EA = Best Publisher of 2011?
Electronic Arts, in 2011, are amongst the best of the best. We can draw conclusions upon who will win GOTY but no other publisher has as many AAA games coming out this year except for Sony. I won't be focusing on Sony in this blog however.
Firstly, look at the list of EA only games:
Mass Effect 2
Dead Space 2
Need For Speed Shift 2
EA Sports games*
Dragon Age 2
Mass Effect 3
Reckoning : Kingdoms of Amalur
SSX Deadly Decents
Shadows of the Damned
-F2P- BF, Fifa
This isn't the full list, mostly because The Sims 3 medieval isn't for me, although having said that -- it's probably arguably the best game in that genre. And "Rango" is a movie tie-in (maybe a good one? I don't know, jumping to conclusions is harsh but can't say I'm a fan of other EA movie tie ins i.e. Harry Potter).
*EA Sports, again not for me so I've kinda just glossed over that but again Fifa 12, Madden 12, etc are HIGHLY likely to be 10/10s in many reviews. Fight Night is perhaps played by GAMERS just as much as SPORTS fans and without doubt the last Fight Night (FNR3) I played was great!
So, of that list what would YOU, at this moment, going off tiny snippets of information (and also for some: demos, or FULL releases) give these titles?
Not exactly leaping to conclusions here, but Mass Effect 3 cannot possibly score less than 10/10. It just can't. For some people, who aren't fans of sci-fi or the shooting mechanics, sure, maybe it's going to score lower in their eyes, but for ME it WILL be a 10/10. I have a good foresight for games I'll love (LA noire, 100% also going to be a 10/10).
Dragon Age 2, based of the demo for me is a 9/10, but it's likely that the full game could score higher in my eyes. I did really enjoy the combat, and the cast is brilliant. Something I need to play the full game for, and I've watched every last showing of it on GiantBomb and GameSpot : it looks amazing!
Need For Speed Shift 2, as a fan of the first one Shift 2 looks great. A bit of a GT5 fanboy but I still think it looks almost TOO good at parts and Shift 2 is a bit of a different genre. Not quite sim, not quite arcade basically the perfect balance -- this balance that made people supremely happy about GriD and Dirt. So, at the end of it I'd score it 9/10.
Dead Space 2 and Crysis 2 I won't be buying day one (well, it's been a while since DS2 released) mostly because I DO need to buy other games, and it's not because these aren't good. I already know for a fact DS2 is contender for GOTY in many peoples eyes and I look forward to playing it (when it's a bit cheaper). Crysis 2 looks marvellous, MP looks like it could hook me, but again I think I'll wait for it to come down in price a bit. Probably both of these games for ME would be about an 9.
Reckoning and Shadow of the Damned, different genres here. Reckoning has a great backstory by who's developing it (MUST READ FAQ: http://reckoningthegame.com... but, because basically nothing but art has been shown I won't score this. Shadow of the Damned, a BIT of gameplay has been shown and it looks pretty damn unique. But unique isn't necessarily enough to push it in the action genre. The thing, like Reckoning, that makes me curious is it's illusive creator Suda 51.
Battlefield 3: 9/10. 10/10 hopefully. I'd reserve myself until I see a full blown 64 player battle on the PC version with similar class upgrade systems and level of control that was in Battlefield 2. It SHOULD be a 10/10 if afforementioned occurs.
Darkspore, SSX. Pretty unique. There isn't a hardcore snowboarding game this generation, and it looked really great in the CGI trailer. It looked FUN above all, but it'd have to have a LOT of substance, and as much polish as other EA extreme sports games (such as SKATE). It has much potential, and can't wait to see more. No score atm. Darkspore is VERY unique, a top-down strategy RPG set on in a sci-fi universe. Spore-meets-diablo. It got me excited, no luck on beta access just yet, but from what I've seen it's a SOLID 9/10.
Bulletstorm, for me, based on the demo is EAs only poor game. I think I would have given it a good score if it was a PSN/XBLA/Steam game but it isn't. Technically it's unique, with the whip and skillshots. But I don't know, it just felt cheap to me and repetitive rather than "WOW cannot wait to repeat that level and try new things". 7/10 if I'm being generous.
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Probably my longest blog, HOPE you read it. Please leave comments on if you think another 3rd-party(?) publisher (THQ? Rockstar? 2K? Ubisoft?) is just as good this year, and what you would score the EA games listed.