GameArena's 2012 Game of the Year Awards!
GameArena's 2012 Game of the Year Awards!
It's finally here everybody, so strap in and get ready for GameArena's Game of the Year Awards, as voted by you! Twelve different categories, hundreds of different games, thousands of votes, one handsome and intelligent man and Limimi came together to bring you this - the definitive list of the greatest games to come out in 2012. We've tallied the votes and the score is in, so read on to find out who won!
Max Payne 3
I sat at the bar, staring into my now empty glass. It could have been my third or my 30th - it came down to your views on daylight savings time. The barkeep slipped me a note - as phone messages go, this one was a doozy - it said that Max Payne 3 blended the series' signature slow-mo style with a gripping noir story that also managed to take us on a guided tour through the best moments of a number of great Action Movies. At the bottom of the napkin it finished - I'd won the TPA Game of the Year award at GameArena, beating out some Killer's Creed thing and a bunch of sleepy dogs by a 10% margin. Huh, I'd won something. That makes a change from always losing everything. That calls for a drink.
XCOM Enemy Unknown
XCOM Enemy Unknown shouldn't have had a chance. Not after Syndicate. Not after the other X-Com game was delayed for the fifteenth time. Conventional wisdom tells us that it shouldn't have even been announced, let alone launched as the best strategy game of the year. But then, conventional wisdom couldn't have predicted that this year would be the year that nostalgia made Kickstarter one of the most important websites in gaming - and XCOM Enemy Unknown is an almost perfect blend of old school hardcore strategy and new school accessibility. It helped some that the nearest competitor - the brilliant FTL - was released with minimal fanfare and on only one platform - but don't let that take anything from Firaxis's efforts. XCOM Enemy Unknown earned its Strategy Game of the Year award.
Far Cry 3
Limimi wrote - at length - that Far Cry 3 could have been better... at least in its story portion. Still, the core game - a wonderful island sandbox where the player is charged with finding solutions to problems >their own way is about as good as it gets. If it had mod tools Far Cry 3 would be pretty much perfect - it doesn't, but it still beat the second place game (Borderlands 2) by a full 25%.
I only played one sports game this year - the PlayStation Vita version of Madden 13, which I bought because I live my life as an example of how not to spend money. Itís a great port, donít get me wrong, but I soon realised that I actually only ever like playing Exhibition matches of sports games, I just donít give a damn to put more effort in than that. Luckily you guys played more sports games than that, with FIFA 13 taking the crown as Sports Game of the Year - beating NBA 2K13 and UFC 3 and proving once and for all that sports games donít need to be really exciting to drag players in. In fact, they apparently donít need to be exciting at all.
Early last year I made probably the world's first Don't Stop Believin' joke about our Platform Game of the Year, because I'm extraordinarily clever, I don't know any other Journey songs and I'm incredibly narcissistic. That's why I spent the entire piece for PGOTY talking about myself instead of Journey, a wonderful game about learning to communicate and sharing a common bond with others.
Mass Effect 3
RPG Game. Why do people still say RPG game? I get that RP Game reads a little dumb, but RPG Game just grates on my very soul. It was an interesting year for RPGs anyway, and the way you - our wonderful community - decided to vote was extremely interesting. SWTOR and GW2 tied for fourth, Torchlight 2 slotted in nicely at second and the winner was the series-ending Mass Effect 3 - demonstrating that eventually, an underwhelming seven minute cutscene couldn't undo all the great work in the rest of the game. The biggest surprise? Diablo 3 was a no-show, scooping just 2% of the vote.
Need for Speed Most Wanted
Need for Speed Most Wanted, or "Burnout Paradise 2: Now with real cars" was a cracker of a game. It took everything Criterion did brilliantly in Hot Pursuit and gave us an open world and organic competitive systems to populate it, and for that it earns our Driving Game of the Year award. Trials Evolution - a brilliant dirt bike racer/puzzle game - gave EA's mighty racer franchise a good battle but slipped behind at the very end to come a respectable second.
What is wrong with you guys? I told you already what the GOTY was - Red Rogue - a flash developed side scrolling roguelike about the wife of the rogue from Rogue and her undead companion. You didnít vote it for GOTY, you didnít vote it as platforming GOTY and you didnít even vote for it as Indie GOTY. Instead you voted from the list, like mice on a wheel. Tribes Ascend beat Red Rogue by, like, infinity percent. Nobody voted for Red Rogue, not even me. You have all let me down. Thatís on you.
Street Fighter X Tekken
Last year a game that didn't even release in Australia took home the Fighting Game of the Year award. This year it's going to a Street Fighter variant - an inevitability, probably, as there's a Street Fighter variant out every year. Street Fighter X Tekken punched its way through PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale and UFC 3 Undisputed to win this tournament - probably because it's the only game to feature Blanka.
GameArena GOTY - Borderlands 2
If you didn't like the humour in our Game of the Year you could be forgiven for disagreeing vehemently - as great as the loot systems, the community engagement and the post-launch DLC were, the charm of Borderlands 2 has its humour as its foundation. The gunplay is crippled a little by the necessity of the RPG systems put in place but if you and one, two or three friends get together to play it ultimately won't matter - you'll be too busy trying to steal all the loot to notice anything at all. Our second place runner was Dishonored, and it's easy to see why - it combined a gorgeous world with wonderfully combined stealth, combat and motion systems. In third was the write-in vote Far Cry 3.
It was no great surprise when Borderlands 2 won the overall Game of the Year for 2012. Itís an amazing game with one of the greatest antagonists a video game has seen in years, it was full of ridiculous gags, tonnes of loot and plenty of hot RPG on FPS action. Dishonored took second place in the polls, but first place in my heart (next to Red Rogue obviously.) Far Cry 3 took third place, which should make us all realise - 2012 had some pretty freaking kick ass games huh?
GameArena Worst GOTY - Postal 3
2012 was inarguably a bad year for games. When it wasn't underwhelming or disappointing us, it was being outright bad. Titles like Amy are once in a lifetime games of such spectacular awfulness that you'd be forgiven for thinking things couldn't get worse. The War Z has proven that people will still buy snake oil if you price it right (and make them buy it again if they say bad things about it). Still, if you gave the Worst Game of the Year award to anything other than Postal 3 (the GameArena voted spelling!) you made a huge mistake. They could have released Half-Life 3: Vice City in 2012 and the existence of Postal 3 would still render 2012 as one of the worst on record.
GameArena Editor's Choice Award - Borderlands 2
DayZ is a game for people who love telling stories. It's a game where the best moments and the most memorable moments often aren't the same thing. Your best moment might be the time you and a group of friends successfully assaulted the barracks at NWAF and got out alive with a shiny new L85 TWS thermal image scoped gun. Your most memorable moment is probably the time you ran through a forest and one of those same friends freaked out and cut you in half with an AKM.
DayZ is a game that's completely different depending on a billion different factors. The time of day, whether you're playing with friends or alone, your current vital statistics - when the planets align and these things are all in your favour DayZ is almost a milsim (with zombies). When it's dark, you're alone and you're almost out of water it's a terrifying game of chance - can you run into that town, somehow find a drink, and get out again without being eaten/shot/bear trapped/walking too close to a tree?
It's a buggy game on a buggy engine that somehow derives a lot of charm from its quirks. It's a genius idea with an almost brilliant execution, broken - in design, but more often by hackers - and it's a learning experience for a development company who genuinely want to do good.
It's also a mod for Arma 2 Combined Operations without a standalone release, so the Editor's Choice Award for 2012 is Borderlands 2.
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Fri 11 Jan 13, 4:42pmSweatyGremlins the II
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