The end of the year approaches. It is a dark time, when energy bills sky-rocket, the number of must-buy releases swells to impractical proportions, and family members arrive to plague you with their stupid demands for love and attention. Consider this article an oasis in the desert, reader - a place to stand, take a deep breath and reflect on the past twelve months.
In a startling break from editorial tradition, we're putting together a "best of 2012" round-up for the magazine. You know, the papery version of this website. And to do that, we need your aid. Which of the titles released this year are you most pleased you shelled out for? And more importantly, why?
I'll start the ball rolling with the observation that we had a damn good late-spring/summer this year, thanks in large part to a startlingly brilliant Xbox Live Arcade line-up. Spelunky, Fez, Trials Evolution and, of course, Minecraft supply plenty of bang for your Xbox Live Gold subscriber buck. There's been plenty to gloat over on the boxed RPG front, too, with Dragon's Dogma, Mass Effect 3 and The Witcher 2. I'd probably single out Dragon's Dogma for special mention, despite the fact that it's patently inferior to the other two in terms of plot and cinematic direction.
As for the winter, it's a dead heat between XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Mark of the Ninja. Halo 4 wasn't quite the bombshell I'd hoped for, and Assassin's Creed 3 left me gasping for air. Dishonored? I'll have to get back to you about Dishonored. I love the game on paper, but the toolset is shade too austere for its own good.