Game of the Year 2011: Who Is In The Lead?

Game of the Year 2011: Who Is In The Lead?

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Mark Barley unleashes his thoughts and musings on who the contenders are in this year's Game of the Year awards, and tries to figure out who has the best chance.

Batman: Arkham City


Game of the Year 2011: Who Is In The Lead?

Rocksteadyís masterpiece and quite possibly one of the best games youíll ever play. Seriously, the game is revolutionary in all the right ways. Like Dead Space 2, Arkham City takes everything that Arkham Asylum built and expands it in the greatest way possible. Introducing the sandbox element and side quests was possibly the greatest move Rocksteady could have made with the game. Those are the moves that I was expecting from 2K Marin in BioShock 2, a game that wanted to live up to the hype of its predecessor but failed miserably. Arkham City will take you to the rooftops of Gotham, to the depths of city's underbelly, and all the way to hell and back. Itís the best sandbox game Iíve ever played and thatís saying a lot as the map is not overly large and the bad guys feel tedious. Itís the smooth transition gameplay from Detective Mode to gliding over baddies that Iím impressed with. Rocksteady has a bonafide game of the century on their hands, if you miss it you should be ashamed. Lock of the millennia.

Batman: Arkham Asylum has an average Metacritic review score of a 92 with Arkham City having an average score of a 97, by far the highest review score average on this list. Couple that with the gameís sales figures and word of mouth, Rocksteady might have to clear some space on the mantle for the trophy theyíre going to get.

Chances: 85%

Uncharted 3: Drakeís Deception


Game of the Year 2011: Who Is In The Lead?

Iím a huge Nathan Drake fan, heís like what a young Indiana Jones in the 21st century would be, and thatís awesome to me. Naughty Dogís first two Uncharted titles have been downright fantastic and thereís no reason to believe that Uncharted 3 will disappoint. An all-star voice cast, gameplay that didnít need to be improved but has been, graphics that will blow your mind, and overall fun factor coupled in with one of the best multiplayer modes around. Whatís not to love? These last three games are really what critics will be boggling their minds over when picking a GotY recipient. Sony and ND have gone to the max with Drakeís Deception. Iíve got my pre-order paid for and my PS3 is eagerly awaiting the video game porn that awaits it.

The Uncharted franchise has an average Metacritic review score of a 92 and have already secured a Game of the Year award for their efforts on Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. All that lends to the thinking that Uncharted 3 will be very well received by critics, sell very well, and innovate multiplayer yet again on the PlayStation 3.

Chances: 80%

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword


Game of the Year 2011: Who Is In The Lead?

The last great title to grace the Nintendo Wii will be Skyward Sword but will anyone care? Link has long been one of gaming historyís favorite protagonists, mainly because heís been around forever but also because heís evolved with the times so gracefully. The early talk on Skyward Sword is that itís pretty much on par with what you would expect from a Wii Zelda title; great gameplay, great story, ok graphics, lives up to its name. Its downfall will be that no one, and I mean no one, plays the Nintendo Wii anymore. As a matter of fact, I think Game Stop sells used Wiiís for like $75, so if you really have the desire to play this game you wonít have to spend a TON of money to experience the last of its kind. I really think Nintendo should have leaned on their 3DS line-up for the holiday season and pushed Skyward Sword back to next year, making it a Wii U launch title. But what do I know? Nintendo obviously knows what theyíre doing.

The previous Wii Zelda title, Twilight Princess, has a Metacritic review score of a 95. It sold extremely well and provided the Wii with a launch title that boosted its sales. Itís hard to see believe that Skyward Sword will have the same type of sales impact for a dead console. Either way, it will be a great game but it wonít matter.

Chances: 10%

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim


Game of the Year 2011: Who Is In The Lead?

Bethesda doesnít take kindly to critics panning their publishing efforts (Rage, Iím starring at you), so you know what they didÖthey went and developed their own damn game. Oh, did I mention that itís an Elder Scrolls title? Hell. Yes. Who doesnít want to dress up like a badass warrior and whoop up on some dragon ass? After whooping up on that dragon ass you can use that dragon ass to whoop every other kinds of ass in this great big world of Skyrim. It doesnít matter that the game takes place 200 years after the events of Oblivion, it doesnít matter that you didnít think Bethesda could break any more gaming walls. This game will do it. It will do it and then some. November 11 will be a date that is will forever go down in history as the day that gamers across the world didnít do shit but sit in front of their television or computer with a controller. Amen.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has an average Metacritic review score of 94 but earned it and its Game of the Year award by bringing gamers a full-fledged open world experience. From all looks, Skyrim looks to have expanded on the groundwork that was laid by Bethesda while introducing dragons in to the mix. Oblivion is still a hot selling title to this day, four years after it was released. I see the same type of success for Skyrim.

Chances: 85%