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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: December 31, 2010 @ 8:15 pm

    Out with the old…

    Ciara O'Brien

    With the end of 2010 looming, I’m getting ready for a whole new round of games in the coming year. But first, here’s a few of my top games of the year. What are your top 10?

    1. Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood

    This has to be my favourite game this year. Yes, the assassins make it easier, no it’s not as huge a development as there was between the first and second titles, but ACB is fun to play, has some amazing graphics, and has managed to improve the gameplay from the previous title. It’s also one of the games that I’m still playing consistently.

    2. Call of Duty: Black Ops

    One of the most hyped games of the year, Black Ops has had a mixed reception. But Treyarch’s effort has some nice touches. It begins in the Cold War era, with a mysterious storyline that jumps through the memoies of operative operative Alex Mason through a series of flashbacks. There’s a few famous faces to be seen including JFK and Castro.┬áZombie mode is back, revamped. You can also play in 3D, should you have the proper equipment (i.e. an expensive 3D TV).

    3. Red Dead Redemption

    Wild West meets Grand Theft Auto. Red Dead Redemption put you in the shoes of former outlaw John Marston, and slap bang in the middle of dangerous territory. It has a great storyline, and serious replay value, on both single and multiplayer. Another one that keeps pulling me back in, time and again.

    4. EA Sports Active 2:

    Sports Active was originally released on the Wii, but it was limited. The use of the nunchuk, a controller and a leg strap meant you tied yourself up in some pretty impressive knots at times, although the game did what it promised: made you sweat. This year’s version does away with the use of the Wii’s controllers, and brings in motion sensors you strap to your leg and arm, plus a heart rate monitor. The Xbox version uses Kinect to track movement, making it even more accessible to casual gamers. One to help ditch the holiday weight.

    5. Heavy Rain:

    This was a grower for me. At first, I wasn’t entirely convinced by the control system and the slow pace of the storyline (and could Ethan Mars possibly be the most unlucky man on the planet?) but it wormed its way in and before I knew it, I was putting in some serious hours. With the launch of Move, the game got a lot easier to control too.

    Other games worth a mention this year:

    Mass Effect 2 - released too early to make the Ticket’s pages, but I’m definitely looking forward to Mass Effect 3 already.

    Super Mario Galaxy 2- You can’t forget about everyone’s favourite plumber. SMG2 brings Mario back to traverse new worlds, tackle new challenges and all in a slick, well-presented package.

    Green Day Rock Band - Music games may be so last year, but as both a fa of Rock Band and Green Day, this gets two thumbs up from me.

    Kinect Sports – Microsoft’s answer to Wii Sports. It’s entertaining and brings a whole new level of physical activity to gaming.

    World of Warcraft: Cataclysm - An expansion pack that feels more like a whole new game. Makes WoW more accessible for complete beginners, while also giving experienced users something to get stuck into too.

    Gran Turismo 5 – Another hyped and much anticipated game. It didn’t quite live up to it in some aspects (the damage model, for a start) but overall, the ┬áracing simulator was pretty decent. Plus it also came in 3D.