It’s time for the All Around Gaming Hub Game of the Year awards, everyone! Fashionably late as always we going to rattle off the best games reviewed this year. Unfortunately two games have slipped in too late for these awards – Dishonored and Assassins Creed III – so they won’t be counted this year. With that in mind let’s see who took home our title as our favorite in 2012. As usual, we’re only rating games that have gone through the All Around Gaming Hub review mill this calendar year.
Most Disappointing Game – MLB 2K12
Do I really need to elaborate on why this game was such a disappointment? Actually, yes. Many people didn’t even give MLB 2K12 a thought. Baseball fans either abandoned the sport this year (on PC and Xbox 360) or jumped ship to the superior MLB 12: The Show (on PS3) leaving one to wonder why I would consider this game as having any expectations at all. The truth is that MLB 2K12 earned this award for not trying. 2K Sports didn’t just fail to live up to their own meager expectations for this title, they didn’t even give an effort. Considering how well NBA 2K12 came out makes this is an even larger disappointment.
Most Unique Game – FTL: Faster than Light
I first played this in 2011 as a demo and was impressed then. FTL wouldn’t have been out of place in the late ‘90s/early 2000s, in the same era as Fallout Tactics and the Commandos series. It’s focus on luck and randomness can be a turn off to skill-focused gamers but it stands out as a harkening back to an early age of PC gaming where ‘push X to win’ wasn’t the norm.
Game of the Year #5 – Planetside 2
The more I play Planetside 2 the more I’m reminded of the original Startsiege: Tribes, which – when you consider the following that game had and still has – isn’t a bad thing. I think Sony has dropped the ball a little as far as their proposed metagame goes but as a shooter, it’s a triumph. I’m still playing it regularly.
Game of the Year #4 – Borderlands 2
I hate Claptrap, but I love Borderlands 2. There’s always the lure of another great gun over the next hill to keep you going when or if the characters and story fail to compel you. It’s always a little magical when you get your first AI weapon, and not even a dubstepping trash can is able to turn me away from that.
Game of the Year #3 – Diablo III
It rolled out with one of the roughest launches I’ve seen from a game with such a prolonged beta period but when you did get to play it, Diablo III was great fun. I personally don’t play it anymore but while I was enchanted with it I loved fighting off the hordes of Hell as my Witch Doctor.
Game of the Year #2 – Guild Wars 2
I have had enough MMOs, thank you, and World of WarCraft is largely to blame. Spending over a thousand hours in Azeroth over the last few years has simply given me MMO burnout. Guild Wars 2 though, is still fun to play. It does for World of WarCraft what World of WarCraft did to EverQuest – it reimagines everything that wasn’t fun and streamlines the process so much that you hardly even notice yourself questing. No leveling grind? Now that’s a nice change.
Game of the Year #1 – Mass Effect 3
I don’t even want to hear from the fanboys who clamor that they didn’t get the ending they wanted from ME3. It drives me crazy that people got so riled up over the ending of a game that they insisted that the Bioware change the ending to make it more ‘palatable.’ What gets lost is that Mass Effect 3 was a great game. The ability to play it your way by changing the level of story vs. action was genius and the characters are up to your typical Bioware standard. I enjoyed the previous two titles but ME3 is the high water mark for me, as well as our 2012 Game of the Year.