Far Cry was one of the best games of the year, for me the best...and you gave it the title of best ending?WTF?
I know this is a bit late, I meant to post it earlier but got caught up in other things (sorry). So what is this anyway? Well it's not quite what it looks like, these are not my game of the year awards but the awards of the Critical Path Podcast. Of course I was part of said podcast, but what I am stressing is that these do not just reflect my opinion but reflect a lengthy argumentative process full of compromise and personal defeats. The knock on effect being, I don't wholly agree with them all, but I stand by the choices and think we did a decent job. I welcome you all to critique our picks, but before you do so I would recommend you to listen to the podcast which I have linked to below. I know it's long people, but this kind of process takes quite a while and we wanted to be thorough. If you have any questions about why so and so game won or why your favourite game is nowhere to be seen, refer to the podcast for a full explanation. There are plenty of games we loved that couldn't make it on because of a lack of consensus. Also if some of the categories don't make sense, there are almost adequate explanations for them all on the podcast. I also think it's a decent listen, but then again I would.
If you like what you hear, then check back every Sunday for new episodes of the Critical Path Podcast (you can even subscribe on itunes).
(Spoiler Warning: We talk about the games of 2012 in explicit spoilerific detail, we also spoil tangential things with no regard to others. If you are yet to see the Matrix or haven't played a game that has been released before this very point, you have been warned!)
So now all that is out of the way, here are the awards!
Best Use of On Screen Money:
Winner- Assassins Creed 3
Runner Up- Max Payne 3
Masochistic Game of the Year:
Winner- Tokyo Jungle
Runner Up- FTL: Faster Than Light
Best Use of Baldness:
Winner- Max Payne 3
Runner- Hitman Absolution
Best Assassin Game:
Runner Up- Mark of the Ninja
Winner- Far Cry 3
Runner Up- Assassins Creed 3
Runner Up- Mark of Ninja
Best Use of Player Choice:
Winner- The Walking Dead
Runner Up- Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
Winner- Spec Ops: The Line
Second- The Walking Dead
Third- Dear Esther
Winner- Max Payne 3
Second- Halo 4
Third- Borderlands 2
Best Download Only Game:
Third- Hotline Miami
Winner- Torchlight 2
Runner Up- Borderlands 2
Best Competitive Multiplayer:
Winner- Halo 4
Runner Up- Guild Wars 2
Best Looking Game:
Second- Assassins Creed 3
Third- Max Payne 3
Winner- Hotline Miami
Runner Up- Halo 4
Winner- Guild Wars 2
Runner Up- Borderlands 2
Best Walking Dead Episode:
Runner Up- 2
Winner- XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Most Disappointing Game:
Winner- Hitman Absolution
Most Surprising Game:
Winner- Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
Best Open World:
Winner- Rook Islands (Far Cry 3)
Runner Up- Tyria (Guild Wars 2)
Best New Character:
Winner- Kenny (Walking Dead)
Runner Up- Handsome Jack (Borderlands 2)
2011 Game of 2012:
Winner- Portal 2
Runner Up- The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
Game of the Year:
1. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
2. Max Payne 3
3. Halo 4
4. The Walking Dead
Bring back the 'Gaming moment of the year' - it's always been my favorite category, and no-one touched on it this year :(
@Freakin_Out Man! We totally should have done that. I will consider chucking it into this weeks episode.
@adam1808 I first agreed with you Adam. But the real winner is the white phospherous level from Spec Ops the Line. DONE!
Didn't see Far Cry 3 get a lot of recognition here even though it was according to me, the second best game after Max Payne 3. You really don't seem to have liked Far Cry 3 despite it's amazing gameplay mechanics, great sound effects, great graphics and a decent story.
@Samparksh I think if you'll listen to the podcast you'll see that we did include it as nominee for a few categories. There was just no way it was going to match up to some other games. There was no one to fight for it. Which says something about it.
Several of us found the story below decent, I personally don't give too hoots about sound effects most of the time (sorry), and I personally think Max Payne 3 beats FC3 out both for gameplay and visual design.
But that's just me.
@eiji1 @Samparksh You better don't say 'that's just me'.I am quite sure you now more about gaming than me. I'd agree that Max Payne 3 beats Far Cry 3 on gameplay, but according to me, not on visual designs.Also, I guess most would agree that Far Cry 3 is better than Journey.But you're the better man here,so you know more.
@TheFallenDemon I hadn't played Artorias of the Abyss before recording. I now have. That is the winner of best DLC, worst is Gangstas in Space.
@chambiko Sadly, DmC was released in 2013, not 2012, and as such was not available for consideration at any time when we discussed these awards.
In any case, I feel very strongly that XCOM would still have won, but I'm glad you like DmC as much as you seem to - I'm certainly entertained by what little of it I played.
@eiji1 No prob man, will be on it..
@chambiko @eiji1 No worries, man. Hope we caught your interest with this podcast. We do an episode normally every Sunday. @stephenage probably doesn't want to spam his blog with posts about the podcast (and with good reason), so you should subscribe to us on iTunes or something if you want to keep listening to us say weird and crazy stuff about vidjagames.
Great choices, though I disagree with the first one. I thought the crafting and trading systems in AC3 were useless and confusing. But again, great list and solid top 5.
@dylan417 Yeah, you need to listen to the cast to understand that one. I still think it's a great and accurate name.
what is your opinion on what should be a game of the year for someone. is it the game u had that most fun playing that year or by some other measurement. for example the game i had the most fun with in 2012 was KoA....but if i humble myself a bit i can see it shouldnt be "the game of the year". i had a list a mile long of things that could have been improved etc. i dont know if a game with a list like that should be a goty. i can see how other games this year should get a GOTY however they werent as fun for me as KoA: hope this makes sense.
@Mr_Mark_LegionFor me personally it is just the game I thought was the best that year according to my own interests rather than taking objectivity into account. Your conception of it makes sense, and sometimes it is the most fun game to me but I'm a rather jaded individual and tend to stick with games that gave me more than pure fun.
@Mr_Mark_Legion Hi, this is Ran from the podcast I hope you listened to. I don't know about Stephen, but for me there is a very distinct separation between personal GOTY and something I'd be comfortable saying as a podcast (because that's usually construed as more objective). This year my GOTY happened to also be my recommendation for Critical Path GOTY 2012. But last year I probably wouldn't have given my personal GOTY to Skyrim, even though I thought that objectively it was probably the clearest runner for GOTY.
Basically, it's hard to say what makes a GOTY, but I think it ends up being the game that we feel is the most significant in the year. A game that captured our attention and our imaginations for a good while and we can associate interesting experiences to, while not having to make excuses for too many of its faults.
But, again, it's a really hard question to answer because it ends up changing slightly with every year. Journey was very close to being my personal GOTY this year, but XCOM was so outstanding that it beat it out of 1st place.