At One Hit Pixel, we highly encourage discussion throughout our community on games in general. This culminates in opinions being shared and divided when it comes to our Community Game of the Year accolades. Of course, we have our own opinions too on what the top five games of the past year were. So much like the Community Game of the Year 2012 nominations, all votes were put into a complex algorithm to generate a consensus. Without further ado then, let’s kick things off!
#5 – Dishonored
Having the freedom to do whatever you want is always a liberating experience. When Dishonored gave us the ability to do so, we were taken to a steam-punk inspired domain, where the world was truly our oyster. As one of the early games in the pre-Christmas deluge of triple A titles, the Arkane Studios developed first-person action title put you in the eyes of Corvo Attano, an assassin betrayed by the kingdom he served, with a vendetta against those who now dominate the land.
Critics showered the game with plaudits upon release, giving scores between 88 and 91 across PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions. This includes our own themed ‘A’ rated review back in October. In it: “You may consider yourself to be one of the good guys, incorruptible and loyal the good fight, but you are not prepared for the evil that lay here. The path you take is up to you though.”
#4 – Far Cry 3
From the beginning of the autumnal schedule to the end, criminally overlooked by some for their Game of the Year processes, is the newest take on Ubisoft’s Far Cry series. With ambitious open-world vistas to explore, your aim is to survive not only the harsh environment, but also fend off the animals and people who are trying to kill you. Various critics across the board rewarded both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions with a 90 score on Metacritic, while the PC fared slightly less with 88.
Another ‘A’ grade shooter then, as our review points out that, “Ubisoft have created a shooter that excels in the often under-performing areas of shooters whilst delivering on the foundation aspects as well. Vaas is the star of the show without doubt but there’s so much to Far Cry 3 that makes it one of the most refreshing and impressive shooters of the year.”
#3 – Borderlands 2
Back to the beginning of the autumn triple-A schedule once more for the third best game – a sequel of one of the most fondly remembered hybrid games from the current generation of consoles. Borderlands 2 had a lot riding on it being successful, since the first one built up a devoted fan-base with its quirky sense of humour and fantastic gunplay.
This one had me hooked, but then again I was using it to raise funding for charity. If it was any other game though, I would probably have started showing signs of despair from the self-induced 24-hour marathon, but not Borderlands 2. While it is largely the same as the previous game, this was a formula that pleased critics with a varied score of 89 on Xbox 360 and PC, and 91 PlayStation 3 on Metacritic.
In yet another ‘A’ grade review in October, in Borderlands 2 “You’ll explore the wonderful and beautiful world of Pandora, fight with and for friends via terrific gunplay, witness some truly breathtaking scenes and become engrossed in characters and plot points unlike any other. Borderlands 2 is one of the most enjoyable games of the year – a true sequel.”
#2 – Assassin’s Creed III
With Ezio Auditore de Firenze finally kicking the bucket after a fairly overdrawn sequence of annual titles, Assassin’s Creed III puts you in entirely new shoes in Desmond’s crazy ancestral lineage – Ratonhnhaké:ton or ‘Connor’ for short – in the times of the American Revolutionary War. The game was well received on consoles, with scores ranging from 84 to 86 on Xbox 360, Wii U, and PlayStation 3; but the PC port fared less well with a score of 79.
We seem to have a lot of love for our ‘A’ grade games this year and Assassin’s Creed III is one of them as our review eludes, “By stripping out the bloated aspects to replace them with honed and exemplary mechanics, it’s ensured that it retains the series’ values and traditions whilst also improving upon it and giving it a welcome breath of fresh air. Ubisoft may have a left a few kinks in its armour, but Assassin’s Creed III is undeniably one of the games of the year.”
#1 – Journey
There are many differences between Journey and the rest of the top five. The first is that it is the only game to not be released in the traditional autumn window. It also isn’t a triple-A budget game and the only console exclusive. If you think we’re just being hip by declaring this our Game of the Year for 2012, then you probably were one of those who didn’t vote it as the Community Game of the Year 2012! The fact that both the community and the staff were in sync with this choice is just a testament to how good the game is.
Scoring a 92 on Metacritic is no small feat. It was also the only game released this year to achieve the elusive top score of ‘A+’, it was another review that warranted some slick storytelling. This riddle-like paragraph pretty much sums up everything that Journey has to offer. 2012 was certainly an important year in gaming and 2013 has a lot to live up to. We’ll be back at the end to crown a new winner, but until then – the reason why you should play Journey.
“I have joyous moments and heart-wrenchingly sad ones amongst an eloquent, wordless story. I have a collection of utterly breath-taking moments accompanied by an auditory feast like no other. I will grant you the warmth feeling of the sand, the bitter cold of despair, and the soothing yet powerful force of the wind. I have variety, complexity and simplicity in equal measures, moments to hide, moments to discover and moments to unravel. I am one of the most profound and empowering experiences you will have and whilst I may only take you for a few hours, they will be some of the best hours of your life.
For I am a Journey, one unlike any other.“