Features// Xmas 2012 - The Video Games Easy Buyers Guide

Posted 20 Dec 2012 17:39 by
As it's Xmas time – aka the “The Holidays” – and everybody is preparing to hunker down in expectation of good things to come, we've realised that some folks don't know what games to buy for their loved ones. Stop being worried. We've asked ace gamer, Adam Cooper to tell you what to do... erm, provide buying advice. Over to Adam (aka Twitter's famous GamerZee.)

Looking at some of my most-played games this year, not all of them were actually released in 2012. But the one’s that weren’t have generally held up well, either due to continuous DLC support from the developers or a dedicated multiplayer fanbase. Even if that dedicated multiplayer fanbase was mostly just me.

Regardless, I’m playing by my own rules for this. These aren’t all of my favourite games, I restricted myself to a few genres to better compare and explain my choices. And then threw in two extra mentions that didn’t fit in with the rest because hey, my rules.


RPGs

Skyrim
Skyrim
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (360, PS3, PC)
If you only have room in your collection for one big medieval fantasy-themed RPG, Skyrim’s probably the safest option.

With gameplay and character building mechanics that are easier to get into and far more streamlined than previous Elder Scrolls games, Skyrim still sticks to the series’ strengths by offering a massive wintery wonderland to explore.

With hundreds of dungeons to hack your way through and a seemingly infinite number of randomly-generated fetch quests, there’s always something to do every time you sit down for a go on Skyrim.

Even now, more than a year since release, Bethesda are continuing to expand and add to the game with reasonably priced downloadable content. But even without these extras, Skyrim is capable of providing hundreds of hours of gaming without a player even fully exploring everything the game has to offer.

Kingdoms of Amalur
Kingdoms of Amalur
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (360, PS3, PC)
Of all the vast fantasy RPGs released over the last year, this one is the best choice for the more casual gamer. Everything about it seems tailor-made to encourage people who wouldn’t normally want to commit to a massive RPG to give it a try. The world isn’t nearly as vast as Skyrim, so while there are still plenty of secrets hidden around you can still progress at a fairly cracking pace.

Ditching the typical dark, muddy and gritty style of its contemporaries, Kingdoms of Amalur instead opts for a bright, vibrant and cartoonish look that might appeal more to some people. In conclusion, if you’d like to play something like Skyrim but don’t want to commit the time and effort you think RPGs require, Kingdoms of Amalur might be the right choice for you.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (360, PC)
On the other end of the spectrum, The Witcher 2 is probably better suited for hardcore RPG veterans.

The Witcher 2
The Witcher 2
If you’re not a PC gamer you won’t have played through the first game, and while it’s not essential for you to know the story you might have some trouble getting caught up if you don’t.

The Witcher 2 throws you in at the deep end of a fairly bleak tale, full of political intrigue and murder most foul.

Much fuss was made of some of the games more adult content, and while I’d agree that this definitely isn’t suitable for youngsters, it’s not really anything worth making a fuss over. When you’re not banging whores, you’ll be out in the wilderness tracking down monsters and the like, which is where the game becomes considerably more difficult.
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