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Best downloadable games of 2011

InFamous: Festival of Blood

PS3

InFamous: Festival of Blood full review

Ordinarily, something like InFamous: Festival of Blood wouldn’t get a nod in a rundown like this – but ordinarily, something like Festival of Blood would be DLC. Instead, it’s a standalone game, and as such it’s a pretty fantastic one, offering up a taste of InFamous 2’s gameplay and world (its first island, anyway), while giving protagonist Cole a handful of cool new powers, a new story to follow, new collectibles to ferret out and a ton of oh-so-trendy vampires to fight.

After being kidnapped by a cabal of bloodsuckers on Pyre Night (a dark street festival made up by his buddy Zeke, who invents the story to impress a girl at a bar), Cole is used to awaken a centuries-old vampire named Bloody Mary, before being turned into a vampire himself. If he’s ever going to regain his humanity and lose his taste for blood, he’s going to have to hunt her down and kill her in a matter of hours.

Festival of Blood is short, but incredibly fun within the confines of its short runtime, and the addition of InFamous 2’s mission-creation/sharing tools ensures that players have a reason to keep going back even after it’s “finished.”  It also retains InFamous 2’s free-roaming structure, and as the only game on this list that enables players to devour pedestrians, hurl lightning, turn into a swarm of bats and grind on power lines, it’s a must-play for PS3 owners.



Bastion

XBLA/PC

Bastion full review

Bastion is an artistic wonder, with beautiful graphics and an interesting story that still has us thinking. The gameplay might not be the absolute best this year and the controls aren’t perfect, but, as a complete package, the game is absolutely fantastic.

It’s really the atmosphere and the audio side of Bastion that deserves a majority of the praise – the game’s stellar soundtrack is one of the best of the year, and the voice work for the character of Rucks is absolutely fantastic. While a single character’s voice might not typically be all that important in a game, especially if he isn’t the main character, Rucks is a special exception, as he narrates the entire experience from the moment the Kid gets up to the last second of the game. It might sound like a gimmick, and that’s because it sort of is, but it’s one that adds life to the world, plugging in extra emotion to the beautiful, post-apocalyptic world of Caelondia and making us feel as connected to the characters.



To the Moon

PC

To the Moon full review

To the Moon caught us completely by surprise. A short, four-hour PC indie game that is more of an interactive story than a videogame, by the time we were through with it, we couldn’t stop talking about it. A beautiful game with 16-bit art and a tender soundtrack, To the Moon tells one of the most memorable stories we’ve experienced in this medium.

The story revolves around an old man Johnny whose final wish is to go to the moon but he doesn’t know why. It’s up to two doctors, Eva and Neil, to get him there by moving through his childhood memories to plant the idea that he must make it to the moon. The journey is not only a remarkable and thought-provoking one, but the game is full of videogame references and hilarious dialogue between the bickering doctors to balance out the heart-breaking moments. To the Moon touches upon mature topics that are often avoided in videogames, but are necessary to tell this engaging tale. While this adventure may not be very long, every scene leading up to the game’s excellent ending is worth experiencing.



Honorable mentions

Cthulhu Saves the World

The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile

Gatling Gears

Gemini Rue

ilomilo

Monday Night Combat

Might and Magic Heroes VI

PixelJunk SideScroller

Radiant Silvergun

Section 8: Predjudice

Trine 2

Torchlight Xbox 360

Trenched/Iron Brigade

We Recommend By ZergNet

28 comments

  • InFeRnOg - December 12, 2011 11:42 a.m.

    Didn't Terraria come out in 2011? That is a great game.
  • TricksterJ - December 11, 2011 5 p.m.

    Back to the future was quality!
  • Y2Ken - December 11, 2011 9:30 a.m.

    There's been a lot of fantastic Downloadable games this year. Just to mention a couple, Bastion will definitely make it onto my top 10 overall for the year, and I put over 30 hours into Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes and loved it the whole way through. Just started Stacking and I must say I'm really liking it so far too.
  • chriszewski - December 10, 2011 1:36 p.m.

    I'm not surprised Fusion: Genesis isn't in this list since GamesRadar (the site) doesn't know it exixts... Seriously an XBLA game for 800 spacebucks that is essentialy an EVE Online-lite should not be overlooked despite having an admittedly generic name and releasing the same week as Ma Wa Tre. Get with it already GR!
  • dekmaine - December 10, 2011 9 a.m.

    I heartily recommend To the Moon to everyone. Be warned though, manly tears will be shed.
  • sirdilznik - December 9, 2011 5:18 p.m.

    I know it just came out in North America and Europe, but Pushmo belongs on this list. That game is awesome.
  • jackthemenace - December 9, 2011 2:12 p.m.

    Still REALLY need to pick up Binding of Isaac. I'm just a little worried it's not going to live up to the amazingness of SMB :/ Also, am I SERIOUSLY the only person that thinks Cthulhu Saves The World is vastly overrated?
  • Hipopapotamus - December 9, 2011 10:44 a.m.

    Pity From Dust didn't get a mention.
  • d3v - December 9, 2011 8:22 a.m.

    I'd like to point out that the DreamCast version was the worst port of 3rd Strike ever. Combo timing changed alot. Certain tricks and setups were now removed. Consensus is that the PS2 version was the most accurate port until OE.
  • HamsterGutz - December 9, 2011 5:31 a.m.

    Orcs Must Die! is such a great game. Glad it was on the list <3
  • KidKatana - December 9, 2011 2:11 a.m.

    Here's one for Ask GR Anything: is Dishwasher - Vampire Smile ever going to come to PSN? How about Bastion? I really want to play both, but can't really afford a 360 right now...
  • Crimmy - December 8, 2011 9:51 p.m.

    *coughcoughMINECRAFTcough*
  • anchgu7 - December 8, 2011 8:54 p.m.

    Bought and played To The Moon in one sitting today based solely on GamesRadar's review. Loved every minute of it. Now I am recommending it to all of my gamer friends. Thank you GamesRadar for putting this game on my radar.
  • LIAMthescot - December 8, 2011 8:58 p.m.

    So they put a game on your radar? Well that explans the name Gamesradar.
  • FOZ - December 8, 2011 8:38 p.m.

    Aside from occasionally targeting the wrong enemy, Bastion works just fine. The gameplay is extremely polished and varied, far more than the average indie game, yet those are the flaws you call it out on? Makes no sense. Online Edition is the only arcade-perfect port of Third Strike. Never was one before that.
  • comaqi - December 8, 2011 8:07 p.m.

    Great stuff this year. Good article
  • FVDub - December 8, 2011 7:41 p.m.

    You guys forgot DLC Quest, Might and Magic Clash of Heroes and Dungeon Defenders. Also, can't wait to play Trine 2!
  • Fuzunga - December 8, 2011 7:08 p.m.

    IloMilo is fantastic.
  • RonsonPL - December 8, 2011 6:20 p.m.

    I don't get it. Trine 2 is already released on PC on Steam. Not only in my opinion - by far the best of 2011, and yet it isn't on the list. Just on the "honorable list". I don't understand. Even if PC and Macs are not enough to qualify - PS3/X360 versions are still in 2011 (December 20 or 21)
  • MadMan - December 8, 2011 6:19 p.m.

    Well my two favorites were left out.. (From Dust and Minecraft).

Showing 1-20 of 28 comments

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