CBR's Year in Video Games

Tue, December 14th, 2010 at 12:58pm PST

Video Games
Michael Lafferty, Contributing Writer

In looking back over the year that was, there were certainly a lot of top-drawer titles released, and culling that list down to a handful can be a daunting task. At Comic Book Resources, we decided to play it a bit different – keying on the title that was best adaptation from a comic book and then doing an overview of the rest.

Though 2011 promises to have numerous games released with strong comic book tie-ins , (can you say "DC Universe Online," "Captain America" and "Thor?" Or perhaps "Marvel vs. Capcom 3?" We knew you could!), the championship belt for 2010 has to fall to "Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions." Spidey's latest venture into video gaming was released by Activision and Marvel on multiple platforms. "Shattered Dimensions" was penned by veteran comic book writer Dan Slott, giving it an extra bit of fanboy pedigree. Players got to play as four different versions of Spider-Man, each within a different plane of existence.

The story begins with the shattering of the Tablet of Order and Chaos during a thwarted theft attempt by longtime Spidey villain, Mysterio, and quickly gains steam from there. Actors Neil Patrick Harris, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Dan Gilvezan, and Josh Keaton provided the voices, the art work was stylish and the game was genuinely fun and entertaining.

When it comes to other titles worthy of consideration if looking for last-minute gifts for that gamer you know, there were some very obvious franchises that hit the shelves over the course of 2010 and were very well received.

If you weren't living under a rock, you likely heard of "Call of Duty: Black Ops" and the sales records it set with the Activision release posting sales of $360 million on the first day alone, according to the publisher. The single-player game tracks a conspiracy that goes from the warm climes of Cuba to a gulag in Russia to Vietnam and several other global hot spots. While that was a good enough reason in its own right to play the game, the multiplayer provides just as robust experience and the zombies even make a return for groups of up to four players. Graphically compelling, aurally pleasing and downright entertaining, this title is a terrific addition to the CoD franchise.

And CoD wasn't the only hot multi-platform franchise in 2010 – BioWare released "Mass Effect 2" at the start of the year. Alliance Marine Commander Shepard returned, recruiting party members and putting together a team that took the fight to the Reapers in what may well have been a suicide mission. Part role-playing game and a whole lot of shooter action, ME2 was compelling, with amazing graphics and great voice acting. Oh, and "Mass Effect 3" is confirmed for a holiday 2011 release. From all indications, things do not go well for the Earth.

In May, "Red Dead Redemption" hit retailers, and the Old West was never so wild. The game tells the story of former outlaw John Marston, a bad man who tried to go straight and join the ranks of the good guys. It seems, however, some of his former friends don't care for that notion, placing Marston in a "fight or die" setting in a sandbox world that takes about 20 hours or so to work through. This title was from the same folks behind the "Grand Theft Auto" franchise, and what GTA did for open-world, car-driven mayhem, R"ed Dead Redemption" does for the Wild West. The graphics were gorgeous, the gameplay was fantastic and this was easily one of the best of 2010.

When it came to Fall of 2010, one of the more anticipated titles was "Halo: Reach," a 360 exclusive that hit on all gaming cylinders and delivered a solid shooter experience. This also marked the end of the association between the Halo title and its original developer, Bungie. It comes as little surprise that Bungie pulled out all the stops for the game, including the introduction of a new main character known simply at Noble 6. This title serves as a prequel to the entire Halo story arc, with those familiar with the Halo world already know how the story of Noble Team on the planet Reach ends. Still, the game boasted stellar graphics and amazing online competitive play, easily marking it as one of the best of the year as well as a fitting finale from Bungie.

Even beyond the games spotlighted here, there was plenty of gaming love thrown about in 2010, lighting up the 360, PS3, Wii, PSP and DS. But if you think 2010 was great, check back with CBR in the coming months because 2011 may be even better!

TAGS:  video games, spider-man: shattered dimensions

 
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