Game Front’s Game of the Year 2012
2. Borderlands 2
Ah, Borderlands 2. It’s being regaled by the adventures of Butt Stallion, or firing flaming bullets from a gun that literally yells “Reloading!” in the most irritating voice possible at you, or hearing psychopaths recite Hamlet before exploding their faces with a sniper rifle. The many facets of Gearbox’s loot-filled open world shooter made it a blast to play through, especially when enlisting the help of three diversely skilled friends.
We were also struck by how beautifully Borderlands 2 manages to marry its irreverent tone with a lot of fun gameplay. The title never takes itself too seriously, which means that it’s an insane romp from front to back, littered with new weapons to find on the road to the Vault. Throw in one of the top villains to grace gaming this year, and the result was a worthy sequel to a well-loved favorite.
1. The Walking Dead
As Ben Richardson remarked this week, The Walking Dead is a game that does a commendable job with an element that many games gloss over or outright fail to deliver: Story. Telltale Games’ licensed title based on the Robert Kirkman comic book series tells a story of survival, hardship, friendship and redemption as few games have ever done before, and it does so with intelligent writing that is really affecting. Finishing The Walking Dead and shedding a tear or two is a common occurrence, and that’s why we loved it this year.
Not only is The Walking Dead emotionally affecting, it’s deeply engaging. The game does an amazing job putting players to moral choices and into bad situations with no easy solution. There are no “wrong” answers in The Walking Dead, and often the options presented to players are equally dismal. With a phenomenal cast of three-dimensional characters to round out the cast, question players’ decisions and demand players’ loyalty, The Walking Dead arrested players and grabbed their attention in a way that no other title did this year. And it did so despite being a member of a thinning genre traditionally billed as relatively unpopular: the adventure game.
The Walking Dead is truly something special, and raised the bar for game stories to a remarkable new height. And that’s why it’s our Game of the Year.
2012 Reader’s Choice Game of the Year
9. Far Cry 3
8. Black Ops 2
7. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
6. Halo 4
5. Assassin’s Creed 3
3. Borderlands 2
2. Walking Dead
1. Tribes: Ascend
Check out the full reader’s choice results on the Game Front Facebook page (and hey, like it while you’re there, whydoncha).