Best AAA Shooter of 2011
2. Gears of War 3
Gears of War 3 may not have the best story, but it makes up for that lack of intelligence with great set pieces and arguably the best shooter multiplayer experience of the year. Gears 3 has a leg up on those modern battlefield simulators in one important way: its online maps are relatively small, meaning that the action is fast and furious and never lets up even for a minute. You won’t be caught off guard and killed by somebody you didn’t even know was around; Gears 3 is actually accessible in an age in which the elite rule the online battlefields.
And, brilliantly, you can experience the last hurrah of Marcus Fenix with a buddy or three, but the game doesn’t feel balanced toward co-op so much that it’s not fun to play on your own. Epic has figured out the formula for a great shooter, and Gears of War 3 is most definitely it.
1. Resistance 3
It’s rare that a third person shooter sets out to tell a good story, but such is the case with Resistance 3. A beautiful example of how to tell a purely genre story by relying on, rather than running from clichés, R3 comes off as part war story, part road movie and part post civil war drama that happens to be set in the apocalyptic aftermath of an alien invasion. Such a story should have been doomed from the start to be cheesy and impossible to take seriously, but thanks to gorgeous graphics and excellent voice acting, what could have been laughable is instead actually compelling.
It helps that the game never lets up its unforgiving pace, subjecting players to increasingly difficult enemies as they travel the wreckage of the former United States equipped with increasingly awesome weapons. Best of all, Resistance 3 pulls off the rare feat of providing both a great single-player campaign and a kick ass multiplayer experience, proving that you don’t have to nerf one to serve the other. In a market dominated by Call of Duty clones, it’s a breath of fresh air and without a doubt among the best games of 2011.
So, those are our picks. Now it’s time to see what the readers chose!
Readers were invited to vote in a Facebook poll for their favorites. They also had the option of adding a favorite game to the list if their choice wasn’t there. Here’s how that vote turned out:
2011 Reader’s Choice AAA Shooter
5. Resistance 3
4. Crysis 2
3. Gears of War 3
2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
1. Battlefield 3
So, how would you rate the best AAA Shooters of 2011? Drop your lists in the comments below to let us know what you think!