Best New MMORPG of 2011
In what seems like the coup d’état of 2011 Bioware, Electronic Arts, and LucasArts have stepped up the heat on the pay-to-play MMO market with the development and release of the much anticipated Star Wars: The Old Republic. In what is a remarkable and powerful story-driven game, filled with well-known places from the Star Wars universe and excellent graphics, it hit the charts with an amazing showing.
Even now in April of 2012, Blizzard has deigned to mention that they’ve suffered a little bit of attrition from their 10 million subscribers to the upstart SWTOR whose production quality is immense and provides hundreds of hours of gameplay and voice acting.
Best Online Mobile Game of 2011
Who knew that slingshotting furiously plumed avians at egg-stealing pigs would become such a hit sensation but Angry Birds by Finland-based Rovio has been topping the charts on mobile phones for almost three years now. Since it’s launch in 2009 over 12 million copies of the game have been sold on Apple’s App Store and multiple gimmick games based on the same puzzle-based concept have appeared in mobile and Flash games on the web.
If any game can be looked to as a success story for excellent puzzle-gaming that takes advantage of the touch screen it’s Angry Birds. Even though the initial game still holds appeal, the developer has continue to work on new puzzles, seasons based on holidays and events, popular movies, and the like—with the latest putting the birds into the airless depths of the void with Angry Birds Space expected to launch March 22.
Plants vs. Zombies, Doodle Jump
Best Online Shooter of 2011
In 2011, Electronic Arts and Activision went head to head with multiplayer first person shooters in an attempt to steal the hearts and minds of shooter players everywhere by releasing Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3—in the end, though, amidst the Ogre population only one could reign supreme and that title goes to EA’s Battlefield 3.
Running on a modern rendering engine and providing tactical, squad-based multiplayer combat with specialized roles and a multitude of vehicles, BF3 provides a tremendous variety of play. It draws upon years of looking at multiplayer squad-support mechanics with broad, open maps (and some claustrophobic) with an edge towards seeing groups who work together well win more often. As the preeminent sequel to Battlefield 2 this title saw over 5 million copies sold on the week of release—and it runs on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and the PC.
Best Online Strategy Game of 2011
Played right here on GameOgre, Ogre Wars is a free-to-play strategy game that pits player against player using ingenuity, numerical superiority, and turn-based timing to overcome foes. With four nations to choose from, players end up with similar goals and must work together to defend themselves from opposing nations—also, with multiple nations available, it’s possible for two nations to collude to take on a third. Alliance are fragile, however, and once friends could become bitter rivals once again with the next round.
Ogre Wars is built atop the Conquest System developed by Jaxel from 8WayRun.com and has been modified to ogre standards to appeal to an ogre audience (and many other audiences—as long as they have an affinity for clubs and cracking skulls.)
Best Browser Games of 2011
Without a doubt, Minecraft deserves this accolade as it’s been a smash hit ever since it’s introduction as a surprisingly amazing indie game in 2009. Even the alpha build only portended the awesome glory that is Minecraft. The beta version hit the Internet community with hurricane force in December 2010 and it officially launched with much fanfare in November 2011—since then it’s been receiving awards, updates, and new players by the handful.
Players are thrust into a world where everything is a block, armed only with their wits, the ability to make tools (such as pickaxes and shovels) and a lot of inventory space, players can reshape the world in any way they desire. While Minecraft is somewhat simplistic on the surface, with giant blocks and a list of objects the length of my arm, it still delivers a great deal of creative complexity. Add onto the reshaping the world in your own image onto a basic adventure system including a day-night cycle, exploding monsters, and the ability to make giant skull-fortresses with lava flowing out of their eyes.
No wonder it won GameOgre Most Innovative Online Game for 2010.
Most Innovative Online Game of 2011
The developers of Terraria, Re-Logic, loved Minecraft so much that they stripped off a dimension and made a 2D block-world version of the ever popular game. With the addition of NPCs, a massive crafting system, and significant open-world RPG elements (mostly in the form of horrible monsters everywhere) Terraria is a vast 2D adventure where the sky—or at least in this case the depths of the very demon earth—is the limit!
Players are thrust into exploring abandoned mineshafts, spelunking into the dark and unknown, all in search of rare minerals and items that they can use to support—further spelunking! Mostly by way of using the complex crafting system, cracking open boxes, and obtaining the dead leavings of monsters in their path they ascend towards ultimate power.
Best Social Game of 2011
By far and away the biggest title that social-gaming developer Zynga has brought to Facebook, Farmville has been vilified as wasting the time of a multitude of players looking to water their grain and pet their sheep—there’s even a Southpark episode that features this game. Players are tasked with keeping a farm, simple enough, featuring a barn, the ability to grow crops, and raise farm animals. It occupies that special place in the human psyche that likes simple, but repetitive gameplay that also addresses a Sim’s style of social interaction.
After all, as a social game (and focused primarily on Facebook) Farmville asks players to get their friends to visit their farms in order to receive benefits and boons such as more acreage, more animals, and to be able to grow their operation. More-or-less a you scratch my back if you scratch mine runs the social parade of Farmville and its kin and drives people through the motions while they chat with their friends. Mobile version of this game have also increased the number of people playing it in their off moments, making games such as Farmville the casual of the casual games.
Best Indie Game of 2011
The indie gaming scene is where we see some of the most heartwarming titles emerge from, without giant developers and powerhouse publishers, these game creators must rely on their wits and good sense to make it big. So when GameOgre awards Dungeon Defenders with the Best Indie Game of 2011 we do so with great pride. Brought to us by Trendy Entertainment, DD is a game that colludes the genres of tower defense with hack-and-slash arena battles.
Put this genre blending game alongside beautiful graphics, tight gameplay mechanics, a great deal of DLC—and an ever-increasing horizon of content—it’s truly one of the best indie online games to have been brought to us in 2011. As it’s also available via Steam, we expect Dungeon Defenders to continue to climb in popularity.
Best Online RPG of 2011
Proving once again that a product well-made will last the ages, Blizzard’s flagship hit Diablo 2 was published to overawed audiences almost a decade ago way back in the year 2000! It’s graphics are aging, but the tried-and-true user interface, gameplay design, and narrative keep bringing people back to play this game over and over—it also has a multiplayer function where you can bring your friends along to play it again and an ever-evolving system of gear alongside attunements and gems that satisfy even the most overzealous obsessive compulsives. It provides a standard fantasy-themed RPG with multiple classes, an expansion, and demons galore to mow through with a simple-but-efficient gameplay mechanic.
Diablo 2 has been so popular that Blizzard has needed to move it along with them as they upgrade their Battle.net multiplayer system to support more modern games, unwilling to lose their huge audience who still play this game (after all keys only cost about $30 or less a pop to buy a new one.) Diablo 2 shows few signs of slowing down as the masses anticipate it’s spiritual and direct successor in Diablo 3 slated to be released this year.
Best MOBA of 2011
Riot Games’s success free-to-play action RTS MMO League of Legends virtually sets the mood for an entire genre where it has taken Defense of the Ancients and prepped it for a large, wide-scale audience. With a huge multitude of champions to choose from, players find themselves thrust into a world of arena combat with real-time strategy elements with high powered competitive gameplay. While there’s a fantasy-based underlying theme, LoL spends a lot of time making sure players see champions who show strengths and flaws that speak to different types of gaming style.
Rising to the top of what’s a gaming space thick with competitors is difficult and Riot Games did that by providing an excellent product. By providing not just competitive gaming League of Legends also offers a great deal of progression, customization, and skill-based play with both random match making and prepped and prepared groups across the field of battle.
Best Free MMORPG of 2011
Hailing from the strange, vampire realm of animé-themed fantasy Rusty Hearts arrives to take its place at the round table as the best free MMORPG of 2011.
When Perfect World Entertainment announced the production and launch of a vampire-themed free-to-play 3D side-scrolling brawler many eyebrows were raised at the concept. In the end, Rusty Hearts thrust a hilariously humorous stake through the heart of many anime-gothic storytelling escapades with its wry wit and strange characters as well as a game that pits an extremely simple control system into a fast-paced gameplay. As the game has continued to gain attention and fans, PWE has added more characters and even provided a few small events.
Best PvP Game of 2011
Firing volley after volley of artillery from the grim battlefields of World War II filled with the smell of engine grease and howitzer smoke arrives World of Tanks! Fitting that it should win the coveted title of Best PvP Game of 2011—after all, it’s about tanks!
Wargaming.net comes to us from the cold land of Russia where World of Tanks became an almost overnight sensation garnering a gigantic popularity. They’ve gone out of their way to fabricate and model as ideally as possible in pixels the war machines of World War II so that players could drive them in a sim-arcade across old battlefields. World of Tanks is such a fun sim-arcade that it makes driving a tank through the ruins of Ensk or across a frozen tundra against the enemy an fun excursion offering many types of game approach with light, medium, and heavy tanks, as well as destroyers and artillery.
Most Anticipated Games for 2012
ArenaNet and NCSoft joined forces to produce the shining jewel expected to crown the free-to-play MMORPG offerings for 2012. As the direct successor to Guild Wars the sequel has displayed an amazing amount of technical prowess with smarter graphics, snappier powers, a new battle system touted as giving players a lot more versatility and escape from the standard MMO roles.
The setting falls within the preeminent fantasy-themed property of MMORPGs and adds in a Lovecraftian threat for the players go up against with the Elder Dragons. They’ve also offered a new style of quest-based narrative to the themepark MMO allowing players to take quests from across the game world and ripple-through different missions to lead into the final battle (and possibly learn different things about it as they do.)
Best Console Game of 2011
Fus Ro Dah! You don’t have to be Dragonborn to see why this title from Bethesda Softworks has become the big name that it is today—the entire Elder Scrolls series has been well known for its open worlds and extreme amounts of player interactivity. Across the world of the Elder Scrolls players will find a giant adventure, the capability to raise themselves from the bottom rung to near god-hood—oh, and you get to fight and kill dragons.
This game has seen nothing short of tremendous critical acclaim across gaming journalism due to its nonlinear gameplay, vast world, and vast number of choices–as well as the chance for a player to lay low, or lay waste to everything that they come across (although not without consequences.) The game also provides a symphony-level score with majestic music alongside beautiful, sweeping landscape vistas and bustling cities filled with people.
There’s always something to do in this console game, which puts it high on the list of every adventure gamer.
Best MMORPG of 2011
Rising to the top of MMORPG Showdown 6, RuneScape dominated all comers until it met Rusty Hearts in the final round—and after a single dead heat and an extension, this MMORPG from Jagex Games Studio rose to take Best MMORPG for the third time. As an MMORPG, RuneScape has been with us from its classic days in 2001, developed into RuneScape 2 in 2004, and now stands among us with RuneScape HD. From the get-go it has run on a Java client, incorporating its clients into web browsers to deliver 3D gaming to players everywhere.
It has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most popular free MMORPG—and now, once again, by GameOgre.
RuneScape is best known for its fantasy-themed, free-to-play attitude and open sandbox style of gameplay giving players a lot of presentation and ability to make their own path in the world. Between a highly sandboxed world with non-linear progression, players are also welcomed into the PvP battles and a high population and popularity MMO filled with both veterans and newbies alike.
Best Online Game of 2011
You’ve been waiting for it! At the bottom of the list, last but certainly not least, it’s the Best Online Game of 2011 and that title goes to… League of Legends!
In something of an upset for World of Warcraft, this award has unseated the megatitle and Blizzard must step aside for League of Legends from Riot Games. Also the winner of the Best MOBA for 2011, LoL has been a breathtaking, heartpounding game of player-versus-player madness ever since it came out. We’ve seen players throw themselves into the frenzy of combat, pushing lanes, killing the enemy, and becoming a mighty force in this extremely popular MOBA.
It only makes sense that it would make Game of the Year for 2011 and top off the GameOgre chart for the best game.