this has been a good year for games. i generally only preorder good stuff, and so far, there have been 4, soon to be 5 titles i’ll have preordered this year.
- The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
- From Dust
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution
and the two remaining games, yet to release –
Battlefield 3 (October 25)
The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim (November 11)
Of the ones I’ve played so far, I’d have to say that Deus Ex and TW2 are tied for game of the year. Both continue two of my favorite IPs ever (Deus Ex and The Witcher) and both were supremely good games, almost perfect in both cases.
Deus Ex is my favorite game ever, and to say that I wasn’t breath-taken by Human Revolution would be a lie. At first, I was a little bummed because it felt very console-ish. (Of course, I don’t mean to say consoles suck, I play games on both PS3 and Xbox, but my PC is significantly more powerful than either machine, so in most cases, I’ll get a game on PC before I select it on a console.) – but the second I completed the prologue and saw the intro credits and opening cinematic, I knew I was in for something amazing. Easily one of the best games I’ve ever played. The soundtrack by composer Michael McCann is one of my favorites, regardless of medium (game, tv or film) and the environments, characters, dialogue, writing, animations, everything was really excellent. Character models are great, the engine (Crystal Dynamics engine, which is odd, since that’s an RPG engine…) does some of the best lighting I’ve seen in a game. All around, it was better than I imagined it would be. I finished this in a week (I only play 2 days a week)
The Witcher is also another favorite title of mine. It was a total sleeper hit, with excellent writing based on the short stories by Polish author, Andrzej Sapkowski. It played really well and was extremely brutally violent, and felt very “adult”. Lots of games pile on violence, but everything else is very ordinary. Temeria is rife with racism against non-humans, and it all just feels very “real”, I guess. The Witcher 2 has many of the same elements, with even more darkness and violence added to it. The engine powering TW2 is easily one of the best I’ve ever seen. The texturing and character models are second to none, the recorded speech and music were absolutely phenomenal. I’ve yet to finish it yet because I didn’t want to rush it. I’m in the final chapter of the game, and I want to put it off til I absolutely have to finish it.
I’d seen trailers for From Dust a year ago or so, but it never hit me that it was a game by Eric Chahi, who wrote & created the game “Another World” which came out in the early 90’s. I found that title a bit late, when it became available on gog.com, and I was blown away. The artwork and music in it stand up very well despite being nearly 20 years old. At any rate, after seeing Eric Chahi’s name on From Dust, I knew I had to buy it. I fired it up and really enjoyed the whole experience. It’s a “god” simulator with a really nice, totally neutral approach to the whole divinity thing. Instead of being an omnipotent bearded man in the sky, you’re “the Breath”, a natural force that can manipulate the world. You can’t directly interact with people, you don’t need them to believe in you, you simply exist to help them on a journey to different planes of existence. You can move lava to build walkways, divert water, all the while, helping to turn each “world” green with trees, water, grass and animal life. It’s a pretty inspiring experience. The gameplay is mostly puzzle based, but there’s such a diversity to each map that it keeps it fresh. I was really happy with this title as well.
Like I said, good year for games.