Tech News on G4
G4 Canada's 2013 Game of the Year Awards: Best of the Best
Jan 31, 2014
By Daniel Barron, John Powell, Alexander Cattani - G4 Canada
Last week, we celebrated the achievements of each individual console. This week, there are no limits or confines as we announce the awards in all of the mainstream categories. Congratulations to all!
Game of the Year
John Powell: Juggling four storylines and its immense scope, nothing in my mind comes close to surpassing what RockStar accomplished with Grand Theft Auto V this year. The amount of work and imagination that went into this one title truly boggles the mind. With so many ways to play, so many things to do and great variety of missions, side quests; GTA V was the total package. The gameplay freedom on display was truly magnificent from start to finish. The re-imagining of Tomb Raider hit all the right notes and took the series to a brilliant new starting point.
Daniel Barron: After seemingly coasting for a few years, the Assassin's Creed series came back with a vengeance in Black Flag. The story was more concise, the combat felt a little tighter, and everything involving pirates was just awesome. The game was packed with stuff to do, and it simply never got boring. A masterpiece on the open waters.
Alex Cattani: 2013 proved to be a consistent year throughout. My Game of the Year pick didn't come easy. As I narrowed down my favorites, I settled on The Last of Us vs. BioShock: Infinite. I adored the story, writing and characters in both, but only the gameplay in one. Running through wave after wave of baddies in Columbia eventually grew tiresome. The gameplay in The Last of Us actually allowed me to have options when it came to progressing through the story, whereas Infinite felt like an tedious shooting gallery most of the time. With that said, both titles are remarkable achievements for gaming and are sure to be remembered for years to come.
John Powell: Infinite was heads and shoulders above the rest. Not only did it have fantastic action like the other releases in the series but everything from the sights, sounds were astonishing. If I had to complain about something, it would be that the storyline wore out its welcome.
Daniel Barron: One of the deepest shooters to come out in years, even if it didn't seem like it at first blush. Though it only included five levels, the fight to the top of the worldwide leaderboards was the real draw to get people back and playing over and over again. Rock-solid controls and superb particle effects made this the must-have shooter for 2013.
Best Racing Game
Alex Cattani: Grid 2 successfully blurred the lines between arcade racing and a simulation-focused experience. The end result was an accessible racer with decent depth. Now, if only it had a cockpit view…
Best Action/Adventure Game
Daniel Barron: Black Flag had it all - stealth, naval combat, heart-pounding chases, and full-on shootouts. This was the very definition of the word "adventure."
Alex Cattani: Dante in the new Devil May Cry may look different and spew and uncomfortable amount of cringe worthy lines. But when it comes to demon slaying time, he's at the top of his class. I remember pulling off outrageous eighty hit combos in the game and having my hands pulse afterwards. If hacking and slashing isn't your cup of tea, Assassin's Creed 4 is a great alternative for a more relaxed action experience.
Best Role-Playing Game
Daniel Barron: In a year full of superb 3DS titles, Awakening stood above all else with its mix of excellent characters, deep strategy, and compelling story. It's everything an RPG could love and a whole lot more.
Alex Cattani: Once you get going, Soul Sacrifice is hard to put down. It's relentlessly challenging no doubt, but will not have you quitting in a fit of rage. Instead, you will be left wanting to rethink your strategy and have another shot.
Best Puzzle Game
John Powell: Not enough can be said about A Tale of Two Sons. As I stated in my review, it takes real creativity to take things we are all familiar with and transform them into something new and different. Two Sons is an innovative experience that really pushes the boundaries of imagination and technology.
Daniel Barron: Vastly overlooked, Minis on the Move offered a lot of good stuff in a small package. It shook up the Minis formula somewhat, without completely forgetting about its roots.
John Powell: Mario cannot be touched here and yes, I put Two Sons in two categories simply because it is both a platformer and a puzzle game which deserves praise and recognition in both genres. So there. J
Daniel Barron: Was there ever any doubt? Even at their worst, Mario games are usually a lot of fun. The fact that 3D World is a superb game even by Mario standards proves all comers never had a hope of touching it.
Alex Cattani: Mario's a legend when it comes to platforming. Many will step up, but few will be able to hold a candle to this mustached man.
John Powell: RockStar successfully kept four balls in the air and although jumping back was a little distracting at times, each story and its fine details really brought the character(s) and the importance of the overall plot home to us, the players. GTA V is not only excellent from a developer's point of view but a storyteller's as well.
Alex Cattani: Once again, The Last of Us gets my vote. What really sealed the deal for me was the bravery Naughty Dog displayed in writing the conclusion of the game. It was unexpected but fit gracefully. If a mind- blowing ending is what you're looking for, turn you attention to BioShock: Infinite. I'm still not totally sure if I know what happened at the end of Booker Dewitt's Journey. But I know I liked it.
Most Underrated Game
Alex Cattani: The Puppeteer underperformed in terms of sales, but that doesn't mean it was a poor game. Its lighthearted story was a great contrast to the violent scenarios seen in other games this year. It's a shame it was swept under the rug, as many gamers didn't have it on their radars.
Best Kids Game
John Powell: Lego does it again improving the DC Heroes formula creating the ultimate Lego title which narrowly beat out Disney Infinity which brought all of our favourite characters to life and also allowed kids to let their imaginations free.
Alex Cattani: If Disney Infinity existed when I was ten, I don't think I'd be able to handle the excitement. Borrowing heavily from the Sky Landers series, Disney Infinity makes the formula even better by adding Iconic characters and settings.
Best New Character
John Powell: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I know Laura Croft is a familiar face but the way she was portrayed in the re-imagined Tomb Raider was a Laura Croft we have never seen before. Loved playing conflicted family man Michael De Santa in GTA V and the mystique surrounding BioShock's Elizabeth was totally captivating.
Alex Cattani: At first, Trevor was a little too insane for me. In short, he made Vaas from Farcry 3 look like Mario. But as I progressed through GTA 5, I found myself looking forward to the next time I encountered him. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that hiding behind that physcopathic shell of his is a sensitive man who may just need a hug.
John Powell: Once it was off and running, GTA V's multiplayer scored high marks for being such a guilty pleasure. If you ignore Infestation mode, Ghosts scored high marks as did Dota 2.
John Powell: My Worst list this year is chock full of titles that just don't work. Dark stole badly from every stealth game imaginable and even then still couldn't get anything to work properly. WWE 2K13 was a clustercrap of a wrestling game that decided to throw all of the familiar wrestling game rules right out the window. Imagine a wrestling game where ongoing damage is not calculated properly. Imagine a wrestling game where working your way up to your finishing move is considered passé. Imagine a wrestling game where the hit detection is horrendous, your foes will gain finishing moves without laying a finger on you, where the commentary is buggy, the referee continually gets in your way, where you have to meet ludicrous match goals which in turn increases your chances of losing said bout, where in order to progress in the campaign mode you have to edit the opposing characters strengths and weaknesses just to have a fighting chance. NBA Live 14? Busted. Busted. Busted.
Alex Cattani: 2013 was a fantastic year, but that doesn't mean that we were spared from having to slog through some real flops. Hands down the winner (or loser) of the year is Aliens: Colonial Marines. From laughably bad A.I. to muddy graphics to one of the worst endings in recent memory…. Aliens: Colonial Marines is the perfect blueprint for what not to do when developing a game.
About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.