Announcing the 2010 Game of the Year Awards from the First Hour! We published over 60 full reviews this year, tripling our output from last year. Of course, our writing staff has grown quite a bit also. I personally beat 30 games, undoubtedly making 2010 my most productive video gaming year ever. We also played over 55 first hours, keeping up a steady pace of one a week. We have not been lacking for great games or content this year.
This isn't your normal Game of the Year awards, we cover everything from older game of the year to worst first hour, so keep scrolling all the way to the bottom! If anything, our game of the year picks are the least interesting decisions. The writers here also don't vote on the categories, instead, everyone is welcome to submit their picks as their own definitive decision.
It's Thanksgiving in the U.S., and that means we take a look at our lives and consider the things we are thankful for. Family, food, and shelter immediately spring to mind when surrounded by them on this day, and then we think about friends and the time we spend together. And as gamers, nothing bring friends together better than a few good multiplayer video games.
I'd like to take a quick moment to talk about some of my favorite multiplayer games over the years and how they brought my friends together on a Friday night better than anything else.
Hope you're having a great holiday, be safe!
If you pay attention to the development timeline, there are some clues
you can pick out that may hint at a flawed final product. If the game changes platforms mid-way through development, that should send up a warning signal. If it does so more than once, that's probably an impending disappointment. If some lead developer leaves the team shortly before it's finished, that's another. And the developing company goes under before the game hits the shelves, that's something worth considering as well.
But the easiest way to spot a troubled game is by the dearth of information preceding its release. Goldeneye 007 for the Wii was heralded as the second coming of the N64 classic at this year's E3. On the other hand, its Nintendo DS counterpart was quietly announced alongside it at E3 and unceremoniously released on the same day last week. I made an extra effort to look for details of and screenshots from the Nintendo DS game, but had a very tough time finding anything of substance.
Curious, but with low expectations, I rented the spy-sized DS game card from GameFly. I mean, it's still Goldeneye, right? And the Wii version seems to have plenty of polish, so why shouldn't its DS counterpart? I've spent thirty minutes with the game. Is it an undercover success or a dirty little secret?
When I think of GoldenEye 007,
I think of a screen split in two by a horizontal line through the
center. I think of the Complex, a multiplayer map with plenty of hidden
nooks and crannies, as well as one raised bunker room overlooking the
map's main area. I think of the claustrophobic staircase that leads into
that room. And I think of the countless times I climbed that staircase,
RCP-90 at the ready, only to catch a glimpse of an enormous explosion
before blood dripped down my half of the screen.
When I think of GoldenEye 007, I think of my brother hoarding the explosives, camping in that fortress of perfectly-placed remote mines, watching my screen until the perfect moment to strike, then pumping his fist and laughing when the blood started to spill. Every. Single. Time.
It was infuriating then, but I can't help but laugh looking back on those days. It seems Activision, the current owners of the 007 videogame license, want to cash in on our fond memories of the N64 phenomenon that introduced so many to the first-person shooter genre. The game-publishing juggernaut announced a Wii re-imagining of GoldenEye 007 at this year's E3 with plenty of hype in tow. Though it stars Daniel Craig and boasts a storyline more fit for modern times, the new GoldenEye appears to be taking many cues from the Pierce Brosnan-era video game, with updates to the gameplay that seem stripped right out of the latest Call of Duty titles.
There aren't a lot of games that can get people excited through name alone, but GoldenEye 007 definitely fits that bill. It's easy to forget, however, that the GoldenEye name has been mishandled before. I've briefly stepped into the gadget-laden shoes of this latest James Bond. How did this first mission go? This briefing is for your eyes only, 007.