Its been a tough year for gamers, partially due to the lack of consistent quality titles, though I’m sure I’ll receive many afflicted retaliations to the contrary. But its the financial difficulties are solely at fault, with austerity dictating the quantity of titles at your disposal, which in turn makes matters tough when gauging fair and reflective opinions on 2012’s releases. Though what I believe to be a distinctly average year of significant titles, there have been some incredible additions; Capcom straying from the traditionally safe releases, and attempting to emulate other successful RPG’s with their ambitious undertaking of Dragons Dogma. The return of agent 47, moulding old a new elements to create something all together more provocative. After an extended hiatus for one of gaming’s most defining, though clinically depressed cops, Max Payne made an emotional yet welcome return. Dishonoured, Borderlands 2, Mass Effect 3, not to mention the majestic sand pit that is Journey; any of these varied titles would probably sit comfortably in anyones top 10. As demonstrated above, there have been many fine, profound contributions, but only one has beguiled me so effectively, and profoundly indulged my primitive tendencies in ways others simply failed to emulate, for me its all been about Sleeping Dogs.
Sleeping Dogs exuded a promiscuous, exuberant swagger that a game such as this had no right too, especially considering its staggered inception. It demonstrated a subtle confidence, a dissension so impervious to rationality and an immersive attitude vastly more recognisable to other releases of the year, not just for the alternate setting, but (and I’m hesitant in how I carefully articulate this point), reminiscent of GTA’s more influential, lucid and more deranged titles. Sleeping Dogs was hardly symbolic of the modern-day Tokyo, nor is it really respected for its technical, artistic integrity which is about as credible and refined as a pint of larger with an accompaniment of battered mars bars. But my reasoning for enjoyment is not for its sincere sensitivity to the infirmity of a deranged society that simply tolerates the irresponsible recklessness, of its sociopathic police presence, but for the more intimate satisfaction to pirouette around the stray fists of your assailants, and reticulate with penetrative kicks, debilitating lunges that shatter a healthy pelvis, and condensing ones manic facial contortions into sticky condiments of satisfying confectionary, with the aid of a buzz saw. But despite the macabre retaliations, the violence never felt excessive, but more of an exaggerated protraction of your own masculinity. Sure it’s hardly a distinguished characteristic of interactive entertainment, but it’s still distinctly applicable and infectious.
Ok so my opinions are considered as conclusive as trusting the credentials of a doctor in the world of fiction, and yes Sleeping Dogs has the sophisticated etiquette of an attention seeking ape, tossing bananas and feces in the air like petulant confetti, and intimidating you by waving its genitalia and other impressively intimidating extremities. The arcade style driving was invigorating but messy, the gun combat felt tethered and Tokyo was smothered in arbitrary cosmetic design, which made environments repetitive and largely repugnant. With characters that looked as though they’d been bathing in vaseline, and draped in clear film whenever the elements conspired to drench them, but it demonstrated a pronounced ferocity, with moments of vivid indiscretions of vengeful mutilation that is hardly a valued commodity these days, that was so confidently integrated into an intriguing, admittedly predictable tale of betrayal and ethical accumulation, that you just can’t resist but supplement your curiosity. Every aspect was engaging, even attaining a Platinum was fun! It borrowed elements from almost every successful game, and implemented them with confident embroidering, even the things it did wrong were tolerable. Sleeping Dogs was just the defining, non apologetic narcissist an average year of gaming craved.
What was your favourite game of 2012?
Happy New Year and all the best for 2013.