The Best of 2011 . . . So Far (Part 3)

Historically, the third quarter of each year is typically the slowest in terms of new, AAA videogame releases.  I’ve yet to fully understand this – especially when the last 3 months of the year (this year in particular) are consistently packed with incredible titles.  From the likes of Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 to Batman Arkham City and Uncharted 3, our wallets are unfairly put through the strainer.

Why?  Why must it continue to be this way?  There’s no question that the Summer months are usually the biggest months of the year for new movie blockbusters.  Why shouldn’t we see a better release schedule for videogames over this same period?  When will publishers realize that instead of constantly battling head-to-head they could still be successful and not run the risk of being lost in the shuffle if they spread themselves out better throughout the year?

OK, ranting aside, the third quarter of 2011 wasn’t absurdly terrible.  In fact, there were a number of better than average titles that I’m sure we’ve all had a chance to play though on more than one occasion.  In the meantime, the PSNation fans have spoken and here’s a wrap-up of the top 3 favorites between the months of April and June.

Coming in at number 3 – and 7.45% of the votes – is one of the most engaging videogames that I’ve had the pleasure of playing since Heavy Rain.  Boasting incredibly realistic and life-like facial animations, L.A. Noire is one of my favorite games of the year so far.  When so many other games focus on one’s sharpshooting abilities L.A. Noire pushed the envelope with intuitive and deductive gameplay and brought us closer to actual detective work that we have ever come before.

With just under a quarter of the total votes (23.4%) our second place favorite – and still my pick for game-of-the-year – is Portal 2.  Having never played the original Portal game, and not being much of a fan of puzzle games to begin with, Portal 2 gave me the biggest sense of accomplishment from one level to the next.  Never before have I had so many “ah-ha” moments in my gaming history.  Tack on a completely original and unique co-op campaign and this is, without a doubt, a strong contender for this year’s Golden Minecart.

Coming in first place with a commanding 45.74% of the votes is the long awaited Sucker Punch sequel – inFAMOUS 2.  There’s not much to say about this game that hasn’t already been voiced other than that it rightly deserves the accolades it has been given.  The story.  The choices.  The powers . . .  dear Lord, the powers!  It’s games like this that make me proud to be a PlayStation 3 owner.

Well, that was then and most certainly not now.  Still, as previously mentioned, the 3rd quarter did have a few bright stars that shed some light in a time that is mostly dark.  So, without further adieu, here are your choices for The Best of 2011 . . . So Far (Part 3).  Let us know which game was worthy of your precious time.  As usual, if your game of choice isn’t on the list post a comment and let us know why you think it should be.

Written by Bill Braun

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