Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top 10 of 2011 - Pt.1

It's that time of year again in which lists are created, titles are compared, and only one game can be chosen as a personal "Game of the Year". With past winners like Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Resident Evil 4, or Red Dead Redemption; the game that stands out the most with the truly unique and memorable experience is the only one to come out on top. Not so unfortunate, the list has plenty of those titles. There were some true gems this year, and to name only one was actually a difficult task. What makes one game better than another? How do you compare a First Person Shooter to an RPG? The list was shuffled, tossed on the ground, thrown in a dryer, and neatly trimmed to what I feel could be justified. If it's on the list, you should do yourself a service and check it out.

Dead Space 2
PC - PS3 - Xbox 360
Developer: Visceral Games
Publisher: EA
Release Date: January 25th, 2011

Dead Space was one of the most intense survival horror titles I had ever played, and the sequel somehow managed to one up the original. The biggest appeal of the game is not only the satisfying gameplay, but the impeccable sound design. The vicious screams of the horrors in the shadows, the crunch of ligaments as they are shot off, and the electronic thud of every shot fired from the plasma cutter. This element combined with stunning visuals and vistas that brought out a bit of beauty amidst the gore and chaos. Though the multiplayer left a little to be desired, the fantastic single player was full of scares. It was one of those games that I immediately hopped back into to experience all over again.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution
PC - PS3 - Xbox 360
Developer: Eidos Montreal
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: August 23rd, 2011

One of the more underrated titles this year, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the sexy lovechild of a RPG and cover shooter. The game allowed freedom in a confined space, allowing the player to become a battle hardened combat thug or stealthy assassin. Each room was a playground, daring you to overcome your own personal challenges; be it sneaking past without alerting a single guard or picking off everyone one by one. The freedom to evolve your character coupled with a fantastic story, visual presentation, and one incredible soundtrack that was sure to treat your subwoofer nicely. It's a total package of a game, and one worth any player's time.

PC - PSN - Xbox Live Arcade
Developer: Super Giant Games
Publisher: Microsoft
Release Date: July 20th, 2011

It seems odd that a downloadable title would be so high on the list, but it is very much the case with Bastion. An arcade title like no other, Bastion took a simple top down action RPG and gave it clever presentation. Everything from the narration, to the story, to the unique western electronic soundtrack cultivated into one memorable experience. It felt as if I were playing a classic SNES title that I missed out on, and still held its own against some of the big name titles this year.

Honorable Mention:
Dark Souls
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Battlefield 3
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Infamous 2
El Shaddai

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