Monday, 16 January 2012

2011 - The Lows


In my last article I looked back at the high point of my gaming 2011. Unfortunately, with any high, there has to be a low. 2011 had a fair share of those as well.

Test Drive Unlimited 2, it is practically a swear word to many gamers. It had great potential and looked set to improve on the original in leaps and bounds. Now with two whole islands and lots of new social features. It could of been the first successful stab at the Motoring MMO. What we got though was something else... a car crash from start to finish. Imagine paying £40 for a on-line driving experience, only to find that the online portion of the game did not work yet. Then finding out that the driving experience was exactly up to par as well.  Dodgy physics and dreadful handling made this almost unplayable at times. Then there was the wait for the miracle patch that will fix everything. We waited and waited and then waited some more. A month after release the patch was released. It was too late though as most people had already traded in for something else. The one thing a MMO driving game need is a community.

Duke Nukem Forever, the most anticipated game in the history of anticipating games. Duke Nukem 3D was great. I remember playing it and laughing at all of the jokes and innuendo. I was 18 at the time though. I read the reviews and the PR company outburst at the reviews. It gave me the impression that this one is best to be left on the shelf. Though when the demo became available on Xbox Live, I thought to myself. "It won't hurt just to try it. Right?" Wrong! The demo was awful and outdated with really lame gags about being macho or sexy. The gameplay showed how far games have come in the fifteen years it had taken to make this game. Gearbox took the brunt of the negative comments towards the game. Which was really unfair, as they took control of a sinking ship with a tight deadline to get it out. Borderlands 2 will hopefully show the world again how great gearbox are.

Rage championed id Software's new IP and new engine, idTech 5. It was mainly very successful. If you didn't own a PC with a ATI or Nvidia graphics card. The texture pop in issues that were present on both console versions were escalated to ridiculous levels on the PC version. The PC elite immediately saw this as a stab in the back from one of their most valued developers. Personally, My main problem with Rage wasn't the game engine, it was the ending. id games always have the excellent boss battle at the end of the game. Rage though did  not end as the games title would have you think. It was more a case of less rage and more that was it? No boss just wave after wave of mutants and a cut scene. Hardly any closure there at all.

My biggest low of the year was Alice: Madness returns. Well not actually Alice Madness Returns, but the downloadable copy of the original Alice. I have fond memories of this game and was looking forward to playing it again. My fond memories are now destroyed forever. It had not aged well and the control scheme was awful. Sometimes retro games are meant to be just that... left in the past.

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