Game Of The Year 2012
The end of the year is upon us and it is time to reflect. Reflect on how relationships have changed, how our careers have changed. Reflect on all of the good times and the bad times. We can sit and think about how our lives have developed as we feast on turkey, stuffing and wrapping paper at Christmas. Most importantly, we can think about how awesome video games have been over the last 12 months. Hard Reset’s game of the year awards allows us to do just that. After much feverous debate, involving many late nights, energy drinks and an silly amount of takeaway pizza, the nominees have been decided, votes counted and verified and now we bring to you the greatest gaming experiences of 2012. Enjoy.
//Game Of The Year
So, it comes down to this. A grand total of 477 games came out this year. That’s almost half a thousand. That’s more games than days in the year. More games than me and you have had hot dinners. What I’m say is, that’s a hell of a lot of games. We have managed to whittle it down into the categories you have already seen, but now we had to cut those winners down to just one game. The arguments where many. The pizza moreso. Finally, after three bitchslapping contests and one black eye (caused when Ben Quy tripped over a Wii U) we have our winner. But first, the runners up.
//Runner Up: Playstation All Stars
The game with the longest, stupidest name surprised people as to how good it actually was. Even though it would have been better called Title Fight, PSASBR is a breath of fresh air in the fighting genre. It isn’t quite Smash Bros. It isn’t quite Street Fighter. It strikes a perfect balance between the two. It accessible enough to be picked up at partys, but has enough depth to allow players to become invested and properly master the games systems. At it’s core, it’s just plain fun.
//Runner Up: Halo 4
Halo fans the world over were incredibly nervous about Bungie leaving the development of Halo and handing the reigns over to the totally unproven 343 industries. Microsoft obviously trusted them and threw dollar and after dollar at them to build Halo 4. As it turned out, 343 did a damn good job. Small issues about the direction of the plot aside, the game feels better than any Halo has before but still changes the formula with the addition of new enemy and weapon types. The characterisation of both Master Chief and Cortana are excellently handled and the expansion of the universe is greatly appreciated. It raises the bar for the franchise and the genre with a brain melting mix of on foot combat, vehicle combat and it’s quiet effective story.
//Runner Up: Dishonored
It’s amazing when you see a game that breaks down so many assumptions of it’s genre. Dishonored, winner of our best new IP category, does just that. When you think first game, your mind does go to brown marines shooting other, more foreign, brown marines. Dishonored is a unique, distinctive game, with a fantastic fighting system, real roleplaying and, although the plot can fall down at some points, the world that Arkane sucks you into is just astounding. It feels like your entering a playpen that the game’s designers have built and your just let free to experiment. Like so many games that we give praise, it does something different and that the key.
//HR Game Of The Year: The Walking Dead
I feel that the episodic series is pulling off something that the comics and show aren’t doing; connecting you with the characters at a deep level. It may no be the best looking game on the list, or music and voice acting AAA, but it gives us players a very well written story that we can all connect on at some level. I have never felt truly upset at the end of a game, but The Wallking Dead has accomplished it. TellTale almost always gives the community a great series of ‘indie’ games that take you on a grand adventure from start to finish. The Walking Dead has re-defined what we expect from TellTale in the future. The story broke new boundaries for what we expect from video game writing, voice acting, overall story. I will be talking about The Walking Dead game not only with other gamers for years to come, but with people in general. And it has not only one, but two Star Wars references.