Welcome to the Geeks of Doom Holiday Geek Gift Guide 2012: Video Games edition!
If you still haven’t gotten all of your Christmas shopping done, a great quickie gift is to just go the video game route. Sure, they can be a little pricy brand new, but most geeks these days will gush with joy at thine offering. The biggest challenge is making sure they don’t already have a game before getting it for someone.
If you’re looking for a list of some of 2012’s best video games, and video game gift options, be sure to continue on below now for plenty of titles, links to where you can get them, a little about the games, and also links to trailers and our own reviews.
Mass Effect 3 Xbox 360 l PS3 l PC
Despite the outrage over the game’s original ending, Mass Effect 3 was still one of the best games to come out this past year as Commander Shepard finally comes to the point where he must stop the Reaper threat once and for all. Too often are our memories short, and a bad ending can do severe damage to something otherwise remarkable. But with the free extended version BioWare released to make up for this outrage, the game’s ending became far more satisfying.
Mass Effect 3 was the biggest, most intense game in the series yet, and the worlds you visit look more beautiful (and sometimes devastating) than ever. These games are about as close to space exploration as most of us will ever get, and all three are must-play titles. If you or those you’re looking to buy video games for have never played this series, you can start with the originalMass Effect, move on toMass Effect 2, and then finish the fight with this third installment. They even finally released the first game for the PlayStation 3, allowing for this collection to be made available.
Dishonored Xbox 360 l PS3 l PC
Developer: Arkane Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
By far one of the very best games to arrive this year, and even one of the best games to be released in the past few years, Dishonored offers an incredible and unique adventure.
The game mixes first-person and stealth gameplay with supernatural abilities and a Neo-Victorian and steampunk setting. The result is an endlessly entertaining campaign, where you’ll infiltrate, locate, and take care of people who were responsible for the Empress’s assassination on your way to finding answers, while taking in all of the beautiful destruction of a city overrun by a vicious plague.
You can read our review HERE and check out the game’s trailer RIGHT HERE.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II Xbox 360 l PS3 l PC l Wii U
Developer Treyarch really stepped it up with their sequel to 2010’s Black Ops and the follow-up to Infinity Ward’s 2011 installment in the Call of Duty franchise, Modern Warfare 3.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II offers so much to do, with fun new tweaks to the familiar franchise to keep you entertained and occupied for hours and hours.
The game has an action-packed campaign to play, endless hours of multiplayer chaos, and, as always, a whole lot of zombie killin’ to be had.
You can read our review HERE and check out the game’s trailer RIGHT HERE.
Hitman: Absolution Xbox 360 l PS3 l PC
Developer: IO Interactive
Publisher: Square Enix
We waited a long time to finally get a new Hitman game, and it’s finally here with Hitman: Absolution.
The game has you playing once again as Agent 47, more deadly than ever, as he continues to go about taking out his targets as quietly and efficiently as ever. 47 has only gotten better with age. But this time around, he finds himself seeking answers, answers about those he thought he could trust and what their true intentions are.
The Walking Dead Xbox 360 l PS3 l PC
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
The Walking Dead game (not the upcoming first-person shooter one from Activision; the point-and=click one from Telltale Games) has fittingly stormed the game world, much like a hungry pack of walkers.
A five-part episodic point-and-click game, very few expected anything from the game. Telltale’s games are fun, sure, but they don’t always make a big splash. All of that changed here. One after the other, gamers have played the game, and raved about just how good it is—one of the very best of the year, believed by many.
This was recently solidified when The Walking Dead beat out other popular titles like Dishonored, Mass Effect 3, Assassin’s Creed III, and Journey to be named Best Game of the Year at the 10th annual Spike Video Game Awards.
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two Xbox 360 l PS3 l Wii l Wii U
Developer: Blitz Game Studios, Junction Point Studios
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
If you’re seeking something a little more kid and family friendly, there’s always Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two.
The sequel (original game found here) reintroduces forgotten Disney characters and attractions, as well as some very familiar ones, as players visit new and old locations to explore in this puzzle-based platform game. All of the in-game characters are voiced by their official voice actors.
Need For Speed: Most Wanted Xbox 360 l PS3 l PC l Vita
Developer: Criterion Games
For fans of the racing games, Need For Speed: Most Wanted is an option worth peeking at.
The game offers multiple types of high speed races and gameplay options that are sure to get anyone’s virtual adrenaline pumping. Modeled under the same model as the 2005 game of the same name, the game is all about becoming the “most wanted” driver of your friends.
Halo 4 Xbox 360
Developer: 343 Industries
It’s been a long time, but Master Chief is back!
After Bungie ended their work on the Halo games with Halo: Reach, Microsoft moved on to a new developer, 343 Industries, to not only pick make the next game in the franchise, but do it in grand fashion with the long-awaited Halo 4.
This time around Chief will become reacquainted with some old foes, but he’ll also come face to face with a nasty new enemy, the Prometheans, who have their own collection of baddies, each presenting its own challenge.
Far Cry 3 Xbox 360 l PS3 l PC
A game called “Skyrim with guns” by one critic is a game that’s hard to ignore.
Far Cry 3 offers an massive open world adventure, where you can bump into just as many of nature’s deadliest creatures as you could mankind’s.
In it, you and your friends are on vacation on a tropical island when you’re all taken captive by a group of pirates who plan to force your parents into paying big cash for your release, and then selling you into slavery. You escape, and must find a way to save your friends.
Max Payne 3 Xbox 360 l PS3 l PC
Developer: Rockstar Games
Publisher: Rockstar Games
The Max Payne games already have a faithful fan following, so a third game in the series was an easy sell.
Rockstar did a great job in tweaking some things to make sure that Max Payne 3 was ready for the current gaming consoles, while keeping that classic, gritty Max Payne feel.
In the game, Max finds himself drinking more than ever as he works as a personal body guard for some very rich people in Brazil. But as is the case with most wealthy folks, other people want what they have.
Fable: The Journey Xbox 360
Developer: Lionhead Studios
If you know a fan of Microsoft’s Kinect games, Fable: The Journey is a game that sets the bar a little higher. We’re still not quite at that perfect mixture of motion and controller gaming, but this one moves away from that Wii feel and closer to an actual game.
The game is set fifty years after the events of Fable III, and will also read your save file from that game to set up your Journey game accordingly.
The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings Xbox 360 l PC
Developer: CD Projekt RED
Publisher: Atari, Namco Bandai
It feels like forever ago that The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings came out, because it was first released on PC way back in 2011.
But it 2012, the game was released for console gamers to try their hand at, and, while hard, it won many new fans.
In the game you play as a witcher, a slayer of monsters with special abilities, and your story will take many different turns depending on the choices you make throughout the game, leading one of many possible endings.
Borderlands 2 Xbox 360 l PC
Developer: Gearbox Software
Publisher: 2K Games
Easily one of the most popular shooters and multiplayer games of the year, Borderlands 2 offers a ton of fun through non-stop action and a highly-stylized, comic book-type visual presentation.
Once again you’ll have four playable characters to choose from, each with their own special abilities, and you’ll move throughout the world completing tasks and missions given to you by non-playable characters and bounty boards to obtain experience and cash and so on.
If you’re into the party and motion games and prefer your Wii to all the other consoles, Nintendo was the first to jump to the next-generation version, the Wii U.
This new system combines the motion gaming with a tablet-like controller, allowing for some interesting new games to be made.
Check out a trailer for the new console RIGHT HERE.
AMAZON SHIPPING INFORMATION
If you’re ordering through Amazon.com in the United States, here’s their ordering deadlines for delivery on or before Christmas Eve (12/24) for items in-stock shipped to physical addresses within the United States and marked “Ships from and sold by Amazon.com” or “Fulfilled by Amazon.com.”
– Dec. 18: Free Super Saver Shipping
– Dec. 19: Standard Shipping
– Dec. 21: Two-Day Shipping (order as late as 7:00 p.m. EST; varies by item; free with Amazon Prime)
– Dec. 22: One-Day Shipping (order as late as 3:00 p.m. EST; varies by item; as low as $3.99/item with Amazon Prime)
– Dec. 24: Local Express Delivery (while available; select cities; varies by item; as low as $3.99/item with Amazon Prime)
– Dec. 25: Email and printable Amazon Gift Cards can be sent immediately, at any time
Amazon Prime members can place orders up until 7:00 p.m. EST on Dec. 21 to receive deliveries by Dec. 24 using Free Two-Day Shipping (cut-off time varies by item).
*Super Saver Shipping is FREE on orders $25 and over.
Remember, if all else fails, there’s also the Amazon.com Gift Card, you can have emailed to the recipient (arrives immediately) or you can print out the gift card at home and give it to the intended that way. If you order in enough time, you can get the physical gift card sent to you.