It’s an interesting concept that an entire year sucked for gaming; especially after having the last few years branded “the best year in gaming since ****!” which seemed to have started in either 2006 or 2007. Looking back at a year, you can look back at your actual experiences good or bad, rather than simply looking forward
Let’s face it; gamers can talk and act like spoilt, whinny brats sometimes. Actually, they sound like that most of the time. But why? I mean, isn’t there enough great games out there that you’re enjoying? Aren’t all genres still being catered for, each platform still having standout games being released on it? Of course there are, but no we gamers have to complain that things were/will be better either back in the past or in the future when there is nothing but good games and everyone was/is happy.
Look at this year, here’s what we had:
Mass Effect 2 showing that a developer doesn’t need to churn out more of the same to please the fans. They can actually improve and change a franchise half way through, to make it better.
Criterion Games made a Need For Speed Game that people actually gave a crap about. How long since most of you even wanted to play a NFS game?
Duke Freakin’ Nukem was actually confirmed and I even got to play it! Unthinkable this time last year. We also got Elder Scrolls V, a Mortal Kombat reboot and Marvel Vs Capcom 3 confirmed. Oh and the 3DS was revealed to actually work and to have a really good range of games announced.
Indie games continue to shine: Super Meat Boy and Limbo found themselves on many GOTY lists and stood shoulder to shoulder with big budget triple A titles. Mincecraft seemed to come from nowhere and pretty much became the PC game of the year. And it was made by 1 dude. Developers all over the world have to be looking at Minecraft and asking, “How did we not come up with that?” Then there were games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent and VVVVV that showed the downloadable space is really vibrant.
Super Mario Galaxy 2, Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Donkey Kong Country Returns all showed that despite what hardcore gamers may think, Nintendo still has a really impressive first party lineup.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood showed that a single player game can be released with multiplayer and not sacrifice single player quality. Considering how derided the first game was, to see the franchise really shine this year was an example of developers deserving to keep working on a series and improve on it.
Red Dead Redemption: what was basically written off as “GTA with horses” ended up winning a number of GOTY awards. Rockstar outdide themselves, crafting a great story that eulogised the old West.
PC Gaming: along with Minecraft, we had Starcraft 2 providing possibly the best multiplayer experience of the year, Civilization V showed you could have tactical depth as well as accessibility and WoW: Cataclysm showed why Blizzard’s MMO is still king. Even Valve chipped in, launching Steam for the Mac, experimenting by releasing the free Alien Swarm and introducing the user-created marketplace for TF2.
Publishers showing some smarts by releasing games all throughout the year and kicking it all off with the amazing Bayonetta.
Capcom showing that there’s a place for cheap, stand-alone DLC games, with the Dead Rising Case series. This is something that I’m keen to see work.
Double Fine redeeming themselves after Brutal Legend with the charming and fun Costume Quest and committing to more downloadable games. Speaking of success in the downloadable space, Lara Croft and The Guardian Of Light was the most critically successful Tomb Raider game of recent years, showing you can take an established character and franchise and put them into an unfamiliar space and still have it work with the right amount of ingenuity and talent.
All this and more happened. Yes, of course there were disappointments, there always are but given time the good games will always be remembered more than the let downs. And the best thing about 2010? The fact that 2011 might turn out even better.