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gamrReview 2011 Game of the Year Awards - PC

gamrReview 2011 Game of the Year Awards - PC - Article

by Arthur Kabrick , posted on 16 December 2011 / 6,807 Views

 

PC Game of the Year Awards

Those who have been saying for the last few years that PC gaming is dead or dying should be eating a large slice of humble pie right about now. PC gaming is better than it’s ever been. The usual multiplatform blockbusters have been fantastic, but what set the PC apart was its independent games. Steam has provided an easy route to publishing for small studios, and the Humble Indie Bundles have provided publicity for a lot of great games which would have gone under the radar. Every genre has had its standout titles, so there really is something for everyone among the best PC games of 2011.

Best First-Person Shooter: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3


It’s been four years and three games since the modern reboot of the Call of Duty series, and it’s still going strong. Although they have adhered to largely the same formula, Infinity Ward has yet to fail to make a gripping, addictive and enjoyable first-person shooter.

Runner-Up: Battlefield 3

Readers’ Choice: Battlefield 3

 

Best Third-Person Shooter: Dead Space 2


Dead Space is one of this generation’s best-loved horror games and third person shooters, and Dead Space 2 is arguably even better. Solid shooting is made to shine by a fantastic and spooky atmosphere. We eagerly await the third entry.

Runner-Up: Saint’s Row: The Third

Readers’ Choice: Dead Space 2

 

Best Role-Playing Game: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim


Skyrim is an RPG without equal. It takes place in a vast and detailed world filled with an enormous variety of quests and characters. It has not just one but several interconnected and fascinating storylines, user-friendly combat mechanics and hundreds of hours of gameplay. In short, it is what every role-playing game should aspire to be.

Runner-Up: The Witcher 2

Readers’ Choice: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

 

Best Action-Adventure: Batman: Arkham City


Never has playing the Dark Knight felt this smooth. Arkham City builds upon the already well-loved Arkham Asylum, adding a range of new gadgetry and featuring many of the comic’s greatest villains, resulting in perhaps the best superhero game released to date.

Runner-Up: Minecraft

Readers’ Choice: Batman: Arkham City

 

Best Puzzle: Portal 2


You would be hard pressed to find anyone who didn’t adore the original Portal, and the sequel is better in almost every way. You portal your way through ingenious puzzles in beautifully designed single-player and multi-player campaigns, accompanied by some of the best writing and humour ever to grace a video game. It has only improved with time, with free DLC adding several hours of gameplay. This is an intelligent and lovable game.

Runner-Up: LIMBO

Readers’ Choice: Portal 2

 

Best Strategy:  Shogun 2: Total War


There is no other series in gaming quite like Total War, which makes it all the more refreshing that the formula is refined occasionally. Shogun 2’s strategic campaign and multiplayer are both significant improvements on previous games in the series, but it still feels authentically Total War. 

Runner-Up: Might & Magic: Heroes VI

Readers’ Choice: Shogun 2: Total War

 

Best Racing: DiRT 3

DiRT is probably the best-loved rally series in the industry, but Codemasters have outdone themselves this time around. Not only is the game far better looking than any of its predecessors, and most of its competitors, but DiRT 3 adds Gymkhana segments and even fun 'party games' to the multiplayer mode. The racing is as tight as ever, and the new features are the icing on the cake. Look no further if you find yourself wanting to play a new driving game.

Runner-Up: F1 2011

Readers’ Choice: DiRT 3

 

Best Adventure: To the Moon

To The Moon is a breath of fresh air in a sea of similar games. It is beautiful in every way, from the intricate story to the enchanting music and fantastic visual design. Presentation is all-important in an adventure game, and the presentation in To The Moon is so fantastic, the gameplay can almost be regarded as secondary.

Runner-Up: Hector: Badge of Carnage

Readers’ Choice: Back to the Future: The Game

 

Best Sports Game: FIFA 12

Although FIFA is a yearly franchise, clear improvements are made in every iteration. This year around, innovations have been made in dribbling, tackling and physics, to make this arguably the most accurate football (soccer) simulator yet.

Runner-Up: PES 12

Readers’ Choice: FIFA 12

 

Best Platformer: Terraria

So much more than just a platformer, Terraria has you exploring dungeons, going on adventures, slaying monsters and finding treasures, all in a setting reminiscent of a 2D Minecraft, and together with other gamers online. Free updates have only improved what was already a great game in the few months since it launched. Partly thanks to its reasonable price, this is worth a try for any fan of platformers or RPGs.

Runner-Up: Sonic Generations

Readers’ Choice: Sonic Generations

 

Best Budget Game: LIMBO


LIMBO met with critical acclaim when it launched on Xbox Live Arcade last year, winning our overall Best Downloadable Game award. This year, PC gamers have been fortunate enough to receive a port. LIMBO’s atmosphere is dark and mesmerising, and its puzzles are based on simple principles and yet it's extremely intricate and very well designed. All of this makes for a truly memorable experience.

Runner-Up: Dungeon Defenders

Readers’ Choice: Bastion

 

Best New IP: Minecraft


Minecraft is a game without equal in the industry. Although its graphics are simple, the things that you can create, given enough time, are incredible, and at no point does it feel like a grind. Minecraft is a joy to play, a truly original idea in an industry full of (admittedly very well-made) sequels. Not only is it a new IP; it’s practically a new genre.

Runner-Up: To The Moon

Readers’ Choice: Minecraft

 

Best Graphics: Battlefield 3

On PC, Battlefield 3’s technical graphics are unparalleled. Not only are the textures closer to real life than pretty much everything else on the market, but the game’s settings are enormous and full of detail. On top of that, BF3’s fantastic effects mean that you really have the impression of being in a warzone, and this is of enormous value to a shooter.

Runner-Up: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Readers’ Choice: The Witcher 2

 

Best Original Musical Score: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Ever since the first gameplay trailer was released several months ago, Skyrim’s theme tune, sung by a barbarian choir, has been stuck in everyone’s minds. It blasts whenever you are fighting a dragon in-game, for a suitably epic feel. Indeed, all of Skyrim’s atmospheric music just seems to fit, and you really want to take your time getting from place to place just so you can hear more of it.

Runner-Up: Portal 2

Readers’ Choice: Bastion

 

Biggest Disappointment: Dragon Age II


Dragon Age: Origins was, by any measure, an excellent RPG; in fact, it was our RPG of the Year for 2009. A lot of this was down to the variety of the game’s settings and the intricacy of both dialogue and combat. Dragon Age II feels like a bit of a cop-out. There is little to no variety of dungeon design, and only one city, and both combat and dialogue have been oversimplified. Customisation has been mostly removed, and visual design is undoubtedly below average. Dragon Age II isn’t a terrible game, but from an acclaimed developer like BioWare, we were expecting more.

Runner-Up: Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

Readers’ Choice: Dead Island

 

Most Anticipated Game: BioShock: Infinite


Ken Levine is undoubtedly a genius. The creator of System Shock 2 and BioShock, two critically-acclaimed and widely loved first person action games, he is renowned for his ability to create deep gaming experiences in fantastic atmospheres. BioShock: Infinite looks incredible in every way, from the vast floating city of Columbia which serves as its setting to the new methods of aerial transport and the vastly improved plasmids available. It feels like BioShock, a game that many adore, and yet it is clear that it is so much more. Keep an eye out for this one when it is released at some point next year.

Runner-Up: Diablo III

Readers’ Choice: BioShock: Infinite

 

PC Game of the Year: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

This has been a great year for PC gaming, with several extraordinary games spanning a multitude of genres, but one game stood tall over the rest. Skyrim isn’t the most original of this year’s PC games, but it is the most lovingly designed, the grandest, and the most fun to play. Such a vast and beautiful setting has never existed in a game, and it is filled with complex intertwined stories; characters of all descriptions; hundreds of quests and dozens more villages, dungeons, caves, and of course, dragons. Bethesda clearly sat down with user feedback from previous entries in the series and thought “how can we make the best role-playing game of all time?” Whether or not it is deserving of that award is up to you, but we say that it’s the best game released on PC this year, and it will be remembered for years and perhaps decades to come.  

Runner-Up: Portal 2

Readers’ Choice: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim


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