The Best Games of 2011

Friday, 1 July 2011

 inFamous 2
Electro-superhero Cole McGrath returns to grind, fight and jump his way around a new city, against a new threat. inFamous 2 soups up the hand-to-hand combat and throws more, bigger monsters at you. It also adds in user-generated levels as optional extras, with a built-in mission editor. The only downer is a slightly simplistic tone to the good/bad options and allies Cole has access to.
 Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
A remake of the massively popular (in Japan) Super Famicom game - this tactical role-playing game retains its original power. Combining complex strategic decisions on party make-up and equipment use with the ability to hand over control of some characters to the game is a genius stroke - allowing you to set your difficulty level as you learn the ropes. Also brilliant is the ability to rewind moves and see how different strategies stack up against each other. 
 Total War: Shogun 2
The complex strategy series returns to feudal Japan in this PC heavyweight. The epic battles, fearsome array of options and immense campaign mode are all present and correct, but layered on top are a host of excellent updates. Most notable is the sheer level of loving attention to Shogun-era detail. But there's also a greater attempt to humanise your generals and ninjas with role-playing-style stats and personality traits. 
Tim Schafer and Double Fine Productions are making a career out of oddity. Best known for Psychonauts and Brutal Legend, the team's Stacking is a sepia-tinted puzzle game about Russian dolls. As the smallest doll in the world, you stack yourself inside other dolls to use their special powers. Charming, intelligent and great fun to play. 
 Beyond Good & Evil HD
One of the most critically acclaimed games ever gets a very welcome second breath of life. Beyond Good & Evil was groundbreaking not just in its choice of heroine, but also in the storytelling skill it brought to games and its genre-hopping mix of stealth, melee combat and action-adventure elements. Here, while camera problems remain unfixed, high-res visuals do at least make it look lovely (and the underlying play remains blissfully untouched). 
 LittleBgPlanet 2
The most fun combination of inventive platform-jumping level design and simple-to-use level creation tools since, well, LittleBgPlanet 1. There's far greater variety and depth of tools to create your own world than in the original, the results of which are showcased in the much improved single-player levels that come with the game. And there are still, of course, endless additional levels shared online by other gamers. 
 DiRT 3
Continuing to deliver off-road thrills in just about every conceivable flavour, DiRT 3 also carries on the good work of its direct predecessor in terms of offering up thrilling driving, without too much emphasis on utterly realistic simulation. But on top of that, DiRT 3 adds in solo point-to-point racing (much demanded by fans of the series) and Tony Hawk-style indoor 'gymkhana' stunt-based events. The result is a wild ride. 
 The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings
Proper, grown-up action role-playing adventure - The Witcher 2 is about the best thing to play on PC right now (and it's coming to Xbox 360 later this year also). While the initial hours of combat are frustratingly tough (and the game ends up a tad too easy), there's so much to see and do in a complex, morally dubious world (that's been so lovingly crafted) that it's easy to forgive any missteps. 
 LA Noire
Adventure gaming has clearly made a comeback. Following on from last year's groundbreaking Heavy Rain, LA Noire asks you to turn homicide detective and solve serious crimes in post-war Los Angeles. Search crime scenes for clues and, brilliantly, interrogate witnesses and watch for facial tics and telltale signs of lies. The scope and production values were suitably high (considering this comes from Rockstar 'GTA/Red Dead Redemption' Games), but perhaps Heavy Rain's deeper emotional pull and earlier release stole some of Noire's thunder. 
 The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time 3D
One of the greatest games of all time gets a proper remake. But the porting of the much-loved action-adventure from the N64 to the 3DS is no mere rose-tinted nostalgia exercise for ageing gamers. Vastly improved visuals, with 3D the icing on an already sumptuous cake, sit alongside gameplay tweaks which gently improve just about every element of the original. The end result is a stunning game, whether judged against the original or on its own merits. 
The original Portal showed that from an utterly simple toolkit (guns that create portals you can jump through) you can create a puzzle game that bends even the hardiest of brains. The sequel retains the original's fantastic inventiveness (despite each puzzle's simple construction blocks) as well as its marvellous humour. But this time there is stunning production, greater inventiveness in design and a superb, standalone cooperative set of levels. Nigh-on perfect gaming.
Share this article on :
© Copyright 2010-2011 FNNT All Rights Reserved.
Template Design by Herdiansyah Hamzah | Published by Borneo Templates | Powered by