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.
We’re at the last day of our Game of the Year awards (finally!) and we’re handing out a lot of “Best” awards. The Best Day is our way of capping off a long list of awards with some of the overall best this year had to offer. Aside from Best Character, Story, and Boss Battle you’ll find our Best Downloadable Title, Developer of the Year, and the Overall Game of the Year. Thanks for sticking it out with us, we hope to see many more amazing titles in 2012!
Best Boss Battle
Boss battles are meant to be epic, memorable, and unexpected; and Portal 2’s finale boss was that and more. It’s clear that gamers loved Wheatley. Maybe it was his charm, his sense of humor, or maybe just his good looks, but it was that affection we have for the character that made sending him off to the moon that much harder to bear. Beyond our familiarity with the character, Wheatley’s end wasn’t exactly something we were all expecting. It had seemed as if all hope was lost and the bumbling personality sphere had covered all of his bases, but when the moon hits your eye, like a big, pizza pie…. well you get the idea.
Runner up: Mr. Freeze of Batman: Arkham City
People always say that the best story is the one that makes you stop and think; to think about the morals and implications of what is happening throughout. This is where Portal 2’s story really shines. I’d imagine if PETA were to endorse any game (well, aside from Super Tanooki Skin 2D) the Portal series would be it. How many other games allow you to step into the shoes of a human guinea pig? Portal 2’s story is one many gamers can get behind with invaluable life lessons. The cake is a lie!
Runner up: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Early on in Portal 2, the personality sphere known as Wheatley asks you to plug him into a device so he can help you escape Aperture Laboratories. Once plugged in, he gets “gun-shy”- asking you to turn away so that you don’t see him perform the procedure. And this is just one of many quirky moments he provides over the course of the game. For the first half, he’s a spastic and anxious ball of nerves. He questions everything and is afraid to commit to a decision.
Superbly voiced by Stephen Merchant, he delivers some of gaming’s most hilarious lines as he helps you through the lab on a quest to overtake GLaDOS. Eventually, he gains complete control of the facility, and the result is something completely unexpected.
Wheatley is a deep and well-rounded persona – far deeper than a mere few paragraphs can explain. Playing through Portal 2 is the only way to understand everything about him, and in doing so, you’ll never look at video game characters in the same light. Wheatley transcends the medium, and his place as our 2011 Best Character was never in question.
Runner up: Vincent Brooks of Catherine
Best Downloadable Title
More and more games are being made available exclusively through digital media, providing indie developers a better chance to reach a wide audience. Out of all of the games released this way over the year, none stood higher in our eyes than Bastion.
The game brings together all of the individual aspects that many people base their judgments on (graphics, sound, gameplay, story) and blend them together so fluidly that one could not provide the same effect without the other. The storybook, watercolor-styled graphics would not have the same sense of life without the Stranger’s voice describing the setting, nor would his dynamic narration have quite the same effect without the game’s score to back it up. Gameplay was simple, yet tight and responsive to allow players to feel at home while controlling the Kid.
Bastion didn’t just overshadow other indie titles, it provided a high standard for even blockbusters to measure themselves against.
Runner up: Dungeon Defenders
Developer of the Year
Rookie developers Supergiant Games have come a long way in just a short year. They’ve gone from basement to big-time with their hit release Bastion. It’s not often a studio can achieve such widespread success with their debut title, but they pulled it off with panache. Supergiant Games exemplifies the heart and passion that drives most indie developers and it shows in their creation. They provided gamers everywhere with a fresh idea and engrossing storytelling and artistry and still tickled our penchant for solid gameplay and audio. We couldn’t think of a better group to take home our Developer of the Year award.
Runner up: Rocksteady Studios
Overall Game of the Year
Surprise, surprise; The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim pulls off Game of the Year. Can’t say we didn’t see this coming, after all how could it not win? How many other games this holiday season so effortlessly sucked down 100+ hours of your time? Minecraft? Well maybe, but only on PC. Star Wars: The Old Republic? Too late in the year to get a good run at things. But legions of gamers across multiple consoles went out in droves and picked up this game; the numbers speak for themselves.
Dragons, mining, cooking, crafting; oh and don’t forget the combat and exploration. What didn’t Skyrim have? Bethesda held nothing back this time around and gamers received what will clearly become known as one of the best games of the generation.
Runner up: Portal 2