You’ll laugh, you’ll cry.
Games that are fun, and addictive, are all well and good but when these elements are accompanied by a compelling narrative, and great characters, you end up with a game that you just can’t put down. In 2012, action seemed to be the selling point for most games, but there were a few that had underlying stories that really grabbed us. Emotion, suspense and tough decisions were all in abundance this year but one game stood out above the rest.
The winner of Best Story of 2012 is…
The Walking Dead
Developer / Publisher: Telltale Games / Telltale Games
Review Score: 9/10
Telltale’s episodic adventure game based on the popular entertainment franchise, The Walking Dead, succeeded by staying true to the themes that make the books and TV show so popular. This particular story tugs at your heart, uplifts your spirit and makes you hunger for vengeance all in the span of the couple of hours you’ll spend on each episode. While the story masterfully mixes tension, triumph and desperation, the real standout here is Clementine. Children are usually portrayed, in video games, as helpless annoyances but Clementine was written as a real person, with her own feelings and problems, and was a character you could really get attached to. The Walking Dead shows us all that story telling is alive and well in the video game scene.
Spec Ops: The Line – “Yager are going for a more personal story than you find in many military shooters, and they do succeed in that. Rather than glorifying war, as most war games do, this story focuses on the horrors of war and the terrible things it can make good men do and that is a nice change of pace.”
Binary Domain – “Binary Domain is an ambitious project that delivers a fantastic story in the form of a good third-person shooter. The robots are some of the most memorable enemies in any game, from the way they react to damage, to the tactics they use, to their lack of retreating footsteps, they are one of the best opposing forces in any game. While its multiplayer modes don’t bring anything new to the table they are extensive, so if Binary Domain ends up as your online game of choice you’ll have plenty to do. Binary Domain has some work to do yet, but I hope this is the start of a great new franchise.”
Max Payne 3 – “Max Payne 3 builds on the things that made the previous games great. Long past the point where most shooter campaigns have gone stale, you’ll still be telling your friends about that time you took out eleven guys in one Bullet Time sequence. Max still likes to narrate his life with depressing, cheesy one-liners but these are secondary to a gritty, well told story. There are a few minor technical issues but Rockstar delivers an extensive and engrossing game with Max Payne 3. No one will be disappointed with this one.”
Halo 4 – “We all expected 343 Industries to make a decent Halo game, when they took the reins, but that isn’t what they did. Instead, they made a fantastic game that advances the series in just about every way. Halo 4 is the best looking, best sounding, and most intense Halo game to date. The folks at 343 could have played it safe when making their first game but they didn’t, and it paid off. Halo 4 is a brand new game, with brand new features, that I somehow still feel right at home playing, from the moment I picked up the controller.”
The Darkness 2 – “Digital Extremes have taken the Darkness out of mediocrity and given it new life on the top shelf with a fantastic new art style, a great story that will surprise you, and what might be the best combat system of the year, or at least the most fun. On top of all that, they added in a fun cooperative campaign that pieces together events from the main story that you didn’t get to see before, and a great way to play with your friends. If you liked the original Darkness, then you will love The Darkness 2 or if you did play it but didn’t care for it, then I think The Darkness 2 is worth giving it another shot, I think you’ll change your mind.”
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.