Best of 2011 (WIP)

NOTE:Will have not played Skyrim,Skyword Sword,Uncharted 3,Battlefield 3 and a few other notable titles to a satisfactory degree until the new year.

So far,this list is not in any particular order.

List items

  • Visceral Games started this rather humble year off with a bang.While it can easily be argued that the dev team decided on a more action oriented experience,allowing horror to take a back seat,this did not stop me from enjoying DS2 for what it offered,a solid third person gore-fest amidst the backdrop of my favourite place-SPACE.Throw in a fairly competent multiplayer experience (borrowing elements from Left 4 Dead's whole survivors vs creatures thing) and some challenging difficulty options (beat the game with no more than 3 saves and no New Game+ equipment) and you've got yourself a well polished sequel that helps cover the possible betrayal of its roots by being more fun to play.

  • If you ask me,this game deserves a place for being one of the only unique and new IPs drowning in a sea of sequels that merely receive cosmetic changes.Some may have felt put-off that this was not going to be a traditional Rockstar game,but there's the beauty to it.This is NOT a Rockstar game,for not a single one of their many studios across the globe touched this project.Much like a popular producer in the film industry,Rockstar merely applied their company name to a project they had lots of faith in.What Team Bondi,the Australian housed developers managed to do here was deliver a fresh take on what usually comes with an "open world sandbx".They opted for making the storyline and any goals associated with it the main focus for players to achieve.This is not the case,as most players want to just cause havoc in the brilliant worlds and cities these devs craft.It is true that L.A. Noire would not fit everyone's tastes,especially to those who felt tricked by its sandbox aspect,but for those hoping for a new experience instead of ploughing through all these sequels,look no further than Detective Cole Phelps.

  • Human Revolution already started out on the right foot with me for its setting.The future is great and gives us plenty of wonders and what ifs that can be explored in a fleshed out and engrossing story.The latest in the Deus Ex series had it all.Excellent aesthetic design,a colourful cast of characters,a mood-setting soundtrack,a twist and turn plot and at the forefront,interesting and enjoyable gameplay.I was allowed to explore and clean out rooms of mooks the way I wanted my Adam Jensen to,and that is a key aspect to making a compelling argument on whether this latest iteration is a true RPG.My personal answer is 100% yes because simply put,I fulfilled the role of an Adam Jensen that played how I wanted him to.In fact,this beats Mass Effect in that regard even though Bioware have tried to push Shepard as our hero of choice.The problem Mass Effect suffers from is that the role play aspect only comes in with character look and dialogue choices,not gameplay.I just crapped on my favourite series.I feel dirty.Moving back to Deus Ex,it does suffer from its own role play problem and it comes,ironically,in the dialogue choice department.Nothing Adam Jensen says really carries as much weight as a choice that good old Shep would make.I've somehow come full circle.

  • Amazing game ahead! Now that is out of the way,let me tell you why Dark Souls sucked more than 100 hours of my life in just a few months.1:This game is merciless.Gone are the days of checkpoint abuse and bird-brained AI enemies that I have grown to rely on in the modern age of gaming.Instead,Dark Souls will always take you back once you have been inevitably slaughtered due to viscous and relentless foes,boss or otherwise.However,dying ain't all that bad,is it? Just simply retrace your steps and it's like nothing happened.Well,that is only partly the case.The souls (currency needed for both buying equipment AND levelling up) that you were carrying,no matter the amount,will be lost forever if you do not reach the place where you died last time to retrieve them before your next demise.This leads to good old fashioned 'hurl your controller across the room' moments.2:Combat.Dark Souls offers one of the most pleasing melee fighting systems I have seen for quite some time.Between reading enemy attack patterns,managing stamina,switching weapons,shields or spells on the fly,keeping your health high and being wary of your surroundings,this game will force you to stay on your guard.Also,there is no pause system exploit to switch gear.Resident Evil 5 anyone?3.Ornstein & Smough.....moving on.4.Unique online component.In a way,Dark Souls is a small server load MMO disguised as a hard as nails action adventure/RPG hybrid.There are a number of guilds-sorry,covenants to join,some of which encourage the PvP element of the game.Of course,the main attraction is co-op and if you want to survive the various bosses of Lordran,you'd better hope you can find some competent companions,or you know,be pro.

  • Saints Row The Third is a dumb game.Possibly the dumbest game ever made.There isn't much of a case to build against a toilet with a virtual arm cannon doing handstands on planes and using infinite parachutes to land on a zombie infested part of town and then beating said zombies with a glorified,floppy and eerily detailed giant purple dildo.Go ahead.Suggest a game that can rival The Third in absurdity.I double dare you,mother trucker.The funny thing is that Saints Row The Third doesn't particularly play well.Some of the mechanics feel a little dated,such as the lack of a cover system.Come on,Volition,it's 2011 y'all.However,it is easy to forgive and forget any gameplay janks that SR3 bares simply because of the seemingly endless open world options,creative mission variety and whimsical humour from the characters and the countless stupid situations they end up in.It does beg the question "what comes next?" Space,of course.