2012 Game of the Year Awards (Part 2)

Yesterday we revealed the first half of our 2012 game of the year awards, and now we are going to unveil the rest of them, including our overall game of the year. There were many great games in 2012, but only one can win game of the year. So which game was it? Read on to find out.

Best Female Character- Cortana (Halo 4)

It’s no secret that video games are still largely dominated by male characters, which in a way makes it all the more special when a strong, well-made female character is presented to us. Cortana is one of those special female characters. While she isn’t a playable character, Halo 4’s story actually shoves her into the spotlight on many occasions, ultimately making for a tense and emotional campaign. Cortana is one of very few female characters that make enough of an impact to stand up with some of the strong male characters in video games. – Chris

Best Male Character- Handsome Jack (Borderlands 2)

There were quite a few great male characters in video games this year. Commander Shepard, Master Chief, Vaas, and Max Payne just to name a few. However, there was one that just seemed to stand out from the rest, and that man is Handsome Jack. Obsessed with killing the vault hunters, Handsome Jack will frequently chime in to let you know just how he is feeling at the moment. He is brilliantly voiced by Dameon Clarke, making it easy for players to love him and hate him at the same time. Some of his dialogue is downright hilarious while still managing to be quite evil. One of the best things about Handsome Jack is that he isn’t just evil for the sake of being evil. He truly believes that he is doing the right thing, and his backstory reveals just why he is the way he is, which makes his character infinitely more compelling. – Chris

Best Story- The Walking Dead

To be quite honest, this award couldn’t really have gone to any other game. The Walking Dead has raised the bar for video game storytelling, and what a story it was. The tale of Lee, Clementine, and the rest of your ever changing group is one that is sure to stick with players for a very long time. The episodic format of the game served to make the story even more suspenseful than it would have been otherwise. Each episode had one of its own “Holy Hell!” moments, the most memorable of which came in episode 3, in my opinion. The writers did a wonderful job of making sure players knew that this wasn’t a happy story, and that their actions weren’t going to change the mood of the game. The Walking Dead has more emotional and impactful moments in one of its episodes than most games have in their entire campaign. TellTale Games did a remarkable job with this title, and there are many gamers, including myself, who can’t wait to see what they do with the game next. – Chris

Best Handheld Game- Sound Shapes

Heading into the Vita’s launch, between the many ports, sequels and remakes that were announced, a select few original titles piqued the interest of gamers. Sound Shapes was one of them. Fusing rhythm and music with tight platforming, one of the biggest joys I’ve experienced in a game this year was watching the world come alive as I progressed. The catchy tunes and unique visuals helped it stand out and the addictive game play took care of the rest. Sure, it wasn’t the longest game. Even the special challenge modes didn’t help much in this area. But no other platformer left such a strong impression by daring to be different. Plus at $15, the price is definitely right. So sit back, throw some headphones on and rock out to Sound Shapes, the best platformer of 2012. – Josh

Best Wii/Wii U Game- Xenoblade Chronicles

2012 was the last hoorah for the Wii, while signifying a new beginning with the launch of the Wii U. Gamers wanted Nintendo’s motion controlled money printer to go out strong, so thanks to the effort of fans, a game that was never supposed to be released in North America was released in the spring. And it was sure worth the effort, because when Xenoblade: Chronicles hit stores, many gamers not only called it the best Wii RPG, but one of the best this generation and a true return to form for JRPG’s. Blending familiar elements from the genre with a battle system that felt pulled straight from an MMO, Xenoblade managed to avoid many of the stereotypical, (sometimes annoying,) character tropes gamers have been plagued with most of this generation while feeling fresh in the game play department. Throw in a time traveling twist that affects both combat and story, hours of sidequests that are actually fun and a memorable party, and you get the best game the Wii has seen in years. So while the system was thin on releases overall, Xenoblade Chronicles was truly special, much deserving its spot as Wii/Wii U game of the year. – Josh

Best PC Game- XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Many people were wary when it was announced that the beloved strategy game XCOM was getting a reboot. Luckily, all fears dissipated when the game actually released and everyone realized how good it was. Having the ability to name your squadmates helps to make their lives more meaningful to the player. I wouldn’t have cared much if I had lost some random person after a few missions, but when I lost my sister shortly after promoting her to Major, I was crushed. Aside from that, all of the strategy components were fun to manage and really gave you a sense of urgency at times. One country has a 4/5 panic rating and may withdrawal from the council if you don’t help them, while another country is relatively calm but is offering a reward that you desperately need, which one do you help? These are the types of moments in which XCOM shines. – Chris

Best Xbox 360 Game- Halo 4

Many people thought the Halo franchise was all but doomed when it was revealed that Bungie would no longer be working on the series. However, 343 Industries took the reigns and actually managed to make a Halo game that was not only very good, but possibly one of the best entries in the franchise. New weapons, frightening new enemies, beautiful graphics, and a compelling story all helped to make sure Halo 4 wasn’t a dud. Handing development duties of a highly regarded series over to a new team is always a risky move, but in the case of Halo 4 it paid off in spades. – Chris

Best PS3 Game- Journey

When it comes to PS3 exclusives, there wasn’t an overabundance of quality titles released in 2012. Games like The Unfinished Swan and Tokyo Jungle were well received, but there was one PS3 exclusive that stood above the rest, and that game is Journey. ThatGameCompany’s fantastic title meant something different to everyone who played it, and it also became the game that people pointed to when arguing that games can be art. Even the musical score for Journey made history, with Austin Wintory’s work being nominated for a Grammy. The full brilliance of Journey can’t be expressed in words, the only way to truly understand it is to go and play it. – Chris

Overall Game of the Year- Dishonored

There aren’t an over-abundance of new IP’s getting released lately, and definitely none that are as good as Dishonored. The brain child of Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio released to high critical praise, and for good reason. Dishonored gave you several abilities and powers, and then set you loose in the amazingly crafted world of Dunwall to seek your revenge. How players went through the game was completely up to them, as their were several different ways to tackle each mission. Great voice acting, fun combat, rewarding stealth mechanics, and a beautifully created city all came together to make up one of the most unique experiences of the year. While it may not have the best story or graphics, Dishonored is one of those games whose greatness comes from being more than just the sum of its parts. Plus, how many games let you take possession of a rat and then use that rat to kill a group of unsuspecting guards? Dishonored is a fantastic new IP released near the end of this console generation, and it is also our 2012 game of the year! – Chris

Well there you have it ladies and gents, our 2012 game of the year awards. It was a long and debate filled process, but now it’s done and we can look ahead to what awaits us on the gaming horizon this year. What did you think of our winners this year? Was your favorite game left out? Let us know all of your thoughts in the comments section, and may 2013 bless us all with some amazing video game experiences.

Article from Gamersyndrome.com

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