Game Of The Year | Skyrim
Well there shouldn't be any surprises here, my Game Of The Year has to be Skyrim! Oblivion used to be my favourite game ever, but Skyrim manages to knock it right out of the park, which is no mean feat. You can spend hours just walking around the environments taking in the sights whilst watching the weather change, or staring up at the sky in wide eyed amazement. There's a huge amount of content packed onto the disc and even the smallest side quests have been beautifully crafted. I've already sunk a ridiculous amount of time into Skyrim and at no point have I found myself becoming bored, as I shout dragons out of the sky, before summoning a powerful creature, and then blasting them with magic to finish them off, I just wish you could shout, "Your soul is mine" Shang Tsung style whilst you absorb their life force.
Favourite Gaming Moment Of 2011 | Batman: Arkham City
This was going to be the opening for Batman: Arkham City for me, as you briefly take control of Bruce Wayne before you suit up and step out as The Dark Knight. Then I remembered uttering the following words when playing Dead Rising: Off The Record with a friend, "Oh my God, I've just found the best combo weapon ever! It's the tennis ball launcher combined with the circular saw blades. They've basically swapped the tennis balls for the circular saw blades!"
Surprise Of The Year | Mass Effect 3 Preview
My biggest surprise of the year was sauntering into the Mass Effect 3 booth on the last day of Gamescom, thanks to Matt, and getting to play a small segment of the third instalment of BioWare's space age saga, which was absolutely glorious and left me wanting more.
I won't ruin any of the plot details for you, but I can tell you that the gameplay has received a couple of tweaks for the better. Your abilities feel really powerful as you unleash them on an unsuspecting foe and they hit them with a meaty punch, but don't feel too bad for the AI because they're a bit cleverer this time around and they'll quickly adapt to your tactics. Should you get up close and personal with any hostile forces then you can make them bow down to the mighty omniblade!
Disappointments Of The Year | TDU2 & Kinect
This year I've got not one, but two biggest disappointments, in the forms of the Test Drive Unlimited 2 Multiplayer and Kinect. If any of you read my GOTY piece last year, you'll know that I was really looking forward to getting Test Drive Unlimited 2, but sadly it was riddled with bugs on release and the multiplayer was beyond broken, which meant that I couldn't tear around the environments with my friends and by the time the issues were fixed I'd completely lost interest in the game.
When I got Kinect last Christmas, I was initially pretty impressed with the technology, but after a couple of days the novelty wore off and it started to gather dust on my mantlepiece. I kept hold of it though because I thought I'd eventually get my hands on a brilliant game for it, but sadly I was a little bit let down by Child Of Eden, as was Rise Of Nightmares which completely shattered all of my Kinect related dreams, and shortly after that I parted with my sensor bar with a slightly indifferent shrug of the shoulders as it changed hands.
Most Anticipated For 2012 | An Endless List
Where to begin! There are so many games to choose from, too many in fact, which is a blessing and a curse I suppose because at least one of them is bound to be disappointing. So here are the games I'm looking forward to: Grand Theft Auto V, Halo 4, Mass Effect 3, Max Payne 3, Aliens: Colonial Marines, The Darkness II, Prey 2, Dishonored, Hitman Absolution, and last but definitely not least Bioshock Infinite. I wish I could narrow this category down to one game for you, but I'm like a kid in a candy store who doesn't know what to grab first and that makes me worry as to what the state of my bank balance is going to be by the end of next year!