Snackbar’s 2011 Staff Picks: Paul Bishop

December 27, 2011

10. Dead Island
Dead Island combined enough zombie game elements to become one of the best action games of the year. Constantly hunted and looking for loot, Dead Island created an awesome atmosphere from beach to jungle to prison the game delivers its fair share of great scare moments. With a great item enhancement system and leveling tree this game needs to be experienced by any zombie aficionado.

9. Saint’s Row: The Third
To say that Saint’s Row is a guilty pleasure is an understatement. Taking a flamethrower to a crowd for fun, beating up a gang of furries, or trying to inflict as much damage to a city as I can are things that would get me arrested. Here they are more than encouraged and made to be as addictive as possible. It is a good thing this game keeps me off the streets.

8. InFamous 2
I rarely play a game through a second time, but with InFamous it is just plain expected. Light and dark paths are both addictive in their own right, but you have to experience the story from both sides as well. Cole is one of the best anti-heroes out there, and I sure hope he makes a triumphant return in Infamous 3. Please.

7. Dark Souls
Is it weird to say I had a lot of fun dying? If so, this weird and artistically-different game will stick out in your mind too. Grand enemies and haunting locals are just the tip of the iceberg for this excruciatingly difficult, but fair, game. Easing the leveling system from Demon’s Souls while also making it more complex, Dark Souls is the definition of the gamer’s game.

6. Bulletstorm
Right from the get-go you know this FPS is different. Different humor, different attitude and a kick-ass fun ride. For as gruff and unscrupulous as the main character is, he becomes one of the best new creations in the video game industry. Stunning graphics and epic fights just add to the fun of purposely trying to shoot your enemies in the butt. Now please give word of a much needed sequel.

5. Rage
Developer id’s return to the FPS genre is both bold and fun at the same time. For the first time in a long time, enemies kept me on my toes, with improved AI and even better realistic reactions to being shot. It is fast-paced and fun, and who would have thought one of the better arcade racers would be included with the price. Post-apocalyptic worlds are a dime a dozen these days, but never before has one been made so hauntingly beautiful.

4. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
What a perfect end to a trilogy. While Uncharted 2 floundered a little, Drake’s Deception more than makes up for it in the end. As I have said before, Uncharted is simply the closest thing to playing a movie, and those movie moments are spectacular. Humor, action and platforming work so well to create the perfect game. Now just cast Nathan Fillion and create the first great video game movie adaptation, Hollywood.

3. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
I didn’t put a lot of stock into Deus Ex before it came out as I don’t really like stealth games, but I am happy I gave it a try. Deus Ex is an experience that is completely different from other games out there. Part-stealth, part-shooter, it walks an excellent line of story, action and graphics that few come close to. The ultimate testimonial for me: I played the majority of the game using stealth tactics because it was just that addictive.

2. Batman: Arkham City
Arkham Asylum was an awesome game, and Rocksteady made it bigger and badder. So many nuances are used that my inner Batman geek is satiated as I look for hidden riddler trophies, try to rack up a combo on a bunch of goons or just glide over the detailed prison-city. What I am really interested in now is where they take the series.

1. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Being a huge fan of Oblivion, this was a no-brainer. They took everything good and improved it, streamlining the unnecessary and making it more addictive to level. The detail in the world is astounding from butterflies to dragons and houses that look lived in, this game went over the top to create a living world. I can envision myself still playing this game two years from now with everything there is to do and discover. Beautiful perfection.