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published Thursday, Jan 21st

Games Of The Decade 30-11

It’s starting to heat up now. We’ve counted down 50-31 in our countdown of the 50 best games of the last decade and we continue with another 20 as we rundown positions 30 to 11.

World Of Warcraft

World Of Warcraft

30 – World Of Warcraft

Massively multiplayer online role playing game have never been the same since the release of World of Warcraft in 2005. With more than 10 million people registered just three years after launch, the massive open world, races, quests, items, and levelling system has been a hit since day one, and there is no doubt that it will continue to be strong for a long time yet.

Platform: PC Developer: Blizzard Entertainment Year: 2005

 

29 – Perfect DarkPerfect Dark

Even without the Bond license at their disposal, Rare were still able to craft one of the finest FPS games ever. It may not have aged well graphically, but multiplayer sessions of PD are still as addictive now as they were nearly a decade ago.

Platform: Nintendo 64 Developer: Rare Year: 2000

 

Mirror's Edge

Mirror's Edge

28 – Mirror’s Edge

A game based around free running? That’s what Mirror’s Edge delivered. What it lacked in depth and storyline, this beautifully stylised title more than made up for it in it’s unique approach to gameplay. Mirror’s Edge has to be on of the most orginal action titles of the last decade that frustrated and delighted in equal measure.

Platform: Multi Developer: Electronic Arts Year: 2008

 

Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2

27 – Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2 would have made the list for its addictive gameplay alone; with its nine perfectly-balanced classes, stunning art direction and inventive levels only boosting its position. Its enthusiastic community and continued support from Valve makes it one of the most popular (and fun) multiplayer titles even over two years after its release. Oh, you can also unlock some pretty sick hats.

Platform: Multi Developer: Valve Corporation Year: 2007

 

Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask

Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask

26 – Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

A stunning follow-up to one of the greatest game ever made. Majora’s Mask took the Zelda franchise into dark and complex territory with its unique and disturbing story, following Link’s quest to stop the moon crashing into the quaint land of Termina.

Platform: Nintendo 64 Developer: Nintendo EAD Year: 2000

 

 

Gears of War 2

Gears of War 2

25 – Gears Of War 2

Epic’s massive hit Gears of War brought a sequel just two years after the original game, hailing a new chapter in a clearly unfinished story. Using much of the same, but also adding a few necessary extras worked out well for the franchise with singleplayer keeping the locust horde coming thick and fast. Multiplayer hadn’t missed a step either with new game modes, a ranking system and the unforgettable chainsaw dual sequences.

Platform: Xbox 360 Developer: Epic Games Year: 2008

 

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

24 – Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty

Following on from the highly acclaimed Metal Gear Solid on the PSone was a tall order but Konami once again pulled another winner out of its hat. Focusing predominantly on new character Raiden this time around, player’s were given not only upgraded graphics but also satisfying new moves and a typically over the top Metal Gear story.

Platform: PlayStation 2 Developer: Konami Computers Year: 2002

 

The Sims

The Sims

23 – The Sims

The Sims saw you being given a new level of control and creativity not found in any other PC title at the time. The freedom to allow you to design your character, to construct a house and to make decisions for that character was a fun experience. This game spawned numerous add on’s and two sequels and is one of the biggest selling PC games of all time.

Platform: Multi Developer: Maxis Year: 2000

 

Wii Sports

Wii Sports

22 – Wii Sports

Technically the best selling video game of all time; this selection of sports games, designed to show off the Wii, is a joy to discover. As a demonstration of what the Wii is capable Wii Sports is great, and the amount of fun to be had with friends in the process – priceless.

Platform: Nintendo Wii Developer: Nintendo EAD Year: 2006

 

 

Grand Theft Auto 4

Grand Theft Auto 4

21 – Grand Theft Auto IV

The city that never sleeps comes to video games in the form of Liberty City in Grand Theft Auto IV. As a fully functioning environment to do as you will, the flood gates open as Niko Belic arrives from Eastern Europe. The story is tuned to perfection, the physics are flawless, and every person has a character behind it. What more could you want?

Platform: Multi Developer: Rocksteady Studios Year: 2008

 

Killzone 2

Killzone 2

20 – Killzone 2

The visually stunning Killzone 2 no doubt set the bar for console graphics back in February 2009. Bringing with it solid combat, intense action, a solid array of weaponry, thrilling set pieces, memorable enemies and a captivating multiplayer that quickly carved out a strong following from the PlayStation 3 community.

Platform: PlayStation 3 Developer: Guerilla Games Year: 2009

 

Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead

19 – Left 4 Dead

A number of Valve titles appear on our list, and for good reason: their releases guarantee fun and Left 4 Dead was no different. Forcing players to rely on helping each other for any hope of survival, the AI Director’s random placement of items and enemies made each play through unique, meaning you’d be happy to take on the zombie apocalypse with friends again and again.

Platform: PC Developer: Valve Year: 2008

 

Metal Gear Solid 4

Metal Gear Solid 4

18 – Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of Patriots

The best selling PS3 exclusive gave us an intricate and visually stunning look at Solid Snake as an aged war veteran who is thrown amidst a war fought by Private military. From the breath taking visuals to the cinematic cut scenes to the excellent stealth combat, this game provided every Metal Gear fan with the game they wanted.

Platform: PlayStation 3 Developer: Kojima Productions Year: 2008

 

Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4

17 – Resident Evil 4

Having torn up every cliché in the survival horror rulebook, Resident Evil 4 went on to become one of the best action games of the last generation. There were as many memorable set pieces in this game as the rest of the series put together. This Wii edition is undoubtedly the best version available.

Platform: Gamecube Developer: Capcom Year: 2005

 

Burnout: Paradise

Burnout: Paradise

16 – Burnout: Paradise

Rejuvenated a series that was in danger of going stale, Burnout: Paradise’s beautiful sandbox environment provided the setting for some of the most intense race action ever seen. Thrown in a healthy dose of cars, event option and a seem-less multiplayer mode and you have have one of the best race titles ever made.

Platform: Multi Developer: Criterion Games Year: 2008

 

Grand Theft Auto 3

Grand Theft Auto 3

15 – Grand Theft Auto III

Bringing the Grand Theft Auto series into 3D, 2001’s gritty Grand Theft Auto III proved to be an incredibly influential release. The sandbox-style game received universal praise from the gaming press, along with plenty of negative remarks from the mainstream press, thanks in part to it’s violent and sexual content. Due to its distinguished popularity, developer Rockstar has since released several other games in the series, and here’s to the next.

Platform: PlayStation 2 Developer: DMA Design (Now Rockstar North) Year: 2001

 

Fallout 3

Fallout 3

14 – Fallout 3

A modern-day marvel, the word ‘epic’ is a suitable tag for Bethesda’s massive RPG/shooter hybrid. The post-apocalyptic world, blanketed by sadness and laced with black humour, was persistently engaging and the sheer amount of things to do made scouring the broken beauty of the Capital Wasteland a wonder every time you visited.

Platform: Multi Developer: Bethesda Year: 2008

 

Super Mario Galaxy

Super Mario Galaxy

13 – Super Mario Galaxy

Gamers waited for a decade for Nintendo to create a true follow up to the revolutionary Mario 64, and were handsomely rewarded for their patience. Super Mario Galaxy may have built on a lot of the elements of its grand predecessor, but contained enough unique ideas of its own to mark it out as a true benchmark title. It also had possibly the best soundtrack of the last decade.

Platform: Nintendo Wii Developer: Nintendo Year: 2007

 

Halo 2

Halo 2

12 – Halo 2

After the success of Combat Evolved Bungie knew they had to deliver, and deliver they did.  While it offered a great campaign it was the multiplayer that stole the show. Despite admitting they couldn’t do everything they wanted Bungie still managed to create a online experience that has managed to clock hundreds of millions of hours, and is still the most popular Original Xbox title online.

Platform: Xbox Developer: Bungie Year: 2004

 

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Batman: Arkham Asylum

11 – Batman: Arkham Asylum

The decade saw Batman rejuvenated via two outstanding films (Batman Begins and The Dark Knight) and the interactive medium thanks to Arkham Asylum. An expansive and consistently intriguing environment, a simple but effective combat mechanic and massive dedication to the source material made the player feel like The Bat, cementing its place as the best comic book-based title so far.

Platform: Multi Developer: Rocksteady Studios Year: 2009

 

Once again if you want discuss the countdown head on over to our forum, we’d love to hear what you think. Only 10 more games to go, what will be number 1?


Gears of War 2 by
published Monday, Jan 26th

Gamebrit Game Of The Year Awards 2008

Gamebrit.com opened it’s doors back in August of 2008, but us as a team have been gaming for a large number of years, so, in a incredibly late fashion, it’s with pleasure that we present to you the first annual Gamebrit Awards.

The Gamebrit Awards aim to celebrate the best in videogaming from the past twelve months, and not only are we honoring all games on all major platforms, we will also be selecting the best home grown title; along with the best game developed right here in the United Kingdom.

All the titles in the categories below were pre selected by Gamebrit’s staff team and after much further debate an overall winner was chosen. We hope you agree that our choices are deservedly awarded, if not be sure to join the debate on our forums to discuss the awards and the industry as a whole with like-minded gamers.

So without further a due let the awards commence:

iPhone Game Of The Year

Winner – Sim City iPhone

Nominations:
Fieldrunners
Super Monkey Ball
Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart
Bomboozle

Sim City
The visuals of SimCity 3000 combined with the gameplay of SimCity 2000 gave us the biggest and most ambitious iPhone app of 2008: SimCity iPhone from EA. With the ability to pinch in and out of your custom-built city to edit those fine details, this rendition of SC is both pretty on the eye, and pretty damn playable. The fun, addicting gameplay that you remember from the PC version remain intact to give great value for your £5.99 to provide hours of high fun.

Nintendo DS Game Of The Year

Winner – Professor Layton And The Curious Village

Nominations:
Advance Wars: Day of Ruin
Apollo Justice
The World ends with you
Soul Bubbles

Professor Layton & The Curious Village

It took its sweet time to arrive here but Professor Layton and the Curious Village was worth the wait. After a clever ad campaign and word-of-mouth it became one of the most sought after titles over the Christmas period, selling out across the country and fetching stupid prices on eBay. This popularity was no accident as Professor Layton is one of the most addictive and engrossing games of the year and a great bridge title to bring together new and old gamers.

Playstation Portable Game Of The Year

Winner – Patapon

Nominations:
Loco Roco 2
Echochrome
God of War: Chains of Olympus
Space Invaders Extreme

Patapon

The people behind LocoRoco have once again delivered a game that’s crazy, original and downright addictive. Patapon built on the idea of simple 2D graphics and combined it with a rhythm led, side scrolling, fighting game. This may sound like an unusual match but it’s an instant hit and has won critical acclaim across the industry. It covers all bases providing artistic visuals, perfectly mapped controls and a soundtrack that will get stuck in your head and won’t let go. This is not only one of the PSP’s finest but a game that should be experienced by everyone.

Multiplayer Game Of The Year

Winner – Burnout Paradise

Nominations:
Gears Of War 2
Left 4 Dead
Smash Bros Brawl
Mario Kart Wii

Burnout: Paradise

Despite being out for more than a year, Criterion, another UK based developer, have been supporting Burnout Paradise with a slew of downloadable content since release, it’s this continued support along with a amazingly thorough game to build upon that make Burnout Paradise our multiplayer game of the year. A solid multiplayer experience, different to any other racing game make Burnout Paradise such an appealing multiplayer affair. The open structure of the multiplayer gave gamers a choice in how to play which is still refreshing more than a year after release.

Download Game Of The Year

Winner – Braid (XBLA)

Nominations:
Geometry Wars 2
Lost Winds
Pixel Junk Monsters
Megaman 9

Braid

An independently developed title takes the scoop for downloadable game of the year. Braid (available on Xbox Live) married beautifully unique visuals with captivating and thought provoking gameplay. A highly satisfying puzzle challenge with indefinte style. Jonathon Blow, congratulations.

British Developer Of The Year

Winner – Media Molecule

Nominations:
Fable 2 – Lionhead Studios
GTA IV – Rockstar North
Banjo Kazooie Nuts & Bolts – Rare
Viva Pinata: Trouble In Paradise – Rare

Media Molecule

Coming from a small office in Guildford, newly formed Media Molecule gave the world not only LittleBigPlanet but also a fresh approach to games development. They’ve drawn on 70+ years of combined gaming experience and are packed full of people who love making and playing games. This is incredibly clear from the game they’ve made so far and the community feel they’ve created that surrounds everything they do. The Media Molecule ‘family’ has got a bright future ahead of them and it’s genuinely exciting to wonder what project they’ll embark on next.

PC Game Of The Year

Winner – Red Alert 3

Nominations:
Spore
Football Manager 2009
Far Cry 2
GTA 4

Red Alert 3

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is the famous phrase, but EA went ahead and fixed it anyway, by introducing a fully playable online co-op campaign. Fortunately nothing has stopped the consistency of the Red Alert franchise from being the awesome Real Time Strategy gaming series that we all remember, as the third (if played alongside a friend) could be considered the best yet of the trilogy. It may not do a great deal to introduce new players to the series, but RA fanboys will be drooling over HD Tesla Tanks, heavy naval combat and most importantly… Jenny McCarthy and Gemma Atkinson wearing leather in HD!

Playstation 3 Game Of The Year

Winner – LittleBigPlanet

Nominations:
Metal Gear Solid 4
Grand Theft Auto 4
Burnout Paradise
Resistance 2

LittleBigPlanet

Fresh from new developers Media Molecule, LittleBigPlanet put creativity back in the hands of players. Combining classic platforming with a do-it-yourself attitude, this game established itself amongst the PS3’s elite titles. Add to this an adorable lead character, limitless customization and one of the most fun multiplayer experiences around and you have an incredibly enjoyable game. With the ongoing content updates as well as the numerous user built levels being uploaded every day, LittleBigPlanet’s hold on the gaming world isn’t due to end anytime soon.

Wii Game Of The Year

Winner – Smash Bros Brawl

Nominations:
No More Heroes
Mario Kart Wii
De Blob
Zack & Wiki

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Despite all the massive hype, director Masahiro Sakurai managed to deliver on just about all his promises for this sequel. The impressive selection of playable characters, stages cameos and nods to the company’s glossy past made this a virtual wet dream for Nintendo fans around the globe and it quickly became one of the best selling hardcore titles of the year. The addition of a fully-fledged single player, online options and level editors gave gamers even more reasons to immerse themselves in the Smash Bros universe.

Xbox 360 Game Of The Year

Winner – Gears Of War 2

Nominations:
GTA 4
Burnout Paradise
Fallout 3
Fable 2

Gears Of War 2

Gears of War 2 was a highly anticipated sequel to a game that has sold over 5 million copies worldwide and had won many awards in 2007 including Game of the Year. It did not disappoint. A compelling story saw the characters progress in the fight against impossible odds with scenes of great atmosphere. Gripping multiplayer with new modes, such as Horde, meant that Gears of War 2 set a new record for the number of simultaneous players on Xbox Live, with over 1.5 million people logging on to play the game.

Gamebrit Game Of The Year

Winner – Gears Of War 2
Nominations:
Grand Theft Auto 4
Metal Gear Solid 4
LittleBigPlanet
Burnout Paradise
Fallout 3
Spore
Professor Layton & The Curious Village
Left 4 Dead
Smash Bros. Brawl

Gears Of War 2
As the above mentions, Gears of War 2 offered enough fresh material, coupled with the necessary high standards of graphics and sound, to win both Xbox 360 Game of the Year and Game Brit Game of the Year 2008. Congratulations Epic.


by
published Sunday, Nov 09th

Gears of War 2 Review

So it’s here, without doubt the biggest release to the format this year. Gears Of War was a revelation in third person shoot ‘em ups with jaw-dropping presentation, incredible cinematic and a cover system that actually worked (and which numerous titles have gone on to follow) it provided what was and still is a true gaming experience. Of course Gears Of War 2 has a difficult task in following its predecessor, can a game that was so groundbreaking in the first place be justified other than to continue the plot?

Gears Of War was a beautiful game and Gears Of War 2 is no different, it’s still beautiful, is both sound and vision. This time round the unreal engine has been pushed to the limit. Backdrops made from forests, snow capped mountains and scenic environments that stretch out for miles sit beside the crumbling buildings and cave that is now such a familiar site. The score also deserves a special mention; designed by the man behind the transformers soundtrack it’s a score any composer would be proud of. It truly adds a sense of grandeur to proceedings.

Epic have delivered what is a familiar experience, it handles in a similar style to the original, the cover system is still in use, although the clumsiness that plagued it so much is also present. So the sequel still won’t turn those who weren’t enthusiasts of the first release. However what Epic has done is introduce little tweaks to the gameplay that make it that little bit more appealing. More melee attacks are available; ‘B’ will make Fenix give his opponent a blow to the back of their head. ‘X’ will still perform the ultra-violent curb stomp; ‘Y’ lets Fenix punch his opponent to death. ‘A’ is perhaps the most intriguing and useful addition, with it Fenix will pick up the injured Grub and use it as a ‘human’ shield, the downside to this is that it limits weapon choice to the pistol. Weapons have also been tweaked; the traditional arms have been altered to make them more distinctive. For example, the Locust assault has sluggish fore rate but is more powerful when compared to its COG counterpart.  Fenix also has more at his disposal; new arms such as mortars, flamethrowers, and the boom shield have been added to the traditional arsenal, all new equipments to kill locust hordes in oh so violent means. Nice.

Tacticians out there will notice that Fenix is now unable to issue commands to his squad, it can be a wearisome omission especially when Carmine and co. storm into battle and to their inevitable professional suicides, on the plus side it means no more slanging matches with the television when Santiago or Carmine don’t follow orders. Despite this omission, the developers have addressed the balance somewhat; death now doesn’t mean death, instead Fenix will remain injured until someone heals him while pressing ‘A’ and a direction and seem him will seek cover. Sure, Fenix’s buddies leave him to be ripped to shreds by Locust bullets but at least someone will come back to heal him.

Campaign is enjoyable when in single player mode but it’s the multiplayer mode that will have people coming back for their fill of gratuitous violence. The campaign can still be done in co-op, however this time around there is a drop-in where another player can drop in and out of the action at any point with each player able to have their own difficulty setting. The other multiplayer modes have also been tweaked, Warzone, Execution, Assassination, and Annex all feature as does King of the Hill which previously was only available in the PC version. Continuing with the tradition of new features there are also four new modes. Submission, which is similar to capture the flag except the flag is a civilian, who can be a little bit hostile. Guardian is similar to VIP modes, where there is one team member who must be kept alive, although the rest can respawn and Wingman, which relies heavily on teamwork as players are split into teams of two. All new modes add longevity to the experience, however it’s Horde that steals the show. Horde is perhaps the closest to the campaign mode; it sees teams of five face waves successive of Locusts enemies, each getting progressively harder. Team mates can be revived but if at least one member is alive at the end then entire team will respawn for he next hoard. Horde reinvigorates online multiplayer as it’s all about teamwork and not shooting the hell of each other, that and it’s utter, utter fun.

Gears Of War 2 is not as ground breaking as the original but no one expected it to be, sequels don’t tend to be so. What sequels strive to be, or at least should strive to be, is an improvement on the original and this is what the developers Epic have achieved. Even the biggest Gears fan would have to admit the original had its flaws and while some of these have carried over Epic have still managed to make Gears Of War 2 bigger and better in almost all aspects but to mention them would be giving the plot away. It’s more intense, it’s more violent, and both the campaign and multiplayer modes are a lot more varied. Sure there are enough unanswered question for a third but for now this is one not to be missed.