Missed out on the previous entries in the list? Fear not: with handy links, we can get you up to speed in no time!
[PART ONE] [PART TWO] [PART THREE] [PART FOUR]
And on we go!
12. Company of Heroes 2 (Relic Entertainment)
|So many troops! As in real-life, |
the western front can be a slaughterhouse.
The sequel to the 2006 masterpiece takes quite a few cues from its predecessor and tries to expand on them. Both games are set during WWII but, while the original focused more prominently on the eastern front of America fighting the Nazis, CoH2 jumps to the western front and focuses on the Russian forces. There are plenty of new features – weather matters, it’s easier to move around the battlefield, and so on -- but there are still some things that the sequel doesn't get quite right when compared to the original.
|A more conventional view of Company of Heroes 2.|
Still lots of troops, now with explosions!
Though the game was released in 2013, this year brought a much-needed expansion returning the Americans as a playable force -- and brought back much of the magic that the original held. Company of Heroes still remains the greatest RTS I've ever played -- it got so much right that other RTS games simply don't understand -- but CoH2 is a valiant return to the front, and one that I will enjoy for years to come.
11. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (Monolith Productions)
|So much motion blur...|
It was because of that love that I was instantly intrigued by Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor -- a game that would allow you to openly roam through a part of Middle-Earth, discover some of the lore hidden within and even delve into subplots that would have been occurring during the events of the books/movies? Sign me up! Thus, I was ecstatic that Shadow of Mordor also proved to be an incredible journey full of intense combat and some genuinely entertaining gameplay to sink some hours into.
The game sets you as Talion, a ranger from Gondor tasked with guarding the Black Gate into Mordor. At the beginning of the game, the Black Gate is attacked by some of Sauron's lieutenants and, unfortunately, Talion (and his wife and son) are killed. Instead of passing on to the afterlife, however, Talion is bound to the spirit of a wraith who you eventually come to know as Celebrimbor. The two of you are set on a path of vengeance against Sauron, hoping to one day fight and strike down the Dark Lord.
|Did I mention that there's also a big stealth aspect to the|
game? I'm sure I must have mentioned that...
Seriously, though: the combat system is smooth and intuitive, drawing some serious influence from the Batman: Arkham series. Each blow should be measured and timed just right, but it never feels difficult and is always incredibly rewarding. Add to this the Nemesis System, which will have orcs who struck you down returning stronger than before, or orcs you thought were dead coming back to haunt your every move, and you have a truly excellent game. Shadow of Mordor belongs on the shelf of every gamer this generation, and not only if you love Lord of the Rings.
And on we go! We've reached the halfway mark; we can only go up from here! The top half of the list features some heavy hitters, some unorthodox choices, and a few games that are fairly old in comparison to the others. Still, we have lots of work to do and we're only halfway there.
Until next time!
Missed any entries, or want to skip ahead? Check out the whole list here:
[PART ONE] [PART TWO] [PART THREE] [PART FOUR] [PART FIVE] [PART SIX] [PART SEVEN]