Biggest Gaming Shocks of 2011

2011 has been heralded as one of the best years in gaming due to the quantity of titles that saw a release this year, as well as the quality associated with the general outline of the games for 2011. We take a look at the biggest shocks of the year in regards to both flops and titles which shocked us in a good way.

#6 – Dead Space 2:

When Electronic Arts released Dead Space, a beloved franchise had emerged due to the horror action title. Protagonist Isaac became a loved character by fans with the gameplay for the first installment in the franchise delivering a stellar gameplay experience. Big expectations were placed, then, on its sequel Dead Space 2 and it certainly lived up to the hype while some may agree it even exceeded it; the sequel gave another exhilaration experience in the horror-infested world of Dead Space and also introduced a multiplayer component which failed to deliver anything memorable. Still, bring on Dead Space 3.

#5 – Brink:

It was unforunate that Brink turned out to be a flop upon its release; its hype built up the general consensus that Splash Damage’s multiplayer-focused shooter would manage to deliver a fresh, unique experience and ultimately bring something new to the table. Unforunately, it failed to deliver anything memorable and flopped commercially, as well as a below lukewarm critical reception.

#4 – Dead Island:

Dead Island’s infamous trailer had been the talk of the gaming community upon its premier. When the game released, though, it was far from what we had initially been exposed to within the trailer but, still, despite Dead Island’s technical and general issues that plagued the game’s launch, players were treated to an enjoyable zombie-filled co-op-compatible game from Techland. The title’s commercial success, meanwhile, certainly impressed with over two million copies shipped during its first few weeks of release.

#3 – Resistance 3:

The hype the third installment in Insomniac Games’ Resistance franchise received was extremely low; it was almost non-existent when compared to the lead up to other titles. Fortunately, though, the developer managed to create one of the best shooters available on the PlayStation 3 and indeed the best in the Resistance series; initial sale figures failed to impress but fans and gamers alike still received a great installment in the Resistance franchise with a firm storyline, and a solid multiplayer component.

#2 – Batman: Arkham City:

Upon Batman: Arkham Asylum’s release the game was already being tipped to fail due to the amount of games that release based on franchises such as Batman usually failing to feature any solid, fun gameplay. Indeed, everyone was shocked with the game’s ability to actually deliver a good Batman experience and recapture everything fans could have asked for regarding the character. It’s understandable, then, that the sequel’s hype was maintained since its VGA reveal. How could the sequel improve on such a blockbuster experience its predecessor managed to deliver? Developer Rocksteady sure did convey exactly that via another memorable Batman title in the form of Batman: Arkham City. An open-world at its core, the sequel improved and doubled up on practically everything that made Batman: Arkham Asylum the winner of multiple Game of the Year accolades. The sheer amount of Batman-related characters that made an appearance added to the game’s appeal, paired with an extremely solid combat system, as well as a story that was executed brilliantly, Batman: Arkham City managed to shock us all once again.

#1 – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim released to universal praise, as well as selling over 3.5 million units during its first two days of launch. Despite its initial success, the game started to show its flaws players had feared; specifically related to the PlayStation 3 version. Save file issues plagued the game’s playability with players’ save files getting corrupted, lag issues, and just general technical issues that hindered the game’s further reception. Furthermore, a Fallout: New Vegas developer chimed in on the PS3 version’s technical issues stating it would take Bethesda a while to fix it. It’s a shame; apart from the bugs and glitches, and major setbacks such as those that littered the PS3 version, Skyrim is one of the finest action RPG’s to ever release. However, releasing a version in a such a broken state isn’t some thing fans would appreciate.

Zak