Best Action / Adventure Game of 2011
2. Portal 2
As the illustrious Cave Johnson once said, “Science isn’t about ‘why,’ it’s about ‘why not!’” He also talked about burning down houses with lemons, and Mr. Johnson is a big reason why Portal 2 is so great. A game brimming with some incredibly smart humor, Portal 2 took what Valve Software started with a little first-person puzzle game called Portal and turned it into a full retail release, with all the bells and whistles that went along with it. A full single-player story, lots more humor and tons of the series’ signature puzzles – solved by placing portals around rooms in order to navigate obstacles – made Portal 2 a great game. But it was its co-op features, allowing two players to join together to solve some intricate and brilliant puzzles as a pair of Aperture Science robots, was what pushed it to be one of the best of the year.
Portal 2 has a lot to offer anyone, and Valve is continuing to roll out new features, like Challenge mode levels and a Portal 2 test chamber creation kit that will make it easy for anyone to design new levels. The game might have come out at the beginning of the year, but Portal 2’s brilliance makes us want to venture through the Enrichment Center again and again.
1. Batman: Arkham City
Batman’s too big for an Asylum — he needs a City to roam around in. Batman: Arkham City unleashes the caped crusader into Gotham’s neon noir. Armed with an aerodynamic cape and his trusty grapple gun, the taciturn superhero can get around in style. He needs to, thanks to the rogue’s gallery of classic villains running amok in the game’s titular urban prison. Pursued by the forces of Two-Face, Penguin, Mr. Freeze, and Mark Hammill’s madcap Joker, Batman deploys an arsenal of of gadgets, investigative techniques, and bone-snapping punches to eventually emerge the victor.
Rocksteady’s distinctive, free-flowing combat is back, and it’s still the game’s best feature. Emphasizing timing and creativity, instead of memorized combos, the British developers continue to redefine how an action game can and should play. Those left wanting by the game’s brief single-player story should take solace in the wealth of collectibles and score challenges, which promise hours of extra amusement.
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 Action / Adventure Games
5. Saint’s Row: The Third
4. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
3. Portal 2
2. Uncharted 3
1. Batman: Arkham City
So, how would you rate the best Action / Adventure Games of 2011? Drop your lists in the comments below to let us know what you think!