2012: The Year in RPGs

For what is presumably his last WRPG-focused column of the year, Rowan Kaiser takes a look at the RPG genre and how it fared this year, new releases, re-releases, controversies, etc.

Here's a snip:
March: Mass Effect 3 came out and dominated discussion of all games for the next two months. My dislike of the ending itself is well-documented, so I'll just make two quick points: first, it's only because everything else worked so well, through all three games, that a five-minute ending could be such a shock; and second, how crazy awesome is it that a video game's story inspired such argument?

April: Lots of old-fashioned RPGs got funded on Kickstarter this year. But The Legend Of Grimrock actually got released in April. It's an homage to the tile-based, real-time, puzzle-filled, party-created RPGS of the late '80s and early '90s-important games like Dungeon Master, Eye Of The Beholder, Lands Of Lore, or Stonekeep. The puzzles and I don't get along, so I've always struggled with this subgenre. But I'm delighted that it exists, delighted that it's successful, and especially delighted that its developers have added a construction kit.

May: "Error 37." I'm not sure I've ever seen a game as brilliantly constructed to play as Diablo 3 fall apart so completely at every higher level, from those first few days of pain to a game-breaking auction house. It's one of the best games of the year at the same time as being one of its most disappointing. Blizzard made bank, of course, but it'll be fascinating to see if this will damage its once-stellar reputation.