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‘Deus Ex: Human Revolution’ heads 2011 Top 10 list

This was a terrible year for video games. It was riddled with crashing disappointments (“Duke Nukem Forever,” anyone?) and major releases ranging from bad to average.

Objectively speaking, the popular “Batman: Arkham City” earned the best reviews of 2011 by critics nationally, according to GameRankings.com. If you liked it, I’m happy for you. But I thought half of it ate my shorts, metaphorically speaking.

“Portal 2” and “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” were the next-best reviewed games nationally, GameRankings.com says. Those games barely missed my Top 10 list.

1. “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” (Square Enix) for Xbox 360, PS 3, PC; rated “M” — It’s like two novels and a movie integrated into a video game. You portray a bionic cop (with upgradeable limbs) in a sci-fi future, solving troubles and killing evil guys.

This spy-shooter also is a role-playing action-adventure with 200,000 spoken lines of dialogue, intrigue, cinematic scenes, puzzles and detective work. The multiple endings made me say “wow.”

2. “Battlefield 3” (EA) for Xbox 360, PS 3 and PC; rated “M” — In the solo campaign, you portray soldiers fighting terrorists. It’s quite good. But the online multiplayer is spec-tac-u-lar — more fun, realistic and intense than “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.”

3. “Homefront” (THQ) for PS 3, Xbox 360 and PC; rated “M” — The solo shooting campaign (Korea invades America) is merely OK as a war shooter.

But “Homefront” is in my Top 10 list for its online multiplayer. It’s big, beautiful, tightly wound and realistic. If I had been unemployed in 2011, I would have spent the whole year playing the online shooters of “Homefront” and “Battlefield 3.” So fun.

4. “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception” (Sony) for PS 3; rated “T” — This gorgeous adventure starts slow but becomes a powerhouse of castles, caves and cities, with terrific voice-over wit, interesting movie scenes and a lot of shooting, punching and sneaking up on bad guys.

5. “L.A. Noire” (Rockstar) for Xbox 360 and PS 3; rated “M” — In this ambitious, intriguing and challenging detective thriller, you solve crime cases by studying corpses and clues. You scrutinize characters’ faces to determine if they’re lying. A great experience.

6. “Infamous 2” (Sony) for PS 3; rated “T” — You, a superhero, save battle-torn New Orleans from gangs, thugs, a militia, radiated swamp monsters and ice creatures in this sandbox/open-world action shooter.

7. “NCAA Football 12” (EA) for Xbox 360 and PS 3; rated “E” — Perfect football, better than “Madden NFL 12.”

8. “MLB 11: The Show” (Sony) for PS 3 and PS 2; rated “E” — As close to a perfect baseball game as I’ve seen.

9. “Gears of War 3” (Microsoft) for Xbox 360; rated “M” — A beautifully illustrated, solid and cinematic, sci-fi war adventure.

10. “Killzone 3” (Sony) for PS 3; rated “M” — Awesome guns and gritty battles (online and in the solo campaign) made this sci-fi, cover-shooter entertaining.

(“Deus Ex: Human Revolution” by Square Enix for Xbox 360, PS 3, PC — Plays amazing. Looks amazing. Challenging. Rated “M” for blood, drug reference, intense violence, sexual themes, strong language, use of alcohol. Four out of four stars.)

Contact Doug Elfman at delfman@reviewjournal.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.

 

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