As we all start to prepare for the new year knowing the world isn’t going to end on us anytime soon, there’s no better way to celebrate than sitting back and playing some of the best Mac games available on the platform right now. This year in our game of the year article, we’ve messed around with some of the categories a little bit. So without further ado, here are our favourites from the year:
OneClickMac’s Game of the Year is…
What we love about Borderlands 2 so much is its progression from where the franchise started. The original Borderlands felt like a game with huge ambition, but limited by the shackles of the technology available at the time, financial support and time commitment available for a new IP that isn’t an assured success. Borderlands 2 does away with all these limitations, and absolutely knocks it out of the park. Its shear scale, variety and quality all the way through the 40 – 60 hour campaign is absolutely incredible, and how it manages to keep up the consistently hilarious writing and lively character design as well I don’t know.
You’ve been telling us your game of the year in our recent poll and the bat once again flew to first place.
Batman returns in this huge expansion upon its predecessor, Arkham Asylum. City places Batman in a large open-world prison metropolis, with thugs lurking around every corner and three familiar crime bosses ruling the streets. It’s an impressive and wholly enjoyable game with a mix of stealth, hand-to-hand combat and platforming to create a very diverse experience.
Best Single Player Experience
Coming out with a sequel to a popular game is hard enough, coming out with a sequel to one of the best games in history is a real challenge. BioShock 2 takes what BioShock did best, and refines it. It still contains the same mix of plasmid-to-gun conflicts and a storyline that continues the Rapture legacy and introduces some good (but mostly ugly) personalities. The spookily, eerie Rapture continues to be hauntingly atmospheric, whilst still hinting at a romantically antique paradise ruined by human corruption and greed.
It wasn’t just the Witcher 2′s graphics that set it apart from all the rest. It has a level of authenticity not found in most modern games today. This is caused by the game’s robust day/night cycle where if you come by the butcher at midday, you may find him gutting a fresh pig. At midnight, shops are shut and instead the inn is abuzz with the local villagers, drowning away their sorrows in a pint or two. The Witcher 2 causes you to sit back in your chair, and marvel at the level of engineering that has gone into the open-world hubs in the game. It’s a truly impressive game.
RAGE has some of the slickest first-person shooter mechanics in any game to date and you should expect no less from the makers of Doom and Quake. id Software certainly haven’t lost their skill in creating intense, edge-of-your-seat action sequences, and RAGE then merges this with a fully open-world hub to explore.
Best Action/Adventure Game
Bastion conveys its beautiful, vibrant world like an artist creates a scene in a painting. Its immaculate detail and variation in fierce flora and fauna make it a memorable and very immersive experience. This, combined with a spirited narrative and excellent sound work, make Bastion a sensual experience that should be enjoyed more for its gameplay and eye candy rather than for a gripping story.
Splice submerges you in this heavenly microbial world that you just can’t pull yourself away from. As you navigate its levels like a spiritual waterborne creature, a sense of relaxation and tranquility washes over you, lapping against your real world worries and doubts.
Best Strategy Game
This new iteration of the Total War series only adds upon the foundations laid in Rome. As well as the long awaited improved visuals, Empire: Total War – Gold Edition slaps on another layer of unprecedented depth and scale to the turn-based and real-time gameplay. Whilst some added complexity may alienate newcomers, longtime strategy gurus will only find delight in this modernised Total War.
Best Horror Game
Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a testament to how the brain can do horrible things to you if it wants. As you peer round each dark, gloomy corner and gently open every creaking, splintered door, your evil, twisted subconscious is sitting gleefully in your brain, pulling all the right chords to make you scared out of your mind. All of these subtle gameplay choices culminate to make the most genuinely chilling and consistently heart-pounding experiences you are ever going to play in a virtual reality. Frictional Games are obviously professionals in the horror genre and Amnesia: The Dark Descent is their best creation yet.
Best Point-and-Click Adventure Game
Botanicula represents Amanita’s second major release after Machinarium. A new setting, new main characters, a new plot and a new graphical style, I wondered how well the design company would make the transition to another game and whether it could possibly live up to its predecessor. I needn’t have worried, because Amanita have put all of their effort and creative genius into what is a brilliant and completely original game that improves upon and revolutionises an already winning formula.