Game Front’s 2012 Game, Indie & Mod of the Year Nominees
It’s that time of year again: Time to pick the best video gaming had to offer for the previous 12 months.
We’ve been tirelessly pouring over data to determine what we consider the best of the year to be, and have come away with some promising results, we think. This year’s Games of the Year are divided into three categories for maximum simplicity and ease of comparison. We’ve chosen our Top 10 entries in Triple-A, Indie, and Modding categories.
Now, I know what you’re probably saying. “Why are you counting indies in a separate category?” And if you’re confused because you think that indie titles can stand with even the most financially bulging of titles in the industry, then I’ll say that we agree with you. Especially in 2012, there have been quite a few titles we’d consider independent that have done a lot more than many triple-A games, and with a lot less to work with. In fact, there are a few indie titles on our straight “Game of the Year” list to attest to that fact.
The reason for the division is more coverage-driven. With Game Front ramping up its dedication to indie titles, we not only wanted to make sure those games got a bigger amount of spotlight, but also that we were able to focus on more of them. There’s also the consideration that we’re judging them on more even footing, against one another, than against bigger titles with more resources.
We’ll be making our own Game of the Year picks based on these nominations, but you can also let us know what you think on some concurrent Facebook polls. Once the results are in, we’ll post both sets of winners. Hit the polls here for Gane of the Year, here for indies and here for mods.
The Nominees for Game of the Year Are:
The Walking Dead
“It’s also a story about redemption, and about love, and in seeking Clementine, we, and Lee, find both. You should absolutely play it, because, minor weaknesses aside, The Walking Dead may well be the best game of the year. It’s certainly the one with the best story.”
Read our full Walking Dead review
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
“Ultimately, XCOM delivers a truly enjoyable, engaging, and entertaining experience. The tactical combat and strategic components are married seamlessly in a union of fun gameplay, and XCOM’s cinematic flare is worthy of Hollywood.”
Read our full XCOM: Enemy Unknown review
“In every way a gigantic improvement over the original game, Borderlands 2 is bigger, leaner, prettier, and a hell of a lot more fun than it should have the right to be. …Simply put, if Archer, Office Space and Bulletstorm artificially inseminated Fallout, the baby would be Borderlands 2.”
Read our full Borderlands 2 review
“Like the games from which Dishonored draws obvious inspiration and pays homage — games like Deus Ex, Thief, and BioShock — what the developers are really selling here is freedom. The creativity of blazing your own trail through the game is what makes it incredibly fun, and Dishonored delivers this experience in myriad intricate ways.”
Read our full Dishonored review
“The moment where Tribes: Ascend really shines for me is when you find yourself dueling against one or more enemies in mid-air. …The trails left by the various weapons have your brain racing through trajectory and geometry equations, while you worry constantly about which strategy your enemy will employ. It’s this experience that makes Tribes so successful for me, and it’s one that has rarely been duplicated by any game outside this franchise.”
Read our full Tribes: Ascend review
“Sleeping Dogs is packed to the brim with game systems: street races, Rock Band-esque karaoke singing, free running, martial arts combat, fight clubs, cover-based shooting with action-movie maneuvers, gambling on cockfights, and a number of faux-investigative mini-games to triangulate cell phone calls, plant bugs in vents, pick locks, and hack security systems.”
Read our full Sleeping Dogs review
Combining an arresting visual style with a silent tale of exploration and discovery, Journey captivated players around with its beauty, its haunting soundtrack and its fresh take on multiplayer systems that allow players to work together (or ignore each other) without ever speaking. Many players have found Journey to be a deep, spiritual experience, built on simplicity and the bonds of friendship.
Mass Effect 3
“I can say two things with clarity in the moments after I turned off my Xbox: that Mass Effect 3 is a flawed, imperfect game; and that it packed an incredibly high density of moments that I’ll remember among the greatest of any game I’ve ever played.”
Read our full Mass Effect 3 review
Crusader Kinds II
“Each sudden setback and hard-won success deepens the bond between you and your Medieval charges: a handful of portraits and statistics trying to survive in a cold, violent world. If you can survive an awkward introduction and free your imagination, Crusader Kings II will make you part of the family.”
Read our full Crusader Kings II review
“After spending 26 hours with Torchlight 2, it’s clear to me that it was created by veteran ARPG developers that improved upon a tried and tested formula. With the right balance of action, story, and reward, TL2 knows how to keep players engaged and may just serve as the new bar against which ARPGs are measured.”
Read our full Torchlight 2 review