2011 has been a great year for gaming; it's also a year with an odd convergence across many different franchises and platforms. A ridiculous number of games released just over the past few months either had the number 3 in their title, or were the third of their kind. It began with Resistance 3 a few months ago, followed by Gears of War 3 shortly thereafter. There was a short gap and then it was a bedlam of tris with Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3, Saint's Row: The Third, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, and there were probably a few more that are slipping my mind.
While most of these games are wildly different thematically, most of them shared a common tone. A lot of them carried their storylines with a heavy weight as they were trying to wrap up a trilogy in a big way that gamers will remember for years to come. The majority of them played it very serious, with the exception being Saint's Row, which was decidedly not serious and just went for over-the-top fun; which helped it stand out as being refreshing after so many games hitting the player with heavy, emotional beats.
And when you think about it, even some games that didn't have 3 in their title still fit this trend; Assassin's Creed: Revelations is the third game starring Ezio Auditore. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, while obviously being the 5th game in the franchise, is the third ES game released on consoles. Later this year we'll see Star Wars: The Old Republic, which sounds like a new franchise but is actually the third game set in The Old Republic timeframe. If only Mass Effect 3 and Bioshock: Infinite(the 3rd Bioshock game) had made it out this holiday season heads would've exploded!