Our twelve months of gaming in 2011 is almost over here in the UK, so it is time to wrap-up another great year for gamers. 2011 has been a crazy year, with plenty of stellar titles dropping into our disc trays each month. Like every year, we have had our fair share of sequels, as publishers continue to take extra care in where they put their coin – mostly putting it all on ‘safe’ games that can easily turnover a quick buck or two.
This year saw some comeback sequels for such titles like: Crysis 2, Dead Space 2, inFamous 2, Uncharted 3, Batman Arkham City, Resistance 3, Battlefield 3 and Gears of War 3, just to name a few. I could go on but you get the idea, there were lots of them this year, just like any year to be honest. The majority of these titles steamrolled their way into stores at the latter part of the year, which once again has overwhelmed gamer’s wallets and forced most gamers into deciding which few games they were going to exchange their hard earned money for and what to pick up later on in the sales.
In a year that has predominantly seen fully established franchises, new franchises and innovations have been mostly residing in the less risky downloadable area. In 2011 we saw some stellar indie developed titles, such as InsanelyTwisted Shadow Planet, Bastion and From Dust, all of which were released in Microsoft’s “Summer of Arcade” this year. Microsoft’s Kinect and Sony’s Move peripherals receivedtheir second generation of titles this year, with most titles of merit going to the Kinect camp thanks to titles like The Gunstringer and Fruit Ninja.
So in this closing of the year 2011 the staff of Console Monster have reflected back on the games that have released throughout the year and we bring you our 2011 Console Monster Awards. Over the course of the past few weeks we have also been asking for your votes and you’ll see which games have won alongside our own votes from the Console Monster Staff.So lets crack on with our most favourite genre of all – Best Shooter…
Best Shooter of 2011
EA and DICE brought us back to the Battlefield in 2011 with Battlefield 3. Taking a leaf from its Bad Company series of the franchise, Battlefield 3 featured its own single player campaign, a campaign that saw you take to the skies in jet fighters and on barren desert soil insiderolling tanks in a more mature and realistic alternativeto Infinity Ward’s title, which released a few weeks later. The power of its cutting edge Frostbite 2.0 engine had developed a solid foundation for stunning open vistas and even more destructive environments than its previous title – Battlefield Bad Company 2.
We gave Battlefield 3–90%–Click hereto read our review.
Best Racer of 2011
Microsoft and Turn 10 Studios return in 2011 with their latest cutting edge racer – Forza 4. Bringing more vehicles, more tracks and, well, more things than you can shake a dipstick at! As part of Microsoft’s push to give its Kinect peripheral a hardcore edge, Kinect support was molded into the game’s foundations, bringing gesture based car browsing and in-car viewing.Forza 4 tops our racer of the year. Forza Motorsport 4 is a title that manages to slap its rivals around the chops in its effort in taking overthe crown for this genre.
We gaveForza 4–90%–Click hereto read our review.
Best Action Adventure of 2011
Uncharted 3 brings yet another magnificentNathen Drake adventure to its crowd of fans. The team at Naughty Dog has excelled themselves in bringing a very entertaining third installment of the franchise, at a point when you couldn’t see where else they could go with the story. With superb acting and stunning visuals it just proves that there is still much life left in Sony’s console.
We gaveUncharted 3–95%–Click hereto read our review.
Best Roll Playing Game of 2011
The long anticipated title from Bethesda Game Studios launches onto consoles in 2011. Skyrim brought hundreds of hours, if not days, of gameplay in a deep adventure that without giving up your job for a few months you’ll be barely scraping the surface. For the gamer that can spare their life and time for this game, you will be rewarded with a deep, rich experience with some extreme longevity.
We gave TheElder Scrolls V: Skyrim–95%–Click hereto read our review.
Best Sports Game of 2011
Once again EA and its FIFA team have done it again with its annual release, FIFA 12. With its enhanced gameplay mechanics, upgraded visuals and online foundations that run deep through the game, FIFA 12 is a no brainer for any football/soccer fan, that is until next year of course, when we get to do it all again.
We gaveFIFA 12–95%–Click hereto read our review.
Best Music Game of 2011
Ubisoft brings its second release of the Dance Central franchise to gamers in 2011. As with all musical sequels gamers can expect much more tracks, more moves and a better package over its original title. With the additionof a new two player mode, crew challenges and new suite of songs, Dance Central 2 is a title that you’ll need for your dusty Kinect peripheral.
Check back soon to read our review ofDance Central 2in the coming weeks.
Best Multiplayer Game of 2011
What is classed as its predominant feature, Battlefield 3 takes its predecessorsroutes, adds the core multiplayer foundations and ranking from its successful multiplayer title, Bad Company 2, and servesup a delicious main course that is a joy to sample. With a deep ranking system, plenty of maps that span from open rolling landscapes to urban cities, there is plenty here to keep gamers playing for months on end, or at least the next best thing comes a’knocking.
We gaveBattlefield 3–90%–Click hereto read our review.
Best Downloadable Game of 2011
Like every year, Microsoft’s ‘Summer of Arcade’ titles are games that are worth sitting up and paying attention to. Bastion was one such title that came as part of this year’s line-up of ‘Summer of Arcade’ titles on Xbox Live Arcade. Although this may not be a unique game, Bastion felt like a breath of fresh air amongstall the sequelsand shooters that filled this year’s gaming shelves. With its fantastic soundtrack, almost retro yet rich graphics, and an excellent ambiance that surrounds the game Bastion is a title that is worth checking out, if you haven’t done so already.
Check back soon to read our review ofBastionin the coming weeks.
Best Downloadable Content of 2011
Months after its main release, EA and its developers DICE released its first DLC pack “Back to Karkand”. Featuring 10 new weapons, 4 vehicles, and 4 re-mastered maps from previous Battlefield titles, this DLC may have been released a little too early than was required, but it will not be any less welcome for Battlefield fans. If you don’t own it already, you should.
We gaveBattlefield 3 “Back to Karkand” DLC– 80%–Click hereto read our review.
Best Xbox Kinect Game of 2011
Amongst all the mediocre Kinect titles that were released in 2011, along came The Gunstringer, an Xbox LIVE title that brought a much deeper experience for the Kinect motion peripheral. The gameplay in The Gunstringer varies to keep things fresh and prevented you from consistentlyholding out your arms whilst controllingthe skeleton puppet character. The Gunstrigner is the game to own if you want to relive those childhood memories of holding your finger out and pretending it is a loaded gun.
Check back soon to read our review ofThe Gunstringerin the coming weeks.
Best PlayStation Move Game of 2011
The fourth installment of the S.O.C.O.M. franchise was the best yet. What also made it a great title was its Move support. Whilst picking up a motion controller and navigation controller, budding screen-shooters could take out their targets with a point of their Move controller. If gamers wanted to take this even further, gamers could slot a Move controller into a PlayStation Sharp Shooter peripheral and enhance the ability of mimicking Navy Sealwarfare in your gaming den – just make sure the family are out of the house when you do.
We gaveS.O.C.O.M. 4– 85%–Click hereto read our review.
Surprise of 2011
Our surprise in 2011 goes to Saints Row The Third. This is a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. If the thought of running around a city whilst bashing people’s heads in with rubber dildos brings a smile to your face, or a little cause forconcern, then the third installment of Saints Row is definitely for you. Hey, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
Check back soon to read our review ofSaints Row The Thirdin the coming weeks.
Disappointment of 2011
From the first announcement trailer everything was looking rosy for Dead Island. High hopes where laid down by what was predominantly a CGI trailer, Dead Island had all the right ingredients for being an epic zombie island slaughter fest that everyone was craving since last playing Capcom’s Dead Rising and Valve’s Left 4 Dead.
Sadly a few days after its release those high hopes soon faded and the cries of disappointmentflooded the Internet. With in-game bugs, questionable AI, missing items and a crippled save game functionality, Dead Island has turned out to be a game that greatly missed the mark – like a zombie blindly shuffling past a fresh juicy corpse.
Check back soon to read our review of Dead Island in the coming weeks.
Console Monster’s Game of 2011
Our 2011 Game of the Year goes to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. In a year of saving money and increased unemployment, there was no better time to pick up a copy of this game and get sucked into the life-sapping world of Skyrim. With its endless gameplay and depth you’ll be occupied for hours on end, saving you money and keeping yourself out of trouble in the process. Pre-sign those divorce papers, type out that resignation letter and buy your copy today!
We gaveTheElder Scrolls V: Skyrim–95%–Click hereto read our review.
Console Monster’s One to Watch in 2012
Mass Effect 3 arrives on our consoles March 2012 in what is said to be an epic final chapter of the trilogy, which completes the story of Commander Shepard. The game will feature gameplay influenced by decisionsmade in ME and ME2 and be set in places throughout the galaxy, including Earth and Mars. Combat has been enhanced to take advantage of an improved cover system and four-player multiplayer co-op mode will also be available. We cannot wait!
Happy New Year – See you in 2012!
So these are our games of 2011. We hope you have enjoyed our look back at the games of 2011. We would also like to hear your comments, so please do leave us those below too. Do you agree to our votes or the communities? Let us know.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you so much for visiting us throughout 2011, spreading the word and sticking with us. We have a few exciting surprisesin store for you in 2012 and a little change in direction for the site. We expect 2012 to be an even better year for us gamers, so we hope you come back regularly and join us in embracing what 2012 has to offer us Console Monsters!