Late last year I read an article that I stumbled upon called "58 Reasons Why Your Wallet Is Going to be Raped in 2011
" Since then I have been checking off games on the list as they release and I play it, or as they get cancelled or delayed to 2012. And as I look back, this was one of the best years in gaming in years. We saw new installments in both the Elder Scrolls and Legend of Zelda saga, a revitalization of the Deus Ex series, and we even finally answered the life long question for some as to whether or not Duke Nukem Forever would come out. Statistically this year I bought more games than I have in years, and that says something because statistically I'm poorer than I was a few years ago. So picking my annual game of the year is proving to be a tough task this year. To preface this post lets see what games have received my extremely high distinction of getting the fabled Greasy Gringo (It's like the astronaut for MTV Movie awards, only crappier)
2010 - Fallout: New Vegas
2009 - Batman: Arkham Asylum
2008 - Fallout 3
2007 - BioShock
2006 - Kingdom Hearts II
2005 - Shadow of The Colossus
2004 - Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
2003 - Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
2002 - Kingdom Hearts
2001 - Final Fantasy X
Without a Fallout release this year I actually have to think about which game was the best combination of all things writing, music, fun and overall non-shittiness. So which games made the cut this year for me? Let's take a look.
LA Noire - Team Bondi
Being a lifelong fan of noir films and adventure based games made evident by my love of Grim Fandango. So when this game came out it was almost a dream come true, a detective game with more investigation than action and an amazing recreation of 1940's Los Angeles? How could it get any better? Wait I can play it in black and white? [Audible orgasm]
Portal 2 - Valve
When originally released as a fluffer to the already stacked release of The Orange Box, I'm sure Valve had no idea that this graduate based game would achieve the level of success that it did. Capitalizing on that Valve worked hard to top the fun and ingenuity that was the original Portal. Without doubt they succeeded and surpassed their goals with what I have said is the most entertaining game I have ever played. After beating the game 3 times in a month long span I had to give away my copy to stop myself from playing it a 4th. The fact that some of the best written characters of video game history are computers and AI's from this series says something about how well the writing is in this amazing sequel.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Eidos Montreal
To follow up a classic such as the original Deus Ex in this modern day of gaming is no easy task, but Eidos went head first into this challenge and came out with a stellar work of video game art. With a beautifully bleak world and a truly unique experience for each person playing it, this game made good on it's trailer hype (ahem Dead Island take notice) and became one of the most philosophically deep games I have played since BioShock.
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Bethesda Game Studios
I will be honest I haven't had the time to play this game yet, as soon as I find the money and time to commit to this game I will be playing the shit out of this game. I have seen quite a bit of it being played and graphically for an open world game it is stunning, and the sheer amount of stuff that you can do is amazing. Call me swept up in the hype of it all but I am truly looking forward to diving balls first into this fish filled western RPG and could possibly name this a postmortem game of the year.
The ICO and Shadow of the Colossus Collection - Team ICO
Call this cheating but the improvements made for this collection did truly blow me away, I was just expecting an update to the graphics and a quick grab for money missed out on limited runs of ICO. But this was a truly amazing set, bringing new gamers into the realm of Team ICO's genius.
And now for the fabled Greasy Grino award for AmnaUmen's Game of the Year!
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
At the end of this game I felt the same feeling I felt when I finished Shadow of the Colossus for the first time, a sense of playing something different from the rest of the games of it's time. Human Revolution made me think hard about what my thoughts were on human augmentation, it made me think of the ethical and moral implications of making ourselves better through computer integration into our bodies. Also as stated earlier, each experience I have played and watched my friends play has been different from each others. Until I watched my roommate play through the game his first time I never knew that Wayne Haas will attempt to shoot you if you get him fired, or that the battle with Namir can be made extremely harder if you get the new chip that the game prompts you to get (which thankfully I skipped over completely by accident). With so many options and a absolutely engrossing world that sucks you in and almost depresses you, this game was an absolutely amazing experience to be had and will truly be one that I replay for years to come.