Sunday, 6 January 2013

Top 10: Games of 2011

Originally posted at Accursed Farms Forums on November 18th 2011.

It's late November and the year is finally coming to an end, and what a year. Though we haven't seen Gordon Freeman doing any return as of late, a lot of other heroes have been doing comebacks. Keep in mind though that I am almost 100% a PC gamer by heart, so don't expect to find any console exclusive titles here. And if your game isn't on the list, please don't whine about it, I can only really recommend games that I've actually played. So without further ado, let's get started!

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While it may seem like an outright Gears of War clone at first, Warhammer 40k SM is actually a very solid third-person shooter and personally it's my first Warhammer game as well. It has some good voice acting and solid gameplay, but a disappointing story and just the fact it becomes boring quickly keeps it from getting higher on the list. Definitely worth checking out though!

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A.R.E.S. is a great scrolling shooter in the style of Megaman and Metroid, and won't set you back much either as it only costs about 10€ on Steam and XBL. It features very nice graphics and has a delightfully oldschool feeling to it, reminiscent of the 16bit era games. The main reason I love this game is the music, an outstanding piece of electronic rock, which you can hear here:

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I have a soft spot for over-the-top action games and movies, and Bulletstorm delivers in LOADS. It has a very oldschool feeling to it and brings back some much needed humor into the otherwise serious FPS genre. If you want to hear memorable quotes while finding more and more inventive ways to finish badguys, this is THE game for you. The only thing bringing it down a bit is that the campaign is WAY too short and the multiplayer leaves a lot to be desired. Otherwise, I highly recommend this game as it's really fun to play.

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There's no denying it, the Sonic franchise has gone downhill steadily with the years. But lately we've seen it going up a bit again with Sonic the Hedgehog 4 and Sonic Colours. And Sonic Generations might be the climax we've all been waiting for. Dripping with nostalgia for all of us who grew up with the blue-fur blur, Sonic Generations gloriously remakes a suite of classic stages in HD and features probably the best music I've heard in the franchise so far. The controls feel spot on and, well, the game is FAST AS FUCK... like it should be. This is probably the definitive Sonic title of the later generation, bringing some much needed blast processing back to the series.

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While we didn't see Gordon Freeman return to our computers this year, Chell makes her delightful return in probably the best sequel ever. Portal 2, while clearly not as groundbreaking as the first game, not only continues the story of Portal 1, it also expands on the universe of the game and the story behind Aperture Science as a company. Delightful voice acting by Ellen McLain, reprising her role as GLaDOS, who gets a much bigger role in this game, Stephen Merchant as the seemingly helpful Wheatley and of course JK Simmons as Cave Johnson makes this game a very memorable sequel that greatly overshadows its predecessor. The music is also as great as you may expect, even taking part in the gameplay. And I don't care what anyone says, I still think "Want You Gone" is a better song than "Still Alive". The only drawback about Portal 2 is its linearity. There aren't really many ways to complete the test chambers and once you've played through the story once, there's really not much incentive to repeat the process. And while the game comes with a suite of co-op missions, you need a friend to play them. But otherwise, this is a must-have for people who want a different FPS experience.

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Probably one of the most anticipated games of all time, nobody believed we would ever see Duke Nukem Forever actually come out. But after 15 years of development hell, it's finally here. Love it or loathe it, Duke Nukem Forever, despite its flaws, is probably the game I've had the most fun with this year. It feels raw, unadulterated and over-the-top as hell and everything that Duke is supposed to be in my eyes. While it may have disappointed a lot of people, and it may not live up to Duke Nukem 3D's reputation, it's good to see Duke back in action. Hail to the king, baby!

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Wow, talk about a comeback from the guys who single-handedly popularized the FPS genre on PC's. Despite a lackluster launch with numerous issues on PC, RAGE is probably a game I will be playing far into 2012 if they release any DLC for it, which I strongly hope they will after the abrupt ending of the campaign. I love the attention to detail in this game, all the secrets, and not to mention the weapon selection. In many ways I also prefer RAGE to Fallout 3/NV because it actually has cars in it and has more of a Mad Max feeling to it. It's a great shooter that really shows that id still can create stunning engines as I would definitely call RAGE one of the prettiest games this year and also one of the smoothest as despite using enormous textures it runs at a smooth 60 frames per second.

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Well it was either going to be MW3 or BF3 this year, so I chose to go the CoD route. I can't really say much about this that hasn't been said in my review, so I'll put it short. It's an insanely polished shooter with a gloriously cinematic campaign and probably the best multiplayer out there featuring a ton of customization options and GUNS AKIMBO! While it may not be worth the hype it gets, it's easy to see why this is the best selling game this year.

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GREAT SCOTT! This must be a paradox! A GOOD BTTF game? Yeah actually. While technically released in december last year, BTTF is still a solid contender for best game of 2011. I really can't find ANYTHING negative to say about this game. The writing, the voice acting, the graphics, the music, the gameplay, EVERYTHING is solid gold here. I dunno what to say. Just play it. Now.

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I never thought it was possible to make the perfect stealth shooter, let alone a good Deus Ex sequel. However, Eidos Montreal clearly proved us wrong. The reason this is my number one game this year is... well... it has something for everyone. It's a RPG with a solid storyline that lets you customize your character, if you are into that, it's also a shooter with plenty of guns to keep you satisfied if you like THAT, and if you are into stealth games, then it has you covered too. Despite a few minor flaws, I would say this is the best game I've played this year and I give it my own "Game of the Year" award.

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