It seems to me that 2012 has been the year of the assassin. Games like Assassins Creed III, Dishonored, Hitman: Absolution, and Lego Lord of the Rings (just trust me) have all focused on the art of silent murder. Additionally, games like The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings and Mark of the Ninja feature assassinations as central plot points. It would only make sense that my game of the year for 2012, Dishonored, is all about assassinating enemies.
The main draw of Dishonored was the sheer amount of options in the different assassination missions. Corvo, Dishonored’s protagonist, could travel virtually anywhere in the city of Dunwall, and he could complete his missions by killing everyone or no one at all depending on the your choices. These choices also changed the city in general. Killing too many guards and civilians increased the amount of Weepers (zombie-like creatures) that roamed the city and helped decide how many people lived or died.
Combining the different story options with the exceptional characters makes for one of the best experiences of the year. Corvo’s companions (especially Samuel) provide an excellent backdrop for each mission by making comments about the world and enemies.
I was fairly worried about Dishonored because I have never been the best at stealth games, but Arkane made a game that can actually be enjoyed without restarting a mission each time you are spotted. Dishonored is truly a wonderful experience.
Runner-Up – Sleeping Dogs – Running around Hong Kong as Wei Shen was one of the most entertaining experiences that I have had this year. Honestly, how could you pass up the option to beat someone with a fish, throw them in your trunk, or hijack a truck at high speeds?
John Newby is a friend of the site. He hosts a podcast over at GamesSportsandMore.com. Check him out on Twitter.