BONES' GAME OF THE YEAR BLOG (DAY ONE)
2012 was a landmark year if those doomsday movies are to be believed. The year marked some great games that change the way we look at the medium, but also had yet another deluge of weak titles that we expected to be better. Much like 2011, the big AAA titles were a bit of a wash in one way or another. But it was smaller games that really brought something new to the table, and we are here to celebrate them.
The soundtrack to Journey from Austin Wintory, is easily one of the best soundtracks to a video game I’ve ever heard. I was actually angry that it wasn’t available for purchase until a week or two after the game came out, and I tend to get my music through…less reputable means. The string orchestra is both relaxing and uplifting. People say that music makes 60% of a film, and the same is true for Journey. I couldn’t imagine loving Journey as much as I would, had the music not been as strong as it is here.
Runner-Ups: Halo 4 by Neil Davidge, Mass Effect 3 by Clint Mansell
Simply put, the story of Spec Ops: The Line through me for a loop several times. And as someone who never finished watching Apocalypse Now, I had no idea how it would go or even end. For the first time there was Modern Military Shooter that wasn't an over-the-top Jingoistic exercise. Now some people aren't going to be blown away by the story, it certainly isn't the first of its kind, since it's based on an actual book that has already had an adaptation. It certainly is worth a play for its story alone.
Runner-Ups: The Walking Dead, Dishonored
The 10 minute long trailer for MGS:GZ left many people aghast at it's breath taking visuals and nonsensical setting that could only come from Kojima's convoluted yet entertaining mind. Why use lazors to cover up helicopter insignia? Cuz nano machines! The visuals and choice of music make this a memorable trailer that may actually be representable of how the actual game will be like. Unlike Dead Island's beautiful yet deceptive trailer of last year. Definitely will be looking for this game when it comes to release day.
Runner-Ups: Dishonored, Mass Effect 3
I can't remember the last time a video game character tug at my heart strings as much as Clementine. The simple feat of making me care about a virtual character as I would a real person is an accomplishment in and of itself. And add that it was a child character is nothing short of a miracle. Child characters in video games have historically been disastrous. Need I remind you of the kids from Heavy Rain? Perhaps it's because Clementine is voiced by an adult, Melissa Hutchison and not once did I notice it was an adult. Clementine is perfectly written, modeled, and voiced. If you need yet one more reason to play The Walking Dead, Clementine is that reason.
Runner-Ups: Vaas (Far Cry 3), Granny Rags (Dishonored)
This year had a lot of heated comments and debates, but none were nearly as ugly, in the public's eye, as the closure of Curt Schilling's company 38 Studios. The lesson to be taken from the whole debacle is to never mix business with politics. There's not a single person involved in this situation whose hands aren't dirty in some way. Schilling was too ambitious, Rhode Island Ex-Governor was too naive, the current governor was too cut throat. The closure went from bad to worse at the flip of the switch.
What is truly horrid about this are the actual employees of the company who got caught unawares of how dire their jobs were hanging. Some employees lost their health insurance just as babies were being born. Some had made mortgage loans only days before the closure. Entire families were moved to a new state hoping for a new life, only to be shot down in an instant. When a game company closes it's not the IPs or the games that are gone or sold, but many people's lives were shattered when the news hit. At the very least many other companies were generous enough to hire some of the employees after the closure. The industry banded together to help them plant a new life and maybe get back on track. Naivety is what ultimately led to the closure of 38 Studios. A lot of people got into a business they didn't know a lot about and weren't prepared for with nothing more than a dream and willpower. Too bad it was all shattered, and it's still not over yet.
Runner-Ups: Zynga Scandal