12th April 2010 - There’s no doubting that 2010 is a MASSIVE year in all things gaming. So that’s why we at AAG are proud to present our list of the Top 10 games, in no particular order, of the first half of the year! Why only the first half? Well that’s because there’s just so many damn good games coming out, we thought it only right to bring this to you in two parts. Take a look…
Mass Effect 2
Release Date: January 28th
To start of the list, we bring you Mass Effect 2, the highest rated game of our current year. With well over 40 ‘Perfect’ scores (that’s a 10/10, 100%, A+, etc), Mass Effect is one of the current generations, if not all time highest praised games, and with good reason. Unparalleled voice talents and dialogue possibilities, amazing action gameplay and countless hours of space exploration and questing. This really is essentially a perfect RPG, and one that not only is loved by purists of the genre, but appeals to a wide variety of newcomers and even those who don’t tend to go for RPGs. Mass Effect 2 is, put simply, a pinnacle of game design for the modern era.
God of War 3
Developer: SCE Santa Monica
Release Date: March 18th
Ah, good old Kratos. Apart from his manhood-questionable choice of red tribal design, Kratos is one of the most bad-ass characters in video gaming history. His latest effort, the PS3 exclusive God of War 3 may be the lowest rated of all three of his adventures, but that doesn’t stop it from still blowing the competition out of the water! God of War 3 is a non-stop, adrenaline fuelled thrill ride of epic proportions. The first series title to be released on a current-gen console, God of War 3 is a visual masterpiece and will have you jaw on the floor in seconds. In an industry full of copy-cats and hopefuls, one thing is for sure; no one hits harder than Kratos.
Developer: Quantic Dreams
Release Date: February 25th
This one surprised many but pleased all. Heavy Rain is a beautifully designed ‘interactive movie’ by the developers of the infamous Fahrenheit (or, Indigo Prophecy in North America). In a similar style to their previous title, Heavy Rain is a story-driven, character-study like none other. The story is superb, and gameplay is perfected, and the visuals? Certainly one of the best looking games of all time. Heavy Rain may not appeal to some more, action loving, gamers out there, but it sure does set a high bar for all other story driven adventures that is not likely to be matched in a long time.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Release Date: March 4th
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is your standard wartime shooting game with big explosions and lots of shiny bullets. But why is it in this here Top 10 list? Well, that would be because Bad Company 2 has completely overhauled the online expectations of all shooting games. The series second instalment has what can only be described as a perfect multiplayer experience. Play how you want, when you want, with who you want. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 knocks its competition off the first place podium for online action and gives players something they’ve been calling for for a long time; something different, yet better.
Splinter Cell: Conviction
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: April 16th
Its been a while since we’ve had a really outstanding Sam Fisher experience, with Double Agent not pleasing most series fans or critics alike. But Conviction will without a doubt bring the series back to its glory days. More so, even, as this little beauty looks to stand tall atop the series previous games and bring Splinter Cell back into first place among stealth-action games. Pulling this off by a series of unique gameplay elements fused with the classic Splinter Cell stealth and overhauled action. Top it off with outstanding animation and visuals and the most personal and immersive story in the best-selling Tom Clancy series, and you have yourself a recipe for sure-fire success and history book status.
Developer: 2K Games
Release Date: February 9th
Welcome to Rapture. Again. The novelty of being under the ocean in this underwater epic had worn off since the first game, but that just proved to all the nay-sayers out there that Bioshock is in no way about the novelty of the thing. Its all about the story, graphics and gameplay, which when thrown together in perfect harmony create an in-depth playing experience that borders on pure genius. Bioshock 2 builds on all that from the first game, and even adds in a decent amount more to keep things fresh. A great experience for all shooting fans, but less of an RPG than fans of the first wanted, Bioshock 2 still managed to turn heads and knock down the doors of those with any kind of doubt.
Red Steel 2
Developer: Ubisoft Paris
Release Date: March 25th
Red Steel was one of the few Wii games to release beside the console, and a few years on, is still considered a game which shows the Wii’s true potential, but failed to realize it. And this, its highly anticipated sequel, provides the gameplay to go along with the potential, as it breaks ground and shatters the ‘Casual’ expectation of a Wii title. A great blend of Japanese art and culture and a wild west backdrop make this one a visually stunning piece of art that not only looks the part, but plays just as good. Lovely set-pieces and a massive amount of sword-n-gun action is what make this stand out from the crowd, and also what make it all the more worthwhile.
Red Dead Redemption
Developer: Rockstar San Diego
Release Date: May 21st
Perhaps the most anticipated release of the year, Red Dead Redemption is the successor to enjoyable action shooter Red Dead Revolver, released way back in 2004. This game has taken a turn for the best and gone open-world, becoming Rockstars first open-world game set in the wild west. With a completely unique and groundbreaking ecosystem, Red Dead Redemption is a immersive, personal tale of John Marston, an ex-criminal, who’s on the hunt for the remaining members of his old gang. A tale of revenge and redemption, Red Dead Redemption takes western video games to a whole new level.
Developer: Vigil Games
Release Date: January 7th
This one would have never been expected to make it onto a ‘Top 10 list’ for sure. But the game came as a surprise to all when it released and turned out to be one of the most downright enjoyable games in years. A solid mix between The Legend of Zelda and God of War, Darksiders is a great adventure/RPG that possibly every gamer out there will enjoy. There isn’t much to the game, and it may not have a lot of originality, but a dark, apocalyptic story and some amazing character designs carry this fun heap of steaming genius. If you haven’t picked this one up yet, do yourself a favour and get into it.
Release Date: May 15th
To end our great list, we present to you what will possibly be the worlds best survival horror game; Alan Wake. This has been in development for over 5 years, and by the looks of things, it has done nothing but paid off. Alan Wake is a frightening tale of a writer stuck in a world of hurt as the town around him takes a dark turn for the worst as his latest novel, one he doesn’t even remember writing, start to come to life. Intertwining light and darkness into the action gameplay, Alan Wake is a visual bonanza and a massively cinematic experience that will become a benchmark for the genre in practically every way.
Let us know what your favourite games are from the first half of this massive year in our comments section below, and be sure to stay tuned for our second half of 2010s Top Games!
Article Written By John Elliott