Game(s) of the Year 2012
It has been an excellent year for video games, as Geoff discussed in Gaming Moments of the Year.
But even among some all of those amazing games, there were three stand-outs, one of which is our Game of the Year.
3) Planetside 2
Oh Planetside, how much I love you. Never before has online gaming seen such a grand scope. At any given moment, dozens of battles rage across three varied continents. You can drop in, spend twenty minutes helping your team take a base, not realizing that the battle has been going on for an hour, or that 10 minutes after you leave, the enemy has regrouped and has started attacking the same base. Fighters and bombers swarm the sky, tanks and armored transports thunder across hills, hundreds of soldiers scramble up mountains. It's a melee of an enormous scope even Battlefield 3 couldn't dream of.
Any fan of first person shooters has to try PS2, which is easy, because it's free to play. One of the best games of the year, and it's free. Welcome to gaming in 2012.
You'll see other publications giving The Walking Dead their pick for Game of the Year, and you know what, I can't argue with them. It's adventure gaming like we haven't seen in ages, but it's also got incredible writing. In an era where most Hollywood studios think Baysplosions and 3D make up for a lack of story or characters, The Walking Dead shows them how it should be done.
But more than that, it forces players to make difficult choices. I'm not talking about the typical "how should I kill this baddie" choice, or "Capture/Assassinate, press A or B" choice, but "who should die, your friend, or your other friend?" These choices change the outcome of the game.
Game of the Year
Journey is an experience, in the guise of a game, wrapped in a haunting and lavish (and Grammy-nominated) score. While Planetside 2 is the traditional done right, and The Walking Dead is a leap forward in game-as-storytelling, Journey is a sliver of beauty that evokes wonder and emotion like few other games.
The more I explain about it, the more moments I'd take away from the experience. So instead, you can read Geoff's no-spoilers review, listen to the score (video below), or better yet, go to your Playstation and just download it. Best $15 you'll spend all year.