Greetings all as we enter into Easter, as I try to lighten your heart with fire fueled memories of what 2011 brought us (although, admittedly very late). Here, I shall be looking at the second half of 2011 and all the joys it brought to our gaming worlds.
Summer brought about two extremely brilliant titles, Bastion and Limbo. Bastion sees the action/RPG genres combined in a breath taking number of ways. ‘The Kid’, sets out to restore his world to its former glory after the calamity it has just experienced. As the player explores the world, be ridding of enemies, accompanied by the smooth sounds of a 1980’s smooth radio presenter, commenting on every action and helping uncover he story as if the player was amid an actual fantasy story book. With the extravagant use of colours, the mind doesn’t need to paint it’s own picture of what is happening, the excellent graphics exceed many visuals that a person could think of.
Limbo also released, the surreal black and white puzzler, whereby you take control of the main character, in Limbo, a place between heaven and hell, in an attempt to save your sister from what lurks within this black and white nightmare. With a style which reminds me of the Abe’s Odyssey franchise, the monochromatic use of colours and lighting helps set the style for what is a very crass use of gaming magnificence.
August brought it with it some autumn treats. Deus Ex: Human Revolution being a stand out candidate. The futuristic vision of humanity has led to a technology making a few stronger, faster and a damn sight more badass than the rest. In a divided world, you are Adam, a Sarif security expert who has been rehabilitated after an attack from high-tech soldiers left you to die, and the company info in jeopardy. You set out to discover who was behind the attack, yet discover more than you thought you would.
Praised for it’s astonishing soundtrack and varied game mechanics, Deus Ex certainly ruffled a few gaming feathers. With its choice system actually implemented, whereas most others don’t really deliver, this first person shooter, RPG, stealth hybrid allows you to play the game how you want to. An obstacle can be dealt with how you see fit, and that is part of the beauty of this game.
But alas, it can’t all be perfect. Where in choice, it masters, in other areas it falls. The boss fights are a little lackluster, as well as a few technical drawbacks in the gameplay, such as a relatively weak AI system, but overall a very well ended game, which encourages replay. With an engrossing story line equipped too, it’s definitely worth at least a rental.
We were also gifted with Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, a tremendously designed simplistic spaceship shooter. With immense colouring, and an addictive grip particularly within the multiplayer aspect, it makes for a perfect, adrenaline pumping ride for those involved and those watching. A story line consisting of little
With many sports season’s starting around this time, it would be fitting for each franchise to send their playing hands out around now. With the NHL, we saw NHL 12, FIFA 12,Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 and F1 2011.
I’ve finally) got my hands on F1 2011 and I must say, it is absolutely magnificent. Having a formula 1-car roar as it bursts down the straights adds to the blood pumping tension as you try to hold onto the half a second lead for just two more laps. F1 2011 gives the players better use of car handling this time around, with more precision needed to get the most out of the laps which is greatly needed, especially with the AI being more intelligent and more pushing than before. The AI will take your racing to a higher level than before, making the F1 2011 experience that tad more realistic, even with the difficulty low it can be quite tricky to gather pace within the laws of the race.
The graphics are also very good, with the wet environment given great plaudits. They could be sharper but while the race is brilliant, it’s easy to forget the externalities outside of the track.
The only real downside is the online multiplayer, many of whom do not wish to race, but seem to believe they are back to playing Destruction Derby. But find yourself a set of players whom do actually wish to race and not destroy your car, then it can be even more intense, but really the single player mode has it all right there for you anyway.
This joyous month also saw Ico and m Shadow of the Colossus re-released. This PS2 favourite with buffered graphics still brings about a rewarding and satisfying journey to slay the skyscraper esc Colossus’ in front of your journey. If you played the original, this is worth purchasing again for the updated graphics, as it looks terrific. It still holds that aesthetical feel about it. One of the first games to take my breath away even with its simplicity and. To be engulfed in a game not only for what the story offers but also for what you see always goes down well.
Obvious big trendsetters were Batman: Arkham City, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Forza Motorsport 4,Battlefield 3 and Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, October clearly brought out all guns blazing with these massive titles. Clearly, it was early Christmas for many, and if not, many added to Santa’s wish list this year. Having already covered these I shall skip this month, but basically if you haven’t got these yet, empty your account and get them all, they are all absolutely brilliant and worth every single penny.
With November, came what is in my mind, the greatest game of all time, especially from a nerdy point of view. Yes, I am talking about Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I cannot emphasize how excited I was when I heard about it, read about it, and saw the trailer, but upon getting it, I was in Skyrim heaven. I somehow sacrificed around 150 hours in 2 weeks, whilst maintaining a regular day pattern.
With its illustrative graphics, its atmospheric soundtrack and the vast world for exploration had all the signs towards an amazing RPG. Class creation is among the most diverse, where the player can be whoever they want to be, from an Ogre who specializes in magic, to a .I haven’t mentioned another reason this game is so epic, slaying Dragon’s!
The only downside to this massive title is repetitive nature that all RPG’s suffer from in their side quests and a handful of glitches, but with the size of the game, it’s to be expected. This is however a minor issue as it is avoidable and is mostly there for character improvement and treasure hunting.
As the year drew to a close the treats started to fizzle. December went cold, especially in comparison to the months before. Mario Kart for the 3DS was released, with Mario and co coming to life with more racing action in 3D. A must have title for any console, and a name which certainly defines Nintendo, there is never a dull moment in this flurry of shells and banana skins aplenty.
We also saw Trine 2 release mid December, a sequel to one of the best-downloaded games of 2009,and a puzzle platform making use of cooperation to cross each level. Trine 2 makes use of a multiverse of colour in bringing each level more alive than ever, for what it is, graphically it looks one of the best I’ve ever seen. With three heroes at your will, each with their own abilities, you must figure out how each character’s ability can help to pass each level.
Other than that, the end of the year didn’t offer much else. With an expansion pack for Battlefield 3 being the only real notable release this month.
Hope you have fun playing your 2011 games in 2012 still! It’s nearly summer time and I’m still playing most of these titles!