At Twinstickgaming we are HUGE fans of the Golden Joystick Awards, by and large due to the fact that you, the people can vote for your favourite games. Here at Twinstickgaming we are going to go over some of the major categories and each writer will give you a little insight as to which is their favourite and why. Also we intend to pick who we think, collectively, will actually win each of our selected categories. Obviously don’t be afraid to tell us who you think should win and what you think of our suggestions.
Not sure why Forza Horizon is classed as a newcomer considering the series has a lot of history. Oh well, amongst the contenders there are only 3 here for me that stand a chance Day Z, Walking Dead and The Last of Us. For me The Last of Us is the clear winner. This game is 10 out of 10 across the board. The Last of Us has everything – horror, drama and amazing story telling.
Predictably enough, The Last of Us is the clear the winner for me too. By a country mile. Nothing else comes close to the amazing journey The Last of Us took me on. I thought about it long after the game had ended, I started a second play through quicker than I have with any other game and have been utterly addicted to the multiplayer since I first tried it! It’s already the whole package and well worth the price of entry, but with 3 DLC packs still in the works, the game only stands to somehow get better!?
Only the arrival of GTA V has managed to get The Last of Us disc out of my PS3 – and I’m already getting withdrawal symptoms.
Wow, we had a lot of zombie style survival horror this year. DayZ has got to take this one for me. The Last of Us is a polished and epic tale of survival and human nature, but it holds your hand through out. DayZ kicks you out into its bleak world and leaves you to die. And die you will, a lot, from everything including doorways. Even now, almost a year after its initial release, Dayz is a buggy, glitched mess.
The open ended gameplay is what makes this my Newcomer of the year. The freedom given to the community has helped DayZ evolve to what it is today, a brutal and unforgiving survival shooter. There are no rules, no code of conduct or rules of engagement. Everything and everyone is a threat. Risk and reward play a huge role in DayZ and the unpredictability of other players keep the tense and gameplay fresh, even after a year of play. Bring on the standalone.
In a year in which the best newcomer category has predictable nominees from AAA development houses such as Naughty Dog or Bethesda, it is refreshing to see new I.P from new developers. Hotline Miami and State of Decay are both indie darlings which each display both a fresh approach and an audacity to think big.
Whilst The Last of Us is undoubtedly the critic’s favorite, The Walking Dead delivered a greater sense of emotional engagement in spite of its technical limitations whilst DayZ continues to be a phenomenon. Trying to call this one is difficult but with the public nature of the vote, my money is on DayZ.
This one comes down to personal preference. I really enjoyed Battlefield 3 and think it’s one of the most intense multiplayer experiences out there but I’m going to have to pick Borderlands 2. It may have it’s flaw but I had way too much fun playing this with friends.
This is a category I feel I should boycott entirely due to the horrendous exclusion of The Last of Us: Factions from the category. THAT is my actual pick – as it’s totally the best multi-player game I’ve played. To be fair, I’ve only actually played 4 of the games on the list.
So, now that I’ve mopped up the tea I spat out upon realising Factions had been left off the list, I suppose I’ll have to pick from the 4 I’ve played. Under these, belligerent and trying circumstances (ok, no-one is actually forcing me to choose, but I did agree to share my opinion), I have to plump for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. In the sad empty shell of a life I thought I was living in my pre-Last of us days, I actually really enjoyed Blops 2. Its revamped rewards system and substantially improved multi-player level design kept me frequently coming back for more – especially when I learned all the spots the campers like and ran around the map ‘counter camping’ with the Ghost perk! Ah, I feel all nostalgic!
‘I’m pretty bad at most multiplayer games. Give me a team based multiplayer and I’ll be the medic, or the guy at the back hiding. The Last of Us online was basically just that. Sneaking around, hiding in corners, working as a team. Great fun although a little limited in approach.
Battlefield 3 has got to take this one. In my opinion the best multiplayer FPS available. A strong focus on team work and class specific skills create a multitude of roles to play. The action is intense and constantly evolving. Throw destructible environments and vehicle based combat into the mix and you’ve got an awesome online shooter.’
The staggering omission of MOBA giant’s League of Legends and DOTA 2 from this category notwithstanding, I think the key component of a winning multiplayer nominee is the longevity of its offering.
Even as a Halo nut, I can admit that whilst the addition of Infinity Slayer and Loadouts have taken the focus away from the holding of power weapons, Halo 4’s multiplayer does not quite live up to the high standards of its predecessors. Halo multiplayer lives and dies on its map design and whilst there are some gems in there, Halo 4’s roster doesn’t compare to Halo 3’s sublime offering.
Speaking then, in regards to longevity, Battlefield 3 is the clear winner for me here. In a genre which is dominated by Call of Duty and launch week sales, Battlefield 3 has been able to win fans over with multiplayer that is sharper and is more focused on skill and teamwork than its peers. The continued support of the title by DICE belies a pride and care with the product that a yearly franchise cannot match – if Call of Duty is quantity then Battlefield is quality.
For me it’s the PS3. I think the Playstation Plus offering is exemplary and the PS3 exclusives are unmatched this year – Last of Us, God of War Ascension, Ni No Kuni and the upcoming Beyond Two Souls. Enough said.
You may be sensing something of a theme with me at this point. I promise you I’m not brand loyal whatsoever. I have love, high regard and seething disdain for all of the big 3 (Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo) in equal measure. However, in a ‘what have you done for me lately?’ world, I have to hand it to the Playstation 3. They brought me consistency, wireless controllers I didn’t have to buy batteries for, Wireless connection out of the box, a blu-ray player and a stunning line up of games including, but by no means limited to: The Last of Us…
Steam, without a doubt. Their Greenlight (a feature that allows developer without a publisher to get their games out) division has been a great success allowing many indie and low end games to be seen by a huge number of gamers. Steam sales continue to blow my mind (Deus Ex: Human Revolution for £1.49). New additions like family sharing and the newly announced SteamOS will see Steam make the jump from bedroom to front room.
If this category were to come down to just the home consoles then I would have to say that it has been Sony’s year. The exclusives have been better than those on Microsoft or Nintendo’s machines and Playstation Plus represents the gold standard in value for money online subscriptions.
That said, 2013 has been the year of the 3DS. Following early reports that it was a failure and a bad move on Nintendo’s part, the 3DS has recently overtaken lifetime sales of the Wii in Japan and is the best selling console this year thus far in the UK.
With a string of exclusives such as Animal Crossing, Mario and Luigi and Fire Emblem, Nintendo once again proved that strong software sells consoles. However, it remains to be seen whether they can pull a similar reversal of fortunes with the WiiU.
Putting the consoles in this category seems somewhat unfair although both Xbox One and PS4 will undoubtedly be the most wanted items over Christmas, it will be the games that will help define both consoles. With that in mind I’m probably going to go the other way and pick a game coming to current gen. Batman Arkham Origins. The series has continued to expand and deliver, and I personally have high hopes for this title.
This is a tricky one. There are a number of deserving games here that I feel I really want. New consoles I certainly want equally! However, the game that I most want at this moment in time would probably have to be Watch_Dogs. A new IP from a developer I love is just too tempting to resist. Already the winner of multiple E3 awards, I can’t wait to get my hands on the final build! Also, with it being a cross-generation game (available for Xbox 360 and PS3, upgradable to Xbox One and PS4), it’s as future-proof as any console game can be at this point!
The Division. From the first gameplay video I knew this would be the game I’d be itching to play (after GTA5). I love open world games, I love Tom Clancy games. What more could you ask for. Have you watched the gameplay video?
It seems difficult to imagine now, but back on PS2, Call of Duty was the new kid on the block and Medal of Honor was king. With a slew of new franchises in the making, it is always difficult to pick the next potential breakout hit. That said, if Destiny doesn’t become the next must have hybrid shooter then I will be incredibly surprised. Firmly establishing their ability to make solid, genre defining shooters with the Halo series, Bungie look to be adding depth and greater longevity to their critically and commercially successful formula.
Above all else though, Dark Souls 2 is my most wanted title. The first game became an obsession, and represented a startling look forward to what the medium can accomplish whilst also looking to the lineage of other games in the genre.
With Dark Souls 2 looking set to improve on its predecessors atmosphere, ‘mingleplayer’ and exhilarating juxtaposition of moments of intense frustration and elation, you can keep next gen.
Game of the Year. The big question. This list certainly contains some impressive and fine games. However, for me, it boils down to two. GTA 5 and The Last of Us. Both completely different, both revolutionary, both exceptional. Last of Us took me on an emotional journey that i’ve never experience in gaming before. GTA 5 opened me up to a huge world with such variety. I really don’t want to pick one over the other but my heart lies with Naughty Dog. The Last of Us.
Lots of stunning games I’ve really enjoyed on this list. GTA V is the very best Grand Theft Auto game in one of the best and my most beloved franchises ever. However, The Last of Us just takes it. For me, it’s been the best video-game experience, single and multiplayer, I’ve ever had. Of course, GTA Online is yet to launch and COULD upset the apple cart. As of this moment, The Last of Us holds onto the crown.
How did I know those two would pick The Last of Us. It really was a truly stunning game, for one play through. Hands down Grand Theft Auto 5. It’s this console generations finale salute but its also the best Grand Theft Auto ever made.
I’m not really sure what to say about this game that you haven’t already heard or experienced yourself. Its the open world swan song for this generation. A true sandbox game. A world full of life, detail and water cooler adventures. In the week since its release I have heard countless stories of misadventure, savage revenge and whimsical exploration, but not from the well crafted and brilliantly voiced story. These tales come from the open world, the wild and crazy situations are created by the player. Every other open world game just got kicked in the dick.
It is telling that in a year which has seen a swathe of progressive and universally lauded games, the question of which title is game of the year boils down to just a few front runners. Bioshock Infinite and Walking Dead, both highly regarded for their progressive storytelling are all but forgotten. Tomb Raider and Far Cry both impressed with hard and soft resets to their respective franchises but have fallen into obscurity. With the release of two AAA titles, all of the great games of the last year may very well not have been released at all.
The question of which game released this year is the best is really a question of whether you prefer Grand Theft Auto 5 or The Last of Us. Organic, open world chaos or highly polished but linear storytelling. Choosing my own winner came down a very simple epiphany. I had been playing Grand Theft Auto 5 solidly since release and loving every minute – I had been enveloped by the open world and experienced the exhilaration of chasing a downed plane across the desert and there was still more, lots more, laid out in front of me. Then I looked at the timer – I had played for 30 hours. I had played GTA 5 for roughly three times the amount of time I had played The Last of Us for. And I wasn’t finished yet. Not even close.
Choosing a best game of the year also comes down to what a title brings to our medium unique to say, the film or literature industries. Having the best story or art design is one thing but videogames are chiefly defined by the gameplay and the experience you have when playing the game, rather than discussing the dynamics of storytelling direction. This is where Bioshock Infinite falls down. This is where Grand Theft Auto pips The Last of Us to the post.