Author: Mike Bracken

Dead Space 3 Review

In Space, No One Can Hear Me Yawn

Dead Space 3 Screenshot

HIGH Dismembering Necromorphs still offers some visceral thrills.

LOW Being forced to fight wave after wave of cannon fodder enemies in the game's multiple kill rooms.

WTF Ellie's romantic interests seem to change pretty easily.

Bracken’s Best Games of 2012

Tera Screenshot

2012 is officially in the books, which means it can be time for only one thing: this year's installment of Bracken's Best Games of the Year. If you've already listened to our year-end awards extravaganza podcast, then you're well aware of what my top four games of 2012 were—but don't bail yet! There are six other games that made my top 10 of the past year, and you'll want to stick around to see what they are. Plus, if you haven't heard the podcast, the entire list is a mystery to you at this point!

Hitman: Absolution Second Opinion

The Most Murderous Janitor in History

Hitman: Absolution Screenshot

HIGH Sneaking around as a scarecrow while killing nuns is so surreal it's sort of fun.

LOW Having a guard 100 yards away see right through my disguise.

WTF Who left all these empty dumpsters around for me to hide in? Why does no one ever look inside them?

Torchlight II Review

Click-Click-Click-Click

Torchlight II Screenshot

HIGH Finding that final piece of gear that completes a set.

LOW Tossing out the 8 millionth piece of gear your character class can't use.

WTF Did a $20 Diablo II clone really wind up a better game than vaunted Diablo III?

Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time Review

A Tactical RPG for People Who Hate Tactical RPGs?

Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time Screenshot

HIGH Executing a flawless plan of attack in an important story battle.

LOW Sitting through the first ten hours or so as the game sets up its predictable story.

WTF Do I really want to find and try on different outfits for my bad anime-inspired helper?

Tera Review

More Tera-ffic than Tera-ble

Tera Screenshot

HIGH Getting a rare enigmatic drop from a dungeon boss.

LOW Spending thousands of gold trying to enchant that engimatic weapon to +9.

WTF Why do all the female characters look like prostitutes?

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition Review

A Witcher's Work is Never Done

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition Screenshot

HIGH The moment when the combat clicks and Geralt slices through five or more attackers with ease.

LOW Twenty minutes of pure exposition before the game's final moments. Very clunky.

WTF Being tossed into the story with no clue who any of these people are if you didn't play the first game.

Xenoblade Chronicles Review

Is Xenoblade the Greatest JRPG of This Generation?

Xenoblade Chronicles Screenshot

HIGH Taking down a rare monster ten levels higher than your party with Melia in the lead.

LOW Traipsing through seemingly endless sidequests to build affinity.

WTF The ending is weirdly reminiscent of Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Silent Hill: Downpour Review

Who Can Stop the Rain?

Silent Hill: Downpour Screenshot

HIGH The Hansel and Gretel play sequence—it's a cool setpiece that pays off in an even cooler way.

LOW Too close to call—clunky combat or the occasional crashes.

WTF Why are there so few enemy types in this game?