2011 will likely be remembered as the year where current generation consoles reached their peak of their gaming abilities. Many games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Battlefield 3 have pushed modern consoles to their technical limitations but are now beginning to look dated compared to games on more powerful PCs and next-generation tablets. Console manufacturers continue to support their platforms with exclusive games, peripherals, and multimedia content, but it seems that they are losing momentum. The majority of Microsoft’s offerings for the 360 were for the Kinect accessory, with only a few exclusives that use the controller. Nintendo’s offerings for the Wii have decreased dramatically, with Zelda being the only noteworthy title that was released (and Xenoblades if you don’t live in the US). It seems as if console manufacturers are moving away from these platforms, meaning the next generation is growing nearer.
At a Glance: After 13 years in development hell, Duke Nukem finally emerges from the proverbial oven only for gamers to wish he’d stuck his head right back in it.
Angels may fall first, but it is our heroes, our icons, who fall the farthest. And no greater a fall can be seen in the past year than the entire collapse of an entire fanbase in anything related to the Duke Nukem franchise once cited alongside Tomb Raider and Mortal Kombat (both of which have undergone their own downturns in the past decade) as one of the classics in western gaming history. Yet this game is no tribute to the franchise’s high points ala 2011’s Mortal Kombat or the much appreciated Tomb Raider Anniversary. Instead, Duke Nukem Forever feels like a poor regurgitation of all the things we hated about the franchise but forgot to mention – including the much maligned last hurrah of first person shooter jumping puzzles.
The first Kung Fu Panda was a great success for Dreamworks. Not only did it had their best opening weekend for a non-Shrek film, it was also critically acclaimed; a fantastically written, choreographed, animated, and inspired movie that not only was a great homage to kung-fu movies, it was in itself a great one.