2011 In Review
This year has been the best gaming year ever. It even beats the golden age of 1996 and that's saying a lot on my part. Here is my own personal pick of this years' highlights.
During 2011 I finally got into Total War when I bought Empire. For some reason, I've never liked the Total War series, although it should be right up my alley, since this kind of stuff interests me. Empire Total War had me totally immersed though. I added only one mod to my copy, and that was DartMod, which expands on the AI (both BAI and CAI) and also gives the player masses of new options.
I discovered Saints Row 2. Being a fan of the GTA series, I thought it would be a pleasant little side-show to GTA, but I've put in more hours on Saints Row 2 than I have on GTA IV at the moment. Saints Row 2 can actually be described as a combination of Morrowind and San Andreas, and only that makes it into a winner. Pity Saints Row the Third didn't make it though. They released the sequel this year, but they've been cutting away everything that made 2 great and The Third is obviously nothing but a cash cow with expensive DLC and such. If you want to play Saints Row, play the second instalment. It sells cheap nowadays too.
The Indie Game I will always remember from 2011 is the little known Star Ruler. This game is of the so called 4X genre. You build an empire in space, outfit your star ships, fight enemy civilizations out there and explore technologies and new weapons. It's really immersive. Everything happens real time. The creators of it need to work on it still, but as it stands, it's a fun and playable game well-worth the dosh I forked out for it, as usual with Indie Games. It doesn't look like much, but I assure you, the game is packed with content and complexity that the new AAA titles certainly can't match. Overall, in my own gaming, there's recently been a turn to Indie and Online games when looking for complexity and detail, while I also enjoy the great AAA titles, but for other reasons than during the days of old Morrowind.
The year of 2011 was spent waiting for the Big One - Skyrim. As a player of the Elder Scrolls since Daggerfall, and of the elitist faction that thinks Morrowind is the greatest ES ever, I was seriously worried that Skyrim wouldn't suit me. I didn't have to worry. I loved it from the start and it's well worth both the wait and the dosh. Skyrim will give me years of enjoyment, since I am waiting for January when the modding tools will be released. With Skyrim, Bethesda has reached new heights.
I need to mention EVE Online. This is the first quite mature online game I've joined. I tried it out back in 2009, but didn't like it then, but gave it a new shot this year, and have already put in a lot of hours on it. It's a game that will take years to get to grips with and it's going to be interesting to be there during the continued development of it. Its audience seems to be relatively mature, which is unique for online games.
2011 will in my book for always be remembered for my mod Dibella's Watch. I spent ten months of 2011 creating and fine-tuning my own continent for Oblivion. I wrote quests, created castles and cities and had lots of fun doing it all. For Skyrim, I will be doing something similar and have it all planned out already, but more on that as we enter 2012 and the modding tools come along.