Game of the Year 2011

Eric Farand's Awards
5) Deus Ex: Human Revolution (PS3/360/PC)
This was my first experience with the Deus Ex series. Although I sometimes found the game a little repetitive and unoriginal (how many times can a guy crawl through conveniently-placed vents?), I still enjoyed the game quite a bit and it's a nice departure from the usual RPGs I play. Eidos Montreal did a great job on their first game, and I look forward to playing more Deus Ex in the future. On top of that, this game is made by people who live right in my backyard, so to speak! My work office is mere minutes from the Eidos Montreal office, and I regularly hear their employees talking amongst each other on the bus on the way to work :).

4) Dragon Age II (PS3/360/PC)
A lot of people here have been disappointed by Dragon Age II, and I can't say I blame them. I understand all the points where the game went wrong and how it failed compared to the original Dragon Age. But at the same time, after it's all said and done, despite all the flaws, I still had fun with the game and still loved the characters, the combat, the quests, and the story. It's not as good as the first, but I still enjoyed it regardless.

3) The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (PSP)
Being a fan of traditional RPGs like Lunar, this game was right up my alley and brought me back to a time when RPGs were simple, straightforward and just full of charm. No complex systems, no innovative design that may or may not work, just a simple, traditional RPG with good execution and no pretention. Just what the doctor ordered in a time when JRPGs have been in a rut.

2) The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PS3/360/PC)
This is a tough one. I have not finished playing Skyrim yet. As such, it's tough to rank it no.1 since it wouldn't be fair but I KNOW that it's a game I'm going to love to death so it's going to have to take second place for now. I was a huge fan of Oblivion and sank so many hours into it (about 200) that I know I'll be doing the same with Skyrim. I know that as I start playing more and more of the game, I'll be obsessed with it for months and won't be able to play anything else. In fact, even early in the game, it's already the case. As such, this game might end up being my No.1 for 2011, but since I haven't finished it yet, I felt like I couldn't give it that rank.

1) The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (PC)
This game took me by surprise. I have not played PC games since the mid-90s. This year, I was due to get a new PC so I decided to get a good videocard so I could try this game that everybody here was talking about. Suffice to say, I'm glad I did. The Witcher 2 is everything we love about RPGs. It's also the most replayable RPG I've played in a long time. The choices you make in the game have real impact, and the split at the end of the first chapter means that you're almost playing two different RPGs depending on the path you choose. The game also happens to be the most gorgeous game I've ever played. The level of detail in the characters and clothing and the overall texture level is amazing and shows that perhaps it's time for a new console generation because the current consoles can't keep up with the graphics we're seeing on PC right now. The Witcher 2 is a must-play for all RPG fans.

Overall Awards
Traditional RPG Action RPG Graphic Adventure Strategy RPG Indie RPG Downloadable RPG Mobile Downloadable Content (DLC)
And the winner is...
Best RPG of 2011
Editors' Picks
Abraham Ashton Liu Andrew Barker Dave Yeager Derek Heemsbergen Dennis Rubinshteyn Eric Farand John McCarroll Kimberley Wallace Kyle E. Miller Liz Maas Mike Salbato Neal Chandran Robert Steinman Stephen Meyerink

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