With Uncharted 3: Drake Deception having received rave reviews and its fourteenth DLC pack, Naughty Dog has announced that a Game Of The Year Edition is on the way. It'll include the original game and all the DLC released to date, rewarding those who were too apathetic to buy at launch. Release details are forthcoming.
Sony also proudly announced that the Uncharted series has shifted 17 million units since the original Drake's Fortune - and presented us with a detailed infographic showing all kinds of series trivia. We've got it after the break along with the full GOTY contents.Click here to read more...
This was a close one. To be honest any of the games below could have taken the award and we would have been pretty happy. As it was it came down to a single vote. We've been blessed in the past twelve months to have seen a marked rise in the calibre of the games released, something that we're yet to fully adjust to as critics. we've delighted in a swathe of technically brilliant games, executed impeccably and delivered with thunderclaps of publicity and huge amounts of polish as you can see below. Perhaps looking forward into 2011 we should take that as a benchmark standard and aspire to higher heights of inventiveness and innovation, the blockbusters of 2010 have certainly made that an exciting possibility.
In the meantime, though, let's look back on some of the brightest stars of 2010.
Get your vote on below...and if there's a game you loved that didn't make it here, LET US KNOW ABOUT IT!
Click here to read more...
RPG fans had it good this year with strong showings from Bioware and Obsidian. Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep reminded us that the PSP still existed, the Pokemon franchise returned with a reboot that once again stole untold hours of our time with compulsive critter-catching, not to mention significant amounts of XP-earning walking, and the DS consolidated things with the brilliantly complex Infinite Space and Dragon Quest IX.
Check out our shortlist and winner of the RPG award after the jump...
Well, we've had our fun. Over the last week we've all shared with you our thoughts, our high and low points of the last twelve months, and now it's time for some democracy in action. Over the next few days we'll be dishing out some genre awards and playing titles off against each other. There've been some fierce arguments in the Dealspwn office over some of these, and our own internal voting was often interrupted by desperate 999 calls after a few buts got a little too heated. Carl even lost an ear.
But that's what this period is all about: sounding off against your fellow man, hotly debating whether or not Prison Break really did suck more than Pure Football, championing your virtual investments and grinding your opponents' faces into the dust made by their games as you blow them up with your explosive opinions and nuclear rhetoric.
And now we want to know what YOU think!
As with last year, we've managed to amass a shortlist for each category and we've already determined our winners through a fair and dictatorial democratic process. we will of course be inviting you to do the same. And please don't hesitate to let us know why you voted. Get stuck in. If you agree with our results, let us know. If you don't , even more reason to let us know!
Here's a little list of what's happening and when:
It's on like Donkey Kong! I'm looking forward to seeing what happens.
2010 has been an odd year. It's been positively stuffed with action, brimming with blockbusters, with video games making a hell of a lot of noise, attempting to capitalise upon the enormous successes of 2009. We've seen some truly staggering achievements this year, games exhibiting such developmental technical brilliance that have dazzled our eyes , forced our mouths agape and, particularly now with everyone vying for a slice of MoCon pie, caused us to look very silly indeed.
There's been plenty of behind the scenes drama going on this year, as I mentioned in my retrospective glance at a few of this past year's highlights. But when it comes down to it, the games are what we have left upon which to judge the last twelve months. No one can deny it's been a pretty solid year in terms of the games themselves. Everywhere you looked there was another extremely polished would-be moneymaker preparing to ship. Gamers, in many ways, have been completely spoilt for choice this year. Throw Move and Kinect into the mix too and there really has been something for everyone - from basement dwellers to their grandmothers, from those with 5 minutes to spare to those with 5 days.
But for all of its pomp and circumstance, for all of the boisterous hyperbole, the PR stunts, swathes of adverts and headline-grabbing spats, speeches and slip-ups, 2010 has lacked something.
That something is soul.
Dave already alluded to this in his GOTY introduction when he said that we hadn't seen any goalpost movers this year, and I'm rather inclined to agree. There were plenty of fun titles and enjoyable experiences to be had but few, if any that blew my mind. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood earned its full marks for having the audacity to be released a mere year after ACII and not only top it but also wangle in some incredibly well-thought-out multiplayer too. But if you hadn't played any of the others it would have stumped you completely. It didn't really break new ground as much as perfect the old. Limbo, the other game I gave a ten to this year, is the only game I've ever played to really chill me to the bone. But it couldn't keep it up beyond a couple of hours and, whilst the second half of the game produced some excellent puzzles, it felt like the fireworks had passed.
The blockbusters this year have nearly all been sequels - louder, shinier and slicker: Mass Effect 2, God of War 3, ACB, Bioshock 2. The latter is a perfect example to encompass the year: better shooter, poorer game. Few, if any, of the mainstream studios this year (thank god for the indies!) have been prepared - except perhaps for SEGA (and I'm thinking here of the sheer lunacy that was Bayonetta) - to really be brave, to strive for the unique, the adventurous and the risky, and to truly push what it means to design video games. Not just building upon existing procedure, but shaking things up completely.
Except, perhaps for Quantic Dream...
Red Dead Redemption - It may have been a derivative experience - Grand Theft Horses anyone? - but RDR, plus its add-ons and zombie-themed downloads, brought great voicework and genuine humour to the mix. And, if you were brought up on Westerns, the chance to be a cowboy and sort out the bad guys (should you choose that route) is too irresistible to describe. Smart, seductive, grown-up and, thanks to the period weaponry, a challenge. While I agree it's lovely to wield a virtual modern gun in many a FPS, there's something about conserving your limited bullets that appeals, bringing a little more strategy to the mayhem, particularly given the general inefficiency of a Wild West bullet. Mostly though, it's the cowboy thing - ah, sweet memories of a 1970s childhood - and the occasional laugh-out-loud moments that kept me coming back til it was done.
LEGO Harry Potter very different but a very close second!
PES 11. Yes, I know, FIFA makes people that look more like the real players and it's all slick and shiny and stuff. But when PES is on form - and 2011's incarnation is, for my money, the best yet - it's unbeatable. Football isn't always about glory goals, sometimes it's about grinding out a 1-1 draw against inferior opposition in the mud and the rain. PES gives you that. You can assemble incredible teams - and this year's Master League transfer market angle makes it a little too easy to my mind - but they won't always gel and might take a few weeks to get used to each other. That aspect comes across brilliantly. You can almost feel your squad's shoulders slump as your opponent gets a lucky break and scores with their one, single minute shot of the game after their keeper's kept you at bay for 89 minutes. It's also capable of teeth-grindingly annoying refereeing decisions, as an innocuous tackle gets punished or, worse, a player you're not even controlling gives away a penalty or scores an own goal. I have woken my wife up twice arguing with the ref. Ahem.
Best of all though is the tactical aspect, with the drag and drop system that's so painfully bloody obvious it's a wonder it's taken this long to appear.
My, what a question. From a gobsmacking moment, it might have to be bringing the rocket down early in Black-Ops. Or possibly The Best Ever Goal I Have Ever Scored in PES: goalkeeper rolls out, two passes across midfield, perfect lobbed through ball catching out the United defence, striker runs by, beats offside trap, volleys ball into top right corner from 35 yards. In terms of giggles though, it would have to be a two player Free For All Modern Warfare 2 sesh. Three seconds to go, I'm ahead on points, lining up the match-winning head shot through my sniper rifle. As I go to take the shot, mate in building opposite fires RPG into my man's delicates. Game winning, side-splitting and making sure my avatar never reproduces. Rocket Propelled Grenade in the nackers. Really not a good way to go, is it?
If anyone can make sense of Clone Wars and hack it down to size then it's the LEGO team. I'm a huge fan of LEGO (more of that 70's childhood thing / in-game comedy) and their games have been amazing in terms of complexity, challenge, unlockable content and good nature. The observations are super too, given the brick-y nature of its characters and the complete absence of dialogue. In terms of Clone Wars this means no Hayden 'wood boy' Christensen and, one assumes, a quiet Jar Jar Binks so that has to be a VERY GOOD THING. From a completist point of view the arenas look enormous too.
Having had a sneak preview of two levels, this is shaping up to be a fine and enormous experience. The first sees you in a ship taking on a mahoosive Imperial destroyer as well as assorted minions on flight decks and in landing bays. The second requires team work as you bring the ship down from within, via light saber wielding, Force powers and, er, R2D2-lifting and puzzle solving, as action shifts between two Jedi teams. In two player, these can, apparently, be done separately and simultaneously via split screen.
I'm also very excited about Test Drive Unlimited 2 with its detail, ease of interactivity, daftly enjoyable online stuff - come to Ibiza, let's hang in my apartment - tand, particularly for taking a standard aspect of gaming - remodelling your avatar - and giving it the humorous twist of having to visit a plastic surgeon to make it happen. Oh, and then being forced to drive around in bandages for the next hour til it heals. For the record, the driving experience is pretty good too.
The sweary, gory, very silly Bulletstorm looks like killer fun too
I hate Game of the Year things, in general. There are rarely any surprises and it's a cheap way of getting people to shower hits on your website or buy copies of your magazine by recycling old content and writing, essentially, the same thing you wrote a few months before. It's also very easy to forget great titles that appeared towards the beginning of the year because you've been involved so much in what's coming in the future or has just appeared in the very recent past.
Having said that, there's something compelling about the human need to list, to compile and to reminisce on a yearly basis. It would be a lie to say I didn't look at shortlists when presented with them in an RSS feed, for example. It's human nature to compare one's own opinions with that of others, often just to allow yourself a few moments of petty anger as your unjustified favourite didn't make it to number one. You might even post bile in the comments below said list saying “I can't believe you didn't vote The UnderGarden as the best shooter of the year!” or words to that effect.
So, the question has been asked of me. What's your Game of the Year? Loathe as I am to have to make such a decision, there are a few games that have come out that could potentially make this list. However, a quick note: personally, 2010 hasn't been a year of any genuinely stand-out game that's broken new ground or made this decision easy at all. Forget the hype, there's not been a single goalpost mover.
With Nintendo releasing a title of this quality, were you really expecting anything else from me? But you don't have to be a Ninty fangirl to see that yet again, Mario has managed to get himself into a spot of trouble that is really something special.
It may be a direct sequel with an almost indentikit format and gameplay to the original but it is perfectly polished and absolutely bursting with innovation and fresh Mario magic. Of course, in this instalment, Yoshi comes along for the interplanetary ride but thankfully he never feels over used or shoe-horned in, and, while the little green guy has sometimes made me want to tear out my toenails in frustration, this time gallivanting around on his back feels largely intuitive and you'll usually find yourself glad to see him.
The game impresses from start to finish with its fantastic presentation, superb level design, precise controls, perfectly balanced difficulty curve and, most of all, incredible fun factor. Despit how huge it is (with an awesome surprise longevity booster revealed to you once you have collected 120 stars) it never feels like it loses focus, no level is built from filler material.
True, I didn't love it quite as much as Mario's original topsy-turvy planet hopping adventure, but that is testament only to how incredible its predecessor was, rather than an indictment of Super Mario Galaxy 2. It's big, bold, beautiful, bright and brilliant, and, despite some strong competition, I can think of no other game that has flown so close to flawless this year.
When the first Tomb Raider title came out, I thought I might die of cringing at all the attention that its nubile heroine received from lonely gamers, so it is sheepishly that I admit that even though it is months since I completed Mass Effect 2, I still cannot think of Thane Krios, the sensitive Drell assassin, without sighing wistfully. What human could possibly live up to this fascinating and mysterious fictional alien? It is this sort of emotional reaction that is key to my love for this Bioware epic. Because Krios is not an anomaly; Mass Effect 2 is populated by a cast of characters that I truly wish were my friends (but thank god are not my enemies!) and, for me, this is what truly makes the game shine.
That's not to say that these beautifully drawn characters (dull as ditchwater Jacob and moany Miranda aside) are lonely sailors adrift in a sea of mediocrity; this second outing for Shepard and co is a lesson in deft and elegant story-telling and a highly effective third person shooter, complemented by streamlined RPG elements. I loved the narrative and the beautifully presented cinematic style which somehow manages to avoid feeling like an interactive movie.
The combat is much improved from the first game with battles now feeling meatier and more realistic but mostly I got a kick out of hurling enemies around with the boosted biotic powers.
It's not perfect; the mind-numbingly moronic mining mini game which replaces the much maligned Mako is a disaster that plays like a recipe for RSI and I really missed idly exploring uncharted planets but such things are just tiny blemishes on the glorious face of all that Mass Effect 2 has to offer.
Yes, that’s right. They even let the Dealspwn newbie have a say on the gaming highs and lows of the past year. So grab a drink, sit back and take a look at my ramblings through the year that was 2010; a year filled with zombies, cowboys, very angry spartans, never-ending waves of Zerg, more zombies, meat-shaped cubes, Illusive Men, racing simulators, motion-control shenanigans, even more zombies, roof-leaping assassins, golden guns, ninjas, terrible MMO’s and mutants called Lily.
Oh, and zombies.
Game Of The Year
Red Dead Redemption, Fallout: New Vegas and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood nearly won out here, but in the end I felt the nod should go to Blizzard’s return to the real time strategy genre with StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. Overall the gameplay from the original had been left unchanged with only a few tweaks here and there, and yet it still played like one of the best and well balanced games in years. It was a smooth gameplay experience from start to finish, providing you could survive the Zerg rushes every other minute.
The storyline was incredibly well done, providing you could stomach the tongue-in-cheek macho nature of it all, detailing the continuing struggle of Jim Raynor as he fights against the Terran Dominion and hunts for his lost love Sarah Kerrigan, now the Queen of Blades for the Zerg. When the epic single-player was done, the monstrous online mode was waiting along with online leagues and serious competitive business for those brave enough to throw their hat into the virtual ring. With further developer and community support for varying game modes announced this year there is more than enough content to keep purchasers happy in the first of three releases for Starcraft II. Sure, £35 is pricey for a PC release these days (and it would sadly mean you were funding the evil that is Bobby Kotick) but those that took the plunge will tell you it is worth every penny, and for that reason is my pick for GOTY.Click here to see what else caught Carl's eye in 2010...
For me, 2010 hasn't quite been a landmark year we all expected, but a thoroughly consistent one. Almost every month, we've seen top-tier titles hit the shelves at such a rate it's reduced our financial ability to do something other than place yourself in front of the television and grab the controller. It hasn't always been great, and I believe we've seen far too many identikit challengers and recycled concepts for my liking, but I can't argue with the quality I have enjoyed that's made 2010 quite special, indeed.
I was torn between this and Red Dead Redemption, but ultimately it was the quality of Bioware's characterization, even against Rockstar's brilliant attempt, that swayed my hand. I loved Mass Effect 2, having found the first a flawed classic to endure rather than enjoy. It stepped up in every department, from the astonishing visuals, the pitch-perfect writing, pacing and plot-points, the visceral combat system and truly wonderful cast of companions. I was honestly distraught on the last mission when first one, then two, then three of my crew fell to the Collectors. And it was all my fault.Read on to see why Mass Effect 2 won my vote, and what other titles deserve a mention
Kicking off our series of personal reminiscence trips, our PlayStation connoisseur Brendan gives us his overview of 2010.
Arguably more of an interactive movie than a game, but the bravery shown by Quantic Dream to try something different from the norm can only be applauded. Before playing the game I was really worried that it would be just a long series of Quick-Time Events. Thankfully Heavy Rain was packed with enough choices for the player and brilliant production values to make all these worries fade away within the first hour of play. Rarely are we given so much choice on how a story plays out with such an interesting set of characters, who if we weren't careful could die permanently and possibly change the journey and outcome of this dark crime story. Did it change gaming forever? Well, not really, nobody else seems to be trying to emulate Heavy Rain's success. But but it showed what is possible and that many gamers are more open to something a little different for a change if only developers and publishers are willing to take a chance.
I completed the first Bioshock for the first time, just a few days before Bioshock 2 came out, so I could review it for the site I wrote for before Dealspwn. This meant I was in a great position to compare both games without the rose-tinted glasses. The decision to put the player into the boots of a Big Daddy was inspired, mainly because of the way the game had you interact with the Little Sisters. Protecting them while they harvested Adam from corpses was an unnerving affair, made even more complicated by what to do afterwards. Would you harvest them for a large supply of Adam, or free them, hoping there'd be an award later on? I opted to try and save them all and this is where the stand-out moment of the game occurred.
There were two Little Sisters in the same area. One of mine, harvesting a corpse while I was fending off splicers and the other cowering behind a Daddy I accidentally pissed off (thus had to kill) during the shoot-out. Yep, I picked up the wrong one and didn’t realise for an hour. After dropping off my free-loader I made my way back to the area where I’d lost the first one and felt genuine guilt (and massively relieved) when she emerged from the shadows and ran over cheering: “I knew you wouldn’t leave me behind.
Other games just aren't getting close to how much emotion they can provoke, or asking questions from a gamer about how far they'd go to make life easier on themselves. Bioshock Infinite will be asking similar questions, albeit in a completely new sky-high location. Unfortunately I'll have to wait this time, along with everyone else. Roll on 2012.Click here to read Brendan's picks for gaming moment, most disappointing and most anticipated games.
Yes it's that time again. As we look forward to the new year ahead, it's only fitting that we reflect on what has come to pass over the last twelve months. We already picked out some of the newsworthy highlights from 2010, but above all else it's important to remember that it's the games that make the industry what it is. We've seen a slew of sequels, some quirky new IPs too, we've seen new platforms and hardware spring up and new opportunities with them. There have been blockbusters and sleeper hits, indie gems. If 2010 is remembered for anything, it might just be for being the year when the release schedule truly managed to appeal to pretty much everyone. Everywhere you looked last year there were games for all-comers of all ages, from seven to seventy.
The average quality on offer was high indeed. There were so many candidates for awards this year, with such a diverse showing in our own nominations, that we figured we'd let each writer speak for themselves. Rest assured, we'll be delivering our genre awards in a few days' time but, before that, each member of the team has cast their own personal view back over 2010 to highlight their critical picks and personal favourites, as well as peak moments and disappointments, starting this afternoon.
As usual, we'd love to hear what you think. Throughout this mini-season of articles please hit us up with your thoughts, we'd love to know which games thrilled you this year and which ones let you down, what you're looking forward to and what you couldn't care less about. You can scream advocacy and assent or argue until your fingertips fall off, but either way we'd love to hear what you all thought of 2010 too.
There ain't no rest for the wicked- as Borderlands players well know. The amount of DLC packs (including the recent Robot Revolution Pack) has kept us very busy... but as the theme song states, "money don't grow on trees". Luckily the Game of the Year version will be out soon, allowing thrifty gamers to net all of the expansion packs for a decent price- and giving newcomers a massive and worthwhile new addiction. Note that access to the DNF beta will also be included!