Top 10 Moments of 2012

Here we go. The big one. 30/30 2. I am going to write 30 blogs for 30 days with one topic in mind. The year 2012 and the games in it. And of course, some top 10’s sprinkled in for good measure. Well, let’s get started.


The memories of this year’s games may eventually fade away, but you will always remember a few stand-out moments from the best games of 2012. These are the ten moments that defined the year of 2012 in my eyes. First off, some rules. They cannot be media fiascos, so no Mass Effect 3 ending outrage and nothing from remakes or reissues. I will not use any endings from games, because that will be another Top 10. Also, spoilers for Hotline Miami, Spec Ops: The Line, Call of Duty Black Ops 2, Mc Pixel, and Far Cry 3


10-Insert Virgin (Mc Pixel)

One of Mc Pixel’s earlier puzzles has you by a pit of lava. There is a sign above it that says insert virgin. There is a woman, a bone, and a cow. After the cow, bone, and woman don’t work you start to use the bone on the cow and the woman. That doesn’t work either. So then you decide to just click on the lava yourself. Of course, Mc Pixel jumps into the lava and you complete the mission. I don’t have to explain the joke.


9-The Dead Man in the Video Store (Hotline Miami)

Hotline Miami seems pretty standard up until this moment. You shoot, maim, and bludgeon members of the Russian mafia mindlessly, but you don’t question it. That is until you go to the video store. A dead body is next to the cashier, and the cashier tells you that “None of this is real.” The body proceeds to talk to you, and then the screen goes static. When it resets, everything is back to normal. The cashier has his normal canned speech and there are no dead people anywhere. It is moments like this that really make this game horrifying.


8-Mendez’s Rage (Call of Duty: Black Ops 2)

What happens when a very mad man wants to get to his sister who is being attacked by soldiers? He picks up a machete and starts lopping off the heads of every single soldier that he can see. You are un-killable in this mission, just running around and slicing apart soldiers while you are on an adrenaline rush. Mendez stops at nothing to reach his wife, even running into a swarm of armed soldiers shooting at him with only a large knife in his hand. It is gory, brutal, and ditches realism in favor for stylized action. It is a welcome exchange in this rather drab and realistic shooter franchise.


7-Run Forest, RUN! (Far Cry 3)

Vaas is a pretty messed up dude. He has captured you, and just shot your brother while you attempted to escape from his camp. However, he doesn’t shoot you. He says that he will give you a thirty second head start before he shoots. As you start running into the jungle, his mercenaries follow you with guns in hand. This chase sequence is intense if nothing else. You barely make it through the storm of bullets, and every close encounter feels like it will spell your doom. You run through the jungle, over a log, through a cave, and finally onto a rickety bridge. An armed helicopter hovers up to your level and starts shooting at the bridge, making it fall with you on it. Every second of this chase sequence feels intense, and the sound of the mercenaries chasing you always keeps you on edge.


6-Nut Shot (Sniper Elite V2)

Sniper Elite V2’s X-ray kills are brutal to say the least. You watch fragments of skull and brain shoot out of a guy’s head, a soldier getting his knee shattered by your bullet, and even a shot hitting right between the eyes. The most brutal kill out of all of them however is the nut shot. It goes into X-ray where you can see your bullet popping your enemy’s testacles and cruising through his upper legs. It is one of those jaw-dropping moments where you and everyone else watching starts to scream and make disapproving noises. Seriously, why was this not an X-ray move in Mortal Kombat?


5-Racking up Stealth Kills (Mark of the Ninja)

Run down a hall. Screech to a halt next to a door, and peek on the other side. Wait for the guard to come near the door, then pop out and stick your sword into his neck. Grapple up to a vent, and then climb past a squad of guards. Climb to the top of the vent, and then wait for a guard to walk over it. Grab the guard and throw him down the hole, then get back to your feet. Mark of the Ninja’s stealth mechanics are truly amazing, and silently murdering each and every soldier feels amazing.


4-The Fourth Wall Strike (Spec Ops: The Line)

“To kill for yourself is murder. To kill for your country is heroic. To kill for entertainment is harmless.” About an hour into Spec Ops: The Line, this quote appears on one of the loading screens. It catches you off guard, but you continue playing the game and shooting any terrorist that gets in your way. But later into the game, a mortar strike kills a group of unarmed civilians, tearing their bodies to pieces and charring the remains. Right after seeing the carnage, the loading screen asks you “Do you feel like a hero yet?” The game continues to mock you as the game goes on, making sure that you know that you are doing awful things.


3-A Shift in Power (X-Com: Enemy Unknown)

At the start of X-Com, you are at a distinct disadvantage. Your soldiers are getting wiped out by even the weakest aliens, but the further you get the more you feel that you are gaining power. The tide of the battle is turning in your favor, and the aliens are the ones running in terror from your squad. The gradual progression from prey to predator is perfectly paced, and by the end of the game you will be feeling like a god on the battlefield.


2-Paying for your Actions (The Walking Dead)

Kenny will remember that. Every single time that type of message popped up while playing The Walking Dead, I instantly started to panic. What did I do wrong? Could I have changed the outcome of the story? Did saying what you said doom a member of the group? Your actions, both good and bad, come back to bite you in The Walking Dead later on. Did you steal from the car? Did you murder the man with the pitchfork? Did you leave the killer on the side of the road? Everything you do will have a consequence, and it shapes your experience for the rest of the game.


1-Making a Perfect Kill (Dishonored)

Dishonored is a game of planning, thinking, and reflexes. When a plan comes together and you are able to pull off an unnoticed assassination you will feel amazing. Whether it is interrogating party guests to find out who the real Lady Boyle is so that you can seduce her and be invited to her room so that you can stab her, or poisoning the drink of the high overseer and escaping before the guards even notice he is dead. Moments like these make you feel like a genius, and walking away from an unnoticed hit without a single guard being suspicious will make you give yourself a pat on the back.