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SF Signal Readers’ Choice: What was Your Favorite SF/F/H Video Game of 2012?

The end of the year is often a time of reflection and, more importantly, list making!

Help us compile a list of the best genre video games of the year by telling us which science fiction, fantasy and/or horror games were your favorites. These do not have to necessarily be video games that were originally released this year — we are more interested in the best games that you played for the first time in 2012.

Sound off in the comments!

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

14 Comments on SF Signal Readers’ Choice: What was Your Favorite SF/F/H Video Game of 2012?

  1. Even though it was release in mid-November of 2011, Skyrim was one of my favorite games in 2012. Between the main release and the DLC over the past year I am still playing Skyrim and have logged some 300 hours in the game, utilizing its open-ended structure to create my own imaginative story lines while also engaging in those created for me by the games’ writers.

    Dishonored may not have had a tremendously deep storyline but the graphics were great, the world imaginative and most importantly the fact that you could spend the entire game sneaking up on people and knocking them unconscious made it a thrill akin to the same sneaking aspect of the older Thief games. I spent hours on what was a fairly quick game just because I couldn’t resist sneaking around and piling up the passed out bodies of every character in each level. Too fun.

    I also really enjoyed Alice: Madness Returns. It was an absolutely gorgeous looking game and the gameplay mechanics were fun. It can be argued that the sameness of the gameplay can get old but I was so sucked in by the weirdness and by the design of the game that I had fun from start to finish.

  2. I’ll say Little Inferno.
    It is a wonderful (also cheap and short – less than 4 hours to see it through) somewhat-dystopian fancy, not too dissimilar from the vidoogame alternative of a sf novellette. Highly recommended.

    Aside from that, hmm. Dishonored was great fun, in no small part thanks to the setting and style. Just as Carl said, Skyrim is still a strong presence despite being released pre-2012.

    I think ME3 came out this year? Still, Nope, Not gonna include that as a year’s best game. Too many things wrong with it.

  3. periklis begzos // December 28, 2012 at 9:16 am //

    “Skyrim”, “Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP” and “Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition”.

  4. David Whitbeck // December 28, 2012 at 9:29 am //

    Mass Effect 3 for scifi game, the ending was pretty much cliche scifi faire, having seen that kind of thing before I wasn’t upset by it as many others were (but still feel that those that hated it are entitled to their hate and outrage). It was certainly the most talked about rpg game of the year either way. And for me the game was amazing, it felt truly epic.

    My favorite horror game of the year was Silent HIll: Downpour, mediocre gameplay but awesome story and atmosphere.

    I only played one fantasy game, Dishonored, which unlike most people I thought was a boring, tedious disappointment. But it was the only fantasy game I played all year so while it was the worst, it is simultaneously the best.

    I don’t think that this was a good year in gaming. Not many interesting releases, we had the usual cod and halo junk and pretty much just everyone waiting on the Wii-U which released with a mediocre game lineup. I expect more of the same boring crap as more developers work on next gen games for next year’s release, letting the 360 and the ps3 stagnate.

  5. David Greybeard // December 28, 2012 at 9:31 am //




    both are Facebook games

  6. Telltale’s Walking Dead game absolutely blew me away. I haven’t played an adventure game, any game really, that has hit me so emotionally in years. Excellent game.

  7. Nick Sharps // December 28, 2012 at 12:02 pm //

    Mass Effect 3 will probably be remembered as my favorite game of 2012, even though I didn’t finish it. I loved the story and the greatest moment came when a friend watching me play remarked how different our two characters and their choices were. My buddy saved all his squad mates at the end of Mass Effect 2. For the most part he was a true hero, a paragon soldier. Myself on the other hand…I was a survivor. It was funny that something so small as the backstory I chose at the beginning of the first game so influenced the decisions I would make. A lot of it was really subtle stuff. I wasn’t a rogue or whatever, but basically it came down to the difference between Ender Wiggin and Bean. I was Bean. I was a survivor. It blew my mind how awesome it was that we had both played the same three games which have the same over-arching plot, and yet we could have such different experiences – all based on a subconscious effort I made to adhere to the character I built. I didn’t finish it though because the gameplay sucked. The menus and inventory may have been improved but the second Mass Effect was much, much more fun. I got so tired of those cheap shot enemies – the rocket troops and those sirens – they weren’t a challenge. I enjoy a challenge. They were a hassle, a chore.

    Halo 4 was a major surprise. I’ve liked each subsequent Halo game less and less since the original (with the exception of Reach). 343 Industries really did some great work. Granted, the overall plot is…not so coherent, but the interplay between Chief and Cortana is moving stuff. The best part though? The freaking combat man! It was fun again! The Elites were challenging opponents but even better is the inclusion of the Prometheans. They really deserve an award for how challenging they are. Unlike the Covenant, the Prometheans function as a military unit. The Covenant are just sort of enemies to slay, they’re all pretty lone wolf in a way. The Prometheans though, they fight as a team. The crawlers charge you, they keep you on your feet, pushing you back so that you can’t engage the Knights. If you do get in distance to engage a Knight from a safe distance you have to worry about the Watchers who will spawn shields to protect the Knights and toss your own grenades back at you. And then of course if you do get in to take on the Knights close and personal you have to worry about their wicked hardlight swords. Oh, and they can freaking teleport. Anyway it makes for some really dynamic combat.

    Dishonored was a bit of a disappointment in some ways, though it was still a great game. The story was unbelievably dull and predictable. The gameplay though, was fantastic, and the setting was unique. You have to love a game that lets you TRY stealthing only to screw up and trigger alarms…and still let you play on to figure out how to fix your mess. I hated that about Splinter Cell and most other stealth games. You screw up and catch a guard’s attention and it is game over. Okay, so in the real world if you screw up you just fail a mission and get to retry? Nah, you gotta work extra hard to clean up after yourself! So cheers to Dishonored for taking into consideration how bad I am at being a ninja. And for allowing me to summon a swarm of rats to devour my enemies…

    Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Oh Treyarch, you had no chance in hell. It didn’t matter what new stuff you tried or how much effort you put into making a good story. It’s cool to hate Call of Duty now, sorry to say. Regardless of the millions buying your game and the millions playing it, you have been demonized for a high productivity rate and inspiring a bunch of knock offs. Well, if it’s any consolation I thought BLOPS II was grand. The story was…phenomenal. Far better than expected. It certainly beat Halo 4 in that department. Seriously. And all those people decrying Call of Duty as jingoistic? Do you realize who the real villain is in BLOPS II? It’s not Menendez (though he’s pretty villainous) it is Cold War era America. Yes, the heroes are American but they’re covering up the mistakes of fellow Americans. Then there’s the gameplay – tight as ever but with plenty of cool new toys to try out. The in-game graphics may be a bit dated but the cut scenes are top notch. Plus there’s always multiplayer once you beat the campaign. Anyway, BLOPS II is a great AAA effort proving once and for all that Treyatch > Infinity Ward.

    And last but not least…Far Cry 3! I just started playing this last night and it is a lot of fun. Beautiful setting. Great premise. Tight combat. It’s funny but for once I’m actively avoiding story missions just so that I can explore the island. You don’t start out as a supreme badass – you have to work at it. Hunting animals to skin them and use the leather to make equipment. Gathering plants to make potions. Climbing radio towers. Jet skiing, hang gliding…it’s all every bit as fun as the actual fighting. And the characters seem pretty swell too. Maybe not as good as “Skyrim with guns” but still it’s a novel experience.

    • I just started playing Mass Effect 3 a few days ago and am loving being back in this universe. I know there is controversy about the ending, which I’ve stayed away from being spoiled on, and I’ll end up playing both endings just to decide how I feel about them. But so far, great to be back.

      Farcry 3 is one I have on my list to get at some point. Really enjoyed the first one.

      • Nick Sharps // December 28, 2012 at 9:44 pm //

        Mass Effect 3 has such an awesome universe. I really want to see it expanded. I’ve only read one of the books but it was rather good. There is just so much attitude and personality to it all – and since BioWare built the setting from the ground up it appears so much more deliberate than a lot of Star Wars stuff. If I ever get around to beating the game (I’ll have to suck it up and actually PLAY it) I’ll be interested to see if I’m as miffed about the ending as everyone else. Judging by what I’ve read it seems like there has been a massive overreaction. Either way, I’d love to see more games set in the universe, be it FPS or RTS or RPG. And a movie. Oh man. A movie would be so great. As far as sci-fi goes Mass Effect > Halo. Any freaking day.

        You should definitely check out Far Cry 3. A lot of the major annoyances I had with the second game (no fast travel) are gone. And it is a gorgeous game. And you can light bears on fire. So there’s always that.

  8. Michael O. // December 28, 2012 at 8:57 pm //

    X-Com: Enemy Unknown. A near perfect game, and one that had a lot of hurdles to leap with massive fans like me.

  9. Raimo Kangasniemi // December 28, 2012 at 11:55 pm //

    Star Wars: The Old Republic, although it released in mid-December 2011. Otherwise… I can’t really point any sf/f game that I would have really liked, but, admittedly, I didn’t play that many this year.

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