As always I've spent a lot of time this year playing games, a lot of League of Legends and a lot of small indie games. I've found myself largely moving away from the triple A space and looked to smaller more minimal things for the most part of late. I've played some good games and some games that want to be a lot more than they are--but weren't. However one of the best games that I played this year was a game that is a couple of years old, is something more like a triple A title, and that wants to be more than merely "a game." And it is more than that.
Spec Ops is an effort at creating something like a classic tragic narrative in a video game, something not generally possible in a medium where eternal life and growing more and more powerful and competent in order to "win" is usually the central goal. The game is able to define a tragic situation for the protagonist and implicate the player in the flawed nature of the game's "tragic hero." It's an awfully interesting and well executed experiment in game storytelling.
Since I was so take by the game and we hadn't discussed it in the past, we focused on it this week in lieu of some big Christmas sequel that is less experimental and is more of the same.