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Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Year in Review: Hewso Style

Ok it is that time of year again, the time when we all look back at what has happened and reflect on the good, the bad and the ugly. 2011 for me was a great year, a year where some big changes have occurred and some bigger surprises.  So to sum it up I thought I might share my thoughts on the year that was. What was good? What deserves to be forgotten? What you might have missed? These are the questions I will attempt to answer in my highly self-indulgent year in review.

What a year, I mean there is nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said about the amazing year video games had in 2011. From Skyrim to Batman, from Portal 2 to LA Noire some superlative games have been released this year and due to the sheer number of quality releases I am sure some gems will be missed. One of those gems is The Witcher 2. Released early in the year to little fanfare, The Witcher 2 was a master class in RPG storytelling and style. Great characters, amazing graphics (some of the best around) and a crushing difficulty made The Witcher 2 a game that no PC player should miss out on.  (If you want to read my full thoughts on the game click here - )

Another game that you shouldn’t miss is Driver San Francisco. Everyone thought the Driver franchise was dead. The last two entries in the series were rubbish and no one had any real interest in returning to the world. So it was with some surprise that Ubisoft announced another entry in the series. What was an even bigger surprise was that it was really really good. A game of pure fun, Driver SF has one of the stupidest premises in a video game ever, you can body snatch any driver in the city, but it works so well you wish you had more time with it. The game it’s self would be more accurately described as a Movie Chase Scene Simulator than a racing game but don’t let that put you off it is a mountain of fun from start to finish. (Once again I was lucky enough to get this to review. The review can be found here -

It wasn’t all roses in the gaming world this year, gamers the world over suffered their fair share of disappointments. Duke’s long awaited return was not worth waiting for, Blizzard let the release date slide on Diablo 3 again, Australia still doesn’t have an R18+ rating (though we are closer) and Mortal Kombat (Another quality game, Get it you won’t be disappointed) was refused classification in Australia. 

But the single biggest disappointment for me this year was RAGE. RAGE was the long awaited new IP from shooter masters ID software (they made some small games, like Doom and Quake you might have heard of them) and unfortunately it seems that they are still stuck in the past. Shooters have come a long way since their last release and while RAGE is a solid game, it was severely lacking in areas that gamers take for granted these days leading to a mediocre experience. The worst part of the whole affair was the disdain that ID treated their PC fanbase. ATI video card users had an especially hard time in getting the game to even work. It took me 2 months, 2 patches and 4 Video Card Driver updates before I could play the game. This is just not acceptable in this day and age and I am sure ID will have a lot to do to make it up to its Hardcore PC community.
RAGE looks good, when you eventually get it running.