GruntLogic's Best Games of 2011
Sort by: Showing 15 items
Rating: List Type:
Total War: Shogun 2 Limited Edition - PC Games
I love strategy games. I'm certain that if I never play another strategy game after this, and I would still be entirely content.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Xbox 360
It feels like it has been entirely too long since I've played a stealth game that is as rewarding as this one. A great upgrade system, great stealth mechanics, great story, and I personally really like Adam Jensen. The disappointing boss fights were not enough to spoil my overall enjoyment of this game.
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception - PlayStation 3
This game is in keeping with the ridiculously high standards set by the previous two games. Granted, there is a bit of a cookie-cutter formula by this point, but why mess with a system that works? I do think it's interesting to see a little more development of the character and history of Nathan Drake. Everything about this game is top-notch. Beautiful visuals compliment delightful voice-acting.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Xbox 360
I'm not sure how to rate this game. On the one hand, it is absolutely phenomenal. On the other, I get this eerie feeling of Deja Vu. I've played this game before. I've played it quite a bit, in fact. It feels just a little too similar to Fallout 3 and Oblivion. Now, feeling similar to games that are absolutely outstanding in their own right isn't a crime, but it does mitigate my level of excitement. I feel like I have to say that I'm not playing this game, it's more like I'm playing this game AGAIN.
Bastion - Xbox 360 Live Arcade
Xbox Live Arcade always seems to churn out at least one truly superb game each year. In keeping with the high standards set by other games such as Braid and Limbo, Bastion rises to the challenge and delivers admirably. The gameplay itself is pretty standard, but still satisfying. It's comfortable in the hack n slash shoes of it's genre, but where this game really excels is just how the game tells it's story. The running narration is marvelous and innovative. The musical soundtrack is also superb and very fitting.
Batman: Arkham City - Xbox 360
From a mechanical standpoint, Arkham City is just as superb as Arkham Asylum. The combat is still visceral and satisfying, and the stealth predator takedowns are still as fun as ever. However, from a narrative standpoint, I felt as though something was lost once they opened up the setting and gave a bit more freedom to roam. It makes the main plot seem less important. Still, it was a great game.
L.A. Noire - Xbox 360
A truly revolutionary game. This game redefined what's possible as far as motion-capture goes. The story was superb, and I had fun with the interrogation sequences. The combat is essentially the same as the Grand Theft Auto games, which you either will think is okay or you hate it (I don't know anyone who LOVES how combat works in GTA, I love the GTA games and even I'll admit that combat is kinda wonky).
inFAMOUS 2 - PlayStation 3
A game that is in many ways simultaneously better and worse than it's predecessor. Running around as a super-powered hero is still boatloads of fun, and getting around the city is little bit easier than it was in the original. However, there were a few changes I wasn't entirely thrilled with. For starters, they changed voice actor for Cole McGrath, and it was noticeable to me. Second, I felt that the good/evil choice story choices were a tad weaker than they were in the original, and the main story always continues to think that you've been making the good choices, which makes making evil choices seem incredibly bizzare, like everyone is willfully overlooking the stupidly evil shit you're doing to just pretend that you're still a hero.
Duke Nukem Forever - Xbox 360
I must say, despite every game critic on this planet telling me otherwise, I thought Duke Nukem Forever was a fun game. It's an old-school first person shooter. I was strangely happy to not have a cover mechanic in a game for once. The old-school assumes you have enough sense to put a piece of cover between you an the incoming bullets, so you don't have to snuggle up to a piece of cover like you were planning on getting into it's pants later. The sense of humor in the game was delightfully immature, and I expect nothing less from Duke Nukem. The gimmick that makes Duke Nukem different from other games is how you interact with the environment to increase Duke's Ego (his health bar), I'm not going to lie, I liked hunting down all the objects to interact with, because it was frequently funny to do so. The combat was visceral, and the weapons felt powerful, and seeing pigcops explode when blasted point-blank with the shotgun was extremely gratifying. I'll be damned, but I enjoyed this game. There are certainly technical problems, but I've addressed those concerns in my Disappointments of 2011 list.
Warhammer 40000: Space Marine - Xbox 360
One of the first 3rd Person Shooters that doesn't rely on a cover mechanic system. I think the best way to describe this game is to say that it's like Gears of War. But that only applies in the broadest sense, because Gears is all about cover-based shooting, and Space Marine is all about taking the combat TO the enemy. In Gears, if you get hurt, you hide behind cover, suck your thumb for a little bit, and then when you feel better, you get back to fighting. In Space Marine, if you get hurt, you have to become even more aggressive and begin executing enemies or go into RAGE mode. Everything about this game screams aggression, but... later on, you have to fight smarter too. You have to know when to wade into the fray, chainsword or thunder hammer swinging, and when to engage the enemy with ranged weapons, and you can change on the fly between ranged and melee combat. It gives Captain Titus of the Ultramarines a more competent feel, like he is supremely capable of dominating the battlefield, as a Space Marine should.
Yakuza 4 - PlayStation 3
This is one weird game. I'm not sure I've played anything quite like it. Most of the game consists of beating the ever-living hell out of the MANY street thugs and Yakuza who challenge you. "Oi! You looking at me?! C'mere you!" And then after you beat the snot out of them, they apologize profusely and often give you money to stop beating the crap out of them. I found no small amount of humor in that. The story is ... complex. I'm not sure if there's any easy way to explain it, there's a fairly sizable cast of characters, it actually kind of reminded me of the Montagues and Capulets of Romeo & Juliet, all of these groups making power plays, and fighting each other, and it seems towards the end the everyone betrays everyone else about a dozen times a piece. It gets kind of ridiculous, still, the combat was fun and stunningly brutal, which is good, because you're going to be doing a LOT of fighting.
Portal 2 - PlayStation 3
Even if this game isn't as good as the original, it still stands head and shoulders above most games released this year. I really only played the co-op campaign, but what I experienced was a lot of fun. The puzzles were quite good, making good use of coordinated teamwork. I also enjoyed the Army of Two style system of giving each other high fives or taunting the other player. The humor seemed a bit strained, but it certainly wasn't terrible.
Minecraft - PC Games
I feel weird trying to describe this as a video game. I really feel that in a lot of ways, it's not a video game, in the same way that a big bin of legos isn't a video game, or pen and paper isn't a video game. This is really a creativity tool. You just happen to have to play it on a computer. So... I guess it's a video game? I sure as shit don't know what else to call it, but it certainly doesn't fit neatly with other video games. Granted, whatever it is, it is superb. It's lots of fun to build things, but then again, I was a lego architect as a child, so I suppose it hearkens back to my childhood memories. It should also be noted that it has a simple, but beautiful soundtrack.
Bulletstorm - Xbox 360
This is a first person shooter that was just an absolute joy to play. It revels in ridiculousness. The game rewards you for killing enemies in inventive ways. Headshots and nutshots, and yes, even a "rear-entry" shot. The dialogue is riddled with profanity, and again, they revel in it. The voice acting is well done, if a bit over the top, but I think that's kind of the point. There's a revenge story in there somewhere, but I don't think it's really all that important. This game knows what it's good at, using new weapons in clever ways to humiliate and destroy enemies.
Resistance 3 - PlayStation 3
The Resistance series has been kind of a roller-coaster for me. I loved the first game, and was sorely disappointed by the second. I like this game quite a bit, because I felt that they remembered the things that made the first game great. Although, I do think the character of Joseph Capelli is a bit of an enigma. He is very human and relatable in the cutscenes, but he is essentially a silent protagonist when you control him, but, the thing is is that the story keeps being told outside of the cutscenes, which makes Joseph seem cold and socially awkward, in direct contrast to the personality they give him otherwise. Very bizarre. I love the unique weapons of the Resistance game series, such as the Bullseye rifle that allows you to "tag" enemies and shoot bullets that will home in on the enemy you've tagged, or the Auger that lets you shoot enemies through walls and other cover. Also new to the series is the Mutator gun that causes enemies to melt into goo and explode, and any enemy hit by the flying goop will themselves melt and explode, leading to these absurd chain-reactions that are absolutely glorious to behold. Also, slightly gross. The story also seems a bit on the weak side, but I feel willing to forgive that because the rest of the game is extremely well done.
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