Well, everyone 2011 is over, my vacation has come to a close and I’m ready to get back to work. First off, let me say, Happy New Year to you all and I hope you all have a great 2012, (provided the world doesn’t end but I’m not holding my breath for that), and I hope it proves better than 2011. For me, 2011 was kind of a mixed year. In the movie department, the big screen was full of…well…unimpressive pieces. I mean, nothing really screamed terrible but nothing really screamed great either, especially compared to all the great films that were released in between 2008-2010.
In the television department we saw a bit more success. We saw the release of excellent series like Game of Thrones and Hell on Wheels, the surprisingly entertaining Terra Nova, surprisingly successful changes in lead roles on shows like Two and a Half Men and CSI, and decent continuations of other series such as House and The Walking Dead.
But more on all this another time. Today, I want to talk about video games and like films, it’s been a below average year all around. The vast majority of the games released this year seem to have been made up of games that should have been better than they were, (L.A. Noire), or mediocre sequels, (Dragon Age 2, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations). However, there have been a few games that really stood out but sadly there were many that I was unable to play, (my local rental store closed last year and it’s been making games harder to come by). But because I want to put 2011 behind me as fast as I can, I decided to put together what I consider to be the Top Five Games of 2011. Again, keep in mind that there are many games that I was unable to play like Skyward Sword or Witcher 2. And also, keep in mind that this is my personal opinion and you are welcome to agree or disagree with me on my picks and their placements. So with that in mind I present to you, The Illusive One’s Top Five Games of 2011.
Gears of War 3
I’ve stated many times that finales inevitable disappoint people and if you look a little too deeply into this game it will as well. However, in a year full of relativity disappointing shooters, Gears 3 really stood out. In terms of plot it offered a very satisfying conclusion to the series, and while not answering all questions, it implied and hinted at enough to let the player draw his or own conclusions. The characters were a bit of a mixed bag but any game that can make a causal fan of the games cry when the characters die, (and die they will), the writers and developers have done something right. And again it has all the great third person shooter controls that the developers mastered, fun gameplay and great multiplayer that was able stay true to the original but also able to expand on it. Certainly one of the better shooters of the year so if you haven’t played it, do yourself a favor and check it out.
HOLY SHIT! This one was good. It’s easily one of, if not the, best tournament fighter games I’ve ever played. I’ve already gone in depth to this game in my review of it and why it’s so good so I’ll keep this brief. In a nutshell, it actually had a storyline that was both compelling and interesting, graphics and gameplay that keep me coming back for more, and characters that were complicated, interesting and surprisingly fleshed out for the genera. With any luck this will be the standard by which tournament fighters will be made from now on and will hopefully bring in a new era for the genera. If you haven’t played it already, PLAY IT! IT MUST BE PLAYED!!!!!!
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
To be perfectly honest I’m not really sure if I prefer this game over Mortal Kombat, but I’ve been getting death threats over my opinion of this game so I decided to give it the number three spot, (again you people are worse than Twilight fans!). But what makes the devoted fan base so radical can be summed up in three words: Open World Gameplay. And even though I felt this game was very overrated, (I’ll go more into that another day), even I can’t deny that it’s great in that department. The sheer number of missions is impressive, the graphics are great, the look of the world is fantastic, the music, the atmosphere, the leveling system, and combat are all great and the sheer number of things you can do is incredible. If you decide to buy this game I guarantee you’ll get every penny’s worth out of this game.
Batman: Arkham City
I know in advance that I’m going to get crap for placing this above Skyrim, but again keep in mind that this is my list, and my personal opinion and I don’t really expect anyone to go along with me on this one. But, I still think it’s better than Skyrim. In a nutshell, this game KICKS ASS!!! The storyline was solid, it had great environments, fantastic gameplay, great characters and improved on its predecessor in nearly every way. If you want more details as to why this game is so good, just read my review of it or, better yet, buy it and play it. You will not be disappointed.
And Thus Far My Favorite Game of the Year is………
Star Wars: The Old Republic
While the verdict of this game still isn’t in from a lot of review outlets and a lot of people complaining that it’s a World of Warcraft rip-off, (one that isn’t completely unfounded), it’s proven to be what all these other games have not. Unlike Skyrim, it does have a decent storyline, well-made missions, and enjoyable characters. And unlike Arkham City, it has hundreds of hours’ worth of gameplay time and enables you to customize the look and race of your character and go to many other worlds with several interesting story lines. Along with it, it has the morality decisions that have become something of a staple in BioWare’s games. That and it has all the things that make MMORPGS great; the social aspects of team that mmo’s require, and all the other things that make mmo’s so good that I can’t think of right this moment.
And those are my favorite games of the year. Again, keep in mind that I don’t really consider this an official list and it’s just my opinion thus far and is subject to change as time goes on. All around I have to say, this year proved to be a little lack luster and I hope 2012 brings us some better ones. And, that’s all I have to say on this matter. So until next time, this is The Illusive One Signing off.