So many genres, so many great games, where to begin?
How about on the Battlefield:
They say that good things come to those who wait, and DICE certainly knows how to make us wait. Even with 2142, 1943 and the stellar Bad Company entries, we knew that DICE was hard at work on a true Battlefield sequel, and it shows. The gorgeous visuals produced by the Frostbite 2 engine make that $2,000 HDTV or high end PC worth the purchase, and the best-in-the-business sound design makes war come alive in an all too realistic way. All of this is put to use in the refined and magnificent multiplayer, which takes the best elements from each of the previous releases and combines them into one sweet package. Battlefield 3’s perfect blend between simulation and arcade action is what makes it so addictive to any and all FPS gamers. Above and beyond the call? You bet your ass.
Gears of War made the third person shooter what it is today. Therefore, it’s only right that Epic Games’ flagship franchise carry the genre into the next console generation with guns blazing. With top of the line visuals and gameplay mechanics that keep getting better, it’s no wonder Gears of War is synonymous with the genre. Many have tried, but few have lived up to the pedigree set by the partnership between Epic and Microsoft. It will be a long time before someone can dethrone Gears of War as the king of third person shooters. Where the series goes next is still a mystery, but what’s certain is that it will once again be a first class experience.
What is a role playing game? An immersive experience that makes you forget your own reality. Yet, one might have the very same definition of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. An engrossing experience that makes you forget your own reality like no other. A living, breathing world that sucks you in and never lets go. You can and will spend hundreds of hours in the vast lands of Skyrim, and not once will you ever question why you’ve forgotten to eat, sleep or go outside. Such is what makes the best role playing game of the year. Such is Skyrim.
Arkham City isn’t the game Gotham wants, it’s the game Gotham needs. When Rocksteady let it be known that they were taking their winning formula out of the Asylum and into the open world, many wondered if it could be done. However, once Arkham City descended onto the streets, gamers worried no more. A seamless blend of action, adventure and high flying open world gameplay combined with a story deserving of the Dark Knight, Batman: Arkham City is not only the best action/adventure game of the year, but one hell of a candidate for game of the year. With Arkham City, Rocksteady has single handedly erased the negative stigma of super hero video games. Well done, lads.
That’s all we’ve got to say about that.
It’s hard to improve upon what is widely considered one of the best damn franchises in video games. Fight Night has revolutionized boxing games again and again, and has somehow always managed to keep it fresh and exciting every time. With Champion, we not only got fluid mechanics and brutally realistic visuals, but a story so good it would make Rocky proud. Throw in a great soundtrack, tons of single player and multiplayer content, and you’ve got the best sports game of the year. The sweet science has never felt so good.
Yes, Ken Block cannot shut his stupid mouth. Yes, Gymkhana events are a pile of utter shite. Yes, it’s not a proper rally sim. What DiRT 3 is, however, more than makes up for that- a proper old fashioned rally game. The game should be so rated highly solely on the basis that it includes a Lancia Fulvia alone, but there’s so much more, and we don’t just mean the other beautiful and incredibly fun classics. The sense of speed in DiRT 3 is superb, and when coupled with easy to pick up but tough to master handling, the game is an exercise in pure petrolhead fun. The race car driver in us wants to give this award to F1 2011, the enthusiast in us wants to give this award to Forza 4, but the gamer in us declares DiRT 3 the best driving game of the year.
Necromorphs are nasty things to face, especially when you’re alone in the dark. The image of your dead wife continues to follow you around as you slowly sink deeper into your marker-induced insanity. You’re Isaac Clarke, space miner and insane badass. Had to slaughter through an entire ship of necromorphs to escape in Dead Space 1, you say? How about an entire metropolis full of dimly lit corners and screaming necromorphs for Dead Space 2? You’ll never be able to sit easy with yourself, since the wonderful blend of Dead Space 2’s haunting score and dark atmosphere makes you feel as if a necromorph could vault from any corner at any time and start tearing you apart. Better watch those vents and keep that plasma cutter steady, this is the best survival horror game of the year, and one of the best of this generation.
There’s plenty more where that came from, the genres continue!