The year in gaming.

It has been one hell of a year for gamers.  If we weren’t screaming goats off of mountaintops, we were dropping off flares in our Hornet jets.  The year has had it all.  We’ve searched for lost treasure, spent an entire night fighting crime, saved the world from the evil Locust and we’ve unfortunately had to endure Duke Nukem Forever.

So here goes, here’s a brief selection of games that make this year in gaming one to remember.

People need to play this again

Bulletstorm – it’s really unique, entertaining and Wolverine stars in it.  Pick it up again if you’ve got the time.  It was dismissed for the Gears beta.

The game that should be on AMC

LA Noire – possibly in the top five games of the year, top studio Rockstar produced a visually stunning videogame, which rivalled most of the rubbish on television.  Give it all of your time, you will not regret it.

The surprisingly entertaining movie tie-in game

Captain America: Super Soldier – wait there.  Don’t scoff.  It really was a fun game.  So was the Green Lantern tie-in.  Both games were similar to Wolverine Origins, so that helps.  It’s weird saying that.

What.

X-Men Destiny – screens and trailers already showed that this game was going to be awful.  But we just didn’t realise how awful it may be.

Best PS3 Game

It’s no surprise really.  This award belongs to Uncharted 3, the third installment of the franchise that sees Nathan Drake search for the ‘Lost City of the Sands’.  Naughty Dog had a problem with improving on one of the finest games ever made, and it is debateable as to whether or not they bettered themselves.

However, it still is without a doubt the best PS3 game of the year.  ND still managed ridiculously impressive level designs, the best PS3 graphics to date and seamless, frantic action.  There are some really unforgettable scenes throughout.  Jaws will drop during some insane, electrifying moments, where ND yet again proves how to produce an adventure game.

Perhaps the main villains need to be fleshed out a bit more, and the game does leave you wanting just that little more added depth, but these are small criticisms. It is essentially a welcome addition to the series, which just makes you desire the sequel.  Here’s to Uncharted 4.

Best PC Game

Obviously, the PC game of the year has to be Portal 2.  Picking any other game would be silly.  Valve delivered the goods with their sequel to one of the most impressive games of all time.  It was a worthy effort, as new characters brought fresh life to the story of Aperture Science.  Cave Johnson in particular, delivering the funniest lines throughout.

“Those of you who volunteered to be injected praying mantis DNA, I have some good news and some bad news: bad news is we’ve postponed these test indefinitely. Good news is we’ve got a much better test for you: fighting an army of mantis men! Pick up a rifle and follow the yellow line.  You’ll know when the test starts.”

It wasn’t necessarily challenging, but it was still great fun.  Now all we need is Valve to integrate the Portal gun into other games.  And more GLaDOS, we need that.

Best 360 Game

Gears of War 3.  No contest.

Gears had everything – a solid campaign, the fantastic Beast Mode and a perfectly refined multiplayer.  In this generation of gaming, singleplayer and multiplayer modes are mixed together with disappointing results.  You either receive a lackluster campaign (Battlefield 3), or a confusing, pointless multiplayer (Dead Space 2).

Epic Games handled the third installment brilliantly.  It was a satisfying end to the Locust war, as the gaming mechanics were finally perfected.  Everything fitted into place.  Hell, they even provided us an awesome Cole Train segment.  Epic delivered on all accounts with Gears.

Beast Mode was a favourite, allowing players to control the Armoured Kantus and even the terrifying Berserker. For once, we were allowed to kill the COG.  But then it was always worth returning to Gears defining mode, Horde.

Obviously this isn’t the end for Fenix.  CliffyB (Dude Huge) will surely provide us yet another Gears.  He has to, or else.

GOTY

Well, there’s no surprise here.  The game of the year belongs to Arkham City.

Two years ago, Bat-fans were graced with the arrival of the fantastic Arkham Asylum.  Critics heralded it as the most faithful comic book videogame of all time.  But then came along Arkham City.

City improved on its original formula in so many ways.  It provided fans with a more in-depth look into Batman’s rogue gallery, as regulars also returned for this epic sequel.  Yes, the great Mark Hamill – the definite Joker – and Kevin Conroy – of course, the definite Batman – again provided their talents.  Arleen Sorkin did not return for the second game, but then Tara Strong lent her voice for Harley Quinn, and she pulled it off nicely.  Fans could finally face-off against the Penguin and Mr. Freeze though, which really brought the game together nicely.

The designers allowed for a more immersive experience than before, as you were ‘Batsy’, trapped in the horrid, crime ridden city.  It was grimy, it was dark – it was the Joker’s paradise.  You finally felt like you were Batman, as you glide over countless buildings, taking out thugs and villains as you save the night.

Combat mechanics were flawless.  The combo system in Rocksteady’s Bat games is very well refined, as patience and experience is rewarded with awesome takedowns.  The stealth elements are improved on also, especially concerning Catwoman’s difficult segments.  All the fancy gadgets were included too, and they fitted perfectly into the gameplay.

It was a rich, rewarding experience to play Arkham City.  Some have criticised the game for its short story, but then the game is full of hidden missions which will keep players busy for hours.  All the tricky Riddler challengers are back in play, along with some great secrets.

This is the definitive comic book game, there’s no doubt about it.  If you haven’t played Arkham City yet, do yourself a favour and purchase it.  Playing as Batman and Catwoman is a real treat.  Here’s to Arkham World.

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