Dark Souls (2011)
After teasing us by opening in a jail cell (why do so many RPGs begin in jail cells?) that contains a vase, a wooden pail, and a grain sack, Dark Souls finally rewards the patient observer with a room artfully arranged with clay pots (the thinking man’s crate), just dying to be smashed open by you and your new friend the Asylum Demon.
Even before the above picture, otherwise-charming but nevertheless-incredibly-low-StC-scoring indie Rochard manages a crate on a splash screen, and two different introductory-movie crates before the tutorial puzzle which demands you move a crate.
At least these are futuristic space crates. With space forklifts.
Gatling Gears (2011)
Another entry from the EA Indie Bundle, Gatling Gears offers up its main menu a la crate, managing to run out of ideas before you can even hit the Start button. But hey, at least you get a free soup or salad, right?
Red Faction: Armageddon (2011)
Reviews were not entirely kind to Red Faction: Armageddon, and we wanted very much to prove them wrong, but turning immediately to the right after the controls configuration scene produces not only crates, but INSULTINGLY ILLUMINATED ones. But hey, if we may advocrate on Volition’s behalf, they did better than another, much better received, recent game set in a future dystopia.
However, (non-scientific, not-really-worth-anything) bonus points for allowing us to turn crates into deadly projectiles with one of the greatest weapons ever.
Trine 2 (2011)
Cast aside your anticrated notions of what makes a wizard a wizard. Fireballs, feh! You want your crates conjured, maybe?
Batman: Arkham City (2011)
Riddle me this, Caped Crusader… When is a safe not a safe? When it’s a crate.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011)
Very clever, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, hiding those medical crates in your opening cinematic in the foreground. We thought you were better than this.
(We seriously did. But you can’t argue with science.)
From Dust (2011)
We were prepared to give From Dust a perfect crateless score, bestowing the recognition the legendary Eric Chahi so richly deserves, but alas, the cutscene after the tutorial contains the above diguised clay pot in the blurry foreground (look carefully).
You almost had us, Chahi! StarttoCrate is prepared to accept a written apology, or the home address of the developer who created the cutscenes.
Rock of Ages (2011)
Last year’s Rock of Ages raises many questions about life, struggle, freedom, and the relative merits of the Minoan vs. Mycenean art periods vis-a-vis their effective representations of Greek life in the Bronze age, but one thing remains clear, pots (especially pots which contain resources for the player) are just clay crates.
The clever terrain-assembling mechanic buys the indie hit Bastion an extra 3 seconds to knock it into the 20-seconds-and-up bracket, and propelling it to higher score than Kingdoms of Amalur, for a hundredth of the budget!
To editorialize for a moment, tricky world-physics which delay crate-appearance will always be rewarded. Please try and bear this in mind during the design phase of your next game, DLC release or mod.