The world awaits with bated breath as we at MMGaming have been considering the various awards we would like to hand out at this years MGA (MMGaming Gaming Awards): the more prestigious version of the VGA. All across the globe the big game companies are staring at their browsers, just waiting to see if their game will be forever immortalized in our hearts and minds.
Joking aside though, it is indeed time for us to look back at 2012 and consider what the highlights, and possible low-lights (if that is indeed a word), of the year were! Now while we do put a fair amount of thought into the various awards (even those we include only as a way of amusing both you and ourselves) when it comes to the bigger and more serious things the MMGamers have an unfortunate tendency to not agree on who ought to be winning. That’s why that in the following, very prestigious, very formal and serious award ceremony (done via a post on the internet) some of the awards might have input from more than one of us, explaining why THIS particular game should win THIS particular award. Naturally you should be listening to me here and not the others, of course…
Anyway, without any further ado I hereby welcome you to the MMGaming Game Awards!
MMGaming’s Game of the Year
Seb: I spent more than my fair share of time trying to figure out which game I would award this to. In my mind there were several contenders for the Got, because there has indeed been some excellent games released this year. Eventually I did manage to whittle my thoughts down to two games and that in itself was surprisingly difficult and then finally, after even more careful deliberation I made my decision. My Game of the Year for 2012 is: Mass Effect 3. This was a decision I actually made even before the release of the game (so sue me if that’s not professional). I love the series and everything about it so it ought to have been a no-brainier. In my eyes this game was nearly flawless: the story, the characters, the gameplay, the multiplayer, the music, everything coalesced into one of the best gaming experiences (and indeed best stories) of my life and I don’t regret any of the 70 odd hours I poured into the game. The only reason this was NOT a no-brainier was that the ending itself (when the game was supposed to be the end of a trilogy) was absolutely awful, and so the game sort of failed at the final hurdle, failing to accomplish the task it was originally designed for. For all of that though, I don’t regret the rest of my time in the game. Indeed it is worth saying that it is best to try and not let a brief 5 minute sequence poison the rest of 30 hours of excellence.
Nick: I rarely get to play games in the same year that they are released due to financial constraints, but for the first time in a long time, I decided to purchase a $60 game this year. I had been hearing so much about it and after spending 1700+ hours in its predecessor, I was ready for Guild Wars 2 to come out. It was my game of the year in many ways just because it was the game that sucked up the most of my time this year so far. It certainly wasn’t the game that banished the generic ‘MMO tropes’ of the generation as it was supposed to, but it was a fun game with much to do and continuing content updates. I will say that this game is quite fun if you’re looking for another MMO, and the world is quite fleshed out in terms of lore and storyline as well, with books leading up to it… and many story missions which are designed to move your personal storyline forward! It was a great game and though I’ve had to move on for the time being to catch up on some other gaming backlog, I look forward to more updates in the future from Arena.Net.
Tim: My game of the year is… XCOM: Enemy Unknown! I have always been able to get on well with turn based strategy games but XCOM managed to blow me away with its slick graphic style, intense combat and overall feel. The naming of individual soldiers and rapid turn-over of said soldiers resulted in an emotional roller-coaster of deaths and successes which has been rare from recent games and almost unheard of for TBS. A few bugs aside there is little to complain about. All I can say is that I want more! Give me more chance to save the world from the alien hoards without just ramping up the difficulty to unfair levels.
MMGaming’s Runner Up Game of the Year
Seb: Like I said above even narrowing down my choice to the two games for my Runner Up GotY and GotY itself wasn’t easy. It was a tough choice but I did succeed in deciding that my Runner Up for the Game of the Year was Assassin’s Creed 3! Assassin’s Creed has always had a special place in my heart so, as I said in my review, perhaps my opinion is slightly jaded and biased but I do feel that it is an absolutely fantastic game. Improving on everything that we liked about the previous games and bringing in the new with all the flair and excellence I normally expect from Ubisoft. I will add a slight addendum to this though, while I loved the exciting and amusing gameplay, the rather fantastic graphics and the story (for the most part), I do worry that Ubisoft will now bring out an Assassin’s Creed 3.1 much as they did with Ezio. And I really hope they don’t… I’d either hope for a different ancestor or maybe… Just maybe… A whole different series.
I’d like to preface my personal Best Shooter of 2012 with the fact that I have yet to even play Far Cry 3 which I am led to understand is absolutely amazing. That aside, my favourite shooter from the last year is: Dishonored from Arkane Studios. Despite the incorrect spelling of the word “dishonoured” the game is an absolutely fantastic game. What it lacks in length it more than made up for in fantastic graphical style and awesome Assassination gameplay. Full of magic and sneaking and general mayhem (but only if you want it) I do think that the game easily deserves recognition of some form (sorry Halo).
One of the games which I had to think very long and hard about excluding from the Game of the Year (or being the Runner Up) is The Walking Dead by Telltale Games. It is an absolutely awesome game in it’s own right and well worth every moment I spent playing it. Where I believe it really shines though is it’s interactive story and decision making, each decision seems to have a surprisingly large effect on the way the game plays out and I can’t remember ever having played, read or watched anything which left me feeling as emotional as this did.
As always there have been a large number of really cool and graphically impressive trailers for a variety of games this year. This award goes to the the trailer which I personally approved of the most, regardless of whether the game was released this year or not. My personal favourite trailer was the absolutely awesome announcement trailer for Borderlands 2. First off for the excellent choice of music, the really cool graphical style and the fact that it didn’t take itself too seriously as so many trailers do… (Close runners up include the Assassin’s Creed 3 trailer and the Dishonoured trailer).
Best Character and Voice Actor
A lot of excellent characters this year, voiced by a number of excellent actors and voice actors. Easy possibilities for this award include the emotional and impressive work of Dave Fennoy for Lee Everett in The Walking Dead and the increasingly excellent voice of Jen Taylor as Cortana in Halo 4 both of which were incredibly believable performances. However, I would personally give this award to Dameon Clarke for his outstanding work as Handsome Jack in Borderlands 2. As a character Handsome Jack is both incredibly evil and totally amusing and Dameon Clarke pulls him off with great success.
Every now and again in the video game industry comes along a game, a style of gameplay, perhaps even just a new graphical technique (last year it was the sudden appearance of Indie Game Bundles all across the internet). Well this year the video game genre of horror has seen a sudden new trend for jump-scares and mythological “Weeping-Angel” type creatures. Suddenly all across the internet people are posting (literally hundreds, maybe thousands) reaction videos of themselves playing Slender: The Eight Pages by Parsec Productions. The game has since spawned dozens of games with a similar gameplay premise and the whole genre of horror is receiving so much more attention from developers and fans alike.
The New Minecraft Award
Every now and again there is a new game, often indie or made by a smaller company, which often starts out obscure but then suddenly bursts into popularity in a big way. Last year Dean “Rocket” Hall developed a mod for ArmA 2 (a complex and realistic military simulator) in which a zombie apocalypse has occurred, Since it’s release the popularity of the indie mod DayZ has absolutely sky-rocketed with, according to the website, 1.5 million players as of the 12th of January. Forget small and indie, those numbers would be impressive on ANY big triple A title.
Halo 4 performed a double-whammy in earning this award this year. Not only was Cortana far more believable than she has been in every previous Halo but she seems more human, more emotional and more intense. In fact, this might have been a deliberate transition from the slightly inhuman and robotic Cortana of Combat Evolved as the AI slowly degrades into Rampancy and also develops a relationship with Master Chief. Of course, it’s not just her personality which has been changing. Judging by the photo below it seems that something else about Cortana has been undergoing “characterisation” in fact I’d say that there has been REALLY BIG “characterisation” in ONE particular area…
The “Gamers aren’t really people” Award for those who pissed us off
There have been several cock-ups this year which have really irritated gamers around the world. Companies like EA Games and 2K Software including day 1 DLC in games like Mass Effect 3 and Borderlands 2 is something nobody was overly pleased with and frustrated a good many gamers, ourselves among them. Honestly though, these things pale in comparison when one has a look at one of the most ridiculous stories from the end of last year.
The War Z, a game by Hammerpoint Interactive (and actually something I did voice interest in at one point) was supposed to be a massive free-world zombie survivor game along the lines of DayZ with an unfortunately similar name but far more features and possibilities. What it turned out to be was an awful DayZ clone which lied about and falsely advertised it’s content, mistreated it’s players and essentially acted horribly. I won’t go into great detail about it when you could check out articles here or here. Suffice to say, it was so absolutely ridiculous I felt the need to make up an award for just how bad it was!
The “Looking-good-bro” Award for something we are looking forward to
There are two things which I believe deserve an honourable mention in this category. First up, just in case anyone had forgotten, we are all looking forward to playing the new HD Remake of the Stanley Parable (one of MMGaming’s favourite little games) which will hopefully be appearing on Steam (thanks to Greenlight) at some point this year! Woo! Stanley!
The other thing which I’m going to mention just because the gameplay trailers look absolutely insane is Bioshock Infinite…
All the little People
As last year I feel that we should express our gratitude to a number of different people. First of all EVERYONE at MMGaming wants to say a massive thank you to all those developers which saw their way clear to giving us codes for various games throughout the year. Being poor students we can’t buy every game we want and this way we have been able to get our hands on so many more great games than would otherwise have been possible. So, as always, thank you so much. You know who you are!
And, again as always, we would like to thank those of you who read our articles or watch our videos. Admittedly we do MMGaming for our own enjoyment and amusement but at the end of the day it always feels better if there appears to be anyone watching or reading them, so thank you to those few of you out there!
So, really that’s all that remains of the good year 2012! The only thing left to say now is GG 2012, GL HF 2013!