Games of 2011
I don’t feel hugely well equipped to sum up my games of the year. I’ve not finished Uncharted 3, Batman: Arkham City, Xenoblade Chronicles or even played Zelda: Skyward Sword. Oh and while I’m at it: I really wasn’t keen on Portal 2 despite trying my best to enjoy it. The story interested me but the puzzles annoyed me.
It’s been a busy year for games but I’m struggling to think of games that I think will be games worth returning to in years to come. Like the films of this year, there are many games I’d give 4 out of 5 to but hardly any I’d give 5 stars.
Still reading despite all that? Well done!
Tough one! For much of this year, the PS3 has been a blu-ray player in the living room so it hasn’t really been played on much except for work purposes. I’m keen to try Ico and Shadow of the Colossus at some point (they came out on the PS2 during a rare time in my life where I didn’t game much), I picked up inFamous 2 the other day for £7 and I’m part way through Uncharted 3. I did play Killzone 3 but found it a bit dull sadly. So, as much as I would love to say Uncharted 3, the winner has to be LittleBigPlanet 2!
Uncharted 3 has mostly disappointed me so far while LittleBigPlanet 2 has made me smile consistently as I played it, even if I haven’t played it as much as I should have.
Xbox 360 Exclusive
Gears of War 3
Easy! For the two weeks prior to Gears 3’s release, I played Gears of War 2’s multiplayer solidly in order to gain some precious achievements and mostly have fun. It made me wish I’d played it more at its peak. Funnily enough, that’s exactly how I feel about Gears 3. I’ve played and loved the single player campaign but haven’t yet played it in co-op with friends. It’s a similar story with the multiplayer, having still not hooked up with friends for any great length of time. The constant stream of experience and medals just adds to the fun and addictive package. Love it.
No brainer even though I’m only 12 hours in and nowhere near completing it. Xenoblade Chronicles is that breath of fresh air that the JRPG genre has needed for years. Honourable mention must go to Kirby’s Epic Yarn (released in 2011 in the UK) as, while it’s very short, it’s the happiest game I’ve ever played!
Ridiculous amount of hours put into but not quite deserving of a GOTY award
Familiarity breeds contempt. Skyrim starts out amazing. Spend long enough playing it that you gain all 1000 achievement points and a plethora of flaws emerge. It’s glitchy and the scripting is very iffy in places. Some of it can’t be helped in the game’s efforts to be non-linear but it still grates after a while. I’d have loved it if it had been half its length but more tightly designed. Unfortunately, you spend as much time as I have wandering around identical dungeons and it gets annoying. Still, it kept me hooked for a good 70 hours so it’s not all bad!
Might have been GOTY
Zelda: Skyward Sword – If I’d actually played it. Its reliance on motion controls put me off for reasons that I’ve frequently ranted about on Twitter (my Mum likes Zelda but thanks to her arm/neck disability, she can’t play games with motion controls thus she’s missing out when games really should be open to all!), plus I’d have to buy a Motion Plus thingy which puts me off a bit having spent a fair bit to get Xenoblade Chronicles to its optimal level by buying a Classic Controller.
Batman: Arkham City – If I’d played the game everyone else seems to be raving about. I’m very near the end and I still don’t get the fuss! Much preferred the tight narrative of Arkham Asylum.
Old faithful award
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
OK, technically it’s a new game but it’s not really. We all know that MW3 is a rehash and upgrade of Black Ops which was a slight change away from MW2 which was a slight improvement on MW1. I like it though. Black Ops had a shocking single player campaign but MW3 is pretty good for the genre. Utterly ridiculous, sure, but that’s what I want from such a game. It’s like going to see a big blockbuster action film. Predictable yet fun.
These awards do miss out such gems as Forza 4, Battlefield 3 as well as surprises such as Sonic Generations, Driver: San Francisco and harsh mistresses like Dark Souls. Over Christmas I’ve been enjoying Super Mario 3D Land too despite its ridiculous title. I still maintain it’s been a good year for gaming rather than a great one though.