The Twelve Games of Christmas 2011 – Day Ten: October

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Electronic Theatre ImageOdds are that you’ve long forgotten about Christmas now, getting back in the usual routine at work, university, school or whatever it is that typically occupies your days. But the fact is, in the traditional sense, today is the only tenth day of Christmas: so get back in touch with those festivities as we take a look at the best videogames that hit retail stores in October 2011.

With the run-up to the busy retail shopping reason now beginning, many videogames publishers use October to launch their biggest titles of the year. September sees any number of big franchises hit retail, but it’s in October that the floodgates open. It’s a shame that the industry still operates in such a way, as it means that smaller titles Electronic Theatre Imageattempting to make interesting statements or unusual moves within the genre template are often overlooked. 2011 was no different, as can be seen with The Cursed Crusade. Hardly an amazing videogame experience, but certainly an interesting one, lost in the mire next to a sea of ‘more important’ titles.

Also released in October were a number of big names that failed to get the attention they deserved: Ace Combat: Assault Horizon was a fantastic product adored by it’s niche market, Disney Universe and Sesame Street: Once Upon A Monster are arguably the most enjoyable family titles available on the current generation consoles, and the long awaited RAGE was simply ignored at retail. Coupled with this however, were a number of disappointments, including Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One and, shockingly, Battlefield 3. The former was a cavalcade of uninteresting design ideas, whereas the latter – one of the most highly anticipated titles of the year – showcased a campaign with all the rights ideas, but none of the skills to make it enjoyable. Thankfully the multiplayer experience was far superior, justifying most purchases.

 

 

 

Honourable Mentions:

 

Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi

Dead Rising 2: Off the Record

Dark Souls

 

 

Runner Up:

 

RAGE

 

Despite not received the attention it so clearly deserved, RAGE is an unique blend of first-person shooter (FPS) and adventure videogame mechanics that is almost comparable to Metroid Prime, with the difference being that of advancing technology. Metroid Prime was a fantastic example of converting an existing formula into a new genre, confining the player within a limited space to make them move in accordance with the established ruleset; RAGE does the same thing with an open world: a sense of freedom within a tightly structured adventure.

 

 

Best of October 2011:


Batman: Arkham City

 

Surely there’s little that can be said about Batman: Arkham City that hasn’t already been said. One of the most critically acclaimed titles of 2011, the sequel to one of the most critically acclaimed titles of 2009. Batman: Arkham City managed to take the structure and intensity of Batman: Arkham Asylum, and offer the player a new foundElectronic Theatre Image freedom to use these devices as they choose. Batman: Arkham City wasn’t the revolution that its predecessor was, it was the evolution that every gamer wanted.

Developed by Rocksteady Studios, the same team responsible for the first title, Batman: Arkham City makes you feel as though are you the Dark Knight in the same fashion that the original Goldeneye 007 was commended for allowing you to play as James Bond, and actually feel as though you are having an impact on the world around you in the same fashion as the motion-pictures. Many videogames are designed as playgrounds, offering the player opportunities rather than straight-forward challenges, and Batman: Arkham City is one of these videogames. Being open to the player’s own interpretation is a mark of forward-thinking current-generation development, and Batman: Arkham City has this quality in spades.

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