Fight For The Top 50 2014 – Assassin's Creed Rogue

about X hours ago from

Having not played Assassin’s Creed Black Flag, there was a lot for me to love in this game. The seafaring battles and navigation can be very cinematic and immersive. The intertwining story elements from other games and various new stealth mechanics kept things fun and interesting.

But the most intriguing part for me is Shay Cormac’s role as the tragic hero, growing disillusioned in his order and siding with the Templars. Moral ambiguity is a treat in any character driven story, and not always properly executed. Rogue did a fine job bringing this element to the series.

Learn more about the Game Informer Fight For the Top 50 Challenge 2014.

Fight For The Top 50 2014 – Kirby: Triple Deluxe

about X hours ago from

My relationship with Kirby has always been that of casual acquaintance (outside of Super Smash Bros., since he was my main on Nintendo 64). I didn’t play any of the Dream Land games growing up, and before Triple Deluxe, I had only played the N64’s Crystal Shards and the Wii’s Epic Yarn to completion. By the end of both of those titles I was forcing myself to make it to the credits out of some ambiguous sense of obligation instead of excitement.

Learn more about the Game Informer Fight For The Top 50 Challenge 2014.

I like stealing powers and the puzzle opportunities that creates, but I never found any of the Kirby games challenging enough to totally engage my attention. Triple Deluxe isn’t a hard game, but it was the first time I got a sense of a consistent difficulty climb throughout, creating the first occasion I was excited to make my way to the end, instead of yawning and eyeing my watch during the last levels.

Fight For The Top 50 - LittleBigPlanet 3

about X hours ago from

Picking a game to champion for our Top 50 Challenge was easy; I knew it had to be Sumo Digital's charming platformer LittleBigPlanet 3.

As a long time fan of the LittleBigPlanet series, I was worried when it was announced that Sumo Digital was taking over the series for Media Molecule. Thankfully, my fears were misplaced. Not only has Sumo Digital managed to live up to the standards of the franchise, its put its own stamp on LittleBigPlanet with a game that adds some interesting new gameplay mechanics and characters to the familiar 2D platforming.

Learn more about the Game Informer Fight For The Top 50 Challenge 2014

Fight For The Top 50 2014 - Alien: Isolation

about X hours ago from

For last year's Fight for the Top 50 games of the year challenge, I championed a game all about a survivor trying to overcome an alien menace in the far reaches of space. Now I'm back again this year arguing why Amanda Ripley's harrowing adventure in Alien: Isolation deserves to be on 2014's Top 50 Games of the Year list. Creative Assembly's first-person horror game has its ups and downs, but I firmly believe it should be snugly burrowed into our list, like a gestating chestburster in its host.

Learn about Game Informer's Fight for the Top 50 Challenge 2014, happening today and tomorrow.

Alien: Isolation blends together the first-person flight-over-fight survival we've come to appreciate since games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent first terrified players. Playing as Ellen Ripley's daughter, your main objective is to evade and hide from a deadly xenomorph stalking the dim halls of the Sevastopol space station. The titular extraterrestrial can kill players with a single tail stab or bite, so the stakes are always high. Other threats like violent, haywire androids with unsettlingly loose synthetic skin and gun-wielding survivors present additional threats to the roaming H.R. Giger nightmare.

Fight For The Top 50 2014 - Civilization: Beyond Earth

about X hours ago from

Thanks to Steam, 4X games are experiencing a sort of renaissance. Since it’s easy to spend a ridiculous amount of time on strategy titles, picking and playing the right one can be a daunting task.

Civilization: Beyond Earth may not be incredibly ambitious in changing many of the things that make Civilization V a fantastic game, but it certainly nails the strategy-in-space aspect in an easy to understand, hard to master format. While it may not be the sequel to Alpha Centauri, there’s a lot going on in Beyond Earth that makes it a new and interesting dive into the classic Civilization format.

Learn more about the Game Informer Fight For the Top 50 Challenge 2014.

Fight For The Top 50 2014 - Thief

about X hours ago from

Looking over the list of releases from 2014, I don't see clear frontrunner for the hallowed Game of the Year honor, and a good majority of the year's highly hyped games received polarizing reviews from critics and gamers alike. I foresee many heated arguments erupting during our voting process. This is going to be a rough year for our Top 50 voting. I overheard some of our staffers saying Destiny could be their game of the year. Others say that the game deserves no place in the Top 50. That fight is going to be intense. One battle that I anticipate being a part of is whether or not Eidos-Montreal’s Thief deserves to be on the list. The more I reflect on my favorite moments from games this year, the more I'm reminded of Thief's intense thrills, whether it's sneaking up behind a woman and stealing the earrings right off of her earlobes, or bouncing in and out of the shadows of a heavily populated castle to steal away a family heirloom. I felt like a master thief while guiding protagonist Garrett to rob the rich blind. By the time he was done, their houses were freed of all of their silver and gold.

Fight For The Top 50 2014 – Fantasia: Music Evolved

about X hours ago from

It’s no secret that Microsoft’s Kinect failed to find the audience it was looking for. Despite two iterations, neither developers nor players ever seemed to completely connect with the motion-based peripheral. Earlier this year, Microsoft effectively abandoned the Kinect by releasing an Xbox One that didn’t include the motion camera, ensuring that the few developers who might otherwise try and use it will now be much less likely to do so. However, even after Microsoft’s abandonment, there was still one big Kinect-exclusive yet to release, and it’s from the same company that capitalized on Kinect’s potential in Dance Central. Harmonix’s Fantasia: Music Evolved is a breath of fresh air and innovation in the gaming world, and it deserves a home in Game Informer’s yearly accolades.

Learn more about the Game Informer Fight For The Top 50 Challenge

Fight For The Top 50 2014 - Wolfenstein: The New Order

about X hours ago from

It is rare that I gush about a game, and even rarer that I continue to do so eight months after I’ve finished it. I’d be lying if I told you I always had faith that Wolfenstein: The New Order would be fighting for the top spot on my personal best of 2014 list. But here we are in November, and I’m urging you to make time for it as soon as possible.

Learn more about the Game Informer Fight For the Top 50 Challenge 2014.

Wolfenstein: The New Order is an exceedingly competent shooter that looks and feels great. But if that’s all it were, it would have faded to “that came out this year?” status. Instead, Machine Games took the opportunity to craft deep characters and a beautiful love story. While some games would choose to bridge the Nazi-filled bloodbaths with cutscenes alone, Wolfenstein gives players the opportunity to explore the resistance safe house.

Fight For The Top 50 2014 – Skylanders: Trap Team

about X hours ago from

Whittling down all of the year’s releases down to 50 is a difficult – some might say futile – task. The point of today’s challenges are to give editors a reason to spend time with a game that they might not ordinarily play. I can’t think of a better game for our annual Top 50 Challenge than Skylanders: Trap Team. Reiner and I have both played it (he actually reviewed it for us), but it’s a blind spot on the rest of the staffer’s rear-view mirror. I get it; it’s geared toward younger players, and if you don’t have kids, it can be difficult to justify the time (and obvious monetary) investment. And that’s a shame.

Learn more about the Game Informer Fight For The Top 50 Challenge 2014 here.

I’ve had a lot of fun with the Skylanders series over the years, and our family’s collection has expanded to an embarrassingly large pile. My kids have grown attached to characters like Gill Grunt and Trigger Happy, bringing those first-wave characters with them from release to release. I get a kick out of the co-op play, which is reminiscent of a mashup of Ratchet & Clank and the Lego games. I also appreciate how Activision has diligently worked to ensure that older characters keep pace with their shiny new counterparts, adding new animations and abilities to them as each installment comes out.

Fight For The Top 50 2014 – Assassin's Creed Unity

about X hours ago from

Assassin's Creed is an annualized series, but that doesn't mean that Assassin's Creed Unity itself should be taken for granted. In some ways the game represents a return to form of the franchise's heyday with Ezio Auditore; fulfilling many of the hopes I had for this title and making it one I think should be included in this year's list of Top 50 games.

After forays into the high seas and wilderness of the past few games, Assassin's Creed returns to the type of setting in which its flourished – a dense urban locale filled with a rich history, a multitude of tasks, and captivating architecture. Paris isn't just a location in the game, it's a living city. I knew I was hooked when I started reading all the database entries for the buildings, history, and characters. The game certainly has its bugs and people have remarked on having trouble scaling said buildings, but I haven't had any more trouble than in previous AC games. In fact, I think the game does a reasonable job interpreting my intentions – apart from swinging through windows.