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2012: Game of the Year

Gather around, people, for it has been another exciting year for gamers. The industry continues to move forward and as ever we are besieged by triple-A games, even though they are mostly sequels (a sad truth we have to face every year, it seems). Thankfully the year 2012 opened up more doors for independent development studios thanks to crowd-funding efforts such as the ever-expanding Kickstarter. The gaming scene has seen several solid achievements from indie developers this year, with a variety of titles that should be on your Christmas shopping list, if you haven't played them already.

We did, however, hope that this year would mark the arrival of a few fresh IPs and pleasant surprises from developers like Akrane Sutidos with their stealth-themed shooter Dishonored and Capcom's first foray into the RPG genre with Dragon's Dogma. While Dishonored did bring an overall satisfying experience to gamers who like both action and stealth, Dragon's Dogma didn't quite measure up to other RPGs out there. It did, however, set a very important precedent, effectively combining Western-style RPG mechanics with JRPG facets.

It was still a fun and memorable year. So, let's have a look at what 2012 will be remembered for.
 

PEOPLE'S CHOICE
Far Cry 3
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal


Ubisoft seems to have picked a brilliant time to launch the third installment in the Far Cry shooter series. Far Cry 3 squeezed in as the last triple-A release for 2012. The shooter from Ubisoft Montreal has received 749 votes and has been selected by our readers as the best game in 2012. Assassin's Creed 3 and Mass Effect 3 are closely behind, as well as Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Dishonored. We have to say that Far Cry 3 does deserve to be recognized as one of best this year. We consider it to be a great shooter with complex and well-incorporated FPS mechanics, challenging missions, great AI and a solid amount of content for users to dig into. All and all, we applaud your choice, folks.

Runners-up:

  • Assassin's Creed 3 (493 votes)
  • Mass Effect 3 (348 votes)
  • Dishonored (272 votes)
 

GAME OF THE YEAR
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Firaxis Games


Most of you may not agree with us on this one, but we have very good reason to name this the best title of 2012. Firaxis Games managed to deliver a terrific strategy experience. Mixing intelligent turn-based gameplay with great visuals and a tough, reasonably lengthy single-player campaign, the developers made this a joy to play. The class and upgrade system makes you care about the life of each and every one of the troops you send into battle.

This is a fine turn-based strategy game that captures a bit of the spirit of the old XCOM games.

Runners-up: The Walking Dead: Season One (Telltale Games), Diablo 3 (Blizzard Entertainmentl), Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft Montreal), Assassins Creed 3 (Ubisoft Montreal).

 

BEST ACTION GAME
Dishonored
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Arkane Studios


Dishonored created a major hype prior its release. We saw promising stealth-oriented gameplay mechanics, cool characters and an original-looking setting, and we were all fired up. The game did not disappoint. Although we cannot honestly say that this is a genre-defining game, Dishonored stands out for is incredibly compelling atmosphere (largely thanks to the efforts of the art team, which was lead by Viktor Antonov and art director Sebastien Mitton), great soundtrack and a variety of ways to complete each mission objective.
Runners-up: Darksiders 2 (Vigil Games), Halo 4 (343 Industries), Assassin's Creed 3 (Ubisoft Montreal)

 

BEST RPG
Torchlight 2
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Bethesda Softworks


Oh how the mighty have fallen! The stories are legendary among gamers about the length of time and amount of money it took Blizzard to get Diablo 3 into the hands of millions of waiting fans. When Diablo 3 finally arrived in May, the packaging was slick, the graphics were flash, but the game required 'always-on' Internet connection (even for its single-player portion), scaled back character skill trees and the economy wrecking optional real-world money auction house all added up to an overall lackluster experience that did not leave much reason for more than one play through for many gamers. A few months later, Runic Games releases Torchlight 2 and reminded the world (and Blizzard) what made the original Diablo games so much fun and addicting: gameplay.

While both Diablo 3 and Torchlight 2 are classified as the same dungeon delving, randomized loot dropping, click your mouse button til it breaks, action-adventure-RPG hybrid, we cannot help but side with Runic on this one. It's basically like saying a box of saltine crackers is the same as full course steak dinner. Both are in the same category, but one clearly distinguishes itself above the over for pure enjoyment and satisfaction.

Runners-up: Diablo 3 (Blizzard Entertainment), Legend of Grimrock (Almost Human)

 

BEST MMORPG
Guild Wars 2
Publisher: NCSoft
Developer: Arena Net


Once again, we asked our editor Vince to explain what made Guild Wars 2 so great. Here's what he had to say:

Looking back at the MMO landscape that was 2012, there are a few standouts, a couple of flame outs, but as always, there has to be winner. At the start of 2012 Star Wars: The Old Republic was the new kid on the block and appeared to be strong enough to pull the ears off a Gundark, but as many of its critics predicted, it joined the growing list of free-to-play titles before the end of the year. The Secret World was revealed with the hopes that conspiracy theories and a unique skill system would capture gamers imaginations and monthly subscription fees, but alas, it too went free-to-play just this month. 2012 also saw expansions to existing titles with Storm Legion for Rift and Mists of Pandaria for World of Warcraft. While offering a wealth of new content, neither title really set the gaming world on fire with the 'new' features for their 'old' play styles.

The real stand out for 2012 has to be GuildWars 2 from ArenaNet. While many argue it's not a 'true' MMOG, many people, including myself, have been captivated by the action based combat, the stunning graphics and the ability for PvP lovers and questing Care Bares alike to both find something they like. Of course, the lack of a monthly subscription fee doesn't hurt either. While people (like myself) that enjoy large group raiding and traditional dungeon party mechanics will be disappointed, GuildWars 2 changes things up just enough on just about every other point that makes MMO's so much fun and addicting.

Runners-up: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria (Blizzard Entertainment), The Secret World (Funcom)
 

 

BEST RACING GAME
Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Publisher: EA
Developer: Criterion Games


With all the racing games on the market right now, it's safe to say that the genre needs to be kicked into high gear. With Codemasters delivering just F1 2012, we still missed their new installments in the GRiD and DiRT series (both pushed into 2013). Luckily, Criterion stepped in. Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012) isn't just a great addition to the well-known arcade racing series, but it also represents a terrific experience for those who enjoy riding in flashy cars and taking part in high-speed races. Escaping the cops, once more, adds an element of excitement, so basically it has everything you'd want from the genre.

Runners-up: Forza Horizon (Turn 10)
 

 

BEST STRATEGY GAME
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Firaxis Games


Firaxis Games has shown the reason why they are one of the most respected development studios out there when it comes to strategy games. We initially had our worries about XCOM: Enemy Unknown, but when it hit the market, we were more than pleased with what the devs have come up with. Taking on a far more advanced alien race is indeed a challenge. Carefully upgrading your team and building up your base in order to counter powerful alien weaponry and tech is by far one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game. This is a bold achievement in the realm of strategies and, as we've already pointed out, one of the best titles released this year. Whatever these guys have planned for the future of XCOM, we can't wait to check it out.

Runners-up: Civilization V: Gods & Kings (Firaxis Games)
 

 

BEST INDIE GAME
Botanicula
Publisher: Amanita Design
Developer: Amanita Design

We're starting to feel that the folks from Amanita Design might be on their way to become the Pixar of the video games industry. Although not yet quite up to the standards of many big-budget titles in terms of production values and richness of features, their passion for beautiful 2D art and original gameplay mechanics have brought another delightful experience our way. Suitable for gamers of all ages, Botanicula is a jewel among indie games in 2012 and indeed one of the

Runners-up: Mark of the Ninja (Klei Entertainment), ( Legend of Grimrock (Almost Human)
 

 

BABE OF THE YEAR
Malena Morgan

That's right, Maleng Morgan has emerged triupmphant from the sea of babage we've been privelegded to during 2012. Those who wish to know more about here can head over this way.

Babes of 2012 we salute you!

Runners-up:

PAGE 1

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48 post(s)
Reader Comments
touretul Dec 24 2012, 01:17 pm EST
Far Cry!? You gotta be fuckin' kidding me. I played for 15 minutes and I've got bored. I believe I can't play FPS anymore. I'm disappointed by the graphics, and anoyed by all kinds of little things with this game.
But next year, hm, I can't decide between Metro, Total War, Bioshok and Watch Dogs.
And what the hell is Injustice Among Us?
  Vader: Christ, must I Google everything for you these days? …
touretul: Yeh, but isn't "Gods Among Us"?
Vader: What was the question again?
Ravenitrius Dec 24 2012, 01:25 pm EST
Yeah. People just vote the most recent game they played. -.-
  Vader: That's what I thought at first, but it doesn't seem t…
LostPcGamer: Funny it just came out at the end of the year so it s…
Terminator Dec 24 2012, 01:32 pm EST
Looks like Far Cry 3 is next on my list, followed by XCOM.
Vodoo Dec 24 2012, 02:22 pm EST
people shouldn't have the right to vote since all they can do is fail at it.

i agree with XCOM and Torchlight 2.
  Vader: Both great games. Both deserve recognition in my opin…
KraGeRzR Dec 24 2012, 04:04 pm EST
I have been absorbed by XCOM for the last 2 weeks. It's very broken, but so addicting.

I started Far Cry 3 recently, and it feels exactly the same as Far Cry 2, but more streamlined, and I anticipate it being more enjoyable/
  Vader: It is. The only thing I object to in FC3 is Ubiso…
KraGeRzR: Never gave that much thought... The ambiguously locat…
Cheddar: I HATED, HAAAAAAATED FC2. You won't find a bigger de…
Vader: That's just it. It is an improvement over FC2 and a o…
im_stardust Dec 24 2012, 07:34 pm EST
I don't have the energy anymore...
  Vader: Why not?
Chunder Dec 24 2012, 10:20 pm EST
Rome Total War 2 is on the top of my list for next year!
Cheddar Dec 25 2012, 01:33 am EST
I think Adventure-genre games have picked back up enough now that they justify an entry in these annual 'awards'.

It's a little bit criminal that The Walking Dead series couldn't get more than a brief small-text mention in an article such as this.
Shpongle Dec 25 2012, 01:37 am EST
far cry 3 most defnetly!
  Vader: Interesting how many of you liked this game. Think I …
Shpongle: dude its the bomb! not to mention the drug content al…
GrgoljBlaster Dec 25 2012, 04:16 am EST
You listed Rayman Legends twice in the upcoming list, once as "Ramyman"


Voted for Bioshock, by the way. I'm equally excited for Metro and Watch dogs so it was a hard decision.
  Vader: Fixed that.
Reiko Dec 25 2012, 04:31 am EST
Damn, feels like only a week ago that we saw the last list of these... year went by quick.
  Vader: That's true. Man, if I recap how many games I've play…
tei187 Dec 25 2012, 05:27 am EST
Well, at least X-COM got in the first 10. Really liked that one, proved that you don't need epic ultra real graphics to create an enjoyable and well playable game.
Vader [STAFF] Dec 25 2012, 05:45 am EST
XCOM should've been higher up on the poll. At the very least, it deserves more praise than, say, Hitman Absolution.
  tei187: Now you're talking like a normal person. You scared m…
Vader: Well, I won't.... *cough* *cough* really.
satangel Dec 25 2012, 05:58 am EST
The only downside of Far Cry 3 is the fact that the "heroes" look like some kind of boy band jerks. The most appealing side is that you can finish a mission just by being stealthy a doing chain kills or kills from above and below.
XCOM, is a good game I suppose, but strategy games with shitty graphics were a thing of the past. I never liked them, Worms on the other hand....
  Vader: True what you said about FC3. The characters are tack…
Cheddar: Who the hell says XCOM has "shitty" graphics? Other …
tei187: I think he just jumped into conclusion that if graphi…
satangel: No... I didn't have the faintest of ideas when I said…
Vader: So what do you play normally?
zaeb Dec 25 2012, 06:58 am EST
far cry 3 ? the world hes ended.
  Vader: It ended a long time ago. Where the fuck have you been?
TitaniumFist: yes, this IS the apocalypse, but with the lack of zom…
Vader: Actually I killed a few only yesterday.
Vader [STAFF] Dec 26 2012, 05:29 am EST
The world will end when people stop playing WoW. They're still playing it ya know...
  Chunder: Dude, they added Kong Fu Panda into the game! Of cour…
Vader: Hm, you have a point. I'd play anything with pandas i…
tei187: Speaking of WoW - wtf is a pandaren monk? I got some …
Vader: Free pandas! Woohoo!
tei187: You want, V? I don't play WoW.
Trancer Dec 26 2012, 09:28 am EST
Far Cry 3 is a great game & pure fun.. Plus, it has everything in it..!
  Vader: Apart from unicorns.
Rafal Dec 26 2012, 01:54 pm EST
Chivalry is my game of the year.
  Vader: Chivalry for Apple-II, released in 1983?
Cheddar: @Vader http://store.steampowered.com/app/219640/ …
Vader: ooooohhh, that
Breedy_Mcfluff Dec 26 2012, 05:46 pm EST
I'm tempted to pick up Far Cry 3 for the astounding amount of $50, but I feel like I should just wait for a deal on it a couple weeks from now. Dammit dammit. I don't wanna wait.
Cheddar Dec 26 2012, 06:53 pm EST
To be fair, considering the length and (relative) quality of gameplay on offer with FC3, it comes closer to justifying that absurd price than the majority of shooters.
im_stardust Dec 26 2012, 07:18 pm EST
Are you people fucking mad?

Ok, no apocalypse, but let it at least thin the herd or something. Too many fucking imbeciles.
im_stardust Dec 26 2012, 07:31 pm EST
Far Cry 3 is a game that's absurd on all levels.

It is an actual grind, more so than Far Cry 2 was. Aside from completing the main story, you have the side missions which are all the same, whether is stabbing a target, hunting or medicine delivery; and you have the collecting of relics, letters and chests. BOTH OF THEM are NO FUN. There's a difference between necessity and fun.

Games that make you do stuff you don't wanna do ? Fuck off!.

That island is just a big frustrating, "empty" place. It has absolutely no feeling

And If someone thinks the story is any good, I'd like him to summarize it for me.
im_stardust Dec 26 2012, 07:33 pm EST
It's simply embarrassing, at least for someone who played games for half a decade, to choose Far Cry 3 as game of the year.
  Vader: Are you certain that people who chose FC3 to be GotY …
im_stardust Dec 26 2012, 07:37 pm EST
XCOM is good but by far not GOTY material. I'd dare to say that the latest expansion for King's Bounty is more enjoyable.
im_stardust Dec 26 2012, 07:43 pm EST
Again going on Far Cry 3 ; if you are so keen on griding away hours after hours, then go play some MMO's, it's the same shit, the only difference is that you can also "socialize".

Have people forgotten what single players outta be ?
im_stardust Dec 26 2012, 07:47 pm EST
I wasn't thrilled by Dishonored but it was waaaay above Far cry 3 on all aspects and most importantly it stayed true to what we used to play. It felt like old school.
  Vader: It did feel like an old-school shooter for a bit. It'…
im_stardust Dec 26 2012, 07:48 pm EST
I'm gonna continue to spam. I don't gve a shit. You people fucking suck.

Assassin's Creed III was fucking great. Nobody mentioned shit about it.
  Vader: Loved the combat in AC3.
RenegadeCZ: I really thought you were joking about it being good,…
Vader: Like I said the combat's great. The main characters i…
EricHalfBee: My main problem with AC3 is that AC & AC2 exist. In f…
Vader: "My main problem with AC3 is that AC & AC2 exist." …
Cheddar: My biggest problem with AC3 is that Connor is nowhere…
EricHalfBee: I agree that my sense of fatigue is certainly increas…
Cheddar: San Andreas won me over -- despite the poor PC port -…
EricHalfBee: Yes, of course. I don't think that any of the GTA ser…
im_stardust Dec 26 2012, 07:53 pm EST
Biggest letdown this year was Diablo 3. It shouldn't even be on GOTY runners-up. You look ridiculous even putting it there.
im_stardust Dec 26 2012, 07:58 pm EST
OVERALL, it was a fucked up year and I'm disappointed over everything, including the end of the world which didn't happen.

If I could be the catalyst for the end the of you people, I wouldn't hesitate for a second, I'd end your miserable, pointless lives.

Now, I'm still fucking cursed to see this shit through, for as long as I live.

God.... I hate everything.
  Vader: Yeah, I don't think he's listening there stardust.
TitaniumFist: i think rambo said it best "fuck the world"
Vader: A wise one, to be sure.
Cheddar Dec 26 2012, 09:19 pm EST
Give The Walking Dead a try, stardust. That got my vote.
  Vader: That's a really great P&C adventure game.
Rafal: Is it worth playing even if you don't really like the…
Cheddar: Completely different cast of characters from the TV s…
Rafal: I don't dislike zombie apocalypse, I just disliked th…
Cheddar: As far as the main TWD saga does, you might like the …
shaneh39199 Dec 26 2012, 09:32 pm EST
sorry stardust, fuck AC3, fuck FC3

all theses triple a Pos's

Walking dead and Xcom. thats it. some other small indie games but seriously. dick riders. fc3 what a fucking joke.
  Vader: I would definitely agree with that.
RenegadeCZ: AC3 was a joke. It's like CoD, only less fun.
Vader: Well, I agree with Xcom and and The Walking Dead bein…
Shpongle Dec 27 2012, 02:39 pm EST
Far Cry 3 all the way. I said it once, I'm gonna say it one more time. Far Cry 3 !!!
satangel Dec 27 2012, 04:14 pm EST
Far Cry 3 is far from perfect, but at least it's a game that keeps you hooked on, even collecting relics. In my opinion it's the same game as Assassin`s Creed 3 only first person. In this period in which every shooter is boring as fuck, and the gameplay scripted like you don't have to do shit, but press W to proceed, this one was clearly smartly done, and a breath of fresh air.
The secret in creating a catchy game is taking care of the little things. Running physics were great, driving was nice, weapons customization, sounds, challenges, skills were a nice touch.
I don't know why Stardust is so mad about. People saw the shine in that game, that's why they voted it. And maybe because of the lack of alternative too.
Vass was a nice touch, maybe the game would've been less appealing without him.
  Vader: "I don't know why Stardust is so mad about. " Who …
Shpongle Dec 27 2012, 11:39 pm EST
far cry3 = perfection and awesomeness!
  Vader: wouldn't go THAT far, but it's good.
Breedy_Mcfluff Dec 28 2012, 12:07 am EST
Appears Far Cry 3 has very much divided the crowd to two sides: "this game is awesome" and "this game is bullocks."

I'll wait 'till i get a taste of it this weekend.

Stardust should learn what "edit" is. Just saying.
  RenegadeCZ: Hell no, his thoughts are way too awesome to take up …
izihbo Dec 28 2012, 01:18 am EST
Far Cry 3 is one of this years biggest titles in my eyes. I haven't had this much fun with a game in a long time. So much to do! Stuff to collect, great story (that's right, I said it, live with it punk!) and you meet totally kewl characters throughout the game.

Ok the story isn't great, but it keeps you interested.
  Vader: Guess so. The characters suck. The main ones.
Doomsday. Dec 28 2012, 02:02 am EST
I say, fuck everything! SWTOR ftw!!
Rikay Dec 28 2012, 03:08 am EST
Dishonored, for me, will remain the best game of 2012..though cant i didnt njoy FC3!!
but the experience not as much satisfactory as Dishonored!!
  Vader: Dishonored wasn't quite the sensation everyone expect…
Terminator: Dishonored was my game of the year. Love it!
Bubu Dec 28 2012, 06:01 am EST
I'm gona by a asus G46 i5, instead of donating the money to orphans. HAPPY NEW YEAR ALMOST!!!!!
  RenegadeCZ: Good choice!
Vader [STAFF] Dec 29 2012, 06:25 am EST
poor orphans
satangel Dec 29 2012, 09:48 am EST
This page is gonna have the most comments of the year.
Breedy_Mcfluff Dec 29 2012, 11:08 am EST
Far Cry 3 physical copy for $40 on amazon (possibly US only. Sorry euro-bros).

Let's make sure this DOES have the most comments... of all time.

Quick, let's talk about violent video games and their effect on children.
  RenegadeCZ: TotalBiscuit made a pretty cool video about that a wh…
Breedy_Mcfluff: I will definitely give that a looksie.
silentbuttdeadly: 40 bucks at target too! Awesome game!
Zulu Dec 29 2012, 03:41 pm EST
What have you done for me lately.
Terminator Dec 29 2012, 07:01 pm EST
It won't be long until Starcraft 2: Heart of Swarm arrives. Bring it baby!
  tei187: I'm just waiting for SimCity and Wasteland 2 this yea…
LostPcGamer: I'm waiting for the must be online at all times messa…
Terminator: I'm afraid of that too, but I don't think it will hap…
satangel Dec 30 2012, 04:11 am EST
"The last of us" caught my attention, but because it's a console only game, I'll pass. Bring Red Dead Redemption on PC !
  LostPcGamer: Well its naughty dog and they just do console exclusi…
Bubu Dec 30 2012, 05:40 am EST
This year I'm going to fuck a shemale. Juicy cock here I come mmmmmmmm.
Doomsday. Dec 31 2012, 01:09 am EST
^ Niice! U get to fuck a woman and then get butt fucked by her too! :D
Breedy_Mcfluff Jan 01 2013, 08:42 pm EST
Bought Far Cry 3. Very fun game, although the writing could've been much better (it has some Black Ops II-like issues). Still, haven't enjoyed an FPS this much since probably... Half-life 2. Yep.

Thank you, steam sale.
  Vader: Black Ops 2 like issues? Explain...
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