The day has finally come. In this fifth and final article in our weeklong series, we name our ultimate Game of the Year for 2012! We want to thank you for taking this journey with us, and make sure to let us know what you think should have won in the comments below!
We will be releasing five lists over the course of this week, each covering genres or facets of gaming that we think are important to our industry, culminating with the final “Game of the Year” decision. In the interest of full disclosure, we at Press Play have made the conscious decision to abstain from any “Best of Console” awards, as we would prefer not to encourage discussions we believe to be detrimental to the gaming community. With each ultimate choice, you can also see the individual choices of our three judges, Senior Producer Nick Hawryluk, Web Producer Andrew Whipple III, and guest judge Chris Nagy. We have tried to be as impartial as possible, and in the interest of full transparency, you can listen to our entire deliberations process in the embedded podcast as well.
That said, get ready for Part 5 of Press Play’s Game of the Year 2012 Awards!
When talking about all the incredible titles we’ve been presented with all year long, it’s pretty upsetting when we have to dish out the Biggest Disappointment of the Year award. Unfortunately, that award goes to the seemingly perpetually developed and impossibly anticipated Diablo III. Having been in the works for 12 or so years, Diablo III managed to defy expectations in the worst way possible: by alienating its hardcore fans. Whether it be the real-money auction house, unforgiving drop rates or too-streamlined gameplay, everyone had something to complain about. It’s upsetting, we know, and that’s why Diablo III is our Biggest Disappointment of 2012.EDITORS’ PICKS: Nick: Lollipop Chainsaw Chris: Ninja Gaiden 3 Andrew: Diablo III
Each year that comes around brings with it expected sequels and titles that never take a chance on a new formula. Out of nowhere this year, Capcom surprised everyone and crafted a powerful new property called Dragon’s Dogma. Though limited to a single player experience, Dragon’s Dogma managed to make battles with AI partners feel epic in nature, and with a rich design aesthetic, traversing the world was always refreshing. It has its problems, but Capcom is only a few steps away from making something truly unforgettable with this franchise. Having already announced that Dragon’s Dogma 2 is a real thing, it’s clear they intend to see this series through, but for making all of us turn our heads in shock at release, Dragon’s Dogma is the winner of our Biggest Surprise of 2012 award!EDITORS’ PICKS: Nick: Syndicate Chris: Dust: An Elysian Tail Andrew: Dragon’s Dogma
The Best WTF Moment award is our way of saying thanks for gaming moments so outlandishly awesome that when they happen, the only proper response is to let your controller fall to the ground and double-over in laughter and/or fear. Upon completing Double Dragon Neon, if you fish through the concept art you’ll find a super secret code that allows Billy and Jimmy to become the Ro-Bros. You heard me right. Instead of playing as the typical beefy martial arts masters, you can play as their robotic counterparts, which is every bit as awesome as it sounds! We have to hand it to WayForward, they certainly know to mix an awesome game with excellent secrets. Congratulations Double Dragon Neon! You’ve won our coveted Best WTF Moment of 2012 award!EDITORS’ PICKS: Nick: Borderlands 2 Chris: Dragon’s Dogma Andrew: Double Dragon Neon
Nick: I had a hell of a time with the original Borderlands, but I was tentatively excited about its follow-up this year. I’m glad to say that not only was I satisfied with Gearbox’s latest effort, but it sucked me in like a freaking wormhole. Entire chunks of my life were consumed, and before I knew it, I had spent 52 hours in this game within a week. I tell myself it was because I was tasked with reviewing the game, but I’m not convinced it would have been different if I wasn’t playing for work. Borderlands 2 improved every problem I had with the first game, and if you really want to hear what I think of it you can read my review, but more than anything else there’s just this magical feeling to the world of Pandora that was successfully transferred from the first outing. Whether it’s the fabulous gunplay, hilarious characters or absolute overflow of pop-culture references & easter eggs, Borderlands 2 is blessed with a world that I just WANT to be a part of. With two great DLC campaigns and a fun new character class released post-launch, I’m willing to follow Gearbox’s franchise to the ends of the earth at this point. Borderlands 2 is a great sequel that didn’t change major facets of the gameplay its series is known for, and it’s really nice to have a franchise that sticks to its guns for once. Heh.
Andrew: While my case for Mass Effect 3 wasn’t ignored, I found it easy to step down and give credit where it’s due. I wasn’t a big fan of the original Borderlands, but the sequel shattered all expectations and exceeded far more. Whether you game alone or play with friends, Borderlands 2 always has something for you to do and does away with the maddening busywork I felt like I was constantly doing in its predecessor. Guns actually feel good when firing them this time, and the biggest draw for me was the fact that Gearbox injected more personality into the game itself. Along with the guns, I loved the character designs in Borderlands 2, and the upgraded visuals definitely didn’t hurt either. Although it wasn’t my initial choice, you’d be doing yourself a great disservice if you completely ignore Gearbox’s superb sequel, and that’s what makes it our Game of the Year for 2012.EDITORS’ PICKS: Nick: Borderlands 2 Chris: Borderlands 2 Andrew: Mass Effect 3
The Game of the Year 2012 Awards were judged by two Press Play staff editors and a guest judge as tie breaker. Don’t think we made the right choices in a category? Let us know what you think should have won in the comments below!
Trophy from The Noun Project