Written by Logan Sharp
Hope you all had a chance to listen to the episode 10 of the 8Bit Heroes Podcast, our last episode of 2013 where we look back on the year and choose what we believe to be the best 2013 had to offer. Some of the categories include movies, tv shows, comics and last but not least, video games. Co-host Derek Smith chose The Last of Us as his 8Bit Game of the Year whereas my pick…well…I picked the Walking Dead, a game I thought came out this year, but was promptly reminded by several friends that it was the 400 Days DLC that came out this year. Thus, I must now pick a game that came out this year.
To be honest, I’m not sure why I did not think of these other games save for the fact that Walking Dead Season 2 just released and my mind has been focused on that. Regardless, there is no shortage to choose from. From great games like the Tomb Raider reboot to Bioshock Infinite and we were also treated to some great indie games from the likes of Brother: A Tale of Two Sons and, more recently, Resogun. It goes without saying that 2013 was an exciting year for gamers: Diablo III came to consoles, two Lego superhero games (Lego Batman 2 and Lego Marvel Superheroes), the reboot of Tomb Raider and two brand-new, next-generation consoles.
Looking back, the games I spent the most time with were Tomb Raider, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Bioshock Infinite, Grand Theft Auto V, Batman: Arkham Origins, Lego: Marvel Superheroes and Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, the last two having written the reviews for on this very site.
But which one takes the title of my “8Bit Game of the Year”? Spoiler: it isn’t Batman.
When it comes to choosing my favorite game of the year, it has to have a few things:
- A great, immersive story
- Spectacular and engaging gameplay
- Massive amounts of content
- Smooth controls
- Great art design/look
The three that I would place in the “Final 3” are: Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. Now, it comes down to picking just one. As much as all three of these are able to take home the title, there was one that shined just a bit brighter than the others.
Assassin’s Creed 4 caught me off-guard. Coming off the coat-tails of the terribly dry Assassin’s Creed 3, I had honestly given up on the series. With much trepidation, I picked up AC4, pushed the disc into my Xbox 360 and hit Start. 30+ hours later, I could not believe the amount of fun I was having with the game. Whether I was in the Jackdaw sailing the seas or on land searching for treasure, I was always doing something and enjoying every minute of it. (Except for those terrible escort/follow missions)
While the story was in the same tropes as before, the modern-day side of the story interested me more than previous games and I found the tongue-in-cheek environment of it quite humorous and interesting. Makes one wonder if Ubisoft is secretly a company of Templars seeking world domination. I’m confident they aren’t because of their bone-head decision to push Watchdogs back. And Edward Kenway is quite possibly my favorite Assassin’s Creed character, which is saying something considering how much I enjoyed playing Ezio’s games.
AC4 reminded me of the fun these games could have but it also helped me to see the true potential these games can have. While Bioshock Infinite is a close runner-up, I’m giving Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag the title of 8Bit Game of the Year.