race Day Immersion” is to be pretty key to Grid 2, as Clive Moody, the game’s executive producer, explains: “The core design philosophy for GRID 2 is that we treat the race as a character, not a consequence of simply putting cars on tracks. Everything that goes into the game impacts on that second-to-second, in the moment, blockbuster drama – the feel and personality of the race.” Here’s that announcement trailer for you:

We’ll be back tomorrow with the last five games before we hit the halfway mark.

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