MMORPG Info Logo Black Ops, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Gran Turismo 5 and Epic Mickey

It’s the last games round-up of the year! So many games and so little time – how do you choose the best? In 2010, Wukung reviewed the following games:

Darksiders, Bayonetta, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, Mass Effect 2, Dante’s Inferno, BioShock 2, Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, Heavy Rain, Yakuza 3, Bad Company 2, Half Minute Hero, BlazBlue, Red Steel 2, Disgaea 2, FFXIII, Just Cause 2, Splinter Cell Conviction, Nier, Super Street Fighter IV and Iron Man 2, Alan Wake, Red Dead Redemption, No More Heroes 2, God of War 3, Transformers, Demon’s Souls, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Crackdown 2, Monkey Island 2, Limbo, Castlevania, Alpha Protocol, Metroid: Other M, Halo: Reach, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Dead Rising 2, Case 0, Vanquish, Fallout: New Vegas, Fable 3, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 and Last Window!

Now for one last batch of reviews from Wukung! His final post of the year will be on New Year’s Eve, covering the best games of 2010 so don’t miss it!

Black Ops (Xbox 360 (tested), PS3, PC)

Yet again a polished campaign, this time with a star-studded voice cast and decent multiplayer. While the campaign is not quite up with Modern Warfare, it’s still enjoyable. A decent amount of multiplayer maps out of the box and some tweaks to multiplayer balance are solid improvements over Modern Warfare 2 while otherwise feeling very similar. Despite this, unbalancing kill streaks and spawn killing still make an often unwelcome intrusion on the shooting action so it is unlikely for Black Ops to win over those who have never liked CoD’s multiplayer. Also there are zombies. While this game mode is fun it’s not quite Left 4 Dead.


Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (PS3 (Tested), Xbox 360, PC)

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is more and improved Assassin’s Creed 2, picking up exactly where the last game left off. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood has a good chunk of content, and makes numerous tweaks which significantly improve the game. It also brings some interesting embellishments such as managing Assassin recruits. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood also adds competitive multiplayer based on hunting specific targets while avoiding your own pursuers. The multiplayer is well made and a interesting change of pace from usual death match multiplayer. The rate of unlock of features is too slow and the advantages available to higher ranking players can be unbalancing. While interesting, the multiplayer is not the strongest part of Brotherhood. As opposed to being a weak side game, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is the best entry in the series to date.


Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (Xbox 360 (Tested), PS3, PC)

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is a high speed arcade style game of cops versus racers. Forgiving but satisfying handling keeps the action fun and accessible. While some of the gold times for the time trials demand a level of perfectionism, that isn’t the game’s strong suit. Neither is it helped by having to deal with random traffic, the races and chases are a lot of fun both single player and online. Exceptional online integration and fun career manage to highlight the solid gameplay of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit.


Gran Turismo 5 (PS3)

With events ranging from Go Karting to Nascar and even a VW samba bus race on the Top Gear track, Gran Turismo 5 is incredibly diverse. Gran Turismo 5‘s default handling and driving assist options make the game easily accessible. Gran Turismo 5‘s greatest problems come from its presentation. The career mode is poorly structured and not helped by appalling AI drivers. The menus, partially due to misuse of online features and just bad layout, are a pain to use. On first putting the disk into the PS3, between patching and installing, it was the better part of an hour before I could actually get driving.

Gran Turismo 5 is much more successful as a celebration of driving than an actual game. For all the issues with the interface and career mode the real fun is just tearing around a track and the issues don’t get in the way of that too much.


Epic Mickey (Wii)

Alongside the likes of Super Mario Galaxy, Epic Mickey‘s platforming and levels just can’t hold up. The lack of voice-overs through most of the game is slightly disappointing. The adventure and light RPG aspects are a nice addition but the structure is restrictive, forcing you through the game. Epic Mickey is well presented and fun and it has an interesting take on Disney’s mascot but its gameplay is thoroughly outshone by Nintendo’s own effort.


Best of Q4

Halo: Reach

More of a tweak on Halo than anything revolutionary, Halo: Reach sticks to what Halo does best. Perhaps that’s the key: what makes it so good is that it sticks only to what Halo does best. Halo: Reach is Spartans versus the Covenant from start to finish.

With improved graphics, improved multiplayer and the best campaign in the series, Halo: Reach is an all round great game.

Honourable mentions

Black Ops

It is part of a prolific series that not everyone is a fan of but taken on its own merits, it’s still a great game. Even if you aren’t a fan of CoD’s multiplayer system, the campaign is still a blast (if a wee bit silly). The prison escape section is particularly well executed.

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

I’m a huge fan of Assassin’s Creed and although it was rough around the edges, I even loved the first one. AC2 was one of the best games of last year. It is incredible that, in such a short time, Ubisoft has managed to turn around an even better game.


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