Its our first whole year in existence, and we have all played more new games this year than we ever have before. With that in mind, it was a hard task to narrow ourselves down to these final nominees, but we fought, punched, kicked and gouged our way to a consensus. Here is CalmDownTom’s categories and nominees for our end of year awards:
At CalmDownTom we never comment on games we dont play, and we all have to play A LOT of games. As a result, if your favourite game isnt in a category its probably because we didnt get round to playing it, not because we hate it.. although we might hate it.. but not you.. we like you.
Best Online Multiplayer
- Battlefield 3 Most of us played this and loved it. Console and PC versions were very different though
- Modern Warfare 3 Solid, they didn’t ruin anything and the Spec Ops mode is even better.
- Killzone 3 Still surprisingly fun with its changing modes, but again nothing groundbreaking.
- Homefront Some neat spins on the basic Battlefield format, but the game engine was creaky.
Best Indie Release
- To The Moon Lovely wee story, very whimsical and the very definition of Indie.
- Minecraft Is this still Indie? It certainly was, but 2011 may be remembered as the year that Minecraft changed gaming forever.
- Bastion Full of charm and the love-him or hate-him narrator.
- Terraria Much more than just 2D Minecraft. This is how you make a game influenced by Notch’s masterpiece without ripping it off.
- Trauma A great idea implemented with original gameplay.
- Frozen Synapse Turn based strategy, but done differently from all the others. Quick, brutal and brilliant.
- SpaceChem Brilliant and involving strategy title with the most obscure setting.
- Magicka Another breakout hit, original controls and concept and filled with ridiculous pyrotechnics.
Best Mobile/Portable Release
- Quarrel DX A great word game from Denki, that was a long time in the making.
- Groove Coaster A great rhythm game with some bangin dance tunes.
- Dizzy POTYF A nostalgic treat
- Pokemon Black and White Still going strong.
- Duke Nukem Forever Nothing need be said.
- Rage Great guns but painfully dull gameplay.
- Space Marine A missed opportunity. Repetitive, intentionally retrograde combat.
- Ports(!) Not a simulated port paradise. Included on this list because of Pandash’s hatred of the game.
- DC Universe Online How not to do an MMORPG, and an example of why subscription based MMORPG’s are dying or dead (Old Republic free to play by March I say!).
- Dance Central 2 Improves on the original in all important ways.
- The Gunstringer Funniest game of the year?
- Just Dance 3 Very underrated with brilliant production throughout and a lopt of fun.
- Child of Eden Rez but with nature instead of computers. Better with a control pad.
Best Original IP
- Shadows of the Damned Creative superstars come together and make this quirky but fun title.
- Bulletstorm A brilliant combo gameplay style damaged somewhat by terrible characters.
- LA Noire Ambitious gameplay and a wonderfully written story combined with revolutionary animation.
- Dead Island Much better than anyone expected it to be, a kind of Borderlands with melee weapons on a beach.
- Shadows of the Damned The best musical composer in games writes his Magnum opus (in my opinion).
- Minecraft So peaceful.
- Skyrim So Epic!
- Rayman Origins So…. Funky!
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution It sounds like the future.
Most Unexpected Success
- Driver: San Francisco No one expected this game to be as brilliant as it was.
- Mortal Kombat 9 Not just the best Mortal Kombat game, but maybe the best fighting game of all time.
- Dead Island Although early buzz suggested this game was going to be remembered for nothing but its trailer, it turned out to be great in ots own right.
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution We all hoped it would be as good as the original, but few thought it would be better.
- Cave Johnson His personality permeates Portal 2 and rivals the genius of Glados.
- Johnny Cage His lack of self-awareness and complete douchey-ness makes him legendary.
- Rucks The Kid did good, and so did he!
- Garcia *Fucking* Hotpsur Mainly nominated because that’s how his name is always said.
CalmDownToms Game of the Year
The Nominees for the big one are:
- Portal 2
- LA Noire
- Skyward Sword
- Mortal Kombat 9
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution
- Arkham City
We’ll be coming to our decisions on the winner in our next podcast and then announcing our official winners on the site in the next few days. We know we’re a bit later than everyone else, but we’re worth the wait! Besides, its just more time for us to argue and tear each other apart, and in the meantime you can read all those awards that “other sites” write.
Thanks for visiting the site this year, we couldn’t (or wouldn’t) have done it if it wasn’t for all of you reading. As there’s still time to change our minds, vent your opinions into the comments thread. Who knows’ we might even count your votes in the case of tie breaks!