Game Awards 2020

Finally, even though there were times that 2020 felt like it was going to be with us forever, welcome to 2021. As is customary for every new year, we look back at the year that has come and gone. We take account of the highs, the lows and some of the more interesting moments that defined the year. So without further or do lets get the show started.

Worst game of the year:

I was originally going to put Fall Guys in here but to be fair that would have been a bit harsh. I may have hated the futility of the reward system, but the core gameplay was actually quite fun. There was no game I played from this year that was an absolute stinker which meant I had to go with which game I enjoyed the least. I chose this because what I felt it represented. I said in my review of it that it was nothing more than a nostalgia based cash-grab with as little effort as possible and for this it deserves to be shamed. Bad EA!! Naughty!!

Patreon game of the year:

This award was open to all of my Patreon members to vote for the game of 2020 they thought was the best and with a grand total of 1 vote cast we have a winner. Despite the story doing a lot of dicking around this was how I saw a Final Fantasy VII remake being done. I’m just hoping that in the second part the story can be a bit more focused on the task at hand.

Indie game of the year:

I was originally going to give the award to Endzone, but after playing Hades I couldn’t not give it the award. The gameplay was well defined, the art style captivating and most importantly it was fun to play. Well done SuperGiant.

Honourable mentions go out to Endzone: A World Apart & Vigil: The Longest Night

the one that got away award:

Half-Life Alyx

This award is given to the game I most wanted to review but for one reason or another (usually financial) I never managed to review. The Half-Life series is one that has just done it for me, so learning that the next instalment was a VR exclusively was both exciting and upsetting in equal measures as there was no way I could justify spending hundreds of pounds just so I could play it. Maybe this time next year someone will be paying me to play games and tell people what I think… maybe.

game of the year:

I really enjoyed The Last of Us Part II. It was much improved from the first game and that was great in it’s own right too. The characters were deep and very well rounded. The environments and rendering are some of the best I’ve seen on the PS4. The mechanics and gameplay were tight, felt solid and tied together nicely. This also nicely makes The Last of Us Part II the first sequel of a previous Game of the Year to win Game of the Year. Congratulations Naughty Dog, It’s not likely for lightning to strike twice in the same place. If you manage it a third time I’m going to call shenanigans.

BONUS CONTENT: Game of the Year 2019

Now here we are, finally up to date. I also don’t think it’s going to be very hard to guess what my Game of the Year will be for this year. The nominees are as follows.

2019:

Nominees:

  • Kingdom Hearts 3
  • Resident Evil 2
  • Total War: Three Kingdoms

Winner:

Resident Evil 2

Did you get it right? Well done if you did. Resident Evil 2 was exactly what I hoped it would be when it was first announced in 2015 and more. The atmosphere was thick and at times bed-wetting, the gameplay was crisp and the story was… well… still as bat-shit crazy as the original but it was told in a much more compelling way. You can tell a lot of time and effort was put into the game and it shows. Nostalgia still runs deep in the game and the improvements only serve to amplify it’s appeal. Well done Capcom for making Resident Evil great again. Next week I will follow up with the big one, Game of the Decade.

BONUS CONTENT: Game of the Year 2018

Now 2018 was a year of good games. 3 of the nominees made really good contenders for the top spot and I put more hours into the other 2 than I choose to account for. I would forgive anyone guessing the outcome of this one for getting this one wrong, but lets see if you can get it right.

2018:

Nominees:

  • God of War
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Two Point Hospital

Winner:

God of War

I did state in my review of God of War that I would have given it my Game of the Year award and here it officially is, anyone who spotted that and guessed correctly, well done. With the original E3 reveal of the game I was intrigued to see how a more mature God of War would pan out and I was more than pleasantly surprised with the outcome. The game is just fantastic, if you want the details click the link above but in short the story is emotional and full of depth, the gameplay is brilliant and the characters are solid and well rounded. A brilliant piece of work which leaves me excited about what the future of the franchise has in store.

BONUS CONTENT: Game of the Year 2017

Hopefully those who guessed incorrectly last years game of the year can do a little better this time around. As far as I’m aware the 5 games below are the only ones I’ve played from 2017 (EDIT: I actually played Mass Effect Andromeda as well but the less said about that the better) and of them only 1 of them deserves the Game of the Year title. They are as follows.

2017:

Nominees:

  • Crash Bandicoot N-sane Trilogy
  • Destiny 2
  • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
  • What Remains of Edith Finch

Winner:

What Remains of Edith Finch

Given the competition this one was a no brainer. Destiny 2 bored me so much I put it down without ever getting to the end. Uncharted was forgettable (I actually did forget about it until I re-read my writing before posting). Crash Bandicoot and Horizon Zero Dawn were both good but What Remains of Edith Finch just blew me away. The game was gripping, engaging and told a brilliant story in a brilliant, compelling way. It’s only downside was that there wasn’t any more.

BONUS CONTENT: Game of the Year 2016

There wasn’t really many good games released in 2016 was there? There were no Witcher 3’s or Skyrims this year, but I suppose anyone that has a modicum of deductive power can make an educated guess as to what my game of the year is going to be by looking at the list of nominees. Speaking of nominees, here they come now.

2016:

Nominees:

  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Firewatch
  • Persona 5
  • Stardew Valley
  • XCOM 2

Winner:

Persona 5

I’m assuming you all guessed correctly (If you didn’t I’m hoping for a better effort next week). In my review of Persona 5 I did mention that the game was not perfect but the good things the game does do are done extremely well, the soundtrack is catchy and really fits with the games aesthetics. The story of social injustice and political corruption is one a lot of people can relate to given current world affairs. The characters were also deep and relatable. Given that I only picked it up on a whim I was very pleasantly surprised by it. So there you have it, Persona 5, Game of the Year 2016.

BONUS CONTENT: Game of the Year 2015

This one was another difficult choice, turns out I’ve played even less guess this year then I did the last, the only other game I played from that year was Just Cause 3. So with that in mind lets move on to the nominees.

2015:

Nominees:

  • Fallout 4
  • Life is Strange
  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Winner:

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Looking at the list of games on Google from 2015 I don’t think there was another game that year that could have gotten the award. I’ve got a review “oven ready” for The Witcher 3 sitting in my drafts waiting for the right moment to release it, but in short. The world is rich and vibrant, The story is engaging and invigorating and The gameplay is crisp and user friendly. It is a fantastic game and a must own for any RPG lover also don’t be discouraged if you haven’t played the first two games. There is plenty of lore to get your teeth into to get you up to speed.

BONUS CONTENT: Game of the Year 2014

This one was a difficult choice, I hadn’t played many games from this year, let alone many that I thought were worth of being named Game of the Year, but luckily enough I only needed to pick one to win the award and the rest will be arbitrary. In the end I managed to weed one out of the pile, that and the other nominees are as follows.

2014:

Nominees:

  • Destiny
  • Infamous: Second Son
  • Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
  • This War of Mine
  • Watchdogs

Winner:

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

I don’t know if this is cheating or not but I actually didn’t play Shadow of Mordor until a few years after it’s release (2018 if my memory serves me right) but it was initially released in 2014 so it fits and I’m allowing it. Some of my favourite games are ones with a great story that is told well, Shadow of Mordor was an exception. I found the story to be average at best, but the gameplay was more than enough for me to forgive it. I thought the combat was fluid and engaging, the environments were well crafted and the nemesis system was nothing short of fun. I spent far too much time trying to gain a monopoly on Orc officers, and to be honest I enjoyed almost every moment. I came away from the experience thoroughly enjoying it which is more than I can say for most of the other games on the list.

BONUS CONTENT: Game of the Year 2013

I have had a lot of time to write this week and as such I have 6 posts scheduled for posting and another 4 in my drafts close to completion. Although I have now been sitting here twiddling my thumbs waiting for Friday and the next post in the queue. However, I got bored so as such decided it would be a good idea to inform you all of the Game of the Year winners in my hiatus. I will try and do these updates year by year in-between my main Friday pieces. I may also add some smaller posts once I’m up to date with my awards.

2013:

Nominees:

  • Assassins Creed IV: Blackflag
  • Bioshock Infinite
  • The Last of Us
  • Papers Please
  • Tomb Raider

Winner:

The Last of Us

I did write a review on The Last of Us and mentioned It would have been my Game of the Year 2013 but now I’ve officially given it its due. The Last of Us was a beautiful written, beautiful executed experience. I didn’t spend as long paying it as I did Assassins Creed IV but The Last of Us is a lot more “straight to the point”. As well as some beautiful aesthetics and characters, The Last of Us is sure to be a fan favourite with anyone who enjoys a deep and enriching story coupled with some of the greatest cinematics on the PS3, which is further improved by the Remastered version on the PS4.

Awards of 2012

2012 was a rather mediocre year for computer games. There wasn’t any amazingly good or horribly bad games this year (No Skyrim’s or Duke Nukem Forever’s), because of this I’ve decided to choose a series of generic categories, pick which games of this year are the best of that category and a short description why. Since a game I didn’t play won’t be rewarded, below is a list of games I did play from 2012 and is thus the list of nominees (or in the case of best character, game/s that character was in). 


Assassins Creed 3
Bad Piggies
Borderlands 2
Catherine
Dear Esther
Dishonored
Dragons Dogma
Far Cry 3
Football Manager 2013
Hellfire
Hitman: Absolution
Mass Effect 3
Resident Evil 6
Silent Hill Downpour
Spec Ops: The Line
The Walking Dead


So without further or do lets start with our first award.

Best Story:

And the Winner is:


Spec Ops: The Line

I was originally going give this award to Mass Effect 3, but after playing Spec Ops I couldn’t not give it the award. It really did surprise me how good a story can be for a modern war based tactical shooter. In fairness it’s probably the first modern war based tactical shooter that puts forward the message that war, guns, fighting and killing are a bad thing. This message really being pounded home after a certain incident in the game where Walker fucks up on a colossal scale. All and all the story is well paced, engaging and does leave an impression on you. Which is more than I can say for any of the other games I’ve played

Best Character:
And the Winner is:

Vaas Montenegro – Far Cry 3

In fairness I was expecting more from Vaas, some sort of Tyler Durden-esque relationship going on between him and Jason, but that aside he still stands head and shoulders above most characters this year. He’s just the right amount of psycho that puts him in your face and just the right amount of goofy that makes him likeable. Like a dog licking it’s testicles, it’s disgusting but you can’t help but laugh (that sentence probably says more about me than anything). Anyway, Vaas is pure drug-fueled bonkers and will go to any lengths to make sure you are dead. Set you on fire, drown you or even the plan old just shooting you. Sadly he meets his demise at the hands of a no personality, no faced protagonist. So long Vaas you crazy son-of-a-bitch.

Best Gameplay:
And the Winner is:

Dishonoured

Dishonoured is very much a one trick pony. The story is horribly predictable and has serious pace issues, but the gameplay makes up for all that and then some. The ease and fluidity of the sneaking and assassination is nothing short of spot on. The variety maybe more limited then trailers and previews noted but there’s still more than a good mixture of techniques and abilities to keep you entertained. That is if you even choose to kill anyone, you can have just as much fun sneaking your way past guard after guard. For making assassinations into an art form, Corvo, this ones for you.

Worst Game of 2012:
And the Winner is:

Resident Evil 6

I knew this was going to be bad from the word go. I mean Resident Evil 5 was the computer game equivalent of flogging a dead horse, this however is like selling the rotting carcase. Resident Evil 6 (or as I like to think of it, Resident Evil “Just how far can we push this shit”) suffers from bad everything, the plot is even more bonkers than it’s counterparts, instead of the slow paced puzzle solving psychological survival horror of the first games, instead we get a half-baked, bland, boring 3rd person shooter. Leon’s campaign which is said to be more survival horror based is average at best and although at times does looks promising, in the end though it still becomes the same boring shoot-em-up the other 2 campaigns made no attempt to hide from.

Dishonourable Mention:

Dragon’s Dogma

This really did annoy me. Normally this would be the kind of game I would lap up with no hesitation. Broad sword wielding knights fighting dragons and other manor of nasty beasts followed by a stint at the tavern with a tankard of mead and a wench under each arm, sign me up. Capcom however have other ideas. I wish to clarify now that it’s not a bad game, it’s just boring. I never went into it expecting Skyrim v2.0, but I did go into it expecting to have fun. The game was a chore from the start until I decided that I would have more fun playing something else. Also one thing I noticed that I thought worth mentioning, the graphics look like they’re come straight from the PS2, correct me if I’m wrong but I think it’s the only PS3 game on my list to not run in 1080 HD. This would be understandable 3-4 years ago, but these days with HD 4000 on it’s way it’s just not acceptable.

Best Game of 2012:

Honourable Mentions:

The Walking Dead & Spec Ops: The Line

It was close between these two and the game I finally decided to name my game of the year in the end. In the end the deciding factor was the length of the game. I easily finished both of these games in a single day. My winner I’ve been playing for a week already and I still don’t know how far I am from the end. It’s not entirely a bad thing to have a short game. To use an alcohol based metaphor, both of these games are sambuca, enjoyable for the short period but you couldn’t have a lot of the stuff. About the games however, the stories in both are gripping and exciting. The Walking Dead can look a bit tacky at times but the interactive story experience and character progression will help you forget about that.

And the Winner is:

Far Cry 3

And here we are, game of the year. I couldn’t find any faults with Far Cry 3. The story was well paced kept me wanting to play it that little longer, the game play is crisp and fluid, graphically it’s spectacular. It’s not perfect, animals have a tendency to kill you at the worst possible time, they are also built like brick shit houses, I had a tiger survive a grenade in the face. There are a few other minor niggles like the vehicle physics but that’s all they are. A good game, not exactly another Skyrim but it’s the best of the bunch and my game of 2013.
Exciting wasn’t it? but before I go a look ahead at 2013 and at my

Most Anticipated Game of 2013:
Nominees:

Beyond: Two Souls
BioShock Infinite
Grand Theft Auto V
The Last of Us
Watch Dogs

And the Winner is:


The Last of Us

When the first trailers were released at E3 I was hugely impressed by this game. The general idea of trying to survive the end of civilisation in a lawless, uncaring world. It fascinates me. Then learning that it’s being developed by Naughty Dog, I was excited. I don’t think I’ve been this excited about a game release since Heavy Rain, and I was dam excited about that. This doesn’t take merit from any of the other games in that list. I’m anticipating the release of all of them, just The Last of Us more than the others.

Well that’s all from me, I might post a review of a few of these if I can be bothered. So from me and everyone else here (which is still me), Good night.

Best and Worst Games of 2011

I suppose I really should have done this last week but I completely forgot about it before now (now being Sunday 8th at 5pm GMT). 2011 has very much been the year of the sequel. Not alot of original titles being released but I suppose that’s the way of the gaming industry these days. Some big names in the business choosing 2011 to be the year of their series new release. Now lets take an overview of them (btw, if your favourite game isn’t here it’s for one of 2 reasons, 1) I enjoyed it less/more than those mentioned or 2) I didn’t play it). Lets make a start shall we?

3rd Worst Game – Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3


Modern Warfare 3 shows us just how gullible the average gamer can be. Being served the same old shit and calling it sugar. Although the actual game isn’t bad, it’s what the game represents which is why it sits 3rd in this list. The corporate sham that sits atop of the gaming charts because of corporate backhands just so Activision can add another golden toilet to their palace that the unthinking masses paid for. It’s frightening thinking that the same game can be sold many times over with just a new coat of paint and a few minor tweaks  The west is meant to be in a state of economic crisis, although you would never notice given how many copies of Modern Warfare shifted upon it’s release. Come to your senses people!! Modern Warfare isn’t as good as you think it is!!

3rd Best Game – Batman Arkham City



Now I get to talk about someone I like, Batman. It seems every time Rocksteady put their name to something it instantly turns to gold. Arkham Asylum was critically acclaimed and unlike the former mention game, it deserved the credit. It’s dark depiction of everyday life of out caped crusader had everything you wanted from a game, the interesting story, the thick atmosphere, crisp gameplay. Also if my memory doesn’t deceive me, I think it was the first game adaptation of any comic book which was actually any good, one that someone who wasn’t even all that into the Batman comics could pick up, play and still say it was a good game. Now we have the sequel, which tries to take the winning formula of the original and improve it. Although Arkham City doesn’t quite reach the giddy heights of the original it is still to all intents and purposes a good game and worthy of 3rd place. The story may be somewhat lax compared to the original, but it’s still interesting enough to see through to the end and defiantly a game worth picking up, even as I’ve mentioned before if you’re not a big comic geek.

2nd Worst Game – FIFA 2012


Another game that was never going to fair well in my books for all the same reasons Modern Warfare 3 is in my bad books and more. FIFA games have been infecting our consoles since 1993. I remember playing FIFA 1996 on my PSone all those years ago. I had stints on a few FIFA games since then up till about FIFA 2000 then lost track of them until my brother bought FIFA 10, then FIFA 11 and then FIFA 12. To this day I am actually unsure as to what the difference is between the last 3 were. Ok, in fairness Blackpool were only in the Premiership in one of those games I get that much, but past the modernising of Leagues and stuff their isn’t really anything new to add. The problem all FIFA games have is that they are expected to create a game every year to keep their leagues up to date, but with very little that’s new to bring to the table every year means that very little that’s new is added so all anyone can do is tweak and update and hope for the best, which in the end becomes over tweaked and ruined. I remember the game mechanics being alot more controllable and smoother when playing FIFA 98. Also back then you could get actually tackle people, unlike this day and age where you get banned for 8 matches for calling someone black.

2nd Best Game – Portal 2


It’s been 4 years since Portal descended from the heavens and graces us all with it’s presence. Showing us all that Valve weren’t doing what we wanted them to (making Half-Life 3), but we can forgive them for since they gave us Portal. Portal was and still is the most fun I’ve had for £12 ever. It may have been a bit short at maybe 3-4hrs but given that it is at its heart a puzzle game, if it were any longer it wouldn’t have had the same appeal. The gaming mechanics were interesting and to add the icing to the proverbial cake it contained the best use of dark humour in any computer game to date. Now we have Portal 2. Like Arkham City, it may not shine as brightly as Portal but on it’s own it stands up very well. The single player although being more story orientated than fixated on gameplay is still interesting enough to keep you entertained all the way through. True it’s not as puzzle based as the original and does loose it’s charm a little in the single player, it more than makes up for it in the multi-player. Portal showed us how much fun we could have with just a room and 2 portals. Portal 2 in giving us a partner shows us how much more fun it can be when we add another pair of portals, lasers, light platforms, repulsion gel as well as many other weird and wonderful things. A must own. Also I recommend buying the game on the PS3, since you do get a free PC copy with it.

Worst Game of 2011 – Duke Nukem Forever
 


I couldn’t in my right mind give this mark of dishonour to any other game than Duke Nukem Forever. It’s just bad, bad, bad, bad, terrible, rubbish, appalling, dreadful, horrible and bottom line shit. Which is a shame because I love Duke. His quirky one liners and complete disregard for any sexual equality made him cool. Man wanted to be him, women wanted to be with him. That was all well and good back in the 20th century but in this day and age of equality to all races and sexes Duke is just a bit of an embarrassment. It’s like dad dancing. Sure it might have been cool when he was young, now he’s just making a fool of himself. Duke is a relic of years gone by. Duke Nukem Forever is proof of this. For starters the game itself encompasses everything bad about modern First Person shooters. It’s gimmicky, the story flows like a river of bricks and Duke’s snappy one liners now just seem desperate like a child craving attention by breaking his grandma’s porcelain clown just because she wouldn’t let you have any ice cream after dinner… anyway.

Best Game of 2011 – The Elder’s Scroll V: Skyrim


I don’t think I could have possibly given this award to any other game.I must have enjoyed over 100+hrs of gameplay on this game over the past two months, which is a staggering amount of time. Every hour I have enjoyed just as much if not more so than the last. My only complaint about the game is that every 2hrs or so the game will crash to desktop. As annoying as it is. I can’t help but think how many more sleepless nights I would have had if the game hadn’t crashed to desktop at 3am. It is a game of sheer brilliance, beauty and overwhelming enjoyment. If you have to play one game from 2011. Make sure it is this.

Well that was 2011, now we get to look forward to 2012 and what that has to offer us. Some of the bigger titles to grace us through 2012 include Tomb Raider, Hitman Absolution, Final Fantasy XIII-2, Max Payne 3, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, Soul Calibre V, Metal Gear Rising and the one I’m looking forward to most Mass Effect 3. As usual, I’m looking forward to the year ahead but at the same time trying not to get my hopes up too much.