December has hit and that can mean only one thing – time to review the year in gaming! Starting with what we at ‘The Book, The Film, The T-Shirt’ believe to be the best gaming studio of the year.
This gaming studio has, over the past 12 months, redefined gaming experiences, building on a legacy of awesome game design and development, whilst also constructing a future that has many gamers excited for what’s to come. So I am happy to announce that our 2021 studio of the year is —— INSOMNIAC GAMES!
Insomniac Games has, quite simply, knocked it out of the park over the past 12 months. Now yes, they technically released ‘only’ 1 game in 2021, but it cannot be denied that they have so far defined the PS5 console, and currently are prepping two of our most anticipated games coming in the near future. They have both mastered the act of making games, whilst elevating it and reminded us along the way of the core game principle – the importance of fun!
Insomniac Games entered 2021 pretty darn well, with their release of Spider-Man: Miles Morales being one of the first must-play games on the PS5, building on and refining the exceptional experience provided by their 2018 PS4 Spider-Man game. Now whilst most AAA game studios would be happy to sit aside and secretly develop another AAA games for release in 5-6 years time (here’s looking at you Naughty Dog), Insomniac stayed in action and only 8 months later released the absolutely brilliant ‘Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart’. Miles Morales showed off what the PS5 could do graphically, but Rift Apart showed us the true power of the PS5’s new SSD and the new experiences it could give us gamers. This game provided us with the opportunity to jump between dimensions without a millisecond of loading, whilst being hilariously fun, beautifully detailed and just an instant icon of this generation of consoles. Within 8 months this one studio presented two of the best reasons for owning a PS5.
With that, you’d assume they would take a break and lay low for a while, but no! Insomniac Games instead used the Playstation September showcase to tease two more upcoming projects. One of these was the much anticipated ‘Spider-Man 2’. One we knew was in development, but did not expect to get even a teaser trailer for yet! It is safe to say, this reveal alone would have been enough to place Insomniac at the top of all other studios this year. Yet they felt they didn’t need to stop, and instead opened that same PlayStation showcase with a teaser of their other new and next game. Not a new ‘Ratchet & Clank’, but a whole new IP – and another one based on a Marvel property. That’s right, it was the launch of their completely un-leaked and unknown ‘Wolverine’ game. In this modern era, it’s rare for a secret project to stay that way, but Insomniac had managed to begin development on this game without a signal slip. This made the out-of-nowhere tease an astounding moment, and probably one of the gaming highlights of the year.
We expect most studios to give us one of these kinds of goosebump moments, from a reveal or a release of a full game, once every few years. However, in the space of 12 months, Insomniac has provided us with two full game experiences (Miles Morales continued to stun most people into 21) and two massive game reveals. They have without doubt helped cement the PS5 as a needed console by many gamers.
Truly astounding work, cannot wait to see what surprises they may have in hand for 2022!