All this week, Biff Bam Pop’s various writers will drop by with their thoughts on the best of the year when it comes to tv, music, movies, comics and more. Monday, we looked at what topped our tv list, Tuesday featured our musical faves while Wednesday was all about comics. Today, Biff Bam Pop’s gaming gurus tell their favourite plays of 2011.
Not a bad year for gaming! Heavy hitters such as Batman: Arkham City, Gears of War 3, Uncharted 3, MW3, and a few others all hit the shelves, making it a very confusing time for gamers figuring out what to play first! I made my decision for Game of the Year based on the overall playability of the game, including its appeal to not just the hardcore gamers, but also the casual ones.
While there were a few games that could have taken the top prize, I have to give a two-way tie to Batman: Arkham City and Modern Warfare 3.
Arkham City is a game that is easy to pick up and play, and carries mass appeal to both fans of the Batman lore as well as video game fanatics. It is also the only sequel this year (in my opinion) that actually surpassed its predecessor by leaps and bounds, both in game play and storyline.
Modern Warfare 3 is a juggernaut! With the highest opening day sales of any video game, ever, it literally had me glued to my TV for HOURS each day. The multiplayer is why it’s here though, as the single player experience is lacking. Hopefully next year, the single player COD experience will be less linear and more fun.
Finally, I have to give a shout out to Skyrim, however, as it is PHENOMENAL. The only reason it isn’t sitting atop this list is that its core audience is smaller, its appeal isn’t as great to the average gamer as it is more of a niche genre.
And there you have it!
I’m a huge fan of the Fallout series as well as Elder Scrolls Oblivion, so Skyrim was just more of the same great fun and a lot of new toys. The world is huge and you can spend most of your time just wandering around and exploring. There are some bugs, but you forget about them pretty quickly as you get swept up in this world and your character.
Best – Batman: Arkham City – If you’ve read anything I’ve had to say on this site since October 18th, you know I can’t stop gushing about this game. Rocksteady Studios, Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment and DC Comics teamed up to create the ultimate superhero video gaming experience. Outside of becoming a billionaire and training in combat and the forensic sciences for ten years, there’s no better way to become the caped crusader.
In a story written by Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series), Professor Hugo Strange takes a page from the book of John Carpenter by turning a large section of Gotham City into a prison for the inmates of Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Penitentiary. When Bruce Wayne becomes a political prisoner inside Arkham City’s walls, he must become the Batman and navigate his way through a series of challenges from the likes of the Penguin, Mister Freeze, the Riddler, Two-Face and the Joker while trying to figure out what Strange is really up to.
A fantastic story, high replay factor and the ability to play as Robin, Catwoman or Nightwing through the downloadable content made Batman: Arkham City this year’s must-have video game.
If you don’t have it, just get it already.
Worst – Duke Nukem Forever – Fifteen years in the making, Duke Nukem Forever became the gaming industry’s answer to Chinese Democracy. It took too long to come out and by the time it did, it was an obvious anachronism.
Sure, Duke’s one-liners are fun and the first-person shooting felt like a high-rez revisitation of old favourites like Doom, but the game play was hard to manage, controls didn’t work as easily as they should and it just wasn’t as balls-out fun as the trailers made it out to be.
Besides, any game that takes longer to load a level than it does to play the level (because you die too quickly) isn’t worth investing money in; a fact that developer Gearbox Software must have realized when they dropped the sale price only two months after the game was released.
If someone lends it to you, play it for the curiousity. Otherwise, avoid it.
Sorry, that’s all I’m willing to say on that. I’ve got to get back to tracking down the Penguin and fighting a muthaf%$#ing shark in Akrham City.