So, a funny thing happened the other day…
If you read this blog with any regularity, you probably remember that I was a huge fan of Dead Island last year. So huge, in fact, that I was one of the critics at my site who chose it as our overall game of 2011. If you’ve got time, you can hear the actual discussion as we announce the win on the podcast.
We got more than a few funny looks from other critics when we made the announcement, but I still feel good about the choice in comparison to what the competition was, and I definitely think it was the right direction to go.
Here's a refresher as to why we selected it, quoted verbatim from my 2011 rundown:
Intense, visceral combat. An open world large enough to explore, yet one that never feels empty or pointless. Fantastic atmosphere and beautiful environments. "Realistic" quests that one could imagine doing if zombies were real. Dead Island offers all of this, and more. Although dozens of games cram the undead into various modes and one-offs where they make for good target practice, very few titles attempt to create a zombie apocalypse in the way often written about in books or shown in movies—scavenging environments for necessities, establishing safe houses, finding medicine, and so on. Although it's not the perfect simulation I think zombie fans like myself hope for, it comes closer than any other game before it and does it in fine style. For me, Dead Island was the most enjoyable, most unforgettable experience in 2011, and one of the very few that I could not put down until I'd seen and done every single thing. Well done, Techland.
Anyway, the publisher of Dead Island just announced that there would be a Game of the Year version released, and I started getting winks and nudges from people via tweets and e-mails. I guess I didn't have my coffee that morning since I didn't see the connection right away, but apparently the game was only able to put out this version because WE awarded it our GOTY.
You know what? I think that's pretty cool.
So, to anyone out there who thinks the Dead Island re-release is some kind of a mistake, a joke, or deception on the part of the publishers, it's not—I have no problem saying that my personal choice and the choice of Gamecritics.com for 2011 was Dead Island. Maybe you agree, maybe you don't, but as far as I'm concerned, the game earned its praise and I had a blast with it.
Suck it, backwards-flying dragons.
Is your clicking finger itchy? Here are some links to give that poor digit some relief while I take the easy way out and get myself into bed…
It's been up at the site for while, but here’s my second opinion of Binary Domain. It may look like a generic sci-fi shooter on the surface, but it's pretty fantastic… don't miss out on this sleeper.
I also co-reviewed Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City with @GC_Danny. We figured it was a multiplayer game, so doing a multi-writer review seemed sort of appropriate.
Over here is a link to Ctrl-Alt-Defeat, a super cool game-oriented magazine with all sorts of interesting articles and original photos and art.
This month? The rock and roll issue. I contributed a short story about Lord Raptor from DarkStalkers, but there's plenty of other good reading to be had there as well.
I've mentioned her before, but I really dig the writing of the Indie Gamer Chick… as someone who's not afraid to give criticism when it's warranted, I certainly appreciate when other people feel the same way. And her? She feels the same way.
Also, she makes me laugh.
Last year at PAX, there was a small booth with a multiplayer sort of thing featuring crazy-looking origami birds. The visual style grabbed me right off, but it was clear that the game was far from being in any kind of final state.
The developers have clearly been working on it, and it looks like it's come quite a way. Check out this video for Chasing Aurora—it's hard not to get swept up in it.
Thanks for reading! And now, ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz……..
Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody's looking, and his favorite game of all time is a toss-up between the first Mass Effect and The Witcher 3. You can catch his written work here at GameCritics and you can hear him weekly on the @SoVideogames Podcast. Follow Brad on Twitter and Instagram at @BradGallaway, or contact him via email:
bradgallaway a t gmail dot com