GameZone's Game of the Year Awards Day 3: Genre Awards
With technical awards and specialty awards now out of the way, it's time to give out awards for each genre.
Best MMO: Star Wars: The Old Republic
The Old Republic has just come out, but we have collectively already amassed hundreds of hours in the game, and we can fully say in confidence, this is one of the best MMO's we've ever played, to date. Being Star Wars, it does bring out the inner geek in all of us, who have grown up loving it, but the fact remains that Bioware really made an extremely streamlined MMO. Full voice overs, epic story quests, fun PVP modes, impressive instances and raids, going down either the light or dark path, and exhilarating space battles (sure they're on rails, but still super fun). There is so much to say about why SWTOR is the best MMO, but we'll make sure to cover all of that in our review.
Runner up: RIFT
Best Fighter: Mortal Kombat
Mortal Kombat had a great revival. NetherRealm Studios did away with silly 3D fighting that plagued many of the Mortal Kombat games before, and brought it back to 2D, yet still retaining the absolute brutality that the series is known for. All of our favorite characters returned and looked better than ever. The story mode was easily one of best in a fighting game to date, since it essentially played out like a movie, and put you in control of each combatant when the situation called for it. The game's brutal X-Ray attacks that literally displayed each of your opponents bones being broken, and the devastating Fatalities we're always an absolute blast to pull off and watch. This is both a Mortal Kombat and fighting game fans' dream come true.
Runner up: Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Best Driving Game: Forza 4
When Forza first took to the streets against Gran Turismo, it proved that there was indeed room for two racing sims. As time went on, Forza gradually got better. The game's did make strides to appeal car fans of all ages and Forza 4 delivers on all fronts. Even if you weren't fully versed in cars, you could still pick up the game and have a blast. Of course sim purists can play the game as hardcore as they want as well. To say Forza 4 is a love letter to car enthusiasts everywhere wouldn't even give it justice. Not only can you drive hundreds of different cars, but the included Auto Vista will let you inspect 24 various cars inside and out. It's absolutely brimming with content, and will have you racing to your hearts content.
Runner up: DiRT 3
Best First Person Shooter: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
We awarded Battlefield 3 Best Multiplayer because it advanced the online aspects in ways that the CoD series hasn't. However, when looking at the big picture, Modern Warfare 3 is a much better all around package. Of course no one bought the game for the single player story, but that isn't to say that it wasn't fantastic and far better than Battlefield 3's. Amazing set pieces that the CoD games are known for are all there, and twists and turns around every corner ensure that you're constantly interested in what's happening. The multiplayer is exactly what you'd expect. It's still extremely fun, though it hasn't changed much from past iterations. It seems that the "If it's not broke, don't fix it" mentality is still prevalent here. This is one FPS game that's sure to keep both your consoles and PC busy for a while.
Runner up: Battlefield 3
Best Sports: FIFA 12
While not the most popular sport in the US, the popularity of FIFA is absolutely undeniable. FIFA 12 not only has one of the most realistic graphics in a sports game to date, but also one of the best physics. One glance at a FIFA 12 match, and you might actually confuse it with a televised match.
Runner up: NBA 2K12
Best RPG: Skyrim
I've already stated that you don't play Skyrim, you live it, so then it should come as no surprise that it is not only one of the best RPG's this year, it is also the meatiest. Saying you can lose a hundred hours and still not see everything the game has to offer is the absolute truth. The game's massive size, customizable characters, tons of loot, epic dragon slaying, dragon shouting, and more make this the RPG of the year. Bugs you say? Sure, but at this point, bugs are almost an endearing part of the Elder Scrolls series. If it wasn't for bugs, stuff like this wouldn't happen.
Runner up: Dark Souls
Best Action/Adventure: Dark Souls
Dark Souls is scary. It hates you, wants to murder you, and when you're dead, wants to dance all over your mangled body with shoes that have pointy nails glued to the bottom. Did I scare you off yet? If you can overcome the crazy difficulty, this is one of the most intensely satisfying games of this year. With not much of a story to go off of, except for wanting to reclaim your soul back, you'll be traversing many dangerous locales that house beasts which can easily kill you in one hit. The satisfaction is overcoming these obstacles after failing them the first 10 times.
Runner up: Uncharted 3
Best Strategy: Total War: Shogun 2
2011 didn't see a ton of strategy games, and most definitely not many good ones. That is why Total War: Shogun 2 easily stood out among the rest. The game looks absolutely gorgeous even when zoomed in close to watch as your units take on enemy samurai soldiers. Everything about the game is improved. There are some great multiplayer and co-op modes, and even a separate progression for your avatar online. The enemy AI is also much improved from previous Total War games making victory a thing to work for. If you're a strategy lover, you owe it to yourself to pick this game up.
Runner up: From Dust
Best Rhythm/Music: Dance Central 2
Rock Band might have just been dethroned as the king of party games. While they required some sort of knowledge of plastic peripherals and rhythm, Dance Central is something that any one can hop into and actually be good. Dance Central 2 brings the series to an even better level with the ability for two people to dance together at the same time. With a great selection of songs, as well as some great break it down modes to teach the moves that aren't as easy to master.
Runner up: Patapon 3
Best Platformer: Super Mario 3D Land
Rayman Origins might have been a pretty stellar platformer, but Super Mario 3D Land really took the cake. Not only did it help 3DS sales, it combined elements that gamers love from the 2D mario games, but placed it in a 3D environment. It's not the same structure as Super Mario 64 was, instead a linear level progression on a world map is present much like Super Mario Galaxy 2. These levels are all extremely creative, and not to mention challenging. It is one of the only games that benefit from having the 3D turned on to get the most out of all the platforming this game has to offer.
Runner up: Rayman Origins
Best Puzzle: Portal 2
GLaDOS is a diabolical mastermind that lives to put you through portal testing. She isn't however the main problem this time around. You'll really get your brain working as you make it through what seems like decades worth of Aperture Science tests, which also incorporate the use of gels. Now you'll not only have to figure out which way to shoot your portal, but where each of these different colored gels must be placed as well. It's never to the point of pulling your hair out of frustration and rage quitting, but there is enough challenge to rack your brain for a bit.
Runner up: Catherine
Best Shoot-em-up/Top Down Shooter: Jamestown
This little indie title completely stole our hearts when it was released on Steam. It was an extremely fun top down shooter. But why Jamestown you ask? Well because it takes place in an alternate 17th century where the British colony is contested by the Spanish.....and aliens! Yes! This all takes place on mars. Besides the setting, the game is absolute blast to play, with 4 different ships to choose from, each with different bullet patterns, and unlockable scenarios to ensure you'll be blasting aliens away again and again.
Runner up: Radiant Silvergun
Best Kinect Game: Child of Eden
There aren't a ton of Kinect games, nor are there a ton of really good ones. Child of Eden is the spiritual successor to REZ, which combines both music elements and shooter elements into one completely unique experience. The game does allow to play with controller, but it's so completely intuitive and immersive when using your hands to lock on multiple targets and send off musically infused missiles.
Runner up: Gunstringer