It’s the end of the year and that moment we’ve all been waiting for: the Game of the Year category winners. At Press2Reset, as you’ve surely noticed by now, we’ve tried to keep things a little quirky and outside the box by giving everyone something to vote on that isn’t really the standard console and genre awards. While we do have those as well, we wanted to try something new and fresh and we hope you’ve enjoyed voting for the categories thus far.
As with last week’s nominations, each day for the next six days we will be providing a theme along with awards for the winners that have been voted on by you, the readers. Along with each theme we will also announce our genre and console awards that were voted on in-house.
No, it’s not those kinds of friends with benefits, but instead a look to the experience we receive when we play with others. Both competitive and co-operative gameplay are making a big impact on how gamers interact with one another and that deserves recognition. Beyond that, it’s also a time to reflect on the in-game platonic relationships of characters. As far as genre and console awards go, we have Action/Adventure Game of the Year (adventuring with friends is so much better), Platformer of the Year (everyone could use a helping hand in some of those levels), and PS3 Game of the Year (friends don’t let friends play bad games).
Best Co-operative Multiplayer
When Valve first announced Portal 2, gamers knew they were in for the wonderful solo experience of solving GLaDOS’ tests. Surprisingly, we soon discovered that we’d be able to team up with a partner for even more testing. Questions of whether or not this would be something good for the Portal series arose but once people got their hands on it, any doubts were quickly wiped out.
If you enjoyed the campaign’s puzzle designs, the co-op mode only improved on them. Having two players each with their own portal gun only added to the craziness of what you could do, and Valve didn’t pull any punches. Working with a partner requires planning and precise timing, and Portal 2 even added little on-screen timers and signals to help coordinate those efforts regardless of connection quality. Of course, playing this mode will test how well you work with others. It has even been said that playing the game’s co-op with a significant other could make or break your relationship, depending on how it all works out. It’s a true test of problem-solving, teamwork, and communication, and the feeling from each successful solution is glorious – all of which combine to make Portal 2 our Best Co-Op experience of 2011.
Runner up (three-way tie): Gears of War 3, Dungeon Defenders, Star Wars: The Old Republic
Best Competitive Multiplayer
Battlefield has always been about teamwork; its what sets it apart from the competition. If you’re going to last long enough on the battlefield you’ll need to find a good squad and work together. It’s this focus that makes it one of the best competitive shooters on the market. With large maps and injections of strategy-based warfare, gamers everywhere are logging millions of hours in the Battlefield servers to rack up those kills.
At the end of the day gamers are still drawn back into the fray. After all who else is going to collect those dog tags?
Runner up: Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Most Memorable Bromance/BFFs
Some were cheering for Drake and Elena (and who wouldn’t everyone wants to see the guy get the girl), but we all know who the real star couple of Uncharted 3 was: Nathan Drake and Victor “Sully” Sullivan. From the witty back and forth conversations the two would have while trekking through long lost civilizations to the heart-string pulling realization that without Sully there may have never been Drake.
In between the edge of your seat action Drake and Sully will have you laughing at one moment while they bicker like an old couple and bring you to the verge of tears the next during a heartfelt exchange; it’s clear who the real winners are.
Runner up: Batman and Joker of Batman: Arkham City
Action/Adventure Game of the Year
Action. Adventure. Batman. These three words are synonymous with each other, and Batman: Arkham City only proved this statement. You want action? Get into a battle with 14 thugs. Watch closely as the Dark Knight pummels every one of them into unconsciousness with pristine efficiency. Want adventure? Control Batman as he runs into all of his old criminal buddies and attempts to simultaneously complete his objectives. While it shares the prize for Press2Reset’s Best Action/Adventure game with another title, Batman: Arkham City captures everything we want from these kind of games and then some.
But as mentioned, Arkham City isn’t the only winner here. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception encompasses the Action/Adventure genre with a style all its own. From brawls in burning buildings to firefights in the desert, Nathan Drake will keep the player engaged for hours. And when he’s not in combat, Drake puts the movie Cliffhanger to shame with death-defying leaps, nail-biting climbs, and, well, cliffhanging moments.
Fans couldn’t decide which they enjoyed more, so Batman: Arkham City and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception both take home the Action/Adventure Game of the Year award.
Runner up: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Platformer of the Year
Back near the beginning of 2011, Sackboy rejoined the PS3 ranks with his third title (second on the PS3), LittleBigPlanet 2. With him came a number of updates and improvements over the original as well as over 3 million user-created levels from the first title. Therein lies the beauty of LittleBigPlanet. Players can freely create levels for others to play in and some spend hours upon hours doing. Levels are lovingly crafted to reference pop culture or just represent someone’s randomly imagined world.
LittleBigPlanet 2′s platforming levels are intensely unique, just like those that build them, and certainly wins our Platformer of the Year award.
Runner up: Rayman Origins
PS3 Game of the Year
Naughty Dog definitely seem to have mastered their craft when it comes to the Uncharted series. Stunning visuals, a winning cast of voice actors, and a deeply engaging storyline are only a few of the things that Drake’s Deception can boast about. The third-person shooter elements are nicely complemented by the in-depth exploration of the company’s immersive level design. Beyond the single player experience, players are again rewarded with the multiplayer matches that first appeared in Uncharted 2. Having spent some time to tweak, modify, and update the gameplay, it’s back stronger than ever.
Nathan Drake’s story again captivated audiences around the world with the thrill of discovery and for that, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is awarded our PS3 Game of the Year award.
Runner up: InFamous 2