Happy holidays! Put your feet up, kick back and relax after another busy year - but bear in mind that no matter how hectic your last twelve months were, they're likely to be nothing in comparison to Troy Baker's. In that time he's voiced everything from unhinged antagonists to undead heroes and everything else in between. So, put down that turkey sandwich and enjoy a quick salute to gaming's favourite set of vocal chords.
Games of the Year Archive
Remember the loot cave? Of course you do. If you loved Destiny, it was your guilty pleasure. If you hated Destiny, it was your smoking gun. Everyone agreed that it laid bare the way Destiny is underpinned by a mixture of grinding and randomness. The difference is that those of us who loved the game simply enjoyed the novelty of tipping things in our favour, however briefly, before returning to our other satisfying routines.
We've had our say on 2013's best video games. And so have you. Now, it's the turn of the developers, the makers of the virtual experiences we so love. Read on for the games of 2013 according to the creators of the likes of Super Meat Boy, Assassin's Creed 4, XCOM, Oculus Rift and more, complete with Twitter bios.
It's New Year's Eve, which can mean only one thing. Well, it means lots of things: deciding whether to head out into town for over-priced booze and the company of idiots, to go to a house party where the opportunities to shame yourself are endless or to stay in and watch Jools Holland's Hootenany and wonder where it all went wrong. Actually, you know what? I think I'm just going to retire to the world of Animal Crossing: New Leaf and celebrate it with my townsfolk. I know who my real friends are.
It was always going to be Sony and Microsoft's year. When the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 launched in November, it wasn't just the climax of a publicity roadshow that stretched back to February - a roadshow that was at times messy and scandalous, as well as entertaining and exhilarating. It goes back to a time when all we had were codenames like Orbis and Durango, accompanied by whispered speculation. It stretches back even before then, too.
We're trailing towards the end of the year, so it's a time of excess, tubby tummies and endless top ten lists. Except this year counting to ten seemed like far too much effort, so instead we decided to compile a list of some of our personal favourite - or, perhaps, most noteworthy - moments in gaming this year. I hope you enjoy it, and please let us know some of your own suggestions.
There's a room within EAD Tokyo's offices where the employees working on new 3D Mario games stick Post-It notes of ideas on the walls. Only about one in every 50 makes it into the games, claims producer Koichi Hayashida, but I strongly suspect that there were a few empty walls by the end of development on Super Mario 3D World. Every level is a non-stop bombardment of stuff, with familiar concepts and enemies used in fresh and exciting ways, and brand new ingredients liberally sprinkled on top.
There have been better games this year. There have been more ambitious ones. In terms of scale, Grand Theft Auto 5 throws Saints Row 4's production budget onto the screen between 30-60 frames per second. None of them have made me grin so much from start to finish though, or made me so sad to hit the final mission and know the good times were about to end. Quite an achievement for a series that started out actually offending me for how much it ripped off GTA to finish by making me wish GTA 5's cash had bought it even 1/10th of its sense of fun.
It was around 3am when the rain started again at the Nurburgring. Much harder than before, to the point where the track was completely saturated. Not ideal, clearly, but as even the most dishonest motivational speaker has no doubt memorised, inside every problem there's an opportunity.
The best item in Dota 2 is the Force Staff.
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I live half a world away from the Santa Monica pier, but over the years I have been a frequent visitor to its planks, so ghosted by the insistent sun, so buffed and smoothed by the sandy wind. It's a handsome pier, narrow enough that you don't mistake it for a road (even though the occasional police car creeps along its back), but long enough to carry you a good distance out to sea. At its far end the fishermen bob in a row, their taut lines stretching off forever into the easygoing Pacific.
Earlier this month I celebrated the 30th anniversary of my first published article - tips for Atari's Pole Position coin-op that I wrote as a teen for Computer and Video Games magazine. I still remember the impact that game had on me the first time I sat inside its cabinet. Today it looks comically blocky, sounds like an angry hornet, and handles like a series of multiple-choice questions - but in 1983, my imagination anti-aliased its chunky pixels, conjured F1 music from its furious buzzing, and fooled me into believing I really was driving a racing car at 200mph. It made my heart pound and I left the machine almost breathless.
Diablo 3 was supposed to be my game of 2012, but it wasn't. As a recovering World of Warcraft player, I thought its accelerated, flamboyant grind would be just the lightweight substitute I was looking for. I'd been following its development for years and already knew how fun it was to play. I was convinced this would be a long-term affair.
A year ago, film critic Mark Kermode came out in defence of the Twilight movies. "The world is full of people... Who feel not just enabled but dutybound to be sniffy about Twilight without having seen the films, read the books, or attempted to understand why they mean so much to so many," he wrote.
Even if Lucas Pope had had one million dollars to develop Papers, Please, even if he'd had an army of engineers, animators and producers at his disposal, even if he'd had all the time in the world, he wouldn't have produced a better Papers, Please than the one he did all by himself.
Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs doesn't make a whole lot of sense and that's fine. I don't think it's meant to when even its creator admits that he has "two or three fairly contradictory interpretations of what might be going on at the end of Pigs at the same time". Pigs, as I'll call it for short, hangs its remarkable artistic achievements (Dan Pinchbeck's flowery, rotten prose; Jessica Curry's screeching, shrapnel bomb of a score; Sindre Grønvoll's's Grand Guignol labyrinthine environments) around the most threadbare of plots. Instead of focusing on a pat little tale, it creates an atmosphere of dread so potent that the conventional criteria of what we look for in a game - things like puzzles, plot, win/lose conditions - are thrown completely out the window in favour of an abstract, wondrous experience that hits notes other games simply don't. That it's so hard to grasp only adds to its charm.
Nintendo has had a strange couple of years as a game console platform holder, but Animal Crossing: New Leaf was a timely reminder that it can be a peerless game developer - as were games like Fire Emblem, Pokemon X and Y and Super Mario 3D World. What a year Nintendo's had, in fact! All the same, I wouldn't recommend Animal Crossing: New Leaf to a new player any more, even though it's close enough to being my game of 2013.
It started off as a joke. Have you heard the one about Farming Simulator, a game in which you plough lonely fields in a tractor? Well, how about Chemical Spillage Simulator, the one in which you get to sample the glamour of life in a hazmat suit? And hey, get this, there's even a series called Euro Truck Simulator in which all you do is haul freight across the motorways of Europe.
The worlds of gaming and movies rarely join together with any kind of success. Rushed tie-ins, lacklustre big-screen conversions, that not-so super Mario Bros. movie. No, the spheres of gaming and film should be kept apart. Except, that is, when something truly magical happens, like the genius of the world's greatest 2D animation studio meeting the brains behind a much-loved gaming series. Like when Studio Ghibli met Level-5 and Ni no Kuni was born.
Gather round, Eurogamers. We're kicking into Christmas overdrive here at Outside Xbox with our best worst games of 2013.
By now it's probably obvious that we approve of Naughty Dog's survival thriller The Last of Us, having lavished it with praise in our original review and then named it among our 10 Games of the Generation. But while most of our affection has been heaped on the single-player campaign, which tells the slow-burning story of Joel and Ellie's journey through a dying North America, there was another aspect to the game.
I read a book in between levels of Sang-Froid. Not a long book, granted, but it's not a particularly long game. It is an incredibly exhausting game, though, and that's where the book came in. I needed a breather to break up the periods of vile punishment. I needed time off before heading back out there. For an adventure that trades so heavily in its oppressive atmosphere, that's got to be a good sign, right?
Hello everyone! As the nights draw longer and Valve prepares to startle our bank managers with the contents of its latest winter sale, it's almost time for Eurogamer to take a break for Christmas. But don't worry! We still have tons of content to publish over the festive period.
Sundays are a great day for reflection. They're also a great day for washing down a packet of ginger nuts with a few pints of tea while idly wandering the internet. So we thought we'd start bringing you some selections from Eurogamer's archive for your pleasure, starting with this retrospective look back at Heavy Rain originally published as part of our Games of 2010 series.
Here we go again! Thousands of you voted - thank you so much for taking the time - and now we have the results. What follows is your 50 favourite games of 2012 and a selection of the comments you submitted along with your selections.
It's been kind of an angry year, you know? First everyone went mental about the end of Mass Effect 3, driving BioWare's founders into exile and appointing the internet as lead designer of the next one. Then E3 rolled around and every new trailer was like Saw vs. Hostel, the peak of which was Sam Fisher wiggling a knife around in someone's shoulder (presumably it's "Better with Kinect", too), and of course at around the same time Square Enix began to establish itself as the discerning choice for the discriminating gamer. Then there was that other business...
Every year or so a game comes along that makes me recalibrate my notion of how the medium can tell stories. Uncharted 2 proved to me that the traditional model of cut-scene-gameplay-cut-scene actually can work if both parts are expertly crafted and don't outstay their welcome; Demon's and Dark Souls proved to me that a cohesive, yet mystifying world can work as well as any conventional plot' and The Walking Dead proves to me that the choose-your-own-adventure-movie format can actually work for a full-length game.
New York's had Grand Theft Auto 4, Paris had Broken Sword and Tokyo's had both Jet Set Radio and The World Ends With You, but London's never really had the same treatment. There's been the rubble-rousing rewritten history of Resistance, or the city seen through a Guy Ritchie filter in The Getaway, but there's never been a game set in the London that I live in, the London that's equal parts mystery and misery, where Hawksmoor spires pop up in the middle of dreary council estates.
For ten years Halo has been my favourite console game. I played the first one at university with my friends, as I imagine a lot of you did. After university I moved into my mum's new flat in Streatham, South London and bullied her, really, into not only getting the internet, but letting me run a ten-metre-long ethernet cable from my Xbox, along my bedroom floor, down the stairs and into the router by the kitchen, just so I could sign up to Xbox Live and play Halo 2 online.