2011 was supposed to be the year of the PS3, but it just didn’t quite happen, with the 360 continuing it’s impressive sales and the Wii lumbering way out in front. That is if you care about sales and status; those who don’t have actually been exposed to some excellent software. It was tricky to narrow it down, but Adam Ducker gives us his top 5 of 2011.
5. Infamous 2
Coming to this game I expected very little to have changed from the original Infamous, I was wrong. The introduction of the amp, a double pronged conductive melee weapon, enlivens the combat, the more varied mission types stop tedium setting in, the moral choices feel more weighty and meaningful to the game world at large, the collectable pigeon drops help flesh out goings on of both part 1 and the implications on what you’re doing and finally the new locations offer up some great variety and are genuinely interesting and fun to explore.
4. Killzone 3
If this list was picked purely on sheer enjoyment of multiplayer then Killzone 3 would be top for me. Yes, even topping Uncharted 3. It refined and altered everything to just the right level. Sure there were criticisms about what they removed but over all the changes made for a more compelling experience. The single player was everything we have come to expect from a bravado based military shooter but still has its great set piece moments.
3. Portal 2
Portal was an underground hit so to speak after being snuck on a disc with the much hyped and sought after Half life 2 Episode 2. It soon became a must play title in its own right and justifiably so. Portal 2 however had a lot resting on its shoulders as a full priced stand alone game, thankfully it more than delivered. Stephen Merchants stand out performance as bumbling robot Wheatley delivers easily the best comedic performance ever seen in a video game and the perfect foil to GlaDos. As far as puzzles go enough is added whilst still retaining that same very accessible approachable difficulty level yet somehow still managing to make you feel like a genius when you solve each room. One last word on the ending….WOW.
2. Batman Arkham City
If I’d have only played the first hour or so of Batman Arkham City there is no way it would have made the list. The game starts very disjointed, flipping between Catwoman and Batman and almost giving you too much to play with/worry about. There are hundreds of riddler challenges trying to grab your attention, countless side quests begging to be completed and it’s all a bit too much. It’s only once you’re into the story missions and at the museum looking for a certain squat villain that things really pick up. The claustrophobic nature of this area evokes Arkham Asylum and makes the outside open world all the more liberating and enjoyable to traverse. The story is up there and full of twists and turns and just about the right length; optional side quests are left to bloat out the game rather than stretch out the experience beyond its stay for those who want a short experience. All in the best super hero game ever and here’s hoping we see Batman Gotham City next!
1. Uncharted 3
THere’s no denying the game has issues – wonky shooting, annoying fail states when you don’t quite go where Naughty Dog are guiding you and that it’s just more of the same old Uncharted experience. However, this franchise is the PS3’s killer app and with good reason. Uncharted 3 takes everything that makes the series great – the drama, the humour, the action, the locations, the tightly knit cinematic experience and delivers throughout the 8ish hour story. In Nathan Drake we have the lovable rogue whose faults are laid out to bare as he reaches possibly his lowest point. It’s the usual mix of shooting, melee, traversal and puzzle solving that is so evenly paced you find yourself having a unique experience that few other games can replicate. Multiplayer is fun again, people are always gonna hate claiming the franchise doesn’t need it and that its frantic nature leads to balance issues but its rollicking good fun. If you’re lucky enough to find a good group of people to play with you are in for some of the best banter filled online action across any platform.