Game of the Month – January 2011

And so it begins. After a stonking holiday line-up – not to mention the joy of stuffing our faces while indulging in some quality gaming time – the start of another year is upon us. But it’s not just any year. Rather, 2011 looks set to be unequivocally one of the greatest 12 months of gaming in recent memory, with a deluge of triple-A goodies up for grabs, including but not limited to the likes of Killzone 3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Mass Effect 3, SOCOM 4 and many more. To put it simply, we’re going to be spoilt rotten. And we can’t wait.

While we’re far from the year’s main course, PlayStation 3 owners have already been tucking into a sumptuous starter of sequels including Dead Space 2, Mass Effect 2, and LittleBigPlanet 2 – not bad for January. Indeed, it makes last year’s offerings seem tame by comparison. Of course, this presents a bit of a head ache for us lot, as we attempt to put this month’s mix of sci-fi horror, SackBoys and sprawling space antics in the pot, let it stew for a few minutes, and come up with January’s top taster. No easy task as you can imagine, as any of these games are worthy of the accolade for Game of the Month. Still, while it would be easy to arbitrarily stamp the award on any of the three without much fuss, we ultimately managed to slap it on the title we feel is honestly most deserving.

So, after a good old chinwag with the staff at PSU Towers, we decided to super-glue this month’s award to BioWare’s mammoth RPG, Mass Effect 2. Yes, it even beat LBP2. Thoroughly deserving of the accolade, the sci-fi extravaganza represents the pinnacle of single-player gaming, offering a compelling cocktail of cracking visuals, intricate plotline, heaps of quests and thrilling gameplay. Quite simply, it’s the definitive version of an already stellar experience. Even those who haven’t played the original can feel welcome thanks to the inclusion of an interactive digital comic giving you the skinny on everything you’ve missed.  Indeed, it’s been quite a while since we have become so emotionally entranced in a videogame, but after finishing around in Mass Effect 2’s pool of diverse races and character interactivity, we found ourselves well and truly hooked. Here’s a snippet below of what we had to say in our review. Be sure to have a gander at the full article here while you’re at it.

Indeed, Mass Effect 2 has far more heart and ambition than a lot of games we’ve played over the years and it’s true to say that the beautifully designed planets, exciting characters and strong narrative play a huge part in creating this cinematic, interactive movie-like experience. Plus, it should be stressed that the exciting missions and intense bouts of combat are equally as epic as the stunning scenery that you’ll witness on your travels. Rest assured, the overall Mass Effect 2 experience is nothing short of spectacular, and with Mass Effect 3 just around the corner, there’s never been a better time to experience this sci-fi spectacular.

Don’t agree with our choice? Be sure to let us know what game you feel deserves the award for Game of the Month – January 2011 in the comments section below.