Vissari’s Game Of The Year Awards 2015
Somehow we’re here already, the last couple months of gaming in particular have seemingly flown by with a number of high profile releases, that almost seemed to eclipse the monumental ones we got earlier in the year. Now this is the first time I’ve never formally written out awards so bear with me a bit, it’s going to get a bit messy.
BEST GRAPHICS – ART DIRECTION
Star Wars: Battlefront
The main reason why there are two categories I’m doing for graphics, is because there’s two games that really deserve it, however they deserve it for decidedly different reasons, which can make it a bit difficult. DICE is well known at its point for having great artists behind their games, always crafting amazing sound design and meticulous detail in their environments, characters, weapons and vehicles. Star Wars: Battlefront, while lacking overall in nearly every category, excels in its presentation, Star Wars has simply never looked this good. This game may loose its charms relatively quickly, but the first few hours with this game absolutely sucks you into the Star Wars universe with its presentation, and despite falling flat as a game, should be recognized as an artistic achievement.
BEST GRAPHICS – TECHNICAL LEVEL
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
NVIDIA may get a ton of flak for forcing their Gameworks on seemingly everything nowadays, but every now and then there’s a game that really feels like it’s taking full advantage of the tools it’s being given. CD Project RED took spectacular advantage of their Hairworks engine that saw its early days on the Tomb Raider reboot. However, it’s not just on the main character’s hair now, it can be enabled on everything. This particularly brings the wildlife in the game alive, watching fur coats gracefully flowing in the wind. Lighting and weather systems really bring this Welsh inspired country to life, and even watching the characters have conversations with each other, looks miles ahead of most games we’ve seen this year. Granted, you have to have a great PC to really crank up the options all of the way, along with making a couple of graphics tweaks in .ini files. However, if there’s one game you use this year to really show off what your new rig can do, make it The Witcher 3.
Over the last several years, there has been a fairly descent push for quality releases on PC, we’ve gotten games that years ago we never would’ve dreamed of seeing. More developers are opting for advanced options in their video configurations, and for the most part, this has resulted in some great releases over the last several years, with the PC modding community picking up some of the slack. Then Arkham Knight came out, and was broken. I don’t even mean Bethesda game broken, for some, it was Big Rigs: Over The Road Racing broken. Terrible stutter, horrible frame rates, locked at 30fps, glitches. The game was pulled from stores and given several months to clean up its port. Then, upon release just over a month ago, many issues still remain. While the worst problems have been resolved, many still struggle to get good framerates, SLI support has been completely dropped, and Warner Bros offered a refund.
The Beginners Guide
Is this game for you? Probably not, in fact I would have trouble recommending this game to most people, and not just because there’s minimal game play and is only a few hours long. If anything, it’s more of an interactive diary. The Beginners Guide, is a game for game developers, it’s a game for musicians, actors, photographers, graphic designers, filmmakers. It’s a game for the creative folk, and what it’s like to work in the creative world from the perspective of both the developer, and the consumer. It’s tough to convey to someone who doesn’t work in a creative industry the reason why this game is so special, but for those that do work in it, it touches the soul.
Within 24 hours of Rocket League’s launch, news of its incredibly addictive multiplayer had spread like wildfire. Now I’m not a soccer fan, so simply hearing that a game was based on soccer game play wasn’t a sell for me. Nor was it a sell for the dozens of people I talked to after I sent myself from channel to channel talking about how addictive the game was. But sure enough, many of us have put dozens of hours into this easy to learn yet hard to master soccer game. That’s the strength that Rocket League’s core concept has, an ability for non-soccer players to pick up a soccer game and absolutely love it. Developer Psyonix has continued it’s support since release, releasing aesthetic options as paid DLC, but also releasing free maps, game modes, and mutators to give the game some variety and more options.
BEST SINGLEPLAYER & GAME OF THE YEAR
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Bear with me for a second. When I talked to people about this article earlier, I had mentioned that I wanted to give the Singleplayer award to the second place SP game, since GOTY was going to the first place game. However, since TW3 came out in March, and Fallout 4 (second place) was very fresh in my mind, I decided to go back to The Witcher 3 and see if it still felt fresh, if it could be compared to Fallout 4. It couldn’t, The Witcher 3 feels like it trampled over everything else that came out this year. Nothing comes close.
Nearly every weak point I’ve had with Fallout 4; the lack of memorable characters, good side quests, writing that was better but still not great, was done ten times better in TW3, I really can’t further convey to people that this is simply a game that needs to be experienced. It’s the type of game that can be taught in college classes as a case of exemplary game design. And yet, despite not just myself but numerous publications singing this games praises as the best game this year, it still feels like it’s underplayed, as in I really don’t know enough people that have played it or the games preceding it.
Play it. Play TW3. Do it god damnit.
BONUS: ImJonABoat’s GOTY
*for the record, the game is $.99 on Steam, take that for what it’s worth.
BONUS 2: GAME I SHOULD’VE PLAYED FOR CONSIDERATION BUT DIDN’T
- After skipping last year, we now have Battlefie...
- I remember where I was when Kylo Ren died. The ...
- Somehow we’re here already, the last coup...
- And here we are, the Star Wars hype train...
- It’s been years since we last stepped foo...