Google+

The Preemptive 2012 Game Awards

BEST GAME ABOUT CLIMBING AROUND ON STUFF AND STABBING DUDES: Assassin’s Creed III

Guesstimated Award Probability: 82%

To be fair, we haven’t seen anything yet on the next Assassin’s Creed, and we don’t expect to for a couple months yet. In fact, we’re not even sure it’s going to be called Assassin’s Creed III. But we know it’s going to be awesome, because Ass Creed is always awesome. And even if it stars wet-blanket Desmond, even if it continues the diminishing story returns we saw in Revelations, we can at least rest easy in the knowledge that (so long as Ubisoft doesn’t do something to throw a wrench into the gameplay) running up walls, exploring cities via rooftop and finding creative ways to kill dudes with a Hidden Blade will still be a huge source of murderous fun for hours and hours and hours and hours.
 

Runner-up:Prototype 2

Know what else is fun? Running up the sides of skyscrapers at breakneck speed, then jumping off the roof to hijack a nearby helicopter and crash it into a sidewalk full of civilians before carving up the survivors with your giant blade-arm and absorbing them into your horrifying mutant body. Yeah, we’re a little excited for this one.
 

MOST THOUGHT-PROVOKING, MAN: Papo & Yo

Guesstimated Award Probability: 82%

“Art games,” such as they are, tend to be perceived in one of two ways: they are either Serious Works That Merit Serious Discussion, or they are pretentious dreck. This latter perception exists because art-games uniformly spring from the minds of privileged collegiate types with lots of free time and no experience with real adversity.*

Papo & Yo, by contrast, is the creation of Vander Caballero, a full-time game designer who wants to use the game to communicate his experiences growing up with an unpredictable, drug-addicted father. And while that might sound like the kind of premise that makes joyless, stony-faced intellectuals stroke their pointed beards in approval, Papo & Yo doesn’t lay its misery on thick. Instead, it takes players on an imaginative romp through a South American favela filled with magic graffiti, world-manipulation puzzles and a giant pink rhino who’s your best friend… so long as you can keep him from eating frogs, which turn him monstrous and homicidal.

So yeah, it’s a colorful, fun-looking game aimed at kids. And it’s also about showing the consequences of addiction for a drug user’s loved ones, something no other commercial game has seriously attempted to tackle. And also pink rhinos. Deep, man.

*Research data provided by the Institute of Making Up Inflammatory Overgeneralizations For The Sake of Comedy.
 

Runner-up:The Witness

“Jonathan Blow is a smart man and his games are smart and he’s making The Witness and that means The Witness is a smart game and not just a remake of Myst. The End.”
– Mikel Reparaz, Age 6
 
 
 
 

BEST JUSTIFICATION FOR HAVING BOUGHT MOVE: Bioshock Infinite

Guesstimated Award Probability: 79%

Look, we… we honestly don’t know why you felt you needed to go and buy Move. Was it to get a little more accuracy in first-person shooters? To play light-gun games? Were your kids, like, really into the idea? We hope it was one of those, because otherwise you spent a hundred bucks for the privilege of playing a bunch of underwhelming casual games and the exhausting Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest. But that may change soon, and the game that might change it also happens to be one of the year’s most anticipated.

During Sony’s press conference at E3 last year, Bioshock creator Ken Levine made a rather sheepish confession: while he had originally been pretty down on motion controls in general, he and his team had taken a serious look at Move, and saw a lot of potential in the motion-control wands. Not just for aiming, either; according to Levine, Bioshock Infinite will take advantage of Move in innovative new ways that’ll make sense for both the controller and the game. We’re a little skeptical, but if anyone can pull it off, it’s Levine and Co., so we’re curious to see what they come up with.
 

Runner-up: Sorcery

Even if Bioshock manages to knock it out of the park, Move-wise, you’ll still want more than one game that takes advantage of it, right? Sorcery was one of the first Move games ever shown, and in the time since then, the third-person adventure (which uses Move gestures to cast spells) has looked a little better with each successive (but rare) showing.
 

SLEEPER HIT OF THE YEAR: Journey

Guesstimated Award Probability: 82%

Sony hasn’t put a whole lot of marketing behind this one. And why should it, when game journalists everywhere have been tripping over each other for more than a year to tell you how great it is? Of course, we’ve got excellent reasons for cheering this one: the product of the same minds that brought us Flower and Flow,  it’s an innovative, beautiful and surprisingly relaxing platformer that tasks players with finding floating scarves and exploring a huge, desert landscape on their way to a distant, shining mountaintop.

It’s unlike anything else on the market, and seemingly everyone who’s played it has come away impressed, so we can see word of mouth (and not just ours) gradually making this one huge.
 

Runner-up: Prey 2

The original Prey was fun, and we really like the idea of being a fish-out-of-water human bounty hunter, and of tracking down hapless alien thugs in an open-world sci-fi city we can explore through free-running and assorted space gadgets. However, the first Prey came and went without really leaving much of a dent in the collective gamer psyche – and even if it had, this one doesn’t look to have a whole lot in common with it – so we’re guessing name recognition won’t be enough to sell this one. Hopefully, that means it’ll make it on quality alone.

We Recommend By ZergNet

65 comments

  • TheGuy0526 - February 8, 2012 12:33 p.m.

    I'm curious to see how Prey 2 holds up. I like the looks of it, but we'll see how much attention it gets with Mass Effect 3 on the way.
  • charlie_ruskiy - February 7, 2012 8:13 p.m.

    Am I the only who thinks Metal Gear Rising may very well repeat the successor of its predecessor and become GotY? At least thats what I hope will happen. :]
  • RyoonZ - February 6, 2012 3:32 p.m.

    Where's FF XIII-2? Most hated game in 2012 even people haven't played it and judge it in my country at least.
  • Darkhawk - February 6, 2012 9:24 a.m.

    :( I bought my PS3 for Last Guardian. If I don't get a proper hit soon, I'll have to cave and just buy the SotC HD upgrade to fill the void.
  • farsided - February 4, 2012 10:52 p.m.

    Thanks for the complete absence of Guild Wars 2 from the list /s. What's the matter? Didn't get into the press beta or something?
  • Lando81 - February 5, 2012 2:07 p.m.

    lol. You see that guys? Guild Wars 2 fanboys DO exist!
  • GR HollanderCooper - February 6, 2012 5:54 p.m.

    It was in the top 20 of our most anticipated games, but I guess we hate it?
  • farsided - February 6, 2012 9:54 p.m.

    Seeing as it was voted second only to Diablo 3 in GT's most anticipated game of the year, and has been voted as the most anticipated MMO of the year on a slew of sites, yes, I am surprised that once again, it received no attention from GR. Your coverage for the past year has been absurdly sparse, despite the massive number of innovations they've been introducing, and I'm frankly disappointed. You may not hate it, but you have ignored it heavily. My question still stands: did you not get into the press beta- which would result in an even further lack of coverage when they lift the NDA come the 20th? @Lando go back to your shitty wow clone. Maybe you'll eventually recognize that dropping a couple hundred mil for pointless voiceovers isn't a real progression of the genre, but until then, shut the fuck up when grown folks is talking.
  • TheGuy0526 - February 8, 2012 12:11 p.m.

    With a big MMO like The Old Republic just recently released, i'm not surprised its not on the list. I know i'm not all that excited about GW2. Resident Evil 6 and Mass Effect 3 on the other hand..
  • ObliqueZombie - February 8, 2012 5:44 p.m.

    Dude, you need to chill the fuck out. I realize you've probably been playing WoW since "Vanilla ages," but that doesn't give you a right to ignorantly--and wrongly--call a game a "WoW clone," a game which is probably SWTOR, and a game Lando never mentioned. So there goes a pretentious assumption. And I'm not saying Guild Wars is shallow, but, it's shallow. It's free, yeah, but that doesn't hold up to limited content and a level-20 cap. However, while I, and GamesRadar, have seen how different and how spectacular Guild Wars 2 is probably going to be, you can't just be an asshole and shove your opinions as facts down people's throat. And if you PLAYED SWTOR, which I'm sure you haven't (Beta doesn't count as playing), you'd realize that we're not such a shallow crowd. We care about the story and character progressions and writing and voice acting. We also realize how stable, if slightly un-innovative, the gameplay may be, but dammit, it works, and the it's all about WHAT is happened, rather than HOW it is happening. I'll shoot lighting out of my finger tips and scream at my enemies with pure Force energy before I become an elf and shoot arrows again.
  • MrBlister23 - February 4, 2012 9:30 p.m.

    Why is the Illuminati sign doing on the trophies and next to the title? Some suspicious mojo is going on around here...
  • k1DBLITZ - February 5, 2012 1:40 p.m.

    That is precisely what I was thinking. Also, the other day the advertisement for Dirt Showdown had an inverted pentagram on it.
  • LiaraLoveSlave - February 4, 2012 6:57 p.m.

    "hour-devourers" I like what you did there. Entertaining as always, Mikel.
  • NightCrawler_358 - February 4, 2012 6:43 p.m.

    So many great games this year, it's 2011 all over again! I'll probably sink alot of time into Borderlands 2, and I really don't know much about it, but Prey 2 looks so cool! (cool,cool,cool) I wish somehow Twisted Metal could've been squeezed into an entry. (most murderous clown...?)
  • amaro57 - February 4, 2012 5:56 p.m.

    We need Asura's Wrath as a contender for over-the-top action. :3
  • Yeager1122 - February 4, 2012 5:54 p.m.

    I never played any of the other Devil May Cry's before but the new one looks awsome who cares what the character looks like its the gameplay that matters.
  • FauxFurry - February 4, 2012 5:11 p.m.

    Kingdoms of Amalur doesn't get a preemptive nod for Deadliest Time Murderer? I guess that's one thing that it speculatively won't do better or as well as Skyrim.
  • Gibsonsg527 - February 4, 2012 3:54 p.m.

    Im almost certain that GTA V will come out this year.
  • winner2 - February 4, 2012 3:15 p.m.

    Agreed with the GOTY guess, infinite looks bat-shit crazy awesome
  • Spybreak8 - February 4, 2012 12:50 p.m.

    Best new IP: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Best Game for the Money: Guild Wars 2

Showing 1-20 of 65 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000

OR…

Connect with Facebook

Log in using Facebook to share comments, games, status update and other activity easily with your Facebook feed.