For only the second time in my life, I’m making a pick for the Game of the Year. Huzzah!
Last year, I picked the ‘Tomb Raider’ reboot for this highest of honors. I originally played ‘Tomb Raider’ on the PC, and have since bought and played it on the PS4. I love that game, and I’m more than a little disappointed at the exclusivity deal they’ve hatched with Microsoft for the next one, ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider.’ But hey, that’s business.
This year, I played a lot of games. Between new releases and my Backlog Sundays, I’ve easily played more games in 2014 than in any year since I was probably eighteen. In other words, it’s been a good year.
2014 saw quite a few big releases. Here’s a few, and why they’re not my pick for Game of the Year:
- ‘Destiny’ – I played the pre-alpha, then the alpha, then the beta. Obviously, the game wasn’t finished, but I could see that it had potential. Then it came out, I paid $60 for it, and it still didn’t feel finished.
- ‘Watch Dogs’ – I didn’t like this one very much when it first came out. Just more of the same stuff we’d already seen. It eventually grew on me, and I even bought the Season Pass.
- ‘Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’ – Fun, but frustrating. I died a lot. It’s very much a ‘Call of Duty’ game, just with more gadgets. And Kevin Spacey.
- ‘Far Cry 4’ – This will be on a lot of folks’ Game of the Year lists. But not mine. Almost, but not quite. It really is a lot like ‘Far Cry 3,’ which, as I’ve said, is not really a bad thing. But there’s a definite lack of innovation with this one.
I’ve got a couple of honorable mentions before I get to the main event.
First, Season Two of ‘The Walking Dead.’ It is extraordinarily good. Its release actually spanned 2013 and 2014, but I played the whole thing this year, over five consecutive days.
Second, ‘Murdered: Soul Suspect.’ This one deserved a bigger audience. It’s a short game, which is the only reason it doesn’t get the Top Honor. Sucks the studio that made it closed. Videogames is an ugly, ugly industry.
And now, the 2014 RoyKClaflin.Wordpress.Com Game of the Year:
‘Alien: Isolation.’ Everything about this game is exceptional. The presentation, the sound design, the music, the gameplay. It’s really something special. The developers, The Creative Assembly, have built a world that is incredibly detailed and atmospheric. And the game is genuinely scary. It’s got a few rough edges, but it’s definitely the sort of Alien game I’ve always wanted. And in terms of sheer enjoyment, ‘Alien: Isolation’ is the best thing to come out all year.
Same time next year? Maybe by then I’ll have a better domain name.