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Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best New IP

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Best New IP 2011, Game of the Year 2011, GOTY 2011

Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best New IP

IT IS TIME! This week we'll be running our Game of the Year 2011 awards, starting with Best New IP. You'll be able to check out all of our GOTY 2011 coverage by clicking the widget embedded in the sidebar to the right, including the individual staff highlights from the past twelve months.

It's been a bit of a quiet year for new IPs in a twelve month stretch that's seen a whole host of sequels, prequels and spin-offs, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily been a poor year in that respect. To glance at our shortlist below for Best New IP would be to note that creativity and originality is far from dead, it just takes a few more willing studios to make a difference. The results, in commercial terms at least, were mixed. The likes of Shadows of the Damned and El Shaddai were brave, left field titles on paper, but even their relatively familiar combat systems couldn't prevent disappointments on the shelves. Others, though, proved more successful, bolstered by technological advances (L.A. Noire/RAGE), moving CG trailers (Dead Island) and simply being the best exponent of a genre on a particular platform (Xenoblade Chronicles/Bastion).

NB. Click on the thumbnails for price comparisons and the game's title for the relevant review where available.

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Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best New IP

Bastion

The perfect way to kick of XBLA's Summer of Arcade this year, Bastion was so much more than just another isometric action game. With levels that were literally constructed before your very eyes, dynamic narration the likes of which we'd never seen before and a soundtrack so good that yours truly downloaded it as soon it came out, it made the games around it look amateurish by comparison.

Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best New IP

Brink

Brink was something of a melting pot of cracking ideas, a crucible of FPS innovation and, sadly, niggling design flaws. It had its problems upon release, but they were swiftly rectified giving those that invested in Splash Damage's shooter some of the finest co-op action to be had this year. Curiously addictive thanks to a progression system that rewarded you for playing to your class strengths rather than simply spraying lead everywhere, Brink was a flawed gem.

Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best New IP

Dead Island

It was always going to be difficult to live up to THAT trailer, but Dead Island managed to surprise many by making a pretty damn good job of it. Equal parts Fallout 3, Left 4 Dead and Dead Rising, Techland's sandbox RPG/FPS mashup was a testament to the 'content is king ethos, and the 4-way co-op provided plenty of fun for those hungering for Borderlands 2.

Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best New IP

L.A. Noire

Team Bondi's story might have been a topsy-turvy mess ending in miserable liquidation, but the game they left behind this year was an utter gem. Providing a roadmap for the future in the detective-oriented adventure game, L.A. Noire was a masterpiece in cinematic gaming, thanks in no small part to the pioneering motion capture and facial recognition work.

Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best New IP

RAGE

A new IP from id was always going to be worth shouting about, and with press and public primed for an expansive shooter set in an apocalyptic wasteland, expectations were high. Perhaps too high. Behind the rather uninspired level design there was a technically brilliant shooter, a load of suitably inventive and OTT weaponry and slick, consistent 60FPS graphics, courtesy of idTech 5.

Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best New IP

Xenoblade Chronicles

Xenoblade Chronicles is one of the best JRPGs ever made. In fact, it's probably one of the best roleplaying games of this generation - regardless of platform. In the wake of last year's disappointing FFXIII, Monolith Soft made the genre relevant again, delivering depth and nuance without compromising fun or thrills. Sits comfortably alongside Skyward Sword as the must-have game of the year if you own a Wii, simple as that.

Best New IP 2011: L.A. Noire

Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best New IP

Until Bethesda showed up with their sprawling RPG in November, no other game this year captured the minds of the Dealspwn staff so completely. L.A. Noire had it's flaws, sure, but the overall product was an astounding achievement. Detractors lamented the lack of freedom, failing to perceive that, unlike Rockstar's flagship sandbox series, this was altogether much more of a character piece, aided and abetted by some jaw-dropping facial animation, fantastic acting and a well-worked script that divulged its suitably twisting tale through innovative means. In L.A. Noire we finally had an adventure-puzzler that looked to the future rather than seeking to emulate the past, and was all the better for it.

 

Add a comment5 comments
stevenjameshyde  Dec. 19, 2011 at 16:19

Blimey, it's been a poor year for new IPs. The thought that something as interminably dull as LA Noire could win, and something as irredeemably average as Brink could be nominated is really quite depressing

Bastion for me, though I'd be happy if Xenoblade won. And personally I'd have let Dark Souls compete in (and run away with) this category

Also - no Bulletstorm?

Last edited by stevenjameshyde, Dec. 19, 2011 at 17:06
Zeipher  Dec. 19, 2011 at 18:41

No! Bad! Bad! LA Noire was shockingly boring! Bastion for me! Such a unique way of telling a story. Bought it both on XBLA and Steam to support the developers as much as possible!

Anarchist  Dec. 20, 2011 at 00:23

@stevenjameshyde

You're a moron. Demon souls is not even new IP, and it's crap anyway.

stevenjameshyde  Dec. 20, 2011 at 09:07

@stevenjameshyde

You're a moron. Demon souls is not even new IP, and it's crap anyway.


Can't argue with the 'crap' comment as I've never played it, but I know it's popular enough amongst users of this site to gain a few votes (yourself obviously excluded).

The new IP thing's a bit less clear cut - From spent most of the year insisting that it was a 'spiritual successor' and definitely not a sequel to Demon's Souls, but in the end it turned out to be almost exactly the same game. Whereas something like Driver: San Francisco definitely wouldn't qualify as a new IP... even though it had almost nothing in common with the previous Driver games, and just stuck the brand on as a way of absolutely 100% guaranteeing stellar sales (cough).

Anarchist  Dec. 20, 2011 at 12:15

Points accepted, but as you say, it's almost exactly the same as the previous game that first reared it's head in 2009? So definitely not new IP

I just mostly disagree with people trying to act all elite saying they love the game because it's hard, when the reality is its only hard the first time through, and that is only for all the wrong reasons. They purposefully made the game mechanics awkward, flawed and crap as that was the only way they knew to make it hard.

Purposefully naff gameplay design does not make a good game. It makes a crap game. Skyrim on hardest setting is harder than dark souls, and doesn't resort to poor design to do it.

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