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.
Far Cry 3
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.
- 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
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)
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)
Guild Wars 2
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
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
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
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!
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Most Anticipated Game of 2014:
|The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt||7.29%|
|Wolfenstein: The New Order||5.46%|
|Dragon Age: Inquisition||5.23%|
|Pillars of Eternity||5.07%|
|The Elder Scrolls Online||3.99%|
|Tom Clancy's The Division||3.35%|
|Dark Souls II||3.17%|
|Metal Gear Solid V||2.89%|
|The Sims 4||2.80%|
|Diablo III: Reaper of Souls||2.64%|
|Super Smash Bros. 4||2.48%|
|South Park: The Stick of Truth||2.36%|
|The Legend of Zelda||1.83%|
|Total War: Arena||1.83%|
|Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition||1.72%|
|Mario Kart 8||1.67%|
|Infamous: Second Son||1.63%|
|Tom Clancy's Rainbow 6: Patriots||1.58%|
|The Walking Dead Season Two||1.49%|
|Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2||1.47%|
|Divinity: Original Sin||1.47%|
|The Evil Within||1.42%|
|Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series||1.28%|
|The Order: 1886||1.15%|