Game of the Year determines the best game you can play all year. What makes the game of the year is a game that is either revolutionary or just really damn good. It is usually nearly flawless, with very minor issues that don’t really affect the overall game. These are usually AAA high budget titles, but just because one game is the best doesn’t mean the other nominees aren’t. They are nominated for a reason.
AC3 is the best game this year because of the unusual setting, storytelling, graphics, and overall evolution of a beloved series. Assassin’s Creed is one of the few franchises that actually evolves with every major release The game has the best multiplayer you will get this year accompanied by superb gameplay with dozens of hours of fun. The ending may be a bit disappointing, but the overall story is just fantastic with excellent voice acting and memorable characters.
Action games are usually full of explosions, running, jumping, shooting, and mayhem. This genre is usually the most popular and has some of the highest budgets. There were a lot of excellent action games this year, it was very hard to narrow it down. These were the best.
AC3 and Dishonored were hard to choose between, but AC3 came out on top due to the excellent production values and overall feeling of the game. Using a setting that is rarely, if ever used in a game is something else. There were so much care and dedication put into this game. The multiplayer is as addictive as ever, the game is just nearly flawless.
Best multiplayer usually goes to a game that can bring something new to the table or just is done so well that you can’t stop playing. There were a lot of great multiplayer games, both competitive and co-op, but mostly they were all the same stuff we have played before. I personally had the most fun with Assassin’s Creed III this year, and the shooters were just more of the same. PlanetSide 2 was a serious contender due to its continent-sized maps and epic battles, but the enormous amounts of bugs and glitches and the fact that there’s no direction hampered it a lot.
AC3 is just so addictive because of the cat and mouse aspect. Hunting your target while trying not to be hunted just keeps you on edge through the match. You don’t know who’s who, and anyone can jump out and kill you. I wound up going back to AC3 more than any other multiplayer game this year. The customization is very deep, but that addictive on-the-edge-of-your-seat feeling you get can’t be found in any of these other games. Sure they are tense, but they feel the same. It is also nice to have a fun multiplayer game that isn’t a shooter.
What determines the best new character? Someone who is memorable not just in looks but personality. Usually, someone who strays away from stereotypes, someone who is ruthless, conniving, sarcastic, beautiful, or just downright cool. This year had some great new characters, but only one comes out at the top.
Vaas is a psychopath that is bi-polar and just doesn’t care about anyone or anything. His strange feelings toward Jason are what make you really love this character. His delivery and voice actor are just superb and Vaas is the only memorable character in the Far Cry series. We don’t have enough psychopaths in games, but ones that act human and can treat a fellow human being so poorly with such hate and feral feelings. Vaas is a character to be remembered.
The technical category skirts art and pushes you to console to the max. Games that use DirectX 11 on PC, or really push consoles to their ultimate processing get this award. They also have to do it right and use a lot of advanced techniques, or brand new techniques. Since the consoles are 7 years old they usually don’t win this category anymore, but it doesn’t mean they don’t look fantastic.
Yes, all these games have their PC versions nominated, and yes they all use DirectX 11. Far Cry 3 uses it the best this year with fantastic lighting effects, amazing textures, and an astounding draw distance. The lighting looks so real you almost start looking for sunglasses! This game will also push your PC to its max and suck out the power of the latest PC gaming technology. It was hard to choose between these 5, but that draw distance and amazing light effects really put this on top, but just barely.
This looks like the same thing as Best Graphics, Technical but it isn’t! I swear it is a coincidence! Best voice acting consists of professional actors that can carry across a personality and deliver the character so you believe it. There were many games this year that had great voice acting and I couldn’t slide them all in. Honorable mentions go to Max Payne 3, Mass Effect 3, Dishonored, Borderlands 2, and Halo 4. This was one of the toughest categories this year because of TOO many choices instead of not enough.
Hitman’s voice acting is so great because of the way the characters deliver it on screen. Each one is completely different from the other and they are all evil bastards that you want to punch in the face. The lip-synching is amazing and spot on and the facial expressions really bring out the voices. This was tough among many other games, my second choice was Assassin’s Creed III and Far Cry 3, but something about Absolution’s voice acting just sucks you into this experience.
Storytelling in games is probably the most important thing. Even if your game has good graphics if there’s nothing to follow why bother? There a few great games with good stories, but most of them were the endings to long-running series. These were the best of the bunch.
A great story isn’t just about plot twists or mystery. Being in suspense and actually giving you the option to make those twists and turns is revolutionary. The Walking Dead has a story that will tug at your heartstrings and even make you shed a tear or two. Being in total control also gives you multiple possibilities throughout the whole series. This is by far the best story this year, and I can’t wait for Season 2.
The best sound design consists of effects, music, voice acting, variety, and overall immersion accomplished through sounds. Ambiance has a huge factor as well. A lot of games these days sound really good, but the best will give you total immersion with background noises and little effects that don’t have to be there, but they are because the developers care that much.
The sound design in AC3 is just fantastic. The various accents, different languages used, the sound effects used in the Frontier such as the wind during snowstorms, the sounds of wildlife, then the bustling city sounds in the cities. The naval battles just pack a punch in your ears. The cannon fire, the various ship crew yelling things at each other, the sounds of the ocean. There is so much variety there and it is so crisp and clear. This is the best sounding game this year.
The atmosphere in a game is the overall immersion you get. You have to believe you are in the game and that the whole world is real, but also feel a part of it. There were a lot of games that pulled off some great atmosphere this year, so this category was tough. Most of the atmosphere this year was focused on realistic or futuristic settings. These were the best of them all.
Assassin’s Creed III really showed off the American Revolution and colonial times. The game really made you feel like you were there. The Frontier, Boston, and New York were both well designed as well as the costumes, accents, objects, and even the hunting! You just felt like you took a trip to the past. This was a tough choice over The Walking Dead, hell, all the games in this category were hard to choose from. This won due to the attention to detail and mainly because it is a setting and time period rarely explored in games.