There was only one title this year where you could say 'I've only managed to get through 20 hours or so' and be laughed at for not even being nearly halfway through the game. Take a bow BioWare. Yep, even with Mass Effect 2 burning a hole in the calendar for January, the folks behind Knights of the Old Republic and Baldur's Gate still had time to crack out an 80+ hour epic journey across mythical Middle Earth, I mean Ferelden.
It was sighted before Christmas at under £20 prices, but its festive popularity has driven the price back up and you'll be lucky to find it new under £25 now. Thankfully, Amazon are offering the Xbox version for just £23.70, saving you over £3 on the nearest competitor (ShopTo - £26.94).
Fortunately, few of those 80+ hours are filler. BioWare has crafted something pretty special here. Sure, the console version is more hack'n'slash at times than the tactical RPG it is on the PC, but it's still. You can read my review of it here.
If the plot and setting are somewhat derivative, they are more than made up for by the characters. True to BioWare type, maybe; but that also means that they're richly drawn, wittily written and that they suck you into this world. The gameplay will be instantly familiar to anyone who played KotOR and you will forget all about the virtues of that thing they call sleep.
It says something about a developer that is on fine form that even an average BioWare game - and this is not really a patch on KotOR or Mass Effect - can still be enormously enjoyable. This is BioWare by numbers in places, but all that really shows is that the studio is damn good at what it does.
£23.70 for nearly a hundred hours of fantastic gameplay and multiple different beginnings and endings? At full price it was still bargain of the year in my opinion.
Thanks to flimflam at HotUKDeals