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Giant Bomb's 2012 Game of the Year Awards: Day Four

In today's penultimate array of awards, downloadable games TAKE OVER THE WORLD while big ol' triple-A retail games are saaaaaaad.

Welcome to the quick-and-filthy look at today's awards categories. Sure, we spent time writing that text below, but it's really only here for people who don't have the time or energy to listen to our deliberation podcast or watch the video recap for today's categories. That's not you, is it? OK, go check that stuff out and then swing back by over here if you're looking for a little further explanation about our categories and winners. Deal?

WarioWare Spirit Award

Frobisher Says!

The WarioWare Spirit Award goes to the game that most embodies the things that make WarioWare great: Frantic action, objectives that change so fast that part of the game is figuring out what the hell you're even looking at, and a certain awkward sense of charm. In a year with a WarioWare release, this category would be redundant. But these days (and with no proper WarioWare sequel on the horizon), you're going to have to dig around for games that follow in the fat man's garlic-soaked footsteps. Surprisingly, there were numerous games to choose from.

But no one else captures the true spirit of WarioWare better than Honeyslug's Frobisher Says!, which was launched as a free downloadable game back in October, with some additional paid DLC releasing to expand the game with more microgames. Frobisher meets the WarioWare standard in a few different ways, first by delivering on that frantic gameplay that requires you to be fast on your feet and then by packing in the work of numerous artists who hadn't worked on games before, which lends the proceedings a unique look. But it also pulls off the neat trick that many of the WarioWare games also accomplish: it uses the available hardware in a lot of interesting ways. In the Vita, Frobisher Says! gets to play around on a platform so packed with weird, often-clumsy control options that it can't help but make you respect all that stuff. One game exclusively uses the back touch to move. Another uses the camera to detect if you're smiling or not, with the goal being to smile only at the pretty ladies. It's amazing. And most of it is free, which is perhaps the craziest part of all. If you have a Vita, stop screwing around and go download Frobisher Says! immediately.

Runners-Up: Rhythm Heaven Fever, McPixel

Best Download Game That Makes Us Want to Eliminate Award Categories for Download Games

The Walking Dead

Don't forget about Gomez!

The winds of video game distribution are changing--have been changing for several years, in fact--and we're fairly certain (and if nothing else, hopeful) that with the next generation of consoles, the phrase "downloadable game" will give way to a more appropriate term like, say, "game." The games you obtain through your Internet pipe have become every bit as ambitious, mechanically sound, and narratively engaging as the ones that come in a box. Actually, in many cases, the downloadables surpass the retail games in all of those categories.

No download game resonated more this year than The Walking Dead, which told a damn good story, emphasized meaningful player agency, and hewed to the sort of piecemeal episodic release schedule that got people talking around the water cooler in a way they haven't for a long time. But truly this was the year when we repeatedly took a pause, looked at all the stuff we'd been playing, and were repeatedly shocked and delighted at just how many of our favorites were smaller games in the 10 to 15 dollar range. Mark of the Ninja, with its impeccable stealth-puzzle mechanics, and the lovely retro aesthetic and mind-bending cryptography of Fez were among the best games of the year, nevermind what they cost or how you obtained them.

But the list hardly stops there. Let this category stand as a tribute to all the excellent games that materialized on our PCs and consoles out of thin air this year, including Journey, Hotline Miami, FTL, Rock Band Blitz, Spelunky, Trials Evolution, Dyad, Sound Shapes, Dust: An Elysian Tail, McPixel, and too many others to list here. If this is the caliber of games that results from the modest budgets and ease of release afforded by digital distribution, the future is looking bright indeed.

Runners-up: Mark of the Ninja, Fez

Best Multiplayer

Need for Speed: Most Wanted

Criterion is the studio responsible for some of the most influential multiplayer innovations of this generation. The "Autolog" feature that worked its way into the team's previous Need for Speed game is now everywhere, from shooters to open-world crime simulators. But the crew at Criterion isn't solely focused on reinventing the leaderboard. Need for Speed: Most Wanted is a prime example of how to find ways to play multiplayer that feel inclusive, rather than just developing something that can only be enjoyed if you're willing to devote every last second of your free time to staying good at something.

Most Wanted's multiplayer is competitive even when it's cooperative. You're up against the other racers in your game whether you're jetting over to the next starting point or working together to all reach a specific rooftop. It also makes a lot of exciting moves in the way it handles its racing by eliminating boring old starting grids in favor of something a little wilder... a little meaner. But at the end of the day, it's still about learning how the cars handle and knowing how to bash another racer off the road, things that have a decidedly lower learning curve than most other multiplayer games out there. Tack on a fun leveling system that ties together your progress across all modes and all versions of the game to give you a Call of Duty-like perk system for your cars, and you've got enough little hooks to keep you interested for a good long time.

Now if they could just make it easier to mute all the chatty Russians with always-on microphones in the PC version...

Runners-Up: Spaceteam, Journey

Best Story

The Walking Dead

There are two stories playing out in The Walking Dead: the one you're creating and the one authored by the creators at Telltale Games. The tension between the two reveals the subtle brilliance of The Walking Dead. In terms of the broader story beats, you ultimately have little control over what happens in The Walking Dead, but your influence over who lives, who dies, and how you choose to interact with characters in the most bizarre and upsetting of situations is profound. Though the overall story head to the same point for everyone, how you get there and who you leave behind will be very different, and results in a game pulling off authentic player choice in a way we haven't seen before. Who could have predicted that in the year that gave us Mass Effect 3?

What's remarkable is how little desire you feel to see how else the story could have played out. Even though Telltale Games built in a "rewind" function for that specific purpose, there was no motivation to use it. Your story was the story, and Telltale Games managed to make that stick for five episodes. Still, since you knew the story could play out differently, the first conversation after an episode was "what'd you do when [insert horrible choice]?" The Walking Dead inspired endless discussions about what does and doesn't make sense in most dire of circumstances.

Player choice aside, The Walking Dead is just a damn good story. You come to know the characters on a very personal level, and while the armchair designer in us may realize Clementine is a bit of a crutch for the writers to pull at our heart strings, it makes your relationship with her no less important. Protecting her become vital to survival in The Walking Dead's dreary new world. If we can't raise children and impart our values onto them, what's the point of surviving? By the end of The Walking Dead, that question becomes paramount, and sets up a tear-jerker of a conversation. And this is all without complimenting the game's overlooked but no less impressive portrayal of an African-American lead character, complimented by a child. How many games would even try that, let alone pull it off?

Runners-up: Dust: An Elysian Tail, Papo & Yo

Most Disappointing Game

Assassin's Creed III

First off, let's be clear that, for something to be disappointing, there had to have been expectations of something great, and it hadn't been that long ago that greatness visited the house of Assassin's Creed. Last year's Revelations may have felt rote and unnecessary, dragging out the Ezio story longer than it needed while simultaneously robbing him of his youth, but 2010's Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood was this series at its best, and all signs leading up to the release of Assassin's Creed III seemed incredibly promising.

The exciting and unknown setting of the American Revolution seemed awash in possibility, as did the new protagonist, a half-British/half-Native American character whose lineage had the potential to make him more invested in the coming conflict than his predecessors. New settings and a new hero meant new activities, and what we had seen of the huge naval battles and of Connor traipsing through the treetops hunting game looked good, or at least, looked like a distinct change of pace. On the other side of the Animus, there was also the promise of finally wrapping up Desmond's story, learning the truth about the First Civilization, and bring a stop to the apocalyptic event that all of this has--apparently--been leading up to.

What we got wasn't bad, per se, at least not across the board, but it was hard not to be disappointed. Connor's righteous naïveté paled in comparison to the cocky self-assuredness of Ezio. The lack of verticality provided by the dirt streets of Boston and the other young cities of Colonial America was a trade-off for the tree-filled wilderness that linked them together, but there simply wasn't much to do in that wilderness, and it forfeited the kind of urban exploration that had come to define much of the series. While many of the mysteries surrounding the First Civilization and Desmond's connection to it get resolved, the final resolution was unsatisfying and abrupt. All of these weaknesses are compounded by the fact that, for all of the side-missions you can get up to, the game fails to wrap them up into an interesting, cohesive whole, which is ultimately what makes Assassin's Creed III our most disappointing game of the year.

Runners-up: Mass Effect 3, Resident Evil 6

122 Comments
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Posted by President_Barackbar

@Zor said:

I take issue with the Waking Dead and Journey being in the download category, since both titles had a disc release... They are both great, but I wouldn't consider either to be a valid choice for any download game awards (unless you also consider all the other games that came out digitally and on disc).

I think this is the exact reason why they want to toss that category out.

Posted by ZHabermann

More disappointing then Resident Evil 6? Really?

Really?

Really?

Also I'm so done with hearing about The Walking Dead, yeah I'm sure it's not bad and it has a good story but judging a Heavy Rain-esk, PS2 era looking adventure game as being on par with the games of this generation, like it having a good story is not as important or equal to good gameplay, is an insult and a backstep on what gaming should be...

Posted by BenderUnit22

The Walking Dead did not work for me at all. It was a matter of the game trying to force me to feel something with cheap tricks. Present me with tough decisions all the time and regardless of what I choose, someone is always gonna be pissed at me, which, over time, made me not give a damn anymore.

The story is also too predictable while it goes to show just how dumb of a concept zombies are in general. Like, every ten minutes I kept thinking, "why don't we just wait until the zombies starve, oh right they don't, because laws of physics and biology don't apply." Then the retarded horror movie tropes of these shambling hordes able to creep up on you unnoticed, not hearing you one time, but going ape-shit when you step on a branch. And of course a clumsy cast who is outsmarted numerous times by literally braindead enemies.

And let me not forget how god awful the gameplay can be. The rare adventure parts are fun, but having to cursor over guys to headshot (or really to do anything) is a pain. In true Telltale fashion, the game also doesn't look all that great, although the artstyle somewhat helps compared to their other games with low-poly character models and muddy textures.

This may sound harsh and overall, I think The Walking Dead is a good game, but the negative experiences I felt playing it (not the general feeling bad about having to make hard choices), are too numerous for me.

Edited by HerbieBug

@Droop said:

Man.. GB crew really likes Walking Dead. And Mass Effect 3 on most disappointing and not Hitman: Absolution? Interesting.

I expect much of that has to do with no one on staff being a fan of Hitman series to the degree that they would feel strongly disappointed by what Absolution turned out to be. Whereas Assassin's Creed series is a big deal for at least Ryan and Brad, if not others.

@President_Barackbar said:

@Zor said:

I take issue with the Waking Dead and Journey being in the download category, since both titles had a disc release... They are both great, but I wouldn't consider either to be a valid choice for any download game awards (unless you also consider all the other games that came out digitally and on disc).

I think this is the exact reason why they want to toss that category out.

They could change it to best small budget title. Or maybe best under, say, $25 at launch. Something like that.

Posted by Video_Game_King

I like how two of the most disappointing games are both four stars. (I'd read why AC3 was disappointing, but I don't want to spoil anything for myself should I happen upon it some day.)

Posted by MstrMnyBgs

@ZHabermann said:

More disappointing then Resident Evil 6? Really?

Really?

Really?

Also I'm so done with hearing about The Walking Dead, yeah I'm sure it's not bad and it has a good story but judging a Heavy Rain-esk, PS2 era looking adventure game as being on par with the games of this generation, like it having a good story is not as important or equal to good gameplay, is an insult and a backstep on what gaming should be...

Sounds like you haven't played it. And to try and discredit it because you don't like its art style or think it has "insulting gameplay", I can't help but laugh, both at that ridiculous notion and at you for making it.

Posted by AURON570

Here-here for The Walking Dead! This has been THE game that finally made me change my mind about all these downloadable games. I feel like this is only the beginning! Walking Dead really set the bar high and I'm really interested to see how other studios respond to this success, and how Telltale is going to follow this up.

Posted by NicksCorner

Mass Effect 3 is clearly the disappointment for me. One of my favourite franchises totally pulled the rug under me.

I agree on the rest of the winners and a great year for downloads.

Edited by JoeyRavn

I'm mildly disappointed by the lack of Darksiders II in Most Disappointing Game. ME3, even with its terrible ending and very noticeable flaws, was fun to play. Assassin's Creed III is disappointing, nothing is resolved in a clear, concrete way by the end of the game... but AC is a series that has been running out of steam since AC:B. It shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone. Or, at least, anyone should have expected to be great or terrible in equal parts.

But, man. Darksiders II. It took everything that made the first one so good and turned it upside down. And Vigil included that stupid, pointless loot system that didn't really do anything for the game. Fuck that game. Seriously, fuck that game.

Edit: And, yeah. The Lucy Stillman (Kristen Bell) stuff was "revealed" in some terrible Revelations DLC. It was like an hour of first person platforming, for fuck's sake.

Posted by Hailinel

Don't forget about Gomez?

Fuck Gomez.

Edited by SethPhotopoulos

I almost completely disagree with their most disappointing category. RE6 would've been mine since I expected something that was at least dumb fun but instead was terrible.

I think I'm just good at tempering my expectations. ME3 and AC 3 both exceeded my expectations. After ME2 I thought that there was no way they could satisfyingly end the trilogy and knew that no matter what there would be backlash to whatever they did. I still looked forward to it, all I really wanted was more character interaction and I got that even from the characters I didn't expect it from. I thought the multiplayer would be poor or forgettable and it was really fun, I still play it. I was wary of the new characters but most of them were fine. It had some of the best moments in the series too.

For AC3 I just wanted something better than Revelations (which I still enjoyed.) I also avoided a lot of AC3 stuff so I didn't really know what the game would be like. I was also able to get the game, the pre-order bonuses, and its season pass for $50 all together from gamestop the day after it came out so I had a good deal. I like Connor (though he was nowhere near Ezio's level.) The scenery change was necessary and worked surprisingly well, I had no idea about the naval combat and that blew me away, I didn't care that the side stuff wasn't integrated with the story 'cause I was gonna do all of that anyway, the multiplayer continues to be fantastic, and I thought the idea of jumping through trees Naruto style as a gamestop employee told me sounded terrible but it was pretty fun. The only thing I can say I was disappointed by was that there were too many eavesdropping missions.

I'd say that people's expectations were way too high but I'm only saying that because they weren't my expectations.

Posted by Cloudenvy

@Phatmac: Better not be!

Posted by Veektarius

People here are expressing surprise that ME3 wasn't the most disappointing game, but I'm more surprised that it wasn't Resident Evil 6. I know the Bomb crew aren't the biggest Resident Evil fans on the block... and I guess Jeff is more in my camp of hating it altogether, but both Mass Effect 3 and AC are thriving franchises with some very real bright spots to look forward to with those franchises' futures. Perhaps they'll make good on them and perhaps not, but RE6 was dealing with a franchise that was in its renaissance, following on a pretty well-accepted predecessor, and they just loathed it across the bored. Isn't that the definition of disappointing?

Posted by ScreamingGhost

AC3 as most disappointing eh? While I was disappointed by the games resolution I would have to give ME3 my most disappointing. The game felt rushed with missing holes in the plot with an ending that still leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Still a great end with some major character high points and real emotional pull but looking back on the experience ME3 hasn't stood the test of time.

Posted by 4outof5

Brad ruined GOTY last year and he is doing it again this year. Someone take away this man's writing tools before he destroys this site.

Posted by ScreamingGhost

@Kingpk: I don't feel it was wasted but I agree that the side stuff felt like fluff. I wanted more story about Connor and his relationships (His mother, father, and Achilles) instead we got brief moments that suggested more. I do agree with the ending though but it wasn't unexpected and I've come to the point where I no longer care about the present day story line. Its something that while crucial feels unneeded; it serves only as a frame for the story at this point. Even with its flaws I enjoyed playing it.

Posted by dr_mantas

@forkboy said:

@dr_mantas said:

I can't even believe Mass Effect 3 is a runner up for most disappointing.

Actually, I can, but I totally disagree.

I think ME3 would be in my top 3 most disappointing games for 2012, but that says more about the high expectations I had going in. The game is perfectly fine, but the story doesn't really end in satisfying way, for me at least. And because of how attached I was to the characters & the universe as a whole, ending on a damp squib is disappointing.

Plus something like Resi 6 or Halo 4 weren't games I had any expectations for, so they couldn't disappoint.

The thing is, I don't feel this should be most disappointing ending. The game is fucking solid until pretty much the very end (if I had to pinpoint it, the moment it falls apart is anything after the platform rises to lift Shepard up). I had high expectations, but they were generally met by the game.

Now the problem I had with the ending, is that I didn't want to have such finality to the ending. Sure, they changed the relays exploding in the Extended Cut, but it's still pretty much final. I liked the universe, and I didn't want it to change so drastically.

People would consider it childish, etc., but I don't feel games should be as finalistic as they are. Movies, tv shows have to have a specific ending, because of the cast getting old, the cost, etc, a plethora of different reasons. But games don't have that problem. It can be stories upon stories upon stories. Why do games have to be preset trilogies? You can change the gameplay up, you can have your triumphant ending, but don't make it so final.

If the ending had to be final, I don't really care how they accomplish it. The ending we get is as good as any other. Be it dark energy, space ghosts or some other supposedly different reason for the ending, it's still the same.

The only ending I would have liked better, is one with more possibilities for continuity.

The game before the end is the best thing I played all year. Fucking Mordin, right there, singing at the end. Damn.

Posted by Lelcar

I loved the discussion for todays awards, they were fantastic and polarizing. Even though I never really agree fully with anyone I still love hearing their opinions. But yeah, like most of you, the Most Disappointing deliberations kinda rubbed me the wrong way.

Posted by Beb

I found ME3 to be way, way more disappointing than AC3, but I can see the argument for having it the other way around. It's a pretty subjective category.

If I wasn't such a big Mass Effect fan going in, I wouldn't have cared as much about the missteps in ME3. I was probably disappointed more often by AC3 but in smaller doses. Considering only the good parts of both games, I had more fun with ME3, no question.

Online
Posted by Aaron_G

Not surprised to see AC: III make "Most Disappointing Game". For 2012, this was the game I was looking forward to most. However, once I began playing it I realized this wasn't going to be what I wanted it to be. It was choppy, I didn't feel that Connor was a great protagonist, and overall it just didn't feel like Assassin's Creed....

Posted by Kainser

"meaningful player agency"? The game was OK and all, but really.

Posted by FriskyHeadCrab

@Hawkerace said:

So much Walking dead, bleh I thought it was the disappointment of the year, I bought into everyone's hype and was bored the entirety of it.

Then you have no soul. Or perhaps you don't understand human emotions? Not sure which it is, but clearly there is a lump of coal where your heart should be.

Edited by hollitz

I really enjoyed ME3's multiplayer, but I can just never REALLY enjoy the shooting in Mass Effect. It just feels so sluggish. Movement, as well, in Mass Effect has never felt competent.

AC3 was disappointing, but I still like it well enough. My expectations were maybe too high. Mass Effect 3, there's just nothing that's going to top that for years to come. Mass Effect 2 was just stellar in a way that that style of Bioware game has never been before. Literally everything about 3 was a step backward or laterally. At least with AC3 there were SOME improvements.

Feel like the same thing happened last year with sequels, with Gears 3 being one of the few exceptions.

Brad, I love you to bits, but I think you were really overcompensating for Mass Effect 3. Maybe on the PC it feels fine, but on consoles, it's one of the absolute worst feeling games. Or maybe it's just the animations that are complete garbage. Either way, comparing it to Gears which is, as far as I can tell, one of the only examples of an Unreal engine game feeling good on a console, is kinda nuts.

Posted by zombiesatemycereal

ME3 not even being a runner up for best multiplayer is a bummer.

Online
Posted by Sanj

It is a goddamn crime against humanity that Journey wasn't even in the top 3 of Best Downloadable Game.

Posted by Shaanyboi

Spec Ops not being in the best story category, and instead seeing Papo & Yo there, seems REALLY out of place...

Posted by Regals

@Hurricrane said:

$5 says Brad won out most disappointing through stupid annoying attrition and throwing a fit.

I accept your wager.

Posted by dRUNKENcELTIC

Kind of hope they bring back the "Downloadable" award next year as the sub-$15 category or something. I feel like the smaller games need to be analyzed on their own.

Posted by Quarters

Ironically, RE6 and ME3 are still my neck and neck contenders for Game of the Year. Nothing else has come close(though Walking Dead was fantastic).

Posted by MormonWarrior

@Regals said:

@Hurricrane said:

$5 says Brad won out most disappointing through stupid annoying attrition and throwing a fit.

I accept your wager.

Um...he wanted RE6 to win most disappointing from everything he was saying. I don't get what you mean.

Posted by Regals

@MormonWarrior said:

@Regals said:

@Hurricrane said:

$5 says Brad won out most disappointing through stupid annoying attrition and throwing a fit.

I accept your wager.

Um...he wanted RE6 to win most disappointing from everything he was saying. I don't get what you mean.

I'm saying his prediction is wrong and I want him to pay me $5.

Posted by Blind_Evil

You are my two favorite games press personalities by a long shot and I am never going to stop reading the site, but when games that were given four-star reviews are picked by the reviewers as the most disappointing games, I feel like the reviews or review system need to be reexamined. I understand that "most disappointing" doesn't mean worst, but at the end of the day you're still heartily recommending games one day and calling them terrible disappointments the day after.

Posted by BBQBram

I hadn't played The Walking Dead up until a few days ago, when they released the first episode for free. I promptly realized what I'd been missing! But now I need, need to play the rest of it fast because it will A) be totally great and B) allow me to listen to the goddamn deliberations!

Posted by Cuuniyevo

@Blind_Evil said:

You are my two favorite games press personalities by a long shot and I am never going to stop reading the site, but when games that were given four-star reviews are picked by the reviewers as the most disappointing games, I feel like the reviews or review system need to be reexamined. I understand that "most disappointing" doesn't mean worst, but at the end of the day you're still heartily recommending games one day and calling them terrible disappointments the day after.

The reviews are supposed to be impartial and informative. ME3 and AC3 are very competently made, by all accounts, and have a number of highly entertaining moments throughout, but are not perfect. Some games are 'barely a 4', while some are a 'solid 4' and still others are 'would have been a 5, but this part over here sucked, so I can't give it more than a 4'. People should really read the entire written reviews instead of just looking at the number of stars, if they're actually trying to get a good idea of how much they'll like a game before playing it. If you don't mind heavy spoilers, I highly recommend listening to the podcast that goes with these choices.

Posted by Lurkero

After the many Assassin's Creed games I am of the opinion that the sci-fi side of the story was definitely not worth it. That serious could have been much better plotted if it was just based on the battle between Templars and Assassin's in different regions and time periods. The sci-fi stuff was not needed.

Edited by Blind_Evil

@Cuuniyevo: A lot of assumptions went into your post, sir. I've listened to the podcast and I read 90% of the reviews run here, in full. I stand behind my comment.

I don't even disagree entirely, particularly about Assassin's Creed 3. I found it very disappointing, and because of that I would not have reviewed it so positively. Regarding Mass Effect 3, I like but don't love the series and the finale was about as I expected. But if Jeff feels it was the most disappointing game he played this year, again, a mostly-positive review seems false in retrospect.

Posted by Renachan

And we hit the day where I have the most disagreements with the awards, no way Walking Dead should be on downloadable and I'm happy Brad fought for that even if he didn't change their mind, but I'm more blown away by AC3 winning Most Disappointing.

Yes, ME3 was a great game until the last five minutes of it, yes, the paid dlc has helped fill in some of the holes. But that doesn't change the fact I bothered to preorder Collector's Edition, loved the series dearly as one of my favorite of this console generation, and that ending also lead the to the fact I haven't picked it up since two weeks after the game came out outside trying the Extended Cut. I've been trying to enjoy the series again, Leviathan sounds fun and a DLC I'll enjoy, but I don't really want to give them any money. EC feels like them realizing some plotholes in the ending and using a bandaid when it needed stitches (the stitches that Leviathan more or less gave us), and still doesn't deal with the disconnect between the themes of the rest of the series and that ending.

At the end of the day it feels like it's not my Shepard who makes the choice at the end, like Bioware is too dumb to realize how horrifying the three endings are, them presenting Synthetic as anything but the worst choice icing on the cake.

While I am likely to keep playing AC series, I'm still not sure about ME with how Bioware destroyed the trust I had in them. And while my issues are not all ones the staff faced, they sounded a lot more disappointed about ME3 than AC3, for as annoyed as they got in turn with fans being stupid.

Posted by Cuuniyevo

My apologies if my post seemed condescending; that was not my intent. My point about reading the text was not meant as a "shake my head as I walk away muttering" aside, but rather, as a direct response to you saying GB "heartily recommended" the games in question. I do not believe they did heartily recommend those games. They pointed out flaws that stopped them from reaching 5-star status, but said they had a good time overall. In retrospect, the AC3 review was pretty vague when it came to plot shortcomings, as it focused more on gameplay, but whatever. Having a discussion about someone else's intent while writing a review is probably a waste of everyone's time. Let's just agree that all of the games listed could and probably should have been better. As they noted in the podcast, it's an entirely subjective category, because it depends on how much you were looking forward to the game ahead of time. If I were going to quibble about any part of today's list, it would be Spaceteam being in the top 3 for Multiplayer. My personal choice for multiplayer would have been more along the lines of XCOM.

Anyway, take care, and have a happy new year. =]

Posted by cthomer5000

@President_Barackbar said:

@Zor said:

I take issue with the Waking Dead and Journey being in the download category, since both titles had a disc release... They are both great, but I wouldn't consider either to be a valid choice for any download game awards (unless you also consider all the other games that came out digitally and on disc).

I think this is the exact reason why they want to toss that category out.

I think they only got disc releases because they were becoming large critical successes.

I agree that it's just anothe reason to get rid of the 'download' category though. Not to mention a probably half of their top 10 will be 'downloadables.' It not longer makes sense to have a distinction.

Posted by Pixeldemon

Based on the podcast, Jeff at least understood that ME3 was the most disappointing game of the year. Apparently the other Bombers actually kept playing the AC series after Brotherhood, and even more inexplicably, thought there was a chance it would be good.

Posted by prestonhedges

@FriskyHeadCrab said:

@Hawkerace said:

So much Walking dead, bleh I thought it was the disappointment of the year, I bought into everyone's hype and was bored the entirety of it.

Then you have no soul. Or perhaps you don't understand human emotions? Not sure which it is, but clearly there is a lump of coal where your heart should be.

Maybe he's just bored by bad writing.

Posted by GoodKn1ght

@gladspooky said:

@FriskyHeadCrab said:

@Hawkerace said:

So much Walking dead, bleh I thought it was the disappointment of the year, I bought into everyone's hype and was bored the entirety of it.

Then you have no soul. Or perhaps you don't understand human emotions? Not sure which it is, but clearly there is a lump of coal where your heart should be.

Maybe he's just bored by bad writing.

Or he just has a different opinion than people.....That can happen

Posted by OneManX

I'm guessing expectations were low for RE6 because Brad was straight bummed after that review hit, but I am glad he at least fought for it... as for AC3, I thought COnor's ending was find, in the context of who he is, and the time period was from, but they just too hard on the Desmond stuff and it just turned into mush.

Posted by Roger778

When I first played Mass Effect 3, the original ending confused the heck out of me. It didn't feel complete, and I kept secretly hoping that Bioware would recognize the mistake they made, and either rework the ending or, patch it up somehow. I got my wish when I downloaded the Extended Cut. Everything seemed much more clearer, including the decision you had to make on whether destroying the Reapers, controlling them, or do the Synthesis option. In my opinion, we should have had the extended cut worked into the original version of the game. Regardless, however, Bioware redeemed themselves in my eyes by giving us the Extended Cut.

Assassins Creed 3 however, is the most disappointing game I've played this year. It just wasn't as good as I was hoping it would be. Conner was a true badass and a good leading character, but in my opinion, he wasn't as great or charismatic as Ezio. Also, the game was full of glitches, and the ending was completely unsatisfying. It ended on another cliffhanger, and that didn't go well with me at all. That is why I agree with Giant Bomb's opinion on the game being so disappointing.

Posted by TheHT

On the other side of the Animus, there was also the promise of finally wrapping up Desmond's story, learning the truth about the First Civilization, and bring a stop to the apocalyptic event that all of this has--apparently--been leading up to.

Oof. It really irks me when folks don't pay attention to things and then talk about it like it came out of nowhere.

Posted by SatelliteOfLove

The Walking Dead, which told a damn good story, emphasized meaningful player agency

:P

Posted by Blubba818

There seems to be a recurring theme this year. Last year was year of the skies (Skyward Sword, Skyrim, Skylanders) and this year is year of the bows. Funny how I barely recognize any of the games this year.

Posted by Hawkerace

@GoodKn1ght said:

@gladspooky said:

@FriskyHeadCrab said:

@Hawkerace said:

So much Walking dead, bleh I thought it was the disappointment of the year, I bought into everyone's hype and was bored the entirety of it.

Then you have no soul. Or perhaps you don't understand human emotions? Not sure which it is, but clearly there is a lump of coal where your heart should be.

Maybe he's just bored by bad writing.

Or he just has a different opinion than people.....That can happen

More or less all of the above. It was pretty predictable and excuse me for being cynical - I don't see it as GAME OF THE YEAR material, it is an alright game - if you want to call it that, I felt it was more of an interactive five part movie session, and well who cares what I think, I didn't know this was my website. Wasn't that good, lets move on shall we?

Posted by Fitzgerald

Honestly, I felt that Walking Dead should've been disqualified from the "Download Game" category on the grounds that it was eventually released as a disc game at retail locations.

Edited by Rodin

you know the walking dead is nice and all, but really, Virtue's last reward is the real best story.

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