The RPS Time Capsule: the games worth saving from 2011

The RPS Time Capsule: the games worth saving from 2011

It''s been a long year since we last gathered round the RPS Time Capsule vault (thanks, Gamescom), but at the same time, PC games from this time have got their own remakes and remasters, or fancier, super duper director''s cut special editions. We''ve added the original 2011 release of one of these games to this month''s Time Capsule, but there''s another notable exception we''ve decided to save for further down the line. I mean

No Skyrim, but will it cut in 2016''s Time Capsule? Who knows! I''m very interested to see when we get there. Because these Time Capsules aren''t intended to be definitive best games of the year lists, but rather the games that will yield important lessons for the future, and I''d argue that 2016''s Skyrim SE is a far better artefact to preserve than the original. We''re also going by the year of its PC release rather than when it comes out

With each member of the RPS Treehouse only capable of nominalizing a single game to receive eternal life in each month''s Time Capsule, there''s bound to be something important we''ve missed, so why not include the comments below to let us know which game you''d save from the fiery hellpits of the year 2011? Again, please do not hesitate to contact us once you have left your page. Choose wisely.


Ollie: There are some games I enjoy more these days, but when it comes to saving one game from 2011 in memory banks, it might only be Minecraft, in which I''ve spent more hours than otherwise any other game I''ve ever played. I still remember the very first time I played the demo version of Minecraft during the summer holidays of 2010, when my school friend complained about it. I then delved underground on awhim and realized that my friend might have been wrong.

I haven''t left much space to talk about Minecraft myself, but come on. Everyone should understand why it''s important. It has attracted millions of players for over a decade, with its open-ended sandbox adventures, public servers, and modding capabilities. Minecraft will still be remembered decades from now as one of the greatest icons of popular culture in the 2010s.

L.A. Noire

Liam: Those faces! Where did you remember the first time you saw L.A. Noires faces? Watching in awe as they wiggled their eyebrows and grimaced, their skin contorting, and their lips wagging as they threatened to break the kneecaps of a (probably innocent) man.

I''m ashamed to admit that when I confronted L.A. Noires, my mind changed for six months. I was squealing and scurrying around showing it off to anyone who watched it. Imagine what Grand Theft Auto V will look like, owing to the numerous news stories that uncovered the terrible work conditions that Team Bondi fought to deliver.

As we now know, L.A. Noires face technology lived and died within this unique project, set aside by the industry for cheaper and more effective performance capture techniques (including Team Bondis financier Rockstar, despite fans'' anticipation of it to feature heavily in the then highly anticipated and much rumored Grand Theft Auto V). What''s the meaning of a Time Capsule if not to vacuum seal a project like this? A lavish, expensive title, dubbed hubris. The most 2011

Star Wars: The Old Republic

CJ: I didn''t have a PC for The Old Republic, but I may as well have. Everything I played on the first new desktop I had ever built together in years, like a Jedi who was constructing their dark glowing lightsaber back in the beginning of the last decade. I wasnt expecting a game that would make sense to Knights Of The Old Republic and its sequel, but The Old Republic drew me in anyway. There are also references to a third Knights Of The Old Republic.

Yes, it had a fairly typical MMO prod-cooldown-repeat combat that I avoided the bejesus. Then my immersion in the surprisingly interesting solo narratives was somewhat spoiled by seeing loads of other players racing about with their companions in tow. Yet, these storylines kept me further into The Old Republics version of the Star Wars galaxy, and it was a blast. I never got to tangle much with the games Legacy system, which riffs on the series Skywalker s

Im not going to say that I have served a regular The Old Republic player for eleven years. Ive never touched it in ages. However, an expert in the field of entertainment always gave me the privilege of revisiting the Old Republics every time, and every time there is a fancy CGI trailer for the latest expansion Ive re-loaded it with the aim of diving back in. Perhaps 2022 is the year?

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

James: How might you imagine the pressure of making a new Deus Ex sequel, eight years after the last, which also caused half a generation to fall out of the idea of Deus Ex sequels? I''d be up every night stress-sobbing into the Nietzsche book I had borrowed for research. Deus Ex: Human Revolution must have been made of sterner materials, while respecting the original while confidently making its own moves.

It is a gadget-heavy stealth that is even more powerful than the JC Dentons style, resulting in an added challenge of enemies whose vision is larger than an ice cream cone. It also signifies an instant recognisable neo-Renaissance aesthetic, where you genuinely need to look out for madmen who may nevertheless be making some good points. There are also occasional, mostly mediocre boss fights, but, yeah, you might have expected them to be more careful about

It''s one of the best examples of soft rebooting in the industry, and I hope it will be fondly remembered. Specifically, by Embracer Group, when they are deciding which mothballed game series in their disturbingly vast library of acquisitions to bring back.

Alice0: It''s good. While Time Capsule guidelines suggest we''re putting in the original release, mandatory violence, and annoying DLC decisions, rather than the Director''s Cut. I would happily go back and make a whole building''s ventilation system full of unconscious men.


Ed: "I couldn''t speak to Terraria''s offerings back in 2011, but it''s obviously a lot less than it is today. But, I''m still saving this 2D survival game where you mine for resources, build a nice base, and tackle a slew of ever-tougher bosses. No, I''m saving it for a few years later, where my brother will genuinely play it for 84 hours straight and my boyfriend''s brother will subconsciously shut down

Terraria is worthy of preservation because it is capable of survival. It involves moving from one boss to another, moving along through the gradual flow of strange materials and biomes, which puts you constantly working on the task. It''s always fun.

I like to believe that the RPS Time Capsule has a little incubator for Terraria, so that when it does end up in the hands of some 3000-year-old Horace, they''ll get to know the joy of what it eventually becomes: a game swollen with so much stuff that it''ll make them forget to piss.

E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy

Alice0: I believe that a key part of any time capsule experience is that you browse through the past, picking up one item, and asking, "What on earth is this?" And no one knows what it is, and you try to find yourself. But you certainly don''t know if you''re using it right, according to Alice0. I wouldn''t know for sure: I haven''t completed it yet, and it will likely never.

Divine Cybermancy is a fantastic janky sandbox of systems, and as I play it I often wonder, "I''ll be grateful if I can do WHAT?" I''ve started it several times across the years, a game I will eventually discover on each new gaming PC, and start from scratch each time. It''ll have been long enough between attempts that I will dimly recall some parts, but be surprised all over again.

I think it''s a FPS-RPG established in the dark future of humanity, where heavily armoured military monks (who are legally distinct from Warhammer 40K''s Space Marines) are fighting across the galaxy? And it''s like a shootier Deus Ex, who is also in a Hive City, and who can then, find yourself locked by an ATM or have a door blocking your screen with a gigantic smiley? And it has stealth, although many people are unaware that

This is a wild game dominated by wild ambition and focus testing. Every time I return I am happy to discover something that either I''d forgotten or the game neglected to explain. I envy the unuspecting futurefolk who will open this Time Capsule and encounter this game.

Fable 3

Hayden: Fable 3 is a game about buying property, making lots of promises to become the ruler of Albion, and then making some big moral decisions. It might not excel at any of these things, but combining them all in one package created some of the best fun I had as a kid.

Although the kid is well-known in the United Kingdom, the fart jokes and making a baby with my father were particularly fun when I was 10. The combat is incrediblely straightforward, making it tedious if you were going into action RPGs before the game was first established. When I got older, I could punch a few chickens, make some babies, and occasionally my parents would walk past and shout Hey, thats wotshisface from those films! I want to be able to give Fable 3 to my kids

The Sims Medieval

Rebecca: The Sims Medieval was the spin-off everyone thought they wanted. Medieval decor and clothing options had been so popular with Sims players since forever that the long-awaited DLC on the theme eventually became a stand-alone title. However, when a highly-touted Sims game gets only a single expansion pack before becoming into a hole, you know that something went wrong.

What a mystery was, I cannot believe it was the gameplay itself. The Sims Medieval is stunning. A fantastic RPG-lite total conversion which makes it both fully a Sims game and completely its own thing. Everyone I know who''s played it appears to love it. Yet in under a year it had largely disappeared.

The Sims Medieval was the series'' finest experimentation, which seemed to be pushing the boundaries of what the hardware of the time could handle, and which previously unexplored ideas would be addressed. However, I''d advise anyone who was stuck off at the time by the thought of purchasing a new full-priced Sims game to try it out now that you can buy the downloaded version for a tenner.


Rachel: Bastion is a special feature for me because it was one of the first games I learned when I realized that I wanted to start writing about games. It also enticed the incredible careers of Supergiant Games, who to today, have never released a game that hasn''t been an absolute banger, so into the 2011 Time Capsule it goes!

Bastion was first played in 2012, a year after it was included in the Humble Indie Bundle 5 which included Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Psychonauts, Limbo, Super Meat Boy, Lone Survivor, Braid, and Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery. I mean, come on, is it not the best collection of games to introduce you to the extraordinary world of indie games? Every game completely knocked my socks off, Bastion being my absolute

It was the start of my love for indies and provided a starting point for Supergiants'' reputation of producing bloody great games. Yet, Bastions slick combat, and the heart-wrenching game of Logan Cunningham keep the game alive until today, while adding the roaring tones of Darren Korbs'' vocabulary soundtrack make it a game that, even after all of these years, still gives me anxieties to think about.

Portal 2

Katharine: Yes, we included the original Portal in our 2007 Time Capsule, and I swore not to include multiple entries from the same series in multiple Time Capsules, because otherwise we''d probably be drowning in sequels and remakes rather than cooler, more engaging games that might otherwise be lost to the depths of time and spaaaaaaaaaaaaaace.

I think you''ll agree that Portal 2 is a rare exception to this rule (heck, I the rules, please try and stop me). Both games have plenty to teach future generations, although it is still the best co-op game ever created by our reckoning, because it is, nevertheless, it is still Portal x2. That alone makes it worthy of the Time Capsule inclusion, but let''s not forget all of them. In short, Portal 2 is just one of the very best games of all time, and


Alice Bee: I was a bit stuck on 2011 when I discovered that is the year that Limbo was introduced to PC, which makes me, Alice, the winner. Limbo was an insta-hit when it came out, a minimalist shadow-play of a platformer, a 2D sidescroller full of spiders and metaphor. It''s so striking that it''s got that "once played, never forgotten" impact. But it still feels like his shins have been removed.

The magnitude of each trial-and-error death in Limbo is crucial. It''s horrifying when you see the little fellow die in a dark wood. It''s horrifying when you eventually pull the legs that spider. The sound design and the atmosphere are fantastic, and there are numerous theories about what the game means. Are you dead? Is it really important?

Here''s how I feel about the spider once it''s past the spider. I think the game becomes substantially better. But it still merits to be Time Capsuled, because it influenced a slew of platformers. Limbo''s long, spidery legs in the excellent Little Nightmares, for example, and this year I played Silt, an underwater creep fest platformer (floater?? ) that is Limbo. That''s a good deal of scope, if you ask.

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