Tuesday, 10 January 2012

2011 - The Highs

So 2012 is here already. It is time to reflect on the year gone by. Also, seeing as every other gaming website is running their 2011 pieces, I figured I should do one as well.

The Highs:

2011 was quite a year really. The real world seemed to be collapsing towards a financial apocalypse of the dullest kind. This was broken up with revolution, fighting, shootings and rioting protesters. That was just here in the UK! All across the globe people seemed to be going out onto the streets to bring down their respective governments or dictators. The real world had a bad year.

The gaming year on the other hand was a cracker. The year started quite quietly with only the launch of Marvel Vs Capcom 3 to tide people through until March where things really stepped up. Crysis 2 was an awesome shooter and a completely different experience to the original. It was much more linear, but still made for a great game. The 3DS launched in the UK and whilst tempted to get one, I held off in favour for my special birthday present... a 28" monitor!

April saw many people's game of the year hit the shelves. Portal 2 was gaming brilliance. It was everything I wanted from the sequel. Story... superb! Co-op campaign... Awesome! Level design... Heavenly! Most of all though, it was Stephen Merchants turn as Wheatley that stole the show for me. Pure genius and I don't think a video game has had as many laugh out loud moments as Portal 2.

Before I knew it was the end of May and Rockstar unleashed L.A. Noire. It was amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment I spent with the game. Ground breaking facial capture turned gaming into something quite different. It became a more emotional experience. Then the stories of Team Bondi started surfacing and my hopes of regular episodic DLC were dashed, as the studio shut its doors.

The end of the year saw a tremendous amount of quality titles released. Call of Duty and Battlefield went head to head for the first time. The media hype machines went into overdrive and we were bombarded with advertising and trailers. Who won though? I don't know for sure, but my money went down with the Battlefield crew and I have been very happy with my choice.

November saw a return to The Elder Scrolls with the launch of Skyrim. I love Skyrim, It is in incredibly realised and beautiful world. The adventures that I have had in your caves, mountains and dungeons have been sublime. One of the problems with being a gaming Dad though, is that around the run up Christmas your game-play time disappears into almost nothing. So I am sad to say that I haven't played enough of Skyrim and I hope to make the time in 2012.

The game of the year for me is no surprise. It was going to be great from the first announcement, then the first screenshot and then the the first trailer.

Batman: Arkham City was my game of the year. It took everything from the original Arkham Asylum and cranked it up to 11. The open world environment worked brilliantly. The feel of being Batman was perfect. Arkham City is probably the best treatment of a licence ever. Even more with the the continued release of challenge maps and new characters, I hope to be playing Rocksteady's Bat-Epic well into the New Year.

2011 had great number of gaming high points and 2012 seems to be full of them as well. New Resident Evil just weeks away. Bioware finish their Mass Effect trilogy. Old friends come back to us in the form of Max Payne and Agent 47. Possible new console announcements from both Sony and Microsoft. All of this and Grand Theft Auto V.  Things are looking good for 2012, despite what the Mayans say.

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