By Matt Waite
2011 has been a great year for gamers with so many acclaimed titles being released that it would require a much larger piggy bank and more “sick” days than most people have access to. This list should help make some tough decisions a bit easier by highlighting some top releases that contain something to suit any gamer’s interests, as long as those interests include shooting, exploding, hacking, slashing, stabbing, punching, kicking, and burning innumerable foes.
Batman: Arkham City
After significantly raising the bar for what could be expected in a superhero game with Batman: Arkham Asylum, Rocksteady Studios followed the release up with a sequel that is being haled as a leading contender for game of the year. Arkham City’s graphics, game play and story all stand out as some of the best of the year and the open world has tons of content and a new game plus mode, which gives it hours of game play. This game is a must have not only for fans of superhero games, but for those who enjoy action/adventure games in general.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
The new Modern Warfare 3 does not bring any major changes to the series, but it is a competent entry, and given its troubled development cycle, is probably the best that could be hoped for. The single player campaign concludes the trilogy started by Modern Warfare with a solid story and several epic set pieces that include a zero-G shoot-out and a battle set during a sandstorm. The multiplayer adds a host of improvements, such as an improved spawn points, better balancing, a new weapon progression system and a point streak system that replaces the previous kill streak system. Modern Warfare 3 does not do anything vastly different from previous entries, but does offer a huge amount of content and a compelling multiplayer that is still one of the best available.
Deemed by many to be the hardest game of the current generation of consoles, Demon Souls spares no expense to make sure you will die repeatedly. If you are not looking for a challenge, Dark Souls is not for you; however, those willing to brave innumerable deaths can enjoy a very rewarding and highly atmospheric RPG with a unique multiplayer component.
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Skyrim is so engaging and vast in size that it is almost ridiculous. According to developer Bethesda, the game contains over 300 hours of game play, and after playing it for several hours, it seems like even that claim may be underestimating the sheer amount of content available in the game. Besides the countless side quests, engaging storyline and vast world, there are numerous random events to encounter, over 100 dungeons to explore and countless activities to experience. The game is not without its faults, but they are very easy to ignore with all the expertly designed content that Bethesda created.