GOTY 2011

My personal list of favorites for 2011

List items

  • Just great fun from start to finish, one of the only games this year where I can honestly say I could not stop playing until I squeezed out as much Sainting as I could.

  • Huge fan of the franchise and the sequel did nothing but make everything twice as good. Not sure if I'm ready for a '3' unless they make some drastic changes though!

  • Portal 1 was a cool tech demo with a little story added in the end. Portal 2 added a ridiculous story, full of humor and beautiful looking setpieces atop a world I actually cared about.

  • Deus Ex was a breath of fresh air in RPG's this year. The things it got wrong were minor and completely overshadowed by the overwhelming amount of things it did right. A great ride from start to finish, where the journey counted more than the destination.

  • Great improvements made on the storytelling. While may not have wrapped up all the loose ends we were dying to know about, it provided some profoundly touching moments that most military action games can't come close to.

  • While after all my initial hype and anticipation Dark Souls did not top Demons Souls in my opinion, I still enjoyed revisiting the world From Soft so cryptically crafted in their souls universe.

  • although I didn't get a chance to finish it for technical reasons it was great fun. The pixel graphics were so smooth it blew my mind and the game mechanics were insane. Amazing how someone came up with that.

  • A lot of games claim they invented some system of combos that keeps you in the action. Usually this means some sort of silly meter that while helpful from time to time doesn't really warrant getting out of cover that much. Space Marines insane approach to health management by way of murdering accomplishes that feat flawlessly. I've never played a game where when I was low on health I'd charge head first into a group of enemies before. The fiction was an added bonus as I went Vinny on this game and actually read a book or two.

  • The Batman experience in Arkham Asylum felt perfectly claustrophobic and appropriate. Arkham City on the other hand felt superfluous and generic. The story itself was quite awful. The mysterious Hugo Strange plot was so incredibly idiotic in my opinion and the subsequent reveal felt like it was reaching. The city had no identity to it - everything looked extremely similar and encountering the same thugs on the same rooftops got old eventually. That said theres no denying that no other title does what the Batman games accomplish at such a high level. The combat was seamless just as before and the new cast of bad guys was entertaining and unique in their own ways. I hope they reel it back for the next experience.