I’ve played a lot of games over the past year and I kinda feel like I need to go over some of the ones that have made 2011 one of the best years for games. There’s been a lot of sequels and a lot of new IPs so here’s some of my favorites from the year.
So nice, I bought it thrice! I love this game dearly. Never really having dabbled with the original game until just before this games release, I was coaxed into this game with all those super stylized, slick, tech noir trailers that came out a year or 2 before the games release. The visuals were amazing, the soundtrack incredible. The game immersed me like no other this year. The ability to customise and play the game however you choose is this games greatest strength, making the main protagonist Adam Jensen YOUR Adam Jensen. The world is packed full of information and you can easily choose not to hack computers or read emails, but it enhances the world in which you inhabit. The stealth approach was the most fun for me and most fitting given that the games achievements have a lot of hints towards the Metal Gear Solid series. The campaign is lengthy, coupled with great story telling this, at least for me, was one of my best games of the year. It was refreshing to have a game that was solely focused on single player, as the majority of this generations games has some kind of tacked on online aspect. This game just focuses on the story and given that I don’t really play games online was ideal for me. I bought the expansion ‘The Missing Link’ which adds about 4-5 hours onto the main story, which, while the main game is already massive story wise, adds a lot more to it. For full effect, buy the missing link and enjoy the full package.
This game is just pure FUN. This game is basically what GTA used to be before it went super serious. This game is just…perfect. The violence is over the top, the humour is well…actually funny, the storyline is just plain stupid and some of the set pieces are just so ridiculous (play the first couple missions and you’ll know what I’m talking about) that they can probably be held as some of last years greatest gaming moments. At no point during my time playing the game did I feel like the game was beating me up side the head with a giant purple dildo with it’s stupidity (I mean that in the nicest way) forcing me to do stuff I didn’t want to do. It gives you the freedom to do what you want and completely at your own leisure, but allows you to do a ton of stuff off of the main missions. One of its strongest aspects really is the humour. At no point did I feel that the laughter subsided later on in the game. It was constant, the jokes were fresh, mostly immature, but seemingly would appeal to everyone. I will admit that at some points during the games “saints book” side missions I did get super frustrated, but I persevered and got my first Platinum trophy in over 2 years. I heard a lot of stuff about this game before its release and not being a big fan of the previous 2 games in the series was super dubious, but luckily for me I broke and bought it anyway and I’m glad that I was able to experience such a great game. So seriously don’t hesitate and BUY THIS GAME!
While not one of my best games of the year, Dead Island for me was a interesting experience. Trapped on a tropical island full of the undead you wake up as 1 of 4 survivors each with their own unique skills. The main combat in this game is close quarters so choosing the person with the best stats for blunt weapons seemed a no brainer. The game, while frustrating at times, for me personally was very atmospheric. Only having a broken boat oar as a weapon knowing that you could possibly walk into a closed off area with about 5 zombies wanting you as their bloody, meaty sorbet after finishing off their main course laying on the floor is unsettling to say the least. There was my fair share of jump scares and running away, praying that I didn’t get chewed on by a zombie. This game didn’t get overly fantastic reviews, mainly mixed. Personally for me I thought this game was pretty good. I finished the game after putting many hours into it. The main areas which you have to traipse through are beautiful, spoiled only by some ugly pop in textures from time to time. The missions are mostly fetch quests, which can get tedious very quickly (i.e. water woman from the first island) Somehow though just being given the opportunity to slice off a zombies head with a katana or setting a bunch of zombies on fire with molotovs makes all of the tedious missions bearable. The story is virtually non existent but let’s face it, coming into a game where you’re battering the hell out of zombies left, right and center isn’t really in it for a story. Typically this isn’t my sort of game, but the post apocalyptic setting, zombies, and weapon variation was enough to keep me entertained. It was a fun romp while it lasted.
I’M BATMAN! At least that’s what the games first achievement told me, so i’m going to take that for what it’s worth. This game was amazing. I’m already a big Batman fan, and Arkham City is one of my favourite games. Instead of the confines of Arkham you’re given an entire section of a dilapidated part of Gotham, known as Arkham City. Quincy Sharp is now mayor of Gotham and brings in Arkham City to keep all of the inmates together, giving them a vast playground to play in. There is a turf war between some of Batmans greatest villains including Two- Face, Joker and The Penguin, which sets up the main story line of the game, on top of about 15 other things that makes up its expansive and rich story. The combat as ever is tight, and being able to beat down about 10 henchman in a single group gives you an immense feeling of power. The gadgets are plentiful with a couple of new editions which can be integrated into the free flow combat, making you feel even more awesome after the last blow is dealt. The main story line is gripping and some of the side missions allow you to see more of back story to more of Batmans greatest foes. Riddler is back again with over 400 trophies to gain. Some of these are simple to find, some of these are a complete bitch to obtain, making me feel even better knowing that I was lucky enough to obtain all of them. Doing so gives a greater pay off as you’re able to come face to face with The Riddler, bringing his saw style tyranny to an end. The game is full of secrets, nods to other characters in the Batman lore and much more. This game is essential to those who like comics and Batman, but also to people who like playing games in general. Everything in this game, from the combat, to the visuals, to the gripping story makes this an ideal package for anyone who has thumbs and a control pad. Cat woman isn’t the greatest playable character though…just sayin’
What is Drakes deception? We’ll never know because it’s not really talked about in the game…but anyway, Uncharted for me is one of my favourite game series of this generation. I got Uncharted bundled when I bought my PS3 for the 2nd time (sickening I know) I went in blind not knowing how amazing it was going to be. The game was mind blowing. Uncharted 2 surpassed the original with even more ridiculous over the top action and set pieces. Uncharted 3…feels the same as Uncharted 2. Don’t get me wrong that’s not a bad thing as I really like the 2 previous games in the series. Drake is as charismatic as ever, and his interactions with others is still as humorous as ever.The story is strong and expanding on the main protagonists back story makes you feel more empathetic to the Drake character and his supporting cast, mainly focusing on how he came to meet Sully. Having played the Gears of War series, I didn’t really gel with the characters in that game as I really didn’t feel they had personalities. I wasn’t engaged by the story, and would just play it to the end just to say I did. This game though oozes with charisma. The gun play strangely didn’t feel as tight as the previous installments which was quite surprising considering that Uncharted had strong game play. I’ve heard that it’s been patched since, but I’ve not been back to it since. The multiplayer is fun, though to be honest i’m more of a story driven focused player and would rather have a fantastic story as apposed to shooting the crap out of real players. Uncharted isn’t a gigantic leap for mankind as much as Uncharted 2 was, but if you’re massive fan of the series, or just a fan of shooters in general, then this is makes up a brilliant trilogy of games.
This game is incredible. The story is top notch, the characters and voice acting top notch, game play top notch! I enjoyed this game from beginning to end. Valve does it again. GLaDOS is the perfect antagonist, Wheatley a fantastic side kick. To say that the main character Chell is a mute, the game really shows it strengths when you’re able to give a personality to your protagonist without them even muttering a single word of dialogue. Having a strong cast of characters to flesh out Chell or even Aperture Science thanks to the voice of Cave Johnson. Reading up into some of the more intricate details that a lot of people who’ve played this game (including me) never saw astounds me. It astounds me, just knowing that so much effort was put into every facet of the game, even knowing that not a lot of people would take their time to admonish your hard work. I have a very large appreciation for a game and it’s team of developers when they put their heart and soul into something to create not just one of the smartest puzzle games of this generation, but filling it’s rich environment with detail. I never was able to play co-op as no one I knew had the game on my platform so I wasn’t able to play that, though I wouldn’t mind to. I’d basically recommend this game to anyone that has a current gen console…which is a lot of people…SPPPPPAAAAACCCCCEEEEEE…
So there was a selection of the games I liked this year. It’s barely a scratch on what I’ve played, but were the ones were the ones of 2011 that stuck out to me while writing this. Let me know what you think in the comments.