29 December 2011

That was the year that was

2011. The best year in gaming ever! Yep, that's what gaming media is trying to convince you. I say, 2011 was one of the most dire years in modern gaming. So many hyped-up mega games, most of them sequels to sequels to already uninspiring games. All those got superlative, mad-raving reviews everywhere.

In truth, imagination and originality are dead. I can see no way them being resurrected in this gaming world where big corporations run gamers on a leash. No one take risks and the public don't even want anyone taking risks, they just swallow every hit game on offer. They can't realize there could be better games, they can't dream of better games as they are so used to big games as they are now. Sad but true. There are rebels who think otherwise though, like me. I can't be the only one but we are minority. And big companies don't care for us. I can vote with my wallet and refuse to buy the latest hit. But for every me there are thousand of those who buy the game.

And here we are, reviewing the year that was in the gaming. I didn't pick the usual "best of the genre" winners because in my books games in general weren't good enough even for that. So I chose only the game of the year. Ironically though, the best game of 2011 isn't imaginative or original per se either. It only takes tried and tested ideas and boost them skyhigh, intervowen into an intriguing and involving story. And no, I'm not talking about Mass Effect 2 on PS3 which would be game of the year, and come to think of it, game of the year years to come, if it wouldn't count as cheating as in reality it's 2010 game. So, the most logical choice is Dragon Age II, see DA II entries here for further reasoning. Funny thing, the game got pretty much raped in the gaming media...

Lady Hawke

A runner-up for the game of the year could very well be Star Wars: The Old Republic, also by who else than Bioware. If only I had a computer to run it on... I had a chance to play it recently and liked my sith warrior. Little birds tell me though in the long run the combat can be stiff and quests get repetitive. The main selling-points are the license and Bioware's always engaging storytelling, really getting you into the character, but the gameplay mechanics aren't those of World of Warcraft standards.

 Wait until I get my light saber...

P.S. Of course, I haven't had a chance to play every game that came out in 2011, so take the above rant with a bit of salt on it ;) A very little bit.

1 comment:

NePaul Wilson said...

I'm totally with you, I spent more time this year playing Independent developed games than I did playing any big name games, come to think of the only big name games I bothered with were Dragon Age 2, Dead Space 2 (which was my GOTY), and I went back and played Crysis since I never got around to, the rest of that time was Mass Effect.

The industry is certainly moving in a direction that isn't good, but at the same I'm looking at 2012 and I'm seeing so many new IPs, Dishonored, Fez, Bloodforge, The Last of Us, and tons more. I can't help but feel that there are still developers out there who are willing to take risk and make games that they want to make.

As for Dragon Age 2, I'm in the bunch with you, I felt that the game was a huge step above the first one and the characters were outstanding (Woooo Merrill), it's not easy for a game to make my draw drop, but there was a moment in the game that made me feel the same way I felt when Saren shot himself. I was that blown away. Dead Space 2 as well simply blew my mind every left and right.

The fact of the matter is people will complain when they are given something new and people will complain when they don't. Call of Duty is the perfect example of all that is wrong in the gaming industry today.

Haha I also voted for Mass Effect 2 for GOTY because I didn't see Dead Space 2, but hey I would have picked it regardless because of Shadow Broker and Arrival.