And so it is that the greatest accolade in the gaming calendar has been decided by a handful of newbs.
It really has been a fantastic year for games, with pretty much every genre catered for, but at the end of the day there can only really be one ultimate winner. With so many high quality titles available you can understand why the team have spent so long in deliberation. One thing that was quite telling is that this year there were no clear universal favourites among the team, with each person having their own unique list of favourite games.
The nominations for The Newb Review Game of the Year, in no particular order, are as follows:
While Spec Ops The Line may not have won any awards for its gameplay, one thing that it has over all other shooters is its compelling narrative. Loosely based on Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness (also the inspiration for Apocalypse Now), Spec Ops The Line revolves around a small team of elite soldiers sent into a devastated Dubai to recover a senior military figure that has gone AWOL during the chaos. Featuring a plethora of difficult moral choices and a brutal depiction of the steep descent into madness for the protagonists, Spec Ops the Line left a lasting impression on a those that played it.
TellTale’s episodic downloadable series based on Robert Kirkman’s seminal Zombie Comic Book caught a lot of gamers off guard. While the studio had previously been responsible for solid titles, such as Tales of Monkey Island and The Back of the Future games, no one really expected them to create a game quite as good as The Walking Dead. Consisting of five (almost) monthly downloadable episodes, The Walking Dead tells the story of a small group of survivors during the zombie apocalypse and their struggles to stay alive. With gameplay that more resembles a point and click adventure game of old, and a heavy focus on dialogue and difficult decisions, The Walking Dead is easily on of 2012′s best games on any platform.
The latest game from ThatGameCompany (Flow, Flower), Journey is as beautiful to look at as it is a joy to play. Taking the form of a three dimensional platformer, with light puzzle solving elements, the PS3 exclusive downloadable title may be quite short, but it stands up to repeated playing. There really is very little like this stark minimalist game, with a multicoloured barren desert world, whose only objective is to investigate a beacon of light on a far away mountain top. While the whole game is entirely playable cooperatively, there is no formal invite system, meaning that players that play together online are complete strangers that randomly come across each other in the desert.
Mass Effect 3, The Darkness II, Crusader Kings II, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Virtue’s Last Reward and Hotline Miami
Be sure to return in the next few days when we’ll reveal newbreview.com’s ultimate 2012 Game of the Year!