As many of you may know, I am the proud owner of a new gaming PC, so naturally I’ve been digging through my backlog of Steam games to put the new machine through its paces. Thanks to various sales, I have a pretty sizable collection of games despite not having a rig worthy of running them until now. One of the games I’ve been playing the most is Saints Row: The Third, which I bought as part of the THQ Humble Bundle. The funny thing, though, is that I didn’t buy the bundle thinking I’d end up playing much Saints Row; it was more that I’m a sucker for a sale price and thought some of the other games in the bundle might be worth checking out.
Part of the fun of my new machine is launching games and seeing how they run with all settings maxed out, so I spent most of one Saturday launching one game after another and playing with the settings. Much to my surprise, Saints Row is actually a gorgeous game, especially on the highest settings. Once that sank in, I realized that I was also having a hell of a lot of fun playing the opening set piece during a bank robbery gone wrong. Pretty soon after that, the game had its hooks in me, and I ended up playing it for a good six hour session the following weekend.
Back at the end of 2010, a glance at 2011′s calendar either sent gamers into a fit of excited trembling or utter despair. How were we going to play all of these games? What surprises were in store for us? Which ones were going to be worth the money? Could the long-awaited sequels live up to the years of promise? At the beginning of 2012, we now have all of those answers and then some. And thus, the GamerSushi Top 10 Games of 2011 list is born.
It sounds like we’re using hyperbole, but we truly feel like 2011 was one of the greatest years of gaming we’ve seen in quite some time. That much is evidenced by each staff member’s ballot – the submissions we used to determine our final top 10 (and yes, your votes for Game of the Year counted as one of our submissions, as well) were wildly different and full of an astounding variety of games. One thing was certain – gamers had a wealth of choices last year, and everyone benefited from it.
So, without further ado, here is our list of the top 10 games of 2011. Enjoy, dudes.
Confession time, gents and ladies. Playing Batman: Arkham City makes me feel like a kid again, and I don’t really care who knows it. As of right now, it’s my game of the year. I’ll tell you why in a moment.
But first, there’s something you may have already guessed about me, but I thought I should confess that as well: sometimes I can be a bit of a cynic. I always try to look at the brighter side of things, but in this day and age, the overwhelming cynical voice of the Internet can be a bit of a bog that all of us get stuck in. Especially when it comes to gaming.
Friends, PC gamers, countrymen, lend me your ears: Team Bondi’s critically acclaimed 1940′s crime solving game L.A. Noire is hitting the PC this fall. In a recent post on the Rockstar Newswire, the company confirmed that they have heard the cries of their PC faithful, who have rightly felt a little left out after not seeing a version of Red Dead Redemption on their platform of choice last year.
While no exact release date was confirmed in the post itself, I’m going to go ahead and guess it will come out in November, along with about ninety percent of the other games this fall. The game will feature support for the mouse and keyboard setup along with the option to use a controller, and it will be able to run 3D if your rig is set up that way.
So there you have it, PC gamers, Rockstar does care about you after all. L.A. Noire was a favorite around the GamerSushi offices (or it would be if such a place existed), so I’m glad that everyone who missed out on playing it over the summer will get a chance to do so later this year. Hopefully you didn’t listen to our spoiler cast too intently, although due to some people (*cough* Jeff and Anthony *cough*) not finishing the Homicide desk, it was pretty light on the reveals.
Now that you know that L.A. Noire is coming to the PC, what say you? Are you going to be picking it up? How do you think the game’s mechanics will blend in with the PC control scheme? Does this give you hope for future Rockstar games?
Just like we did with the Portal 2 podcast a few weeks back, we thought we’d have ourselves a spoiler-slathered episode all about L.A. Noire for this week. Basically, we talk about the game up until the end of homicide without worry of monitoring ourselves, and the result is some in-depth discussion about Team Bondi’s achievements and how we feel about the game itself.
After that, Nick brings us a game of percentages, where we rate the chances of purchasing Modern Warfare 3, the eventual production and release of the infamous Uncharted movie and the removal of DRM from more PC games. We also dip a bit into some absurd trailer-mongering, which I think you guys will get a kick out of. Or at the very least, we got a kick out of it. As long as someone is entertained, right?
Here we go, gents and ladies. Listen up. Rate. Chuckle.
It’s a very rare game that allows the player to step into the shoes of a police officer; rarer still is the game that treats the player as an adult and faces them with the horrors of real-life crime. L.A. Noire, developed over an eight-year time period by Sydney, Australia based Team Bondi with assistance from Rockstar, follows the life of Cole Phelps, a Pacific Theater war hero turned star Police detective in the year 1947. One of the major features of L.A. Noire is the detective aspect and the use of sophisticated facial mapping technology in order to properly convey subtle (and not so subtle) emotions on your suspect’s faces when you’re putting the spotlight on them.
While L.A. Noire can dismissively be described as “1940s GTA”, nothing could be further from the truth. Much like Rockstar’s last marquee game, L.A. Noire steps out of GTA’s shadow by establishing its own identity by giving gamers something new and different in an increasingly crowded market. Come inside the GamerSushi interview room and see if we can sweat the facts out of this flatfoot.
With all of the free time on my hands recently, I’ve found that I’m more willing to dive into the minutia of gaming, picking over stuff that I would have previously forgone had I been more engaged during the day with other activities (like working). Given GamerSushi’s recent obsession with a certain post-WW2 detective game, most of the article will center around that, but we can delve into other games that do this sort of thing as well.
While random collectibles are more endemic to sandbox games, it’s not unusual to see any manner of game in any genre throw in bits of random junk for you to accrue to either flesh out the story or just to have you hang on to your games a little longer instead of trading them in. Call of Duty has its Intel, which unlocks cheats, and Crysis 2 has dog tags, landmarks and emails which gave you more insight into what exactly was going on when you weren’t killing mechanical squids.
Now that I’ve finished L.A. Noire, I’m driving around in free roam trying to find all the golden film canisters and the street crimes. Rockstar has done this pretty well in their last couple of games, which is good after the horrible showing in GTAIV; it was kind of weird for them to stumble in this regard, Rockstar is typically great about extending the life of a game after the main story is done.
I’ve always been partial to completing games 100%, especially after the introduction of Achievements (not that the lack of them has held me back in PC and PS3 games…), but I’m wondering how you guys feel about them. Do you go for them, or pick up any that you come across? Do you like finding them, or are they the bane of your existence?
Alright friends, it’s been a few months since we’ve done a GamerSushi Pop Quiz, so I figured it was time to drop one in the bucket for you piranhas to devour.
Now that some of the huge titles of 2011 have been released (Portal 2, Little Big Planet 2, Dragon Age 2, Crysis 2, L.A. Noire, Brink and The Witcher 2), I had some questions on my mind about the nature of hype and how games live up to it. The year is already halfway over, and we’ve had some major surprises and major letdowns to boot. I’m curious how you guys feel about how 2011 is shaping up. At the end, you’ll even have a soapbox opportunity to talk about whatever gaming issue is on your mind.
As always with our getting-to-know-you type games, feel free to answer with as much or as little as you like. Answer to the best of your ability. Have at it, gents and ladies.
Hello, GamerSushi faithful, did you miss me? I know that you guys probably didn’t even notice I was gone for a couple of days, but I was off in Vancouver watching a hockey game (pause for Canada jokes). Unfortunately, this little getaway clashed with the release of L.A. Noire, and I only got to try that out last night. While I’m finding the controls a little too clunky for my liking, the interrogations are super awesome and the facial animations continue to astound me.
Besides L.A. Noire, we’ve also seen the release of the Witcher 2 on PC, and I’ve been hearing rave reviews about it both here and other places. It’s definitely on my list of “must haves”, so I’ll hopefully be able to pick that up soon. Based on the screenshot I used for this article, the game should be titillating in all the right ways.
So what are you guys playing? I know we already have a whole thing about L.A. Noire, but if you’ve got any Witcher 2 thoughts, this is the place to put them. Hit me up with those comments, son!
Alright nerds, it’s time to get real around here. When I’m not busy slamming beers and stealing your girlfriends, I sometimes play video games. As a guy who really knows his stuff, I thought I’d do all you dweebs a favor and tell you which of these upcoming games are worth your time and money. I’ve been convinced by the other dudes around here to use the grading scale to rate these games, so let’s pop those collars and get down to business. This is gonna be boss.
We’re back this week with Episode 24 of the podcast, which takes place entirely in real time. Sort of. We actually had a lot of technical difficulties with this one, but I think Nick did a great job of lessening the horrors that we faced.
Technical gremlins aside, this week we participate in the same tomfoolery that you’ve experienced from us every week, only this time we talk about Quantic Dream versus Rockstar, Square Enix’s fall into irrelevance, the most annoying fanboys in the world and Mass Effect 2′s Arrival DLC. After that, Nick drops a new game of Either/Or on us, and we hit up the PS3′s sales, Nintendo versus Angry Birds and the new trailers we got last week.
So, there you have it. Check it out. Rate it. Enjoy.
And we’re back, fellow gamers. It’s been a couple of weeks because a certain bearded somebody forgot that Thursdays are our podcast nights, and decided to go out and have a life instead. However, everything is back to normal, and now a brand new podcast is out for your enjoyment.
In this episode of our gaming ramblings, we chat about a few new games in more detail, such as Dragon Age 2 and Crysis 2. We also tackle an awesome game of Over/Under, in which Nick has us guess on Metacritic scores for upcoming games. It’s seriously one of my favorite games we play, and I think the results in this one are pretty awesome.
So, here are the topics for this week’s podcast. Thanks to Nick’s efforts, we thought we’d try something different and list the time stamps for each thing in the podcast. Hopefully that’ll make it easier if there are certain topics you want to hear about.
For a game that was stuck in development hell for years, Team Bondi’s upcoming 1940′s crime thriller LA Noire has certainly shot out of the gate in the past few months, stunning us with its detailed character animation and the technology that powers it. Despite the fact that it’s been flitting on and off the radar screen for a while, we now have a hard target set for the release date: May 17 (May 20 in Europe), to be exact. To celebrate, LA Noire publisher Rockstar has posted an all-new in-engine trailer for us to drool over:
Like Red Dead Redemption, I’m kind of going into this game blind, but that payed off for RDR as it was my favorite game of last year. I have no idea what the gameplay is like, who the characters are or what the plot is besides the fact that you’re tracking a serial killer, but since I’m an information sponge I might end up enjoying it more not knowing ever facet of the game. Anyone else got this on their must-buy list?