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  1. #21
    Network Hub darkChozo's Avatar
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    IMO, it's been a weirdly two-sided year for "big" games (sidenote, somehow I'd never really thought about AAA not meaning big publisher games before). There's a lot of games with big upsides and downsides, as opposed to just being "good" or "bad".

    BF4's a buggy mess and an iterative sequel but it's a very well-designed iterative sequel. AC4 is still an Assassin's Creed game but it's better than AC3 and is actually something fresh-ish for the series. Arkham Oranges is a Arkham City rehash, which is good and bad in its own way. Tomb Raider is probably a good game despite being a bit of a departure from the series and suffering from survival game Superman syndrome (yes, I'm very proud of that statement). B:I had mediocre gameplay but reasonably interesting thematics.

    Simcity's a lost cause, but then again 2012 was the year of Diablo 3. CoH and Rome were bad, but you can't win them all.

    If anything, I almost think that 2013 was a year of no clear winners more than it was a year of no good games. We didn't have a [Far Cry 3 | Enemy Unknown | Borderlands 2???? | whatever], basically.

  2. #22
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    Personally I bounced right off borderlands 2 and found farcry 3 very average.

    Xcom was pretty good.

  3. #23
    Network Hub darkChozo's Avatar
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    It's the best I could do with the Metacritic top 25 list I was given. Also I didn't include Mass Effect 3 because I fear confrontation.

  4. #24
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Skalpadda's Avatar
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    The only big name/budget game from this year I've even bought is Tomb Raider, yesterday, at an 80% discount, after some back and forth deliberation and asking this forum for advice. Black Flag looks interesting, but not €50 worth of interesting.

    Given that there's usually at least a couple of big titles each year attractive enough for me to pay full price this has been a rather bleak year for triple-A games. There's been some good stuff from indie and mid-sized devs though, and I have a hefty backlog to get through, so I can't say I'm suffering.

  5. #25
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus SirKicksalot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skalpadda View Post
    Black Flag looks interesting, but not 50 worth of interesting.

    Given that there's usually at least a couple of big titles each year attractive enough for me to pay full price this has been a rather bleak year for triple-A games.
    Grab a cheap Nvidia AssFlag code from Reddit/CAG/whatever. You can even pay for them with keys for Valve games. Every Nvidia card starting with the GTX 660 comes with codes for AssFlag so finding one for like 20 dollars is trivial.

  6. #26
    Lesser Hivemind Node airtekh's Avatar
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    Can't say I agree.

    Of the games mentioned in the OP, I played Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Batman: Arkham Origins, and I enjoyed all of them thoroughly.

    OP also didn't mention Splinter Cell: Blacklist, which IMO was one of the best AAA offerings this year. Solid stealth with some great level design, really good AI and some superb multiplayer.

  7. #27
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    Yeah, was a big fan of Blacklist, and Black Flag is getting there too. Really enjoying what I've played so far.

    That said, Rome II did deserve a lot more criticism than it got, at least from RPS. Some parts were (and are) completely broken - literally broken - and it didn't really get in that much trouble for it all. At least from the press.
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  8. #28
    Network Hub MadJax's Avatar
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    I actually really enjoyed AssCreed 4, wierdly. But then the parts that always lost me were the "OH SO SERIOUS!" "real world" Desmond parts that were, in my opinion, convoluted bullshit for the sake of being pretentious and "deep". At least with AssCreed4 they ditched 75% of that and made a half decent pirate game that was actually fun. In fact, AC4 and Sid Meiers Pirates! (Original, Gold AND Remake) count as the only piracy games I've had fun with. Other than that, I agree mostly with your list.

    But in terms of AAA development across the board, GTA 5 still gets my vote, but as it;s not on PC yet it doesn't count :P
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  9. #29
    Obscure Node Applypoison's Avatar
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    Indie gaming gets more interesting with each passing year. As for the AAA definition "argument", just call them "big/medium publisher titles" and leave it at that. Getting into budget/advertisement thresholds just makes for a smokescreen which deviate from the real debate: high production value VS "sufficient" production value for video games, or "AAA" VS indie.

    On-topic, I still highly anticipate Dragon Age 3 (inquisition). My memory of the first one is too fond to give up due to a questionnable second title. XCOM also has a bright future, although such games typically need modding to reach their full potential.

    Personally, I think Publishers will end up choking on their own costs, one way or another. Even Brian Fargo seems to think that indie development can take its share of the market, little by little. Indie devs will always have more time and opportunities for innovation and gameplay improvements, so once gamers move over... lots of money will be gone.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Applypoison View Post
    Indie gaming gets more interesting with each passing year. As for the AAA definition "argument", just call them "big/medium publisher titles" and leave it at that. Getting into budget/advertisement thresholds just makes for a smokescreen which deviate from the real debate: high production value VS "sufficient" production value for video games, or "AAA" VS indie.
    This topic made me go and look for a definition. Wikipedia calls it "games developed for major platforms with enormous marketing budgets." Then there is Wikitionary that goes with the more general "A quality video game expected to sell well, typically with a higher budget than budget software." There are then many forum topics discussing it with people being on either end of that scale. So, Gundato's assertion that there is one true meaning seems to be incorrect. In reality, it is a buzz term thrown around by the industry to give their product an air of quality. Series such as AssCreed, Batman and Tomb Raider would certainly be considered AAA by their publishers. CoH I would have thought would be considered AAA, else you would have StarCraft as the sole RTS that could be considered AAA.

    As customers, it is probably best if we just ignore such silly distinctions and just call them games.

  11. #31
    Network Hub Hunchback's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention, that one genre that actually did super-well that year is the Adventure. Be it indies or more "non-indie?" titles, there has been a plethora of awesome adventure games, which is great! For quite some time i thought the genre dead, but indie devs resurrected it, and how! <3

    As for ME:3 - didn't put it in the list, since it was released 2012 i think. Otherwise it probably would get the Biggest Disappointment EVER award, right off the bat...
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  12. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    So now you are making a very specific definition where many of the ACTUAL AAA games (basically the cods) probably don't count since the advertisement for the PC are half-assed at best.

    I can't find the development costs of SimCity, but considering it sold 1.1 million in the first week and 2 million within 3 months, that is pretty good. And considering it was a single platform title and EA don't seem to care that it failed, it probably didn't cost them a lot to make. And the ad campaign was pretty meh too. So I don't know how it counts as AAA.

    Rome Total War 2: Again, can't find the development costs online, but it was reported as a commercial success so even if it WAS a AAA title, it was a successful one.


    Seriously, AAA games actually have a meaning. They are the ones that cost a LOT to make and cost even more to advertise. They are the ones where a failure can break a major company (see THQ and Square Enix by next year). They aren't just the games we were excited for. They are the Call of Duty games, they are GTA 5. And they are almost invariably cross-platform as one platform alone probably isn't enough to make up costs.
    I'm a bit fuzzy on AAA means. I've even asked someone who works in the industry he's not entirely clear.

  13. #33
    Actually now that I come to think of it, it has been a disappointing year, especially compared to 2012. Company of Heroes 2 was the biggest disappointment for me. I'd put Arkham origins up there, but I'm still seething over that one. Bought off Steam in the last sale got almost to the end and reached a game ending bug that will not let me go forward.

  14. #34
    Lesser Hivemind Node L_No's Avatar
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    For me, 2013 was the year of the indies. I've never before played so much indie games in a year, and I had a blast doing it. I did play some AAA titles, but apart from Borderlands 2 none of them have made such a lasting impression as the indie titles I played did.
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  15. #35
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sabrage's Avatar
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    Black Flag doesn't need to be fresh. It's Assassin's Creed with all the bullshit cut out, and a wry sense of humor to boot. It's not going to blow minds, but the free-running is still joyous and the environment is still staggeringly beautiful. I picked it up half-price yesterday and couldn't be happier. I should perhaps note that I've skipped every AssCreed since II.

  16. #36
    Splinter Cell Blacklist is a poster child for what's wrong with gaming today it's a putrid pile of linear dumbed down consoletard garbage, to say that it has solid stealth is... interesting. magic magnetic covers and autoaiming autokilling everyone in a room.
    Other than that sure AAA titles this year haven't been anything mind blowing at all. Assassins Creed IV is extremely enjoyable, but it's nothing new.

    But what a year for indie and smaller budget titles tho!
    Shadowrun Returns is excellent, probably my GOTY. Adventures of Van Helsing, great hack&slash with some refreshing changes to the forumla and a really well integrated "tower defense/strategy" element, and it's damn good looking. Dead Island Riptide is just as fun as the original, Call of Juarez Gunslinger is a return to form for the series for sure, and Deadfall Adventures is fun and one of the best looking games all year! And to top it off Firefall finally became publicly available, most fun you can have in an MMO right now :)

    So it's not all doom and gloom.

  17. #37
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    I'm really just waiting for the larger kickstarted games to come out, I left AAA gaming behind a long time ago and now occasionally pick up the best.

  18. #38
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mickygor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Razgovory View Post
    Actually now that I come to think of it, it has been a disappointing year, especially compared to 2012. Company of Heroes 2 was the biggest disappointment for me. I'd put Arkham origins up there, but I'm still seething over that one. Bought off Steam in the last sale got almost to the end and reached a game ending bug that will not let me go forward.
    Personally, I think it was more 2012 being an exceptional year than it is 2013 being a disappointment.
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  19. #39
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    I think possibly a lot of the devs are saving their energy for the upcoming next gen consoles. That said there was some pretty solid AAA still out there.

    BioShock Infinite was the first FPS I've played since Darkness II that I actually really enjoyed. The Tomb Raider reboot was quite fun (but then again I'm not really a fan of the originals), XCOM:EW was a week spent in considerably joy. Blacklist, as much as people hate it, really did it for me. I love the classic SC games, but honestly I think Conviction and BL are just more fun. There's something to be said for getting spotted not just meaning BOOM, restart from checkpoint. And hell, you can still play it like that if you want.

    What else was there...

    Ah yes, Saint's Row 4 was a little disappointing for me, but I'd be being dishonest if I said I thought it was actually bad. Still a lot fun, I just wanted more actual original content for my money. XCOM: The Bureau had potential, but that long development cycle shows and most of the good ideas where lost in what ended up as a chimeran monstrosity of ideas, mechanics and engine problems (seriously, I have to WALK my target to the zone I want to hit!? ITS IN RANGE BUT BECUASE I CANT WALK THERE STAYING IN RANGE I CAN'T.... %$^&$). Still, I sort of enjoyed it- but more for what it could have been rather than what it was. Much like Alpha Protocol.

    Does Lego LOTR count as AAA? If it does, that's a good example as that game was both hilarious and mechanically very well executed.

    I think FarCry3 was this year, the first CryTek engine game I've played, completed and enjoyed. Solid title with a fun (if basic) narrative and very rewarding gameplay mechanics. Blood Dragon is just one of the best things ever.

    I wouldn't say this year was a disappointment. I spent more time replaying old games and catching up on stuff I'd missed (seriously, how had I missed Spec Ops and Sleeping Dogs for this long!?), but there were some solid titles this year.

    That said, as others here have already stated it was the Indies that really brought home the bacon this year.
    Last edited by EvisT; 05-12-2013 at 11:09 AM. Reason: grammar fail

  20. #40
    Lesser Hivemind Node airtekh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadManiac View Post
    linear
    I beg to differ. Blacklist gives you tons of options to navigate the levels. Several times in the game I got stuck, thinking that there was only one way to go, and I was always delighted to find that the level designers had provided another route to navigate. The 4E missions in particular are sublime in their level design.

    In addition you have all your stealthy gadgets back, which were absent in Conviction.

    Quote Originally Posted by BadManiac View Post
    magic magnetic covers
    It's a stealth game, being in cover stops you being seen. The 'cover to cover' mechanic also helps you stop being seen. It works.

    Quote Originally Posted by BadManiac View Post
    autoaiming autokilling everyone in a room.
    1. Mark & Execute is perfectly optional, you don't have to use it

    2. You can use nonlethal weapons with M&E, unlike in Splinter Cell: Conviction.

    3. M&E is severely restricted or completely disabled or on higher difficulties.

    Also, it's a fun game mechanic. Who doesn't want to feel like a badass taking down a bunch of enemies in one cinematic swoop?

    Quote Originally Posted by BadManiac View Post
    to say that it has solid stealth is... interesting.
    It's 'solid stealth' because if you get spotted, at least on higher difficulties, you're fucked. That's how it works in the best stealth games, like Mark of the Ninja or Thief. Stealth is about not being seen, and Blacklist gives you options for doing just that.

    If you are seen, and you're lucky or skillful enough to escape combat with your life, (with superb AI it must be said, using grenades, suppressing fire and intelligent flanking) then you get another try at the stealth approach.

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