Written by: Mindy Hartman
I have to give my 2011 game of the year to Dragon Age 2. I have played through it 3 full times and I have enjoyed each and every moment of it. I liked playing as the witty noble, the heartless bastard, and the greedy, achievement whore. Now, I have to be perfectly honest. I didn’t go running to get the game on release day like I did with Dragon Age. The whole Awakenings disaster really turned me off to the Dragon Age series. There was also the problem of the reviews that cited dungeon crawling and map recycling as major negatives. However, Steam had the game on sale one weekend and I decided to give it a shot. I think the game is beautifully rendered, the cut scenes were very interesting (the first time through) and I really felt like my choices impacted the outcome of the story. Given the hours I’ve logged, let me formally say: Bioware, I forgive you for DA: Awakenings, and praise you for Dragon Age 2.
I also want to add my “I’m 5 years late to the party” 2011 game of the year. Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, I love you and I don’t care who knows it. For a little history- my real introduction to PC gaming was World of Warcraft. Prior to WoW, I was pretty much a console gamer, if you don’t count Snood and Bejeweled-type games. In between WoW relapses, I discovered a number of excellent PC games, but somehow never crossed paths with the Elder Scrolls series. With all the hype about the release of Skyrim, I decided to load up my husband’s dusty copy of Oblivion and see what everyone was talking about. I have spent more time with this game than I’m going to admit publicly, but it is so ridiculously enjoyable. I think my love of Oblivion as a gamer is like my love of massive series as a reader. The more (good) books there are in a series, the happier I am as a reader. Similarly, the more content there is in a game, the happier I am as a player. Of course, I don’t think I could get away with naming a 2006 game as my 2011 game of the year and I can’t name Skyrim since I haven’t actually played it yet. So, for me in 2011, Dragon Age 2 was definitely the game to play, over and over and over again.