December 26th, 2013 by Novotny
Here is the list of games released in 2013 that I thought were good.
Er… DayZ, EU4, Papers Please? Not much of a list.
Let’s try a different tack. This is a list of games I am or have been playing during 2013.
- Crusader Kings 2
- Race 07 – Formula One add-on via RaceRoom
- Europa Universalis
- Metro: Last Light
- Papers Please
- Unity of Command
- Faster than Light
- Desktop Dungeons
- How to Survive
- Tomb Raider
Actually, that’s pretty much in order of favour. A quick glance at Rock Paper Shotgun’s list for the year highlights the huge number of indie games they selected. What happened to the big releases? Whither Rome 2, or Battlefield 4?
Well, they were a bit crap.
The problem, in my view, lies with Design by Comittee.
Making games these days is big business, and the companies behind software studios treat the process as such. Big titles, like Battlefield 4, will have hundreds of people working on them. And so quirky designs are ironed out, interesting ideas are nullified and creative vision gets, er, blurred or something.
Two titles on my list are from the same company – Paradox Interactive. Seven are from very small teams, several being independents. A further two, CS:GO and Race 07, are iterations based upon previously successful formulae – Race 07 being 6 years old itself.
So what the hell is going on? Gaming as a past-time or hobby continues to grow year on year. The average age of a gamer is now something like 34. And the majority of releases are rubbish. Has it always been like this? Well, most likely. We do tend to put on the rose-tinted specs when considering the past. But as I suggested above, what I think is definitely being lost is the singular vision that produces your Minecrafts, your Elites, your Dayzs. And that makes me a bit sad.
Over the next few days, I’ll try to write a little about what makes each of the games I’ve listed a bit special to me.