Best of 2012: Canadian Edition – Best Overall Shooter
2012 was a year full of top-quality shooting games; there were big multiplayer blockbusters like HALO 4, Black Ops 2, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, and Borderlands 2. Then there were single-player adventures that featured some of the best stories this year including the cult-favourite Spec Ops: The Line, 2k’s The Darkness II, and Bethesda’s Dishonored.
It was also the year when Canadian-developed shooters brought their big guns (forgive the pun) to the ultra-competitive genre. Rockstar Vancouver brought us Max Payne’s third and most impressive adventure, Relic Entertainment brought us deeper into the ground war between man and Orks in Warhammer 40K Space Marine, Ubisoft Montreal dropped us into the deceptively beautiful, pirate-infested Rook Island in Far Cry 3, and Slant Six Games brought us back to the Raccoon City incident in their squad-shooter Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City.
One thing was sure, there was no shortage of great shooters made in the great white north.
This year’s contenders are:
- Max Payne 3 – Rockstar Vancouver
- Far Cry 3 – Ubisoft Montreal
- Warhammer 40K: Space Marine – Relic Entertainment/THQ
- Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City – Slant Six Games/Capcom
Find out who won our award for the Best Overall Shooter after the break.
And this year’s Best Overall Shooter is Ubisoft Montreal’s Far Cry 3!
As fun and engaging the other games were, none of them could compare to the scope, depth, story, characters, and quality of Ubisoft Montreal’s Far Cry 3. As I had mentioned in my rather lengthy review of the game, Far Cry 3 immerses its players in a kill-or-be-killed world where brutality and violence are keys to survival.
Many of us at JTM never got bored of the game because of the amount of missions you can do and collectibles you can find. As well, the game allows players to be as creative as they want to be with how they want to play the game. Want to be badass gunfighter? Shoot away. Want to be a stealthy killer? Sneak away. Want to be crazy death-defier and put C4 on your jeep, drive it towards an enemy stronghold and blow it up? You can do that too. You’re free to go about every mission however you want and rewards you the more creative you get.
Oh and it really helps that the graphics look amazing, especially on the PC. Far Cry 3′s graphics is top-notch. Draw distance is quite far, even on consoles. Gone are the drab and uninteresting color palette from Far Cry 2, replaced with an abundance of greenery, white sands, and beautiful clear bodies of water that really drives the island’s vacation-destination look.
Far Cry 3′s characters were as memorable as they were crazy. I think many of us here would agree that Vaas is in the running for the “villain you love to hate” award if there ever was one. The guy was unpredictable, crazy, violent and the spark that will ignite your vengeful rampage throughout Rook Island. Then there’s Jason Brody, the once pampered and privileged protagonist that goes through quite a character arc during the course of his adventure.
One the gameplay per dollar front, you get a lot of bang for your buck. Not only did Far Cry 3 come with a rather lengthy single-player campaign, it came with a fun co-op campaign and a fully featured competitive multiplayer suite. And let’s not forget the deep map editor feature that allows you to create and share your maps online.
We chose Ubisoft Montreal’s Far Cry 3 as our Best Overall Shooter of the year because it represents an evolution in the Triple-A open world blockbuster genre; it proves that developers can tell a deep, thought-provoking story whilst providing excellent gameplay and production values synonymous from large productions.