Archive for January, 2012

2011 has been the greatest year ever for gamers. We’ve had instant classics such as Portal 2, Batman: Arkham City, Gears of war 3, Crysis 2, Battlefield 3, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and of course, Skyrim. It’s been an absolute stunner. So without further a due, Here’s my top five games of 2011.


Probably the best multiplayer game available.

Battlefield 3.

Let’s get the single player out of the way first. It’s shit. Seriously, it’s not very good. I’ve only played the first four missions and I can’t bring myself to carry on. It’s very dull, slow paced, the A.I. are stupid and there’s nothing really very new or ground breaking about it. It looks pretty but that’s about it. Also, it’s a fairly ‘vehicle heavy’ kind of game but the only vehicle you get to control in the campaign is a tank.

The multiplayer however is where Battlefield 3 stamps it’s rightfully earned place in gaming history. There’s endless amounts of fun to be had and so many way to have it. All of the different classes and vehicles each bring something new to the battlefield and it’s a great way to keep things fresh and interesting. Although snipers are all scumbags! There’s a nice, varied assortment of game modes but ‘Rush’ is where the real action’s at. One team defends the control points while the other team attacks and tries to push the defenders back. It’s brutal. The greatest thing about the multiplayer is what’s known as ‘Battlefield moments’. For instance, I was strolling along, minding my own business when a plane crash landed right in front of me, seconds later, a man on a parachute landed next to me, looked at me for a bit then ran of to cause more destruction and mayhem. Another time, there were three of four snipers huddled together at the top of a building, some brave chap ran in, planted C4 around it and brought the whole thing tumbling down, snipers and all. ‘Battlefield moments’. It’s a beautifully crafted piece of muliplayer gold and it’s something we’ll all be playing months, even years from now.


They don't make 'em like they used to, until now.

Rayman Origins.

When Rayman Origins was announced I didn’t give it any thought what so ever. I’ve never played a Rayman game before and it just didn’t seem like my cup of tea. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Rayman Origins is insanely fun, brilliantly charming and visually stunning. In this side-scrolling platform game the artwork is absolutely sublime and the music is just lovely. The animations are as smooth as butter and such a joy to watch and the game always finds new ways to make you laugh. I was waiting for ages for something new for the wife and I to sit down and play together, Rayman Origins is so perfect for that. It’s such a hard game to put down as there’s plenty of levels to explore from high up in the clouds to deep beneath the ocean, this quality little platformer has new challenges and puzzles waiting for you around ever corner.


Shooting something in the face has never been more satisfying.

Gears of War 3.

The epic conclusion to Epic’s epic.

Gears of war 3 is 3rd person shooting at its absolute finest. The 8-10 hour long campaign (which has the most exciting and emotional story of the trilogy), the legendary multiplayer mode with a variety of game types, (plus special events that Epic put on at weekends and holidays), and of course, the ridiculously addictive horde mode, which is what keeps my wife and I occupied for hours. Also, Beast mode is a new edition to the Gears of War franchise where up to five players play as the locust and see how fast the can kill twelve waves of COG soldiers. It’s fun, but it won’t be the reason Gears 3 spends hours upon hours in your Xbox. It’s taken Epic games three goes at it but this time they really got it right. The controls feel natural and smooth, the animations work beautifully, especially when preforming an execution, and the fire fights are intense, loud and always end in plenty of bloodshed. Although Gears 3 is a lot of fun playing solo, playing with four friends will have you laughing, crying and screaming until the early hours of the morning. You owe it to yourself to play this game.


A gaming masterpiece.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Skyrim is probably 2011 greatest entertainment achievement. The game is simply superb. You can literally play this game for hundreds of hours and still find new and exciting things to do. You could be saving a town from the threat of something terrifying living in the hills, or  you could want to spend your time slaying the unlimited supply of dragons that Skyrim throws at you, you might want to hunt deer and rabbits in the woods, or you may even want to spend you time running up to giants and booting them in the ass. Although, I wouldn’t recommend the latter. My point is that you can be anything you want to be in Skyrim, the only limits here are your imagination.

The main quest in Skyrim is equally addictive to venturing off and doing your own thing, you are Dragonborn and your goal is, put simply, to kill all the dragons that have mysteriously returned to Skyrim after hundreds of years. As Dragonborn you are able to use the power of the dragon shout against the dragons, presenting to them a threat that no mere mortal posses.

I won’t go into to much detail about Skyrim because otherwise we’ll be here all night. I could literally go on and on. Ask my wife, she knows.  In a nutshell, it’s a humongous, fantasy, first person, action-adventure, role playing game with plenty to keep you occupied for months to come and knowing Bethesda, they’ll have plenty of DLC coming our way in the very near future.


My 2011 Game of The Year.

Batman: Arkham City.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Batman? Why not Skyrim? Why not MW3? If I was to write an article on the five best games of 2011 based on sales, popularity, graphics or gameplay then Batman would definitely be in the top five, but it probably wouldn’t be number one. This  however, is a list of my favourite games and Batman is quite rightly at the top because I love it so damn much. Batman AC does everything the first game does and so much more. The story sucks you in right from the start and makes it so hard for you to let go until you’re certain that Gotham can sleep safely. There’s hours and hours worth of challenge maps to do and dear God, they’re addictive. There are two types of challenge maps, Combat or Predator. Combat challenge maps are, well, combat. You basically have to fight and accumulate a set number of points in four rounds, while trying to stay alive. In the Predator maps you have to play slightly more Sam Fisher style, sneaking around taking people out quickly and quietly. The mini campaigns put the two together, you have to complete three challenges while adding modifiers which really mix things up, these rage from completing a round in a certain time limit to a guard having a protective aura around him for a small amount of time so that he cannot be harmed. All this plus the four hundred Riddler trophies and challenges mean you really get a lot for your hard earned cash. Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy are both back to to continue their rolls as Batman and Joker, which they do beautifully. But Uncharted and Assassin’s creed star Nolan North does a very peculiar cockney penguin. Not quite the Danny Davito version we all know and love.

Jumping off rooftops and gliding over Gotham, or beating the crap out of thugs and super-villains has never looked or felt better. Batman Arkham City is one of the best looking games I have seen on Xbox so far, which makes it that much more satisfying to know that it was made right here in the good ol’ UK. It’ll be interesting to see what Rocksteady Studios’ next project will be.

If you’ve tried some of these games then please let me know what you think. Do you agree with my list? Do you have your own list?

I’ll have my top five anticipated games of 2012 list up soon so I hope you’ll give that a glance. Thanks for reading.



The modern day video game has come a long way since the times of strolling you way through a very scripted, linear story. One of the features that most games seem to have these days is choice. Choice in video games is a interesting thing, you could be a hero of the people, you could be a nob head, the best thing about it is that it’s entirely up to you. But what does it mean if you love to be an evil nob head in a game? Does it mean you are some kind of psycho who loves to chop of limbs and beat up old ladies? Does it mean you take great pleasure in seeing other people suffer? Or is it something as simple as that’s the way you like to have fun and express yourself in a game? I like to think of myself as a reasonably reserved person and this normally is the way my character comes across in games. Don’t get me wrong, if some dude with an AK-47 starts having a pop at me I wouldn’t think twice about blowing his face off. But when it comes down to choice I always seem to end up being the good guy. Funny, isn’t it? How some random guy in Skyrim could ask me to travel half way across the map to get his petty soul-gem that he can’t be bothered to go and get himself and I feel terrible about saying no. I’m everybody’s bitch Skyrim. This is also the reason that for me  Fable 3’s final choice is one of the hardest decisions anyone has ever had to make in a game. The first choice ends up with everybody loving you but they inevitably all die. The second choice, everybody hates your guts but they all get to live and you save the world.  Oh, the humanity.

But if you don’t like being an evil nob head in games, does that mean you are generally a nice person? Shouldn’t we take advantage of the opportunity to be evil knowing that there’ll be no repercussions in the real world? Maybe it’s the feeling of being loved by everyone that pushes me to do good deeds. When a random passer bye knows your name and congratulates you on being amazing it always makes me smile. On the other hand, When I displease someone who I’m desperately trying to please I feel like a complete failure. When Ulfric Stormcloak shouted at me and told me how I’d let him and the rest of Skyrim down, I felt about as useful as a pizza fork. Obviously it depends on the type of game you are playing. If you slap overlord in your disk tray then be prepared to wreak havoc on poor, innocent souls just trying to get by in life. Equally the same can be said for prototype. But if you truly get to decide the fate of an innocent NPC, would you feel better about helping them or face-palming them? What do the choices  we make say about us really? Does it say anything at all, or are we just having fun?

Sorry, Ulfic. I’ll try harder next time.

Multiplayer games these days are pretty limited on choice and even more so on whether of not you are labelled a nob head. It seems to me that all you have to do to piss someone off is kill them. But isn’t that what everyone is trying to do? The amount of times I’ve played Gears 3 and received a teasy message off some guy I was innocently whooping up is ridiculous. “You suck, Retro lancers are for fags”. I didn’t make the damn gun! I love a bit of healthy competition as much as the next guy but other people seem to think that giving someone loads of abuse is part of the package.

So when you play a game that has huge consequences to choices you make, are you the kind of person who relishes in the love and respect of those around you? Or do you crave fear, carnage and dismemberment?

Let me know @JimSickStee