Game of the Year 2013: Part 4
In Part 4 of our Game of the Year Awards for 2013, we honor a range of categories from Best Shooter to Best Game Title. We came up with some wacky choices for some of the more ridiculous categories today, so make sure to listen to our Deliberations Podcast below to hear why we came to our conclusions. Don’t think we made the right choices? Make sure to tell us your picks in the comments!
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 choice 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, and guest judges Chris Nagy and Peter Kendall from How Do I Jump. We have tried to be as impartial as possible, and in the interest of transparency, you can listen to our entire deliberations process in the embedded podcast as well.Jump to another part of our Game of the Year 2013 series: GOTY 2013 HQ • Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3 • Part 4 • Part 5
The Battlefield series is known for its multiplayer, and BATTLEFIELD 4 didn’t disappoint on this front. Some smart class changes went a long way, rebalancing roles and allowing players more flexibility in their play styles. The Commander role was revived as well, allowing players to give orders and support their team both directly and indirectly. Experience-based progression in multiplayer bouts was polished to a mirror shine; we never played a match without getting closer to unlocking something cool. Plus, the combat managed to be constantly thrilling, with extremely tight controls and well-designed maps. Because BATTLEFIELD 4 so consistently kept us coming back for more, it wins our award for Best Multiplayer of 2013!EDITORS’ PICKS: Nick: Battlefield 4 Chris: Battlefield 4
Pete: The Last of Us
MONACO was the kind of co-op game that made everyone involved feel like a badass. Allowing your four-player party to choose from a list of eight unique characters, players were dumped outside of potential heist sites and asked to complete a series of objectives. Because the map would be obscured everywhere a character doesn’t have line-of-sight, it was in everyone’s best interest to split up and cover more ground. Of course, it was also four times as easy to get caught with everyone in a different spot. Having someone set off an alarm in MONACO was like playing a game of musical chairs. No matter what each person was doing, everyone would bolt for a hiding spot to restore their anonymity and chew out their companion for not sticking to the plan. Even failing a heist could be fun with friends, and for making us realize that, MONACO: WHAT’S YOURS IS MINE wins our award for Best Co-op of 2013!EDITORS’ PICKS: Nick: Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (singleplayer co-op concept) Chris: Payday 2
Pete: Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine
Ever since we heard reports of it scaring players on the loud, brightly lit PAX East show floor, we’ve been interested in OUTLAST. A generic “haunted asylum” concept on paper, OUTLAST’s cerebral tone and focus on desperate stealth took horror to places we didn’t think possible. The implementation of a ‘look behind you’ button when being chased was devious, and its deep psychological horror went to some extremely dark places, even for the genre. For making us squeal like little girls, OUTLAST is our Scariest Game of 2013!EDITORS’ PICKS: Nick: Bioshock Infinite Chris: Outlast
Pete: Slender: The Arrival
“What do you do in this video game? OK, let’s name it that.” DIVEKICK runs away with our Best Game Title of 2013!EDITORS’ PICKS: Nick: Divekick Chris: Space Hulk
Pete: Thomas Was Alone
EDITOR’S NOTE: The ‘Best Game Title’ award refers specifically to how much we like the title of a game; it does not necessarily reflect the quality of the game itself.
BEYOND: TWO SOULS was a lofty title for a lofty game. Neither marketable nor especially descriptive, this game’s title has annoyed us since it was announced. Quantic Dream, we understand what you were trying to do with this name, but there were so many better possible choices. Because we wish it was called ‘Dafoe and a Ghost‘ or ‘Hey Kids, Wanna Die?: The Official Game of the Movie,‘ we give BEYOND: TWO SOULS our award for Worst Game Title of 2013!EDITORS’ PICKS: Nick: Beyond: Two Souls Chris: Fist of Awesome
Pete: Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine
EDITOR’S NOTE: The ‘Worst Game Title’ award refers specifically to how much we dislike the title of a game; it does not necessarily reflect the quality of the game itself.
A multiplayer Grand Theft Auto game in which players are free to kill, rob and stunt jump to their hearts’ content sounds like a sure win for Rockstar Games. After a rocky launch and many broken promises however, most have abandoned GTA ONLINE to the most patient of fans. Three months post-launch, certain promised features still aren’t in the game, and it doesn’t help that some of the mechanics felt phoned in, patches aside. We might have forgiven its flaws if a patch came quickly after release, but now we’re long past caring. For its suite of hotfixes and apology gifts, GTA ONLINE has the Patch That Came Too Little, Too Late for 2013.EDITORS’ PICKS: Nick: Planetside 2 (Performance Update 01) Chris: SimCity
Pete: GTA Online
What can we say about BATTLEFIELD 4 that we haven’t already? This wasn’t a game that wants to reinvent the first-person shooter wheel, it simply molded it into a state of controlled chaos and made sure to look as stylish as possible while doing so. Having said that, the controls in Battlefield 4 were a beautifully executed work of art; navigating environments with all hell breaking loose around you was simply sublime. The addition of a context-sensitive lean mechanic when adjacent to cover points was a suitable compromise for players who yearned for shooter tactics of yore, and the Battlefield series’ fascination with realistic touches like bullet drop were always engaging. Using concepts from all over the franchise’s history, this game felt like a Greatest Hits of the series. Because it raised an already high bar, BATTLEFIELD 4 is our Best Shooter of 2013!EDITORS’ PICKS: Nick: Battlefield 4 Chris: Metro: Last Light
Pete: Battlefield 4
The Game of the Year 2013 Awards were judged by Press Play Senior Producer Nick Hawryluk and guests Peter Kendall and Chris Nagy from How Do I Jump. 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