The Best of the Rest
Because last year was such an amazing year for video games, a simple “best and worst of 2011” article couldn’t possible do justice to all the great, innovative or otherwise fun games that came out.
Here are the rest of the games that are worthy of your time.
*Commenters’ identities marked in the following colours:
Batman: Arkham City
No other game captures the pure essence of the Dark Knight. From the fluid movement and combat, to the stealthy dispatching (but not killing) of enemies, this game does it perfectly, in a clever setting that gives you just enough freedom without taking you out of character.
There’s a huge following out there that will have you believe that BF3 is THE COD killer. Well, it’s not. Boring, generic single player campaign reminiscent of Black Ops, lower frame rate, graphical glitches and questionable user interface decisions drop it down a few pegs, but in the right situations, with a group of friends to squad up with, it shines brightly like those damn nuclear-powered flashlights in the game.
Ok, so it was crass, gory, and juvenile, relying too much on dick jokes, but once you look past its vulgar exterior, you’ll find a FPS that actually rewards you for thinking strategically and varying your approach. When faced with a group of thugs standing around a red barrel, would you A) merely shoot the red barrel next to that group of thugs, or B)use your leash to grab one of the thugs, pull him towards you, shoot a proximity mine into him, kick him back towards that red barrel, thus detonating the barrel and killing the thugs. That choice is all yours – and I hope you chose the second option or made up your own.
Bonus video: To hammer home the point that Bulletstorm was a totally different experience from all the “modern warfare” shooters, they came up with this free downloadable “game” called “Duty Calls”
Child of Eden
I’ve only played a demo of Rez, the psychedelic spiritual successor to CoE, so I don’t have a huge affinity for these types of rail shooters, but I really liked Child of Eden while playing with the Kinect. Most reviews will wax poetically about this game’s beauty, but I’ll stay away from all that pretentious BS. Child of Eden is the kind of game where you jump in, start playing, and immediately become absorbed by how fun it is to flail around like an idiot. There’s no cool way to play it. The story is utter garbage, and the game seems to be written by Japanese new-age hippies, but it’s a blast of colour and light and sound that should awaken anyone’s inner child (Sorry, was that a bit too pretentious?)
I don’t feel it get’s enough recognition but it’s a great game with amazing graphics and very fun multiplayer. I just wished that Guerrilla Games supported their game more with new DLCs and map packs. It just seemed like they’ve barely supported the game and it kind of disappeared. The Move motion controls with the Sharpshooter are tailored made for this game and I’ve actually made it one of my goals to replay the single player with it in hopes of being competitive in the multiplayer as well. Nothing beats pointing a gun at the TV screen!
Much has been said about the troubles that the game’s developer, Team Bondi, went through in making this game, and the studio’s eventual demise. It’s unfortunate because the game was amazing, and introduced a new motion capture technology called MotionScan, which accurately captured the actors’ facial expressions. While it got repetitive after a while, the acting and voice work was top notch, and the open world recreation of a 1940’s Los Angeles was a breath of fresh air for gamers jaded by other modern sandbox games.
Marvel vs Capcom 3
MvC came back in a big way, first with the online release of Marvel vs Capcom 2, and then with the release of this brand new game. The story doesn’t make a lick of sense, and the on-screen action might give kids seizures fits, but no other video game gives gamers the same frenetic pace and screen-filling attacks that Marvel vs Capc… wait wait, what? Capcom released Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3? Fuuuuuuuu…
Bonus video: If you don’t know what the fuss is all about, one word within a word: Mag-fuckin-neto (oh he’s so pringles)
Remember those old dorky debates we used to have back in the day between Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat? Well, you can rekindle those now that Acclaim has rebooted MK. Complete with its signature fatalities, memorable characters and gore, MK is THE game to get if you’ve ever yelled out “Get over here” in Scorpion’s voice. The game is absolutely loaded with content that will probably take you the entire year to unlock.
Game of the year for many reviewers and rightly so. Truly a great game. Check out my First Impressions of the game to get a quick review of the game. The multiplayer is somewhat of a tacked on feature that is popular among many players but not something that I can get into. I only dedicate my time towards the story and having recently finished it, I can agree with most reviewers in saying that it’s a great game worthy of the accolades. My only complaint is that the shooting/targeting mechanic isn’t as tight as I would have preferred and one sequence in the dessert that I felt dragged on a little too long.