Who takes the title this year?
It’s the thing that keeps you playing even after you beat the single player campaign, it keeps you up at night as you try to rank up just one more level and it connects you with your friends as you go head to head with players around the world. This year, we saw a great line-up of multiplayer games, from familiar faces like Transformers, Halo, Max Payne and Assassin’s Creed to new games like Starhawk and Gotham City Impostors. Regardless of what you prefer in a multiplayer game, 2012 had something great to offer you.
Our winner for the Best Multiplayer Game of 2012 is….
Developer / Publisher: 343 Industries / Microsoft
Review Score: 10/10
Halo is known for having great multiplayer, so 343 Industries had a lot to live up to when they took over the series from Bungie. Fortunately for us, they did an exceptional job of introducing new features, such as Ordnance drops, instant respawns, sprinting and customizable loadouts, while making it still feel like a Halo game at the same time. They also brought back vehicles in a big way, with the Warthog, Ghost, Banshee, Mongoose and Scorpion all returning and the all new Mantis making its debut in the multiplayer. We love vehicles in multiplayer games, particularly the ones in Halo, so after the lack of vehicles in Halo Reach, it was great to be able to get back in the driver’s seat in Halo 4. It’s been one of our favorite multiplayer games since Halo 1 and with what 343 Industries have done with Halo 4, we’re confident that the series is in the right hands.
Starhawk – “All 10 of the huge multiplayer maps allow you to build whatever structure you want, which causes the multiplayer matches to be dynamic, because they play out differently depending on what each player chooses to build. One match could be full of Jetpacks and the next could be all players in Hawks or Razorbacks. It’s never the same and up to the players to decide, not the map. These unique twists to the multiplayer make it feel new again to play an online shooter, and I don’t see people getting tired of this one any time soon.”
Gotham City Impostors – “The real meat of Gotham City Impostors is the multiplayer. As a shooter, Impostors works great and plays smoothly. The weapons are great and I found everything to be balanced in a way that lets you absorb a bit of damage before going down, without making it frustrating to kill someone. It really feels like Monolith put a lot of work into the balancing as the action is always flowing.”
Assassin’s Creed 3 – “I truly preach the virtues of this unique and addictive style of multiplayer gaming that the series has created, every chance I get and Assassin’s Creed 3 delivers once again. Featuring larger maps and a few new team based game types, like king of the hill and wolfpack, Assassin’s Creed multiplayer just keeps getting better and better.”
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron – “Playing Fall of Cybertron against other players is a whole lot of fun. The action is fast, and the ability to change into a vehicle at any point really mixes things up. The classes are balanced almost perfectly and you can still play your role without feeling outweighed by the bigger bots, as long as you know what you’re doing. If you’re tired of military shooters but are still looking for some competition, give Fall of Cybertron a shot. You’ll have fun.”
Max Payne 3 – “Max Payne 3 has a surprisingly deep, unique and fun multiplayer suite. Since this is the first multiplayer offering in the series it would be easy to think that this is just going to be another tacked-on collection of the same old thing but it is much more.”
Award Categories: Best PC Indie, Best Strategy Game, Best Puzzle Game, Best Sports Game, Best Racing Game, Best Co-op Game, Best Multiplayer Game, Best Action Game, Best Story, Best DLC, Best RPG – Stay tuned for more awards all the way up to our Game of the Year.
Editor’s Note: The winning game is picked by the entire staff and not based solely on individual review scores.