Welcome to a new series of articles presented by yours truly. You all know of the great event that is ‘Game of the Year’ (which, oddly, is also due in a couple of weeks), but we here at Strategy Informer have decided to break it down for you guys even more by bringing you the best of the best on a monthly basis. Who was Fabulous in February? Marvellous in March? Victorious in… erm… oh never mind. You get the idea.
Of all the months we could have started in, November is probably by far the most interesting – The amount of smash-hits (not to mention the odd indie-wonder) have probably broken many a bank… good thing it’s Christmas, eh? But before we decide who was top dog, let us just remind ourselves of a few of the more notable releases this month…
November started with a bright blue object speeding past us at super-sonic (HUR HUR) speed. Sonic Generations celebrated 20 years of Sonic by cramming all of his best bits into one game. From the slopes of Green Hill (Sonic the Hedgehog) to the towering heights of Rooftop Run (Sonic Unleashed), this was an attempt to re-kindle the fire and passion that many of the older fans felt the series had lost.
If you read theChris did for us, I guess you could say they kind of succeeded. Sadly, it wasn’t good enough to earn the ‘Game of the Month’ prize, but SEGA can be happy in the fact that many consider this a great Sonic game, even if it could have done with a bit more classic content and less of the newer stuff that fans didn’t really like. If you’re a Sonic fan and haven’t picked this up yet, you really should.
These two get a more-than-honourable mention because they are this month’s great tragedies. Both were sequels to iconic and engaging PC franchises, and both fell far, far short of expectations when it came to release. Both Paradox (SOTS2) and SouthPeak/7Sixty (Stronghold) have been working round the clock to bring the game’s up to scratch, but the truth of the matter is these games should have been great from the start. A terrible shame. You can read our reviews if you want, but we advise you to wait until after Christmas (unless you can get them cheap) before picking them up.
Probably the strongest competitor to Game of the Month aside from the winner, Activision’s Modern Warfare 3 is a remarkable piece of work. Say what you want about Activision, Infinity Ward or the practice of ‘churning’ out sequels, there is a reason why the Call of Duty franchise continues to break records.
Whilst our official review isn’t up yet (let’s just say there were… logistical issues), from what we’ve all played so far in the month since release this is an excellent game. Singleplayer is easily the best to date, and whilst Black Ops did the multiplayer side of things better it’s still an incredible, skill-based experience. Unless you’re a Battlefield man like me I guess then it’s simply ‘the enemy’. But still, credit where credit’s due.
Another strong contender for Game of the Month, Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception proved to be an extremely worthy sequel to one of Sony’s best exclusive franchises. With stunning set-pieces, intense action, and a compelling story to carry gamer’s through, there’s a reason why this was high on 2011’s wish-list.
But it wasn’t without its controversy: there is no doubt that it’s a stellar game, but we here at Strategy Informer (along with a few others amongst the press, if you look hard enough) believe that it wasn’t as good as its predecessor, which is one of the main reasons it’s not getting the award (although it still deserves a mention). Read Nicksto find out more – but regardless of the finer points this is a game well worth your time and your money.
This is why this month was a toughie to decide – as aside from the winner there was a third, and equally as deserving, contender for the top dog spot. Even though it started off as an interesting yet flawed exploration of open-world assassination, in just four years the Assassin’s Creed franchise has managed to go from strength to strength, and should be considered one of the great franchises of this generation.
In Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, you experience the final chapter in Master Assassin Ezio Auditore’s story, as he fights for the truth, and for his order. In Nick’s own words: "Pulling the narrative together alongside some vital gameplay additions, this is the best, most complete Assassin's Creed title to date." Not a hell of lot that’s new going on in the multiplayer side of things, but the singleplayer alone makes this worth a purchase.
Halo CE: Anniversary – Whilst our ownwas quite low, many (including myself, it has to be said) believe that the Anniversary edition was a great homage to a game and franchise that influenced so many things. Nick’s views are still valid, and the value for money here isn’t great, but for Halo fans this is well worth the money.
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom – One for the beat’em’up boffins amongst you, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is basically another Super Street Fighter IV, just for a different franchise. Readif you want the full low-down, but he considers this the game that MVC3 should have been, so maybe it is worth a look.
Saints Row: The Third – THQ’s GTA-esque franchise has really come into its own as time has gone on, with the third instalment of the franchise going bigger, better, and crazier than ever. Not surprising for a game whose principle tag line is ‘Strap it On’. Still, it’s not without its flaws, but you can read ourto find out more.
L.A. Noire – PC enthusiast may have seen that Rockstar’s film noire-like crime game got its PC release this month, finally. You can read ourfor the full low down, but basically it’s every bit as good as the console version was (with some added improvements), and it’s on PC!
Also if you’re interested in what else came out this month, read our article on some of, there may be a hidden gem in there waiting for you.
Anyway, you’ve been waiting long enough, so let’s get down to business! Strategy Informer’s Game of the Month is…
You’d probably guessed it already, but yes we here at the Informer of Strategies chose Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim as November’s Game of the Month. If we could have given all of our top contenders the award we would have. But we can’t, so there.
Widely accepted as the best Elder Scrolls game to date, Skyrim shows that the current generation of consoles can still surprise and entice us in ways we’d never imagined. From the icy peaks to the boggy marshland, it’s so easy to get lost in Skyrim’s Nordic locales. It epitomises ‘open world’ gameplay, keeps the action interesting, and manages to still serve up interesting plots and threads to pull you through the world. Also: Dragons. You really can’t go wrong here.
Read ourfor more information, but if there's only one game you should be buying this holiday season, it should be Skyrim. Unless you really don’t like the whole ‘openness’ thing then maybe you shouldn't.