Check Out The Escapist Award Nominations for the Best Games of 2013

Check Out The Escapist Award Nominations for the Best Games of 2013

The nominees for categories like Best Shooter and Best RPG of 2013 might surprise you.

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Well, let me looks over and see what I think deserves an award.
This is what comments is for after all! :D

Shooter!

Metro: Last Light.

- Better gameplay then the first.
- Great atmosphere.
- Awesome for lovers of the book.
- Interesting plot.
- Survival of the fittest.

RPG~!

Fire Emblem: Awakening.

- Made me a fan instantly.
- Great team system.
- Romance had a great effect!
- Damn good characters.
- Good plot.

Honorable mentions: Pokemon X/Y. (Looks amazing~)

ACTION-ADVENTURE

Grand Theft Auto V
- Three protagonists.
- A large fun area.
- Great characters.
- Everything we wanted. (Except a few minor things and Online)

Honorable Mentions -
Saints Row 4 (Fun, fun and fun)
Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag (Arr, although could have more assassins)

ADVENCHA!

The Wolf Among Us.
- More investigation.
- Great theme and topic.
- Pacing great so far.

Those are my choices if I could vote or choose what would win. ^_^
(Didn't know to put a spoiler around this to make it smaller, but I can change it.)

Things that I can safely say will not/should not win:

Call of Duty for best shooter
Rome II for best strategy
Amnesia a Machine for Pigs(it's more of an adventure game really)/Slender The Arrival

Everything else is free reign, but if those games win then it will certainly be a surprise.

I think the best RPG category shows how horribly stretched that genre has become. If you were to see three people side-by-side with one playing Fire Emblem Awakening, one playing Pokemon X, and one playing Path of Exile you would have no clue they were all playing games in the same genre unless you had advance knowledge.

Compare to the shooter genre where all include the player firing a variety of guns at enemies in real time while moving around the area in order to progress, RPG has just become a general catchall for "We didn't know where else to put this."

The name means even less - I know quite a few players of Path and enjoy it quite a bit myself, and none of us role-play. Most people don't care about the story even if they read the quest prompts because that isn't why people play ARPGs.

Admittedly, best Strategy game isn't much better - Heart of the Swarm and Europa IV are totally different games and even if they both require strategy, it's on entirely different levels. It probably makes more since to compare Enemy Within and Rome II than it does to compare Enemy Within and say Grand Theft Auto V, but it's still not a very close comparison.

Looking through it, I suppose I just find that there are several game genres that are basically meaningless. I mean, why bother defining RPG as a genre if the label is meaningless? If I can't learn anything about the game from the genre, the use of genre has failed to do its job.

Shooter: Metro: Last Light
Sure Bioshock Infinite was pretty and had an extremely well designed world, but when you're up against other shooters, the shooters are clearly going to win. Metro really does pretty much everything Infinite wanted to do in terms of having an interesting and gripping world/story, except it was actually a good shooter too.

Platformer: Rayman Legends
A pure platformer that doesn't really mess around with the formula too much. It just hits the right spot on all fronts.

RPG: Fire Emblem: Awakening
I wish I could vote for Shadowrun here, but it just didn't quite live up to my hopes for it. FE doesn't really do anything too new for the series, but it does everything it does do extremely well.

Strategy: XCOM: Enemy Within
I'm not a strategy fan, but I really enjoy X-Com. I think that says a lot.

Action: Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag
Brought new life and maybe a little new hope to the series. Certainly not perfect, but none of the nominees are.

Adventure: Gone Home
An amazing game from start to finish. Not a lot of flash, but it gets right to the heart with excellent design and a story that I'd imagine will touch a large number of people. Sure it's not "a game" but the minimal interaction you have in Gone Home is tuned just right to put you in the heart of the experience.

Horror: Sorry, none of the nominees. Gone Home wins this one too.
From the moment you start the game, there's an odd mixture of feeling like you both belong in the house and don't belong in the house. It's unsettling and, as you learn more about the house and it's past and present residents, that feeling only grows. You're on edge throughout the whole game just waiting for some typical videogame boogie man to emerge. It's horror by subversion of expectations and easily trumps any chase scene or lazy jump scare.

I'll go through the list and vote properly when I have a bit more time. At present, the only real opinion I have to add is that I feel like Shin Megami Tensei IV got the snub in the RPG department. I loved FE:A and Pokemon, but they weren't even in the same league.

Wow no Dota 2 in the vote. Poor decision making right there :p.

shooter:
from what I've seen Bioshock Infinite. The rails are a cool addition.

RPG:
Path of Exile, though it is pretty grindy like all HnS and many RPGs, it implemented the grinding part well

Strategy:
Dota 2, the other titles don't come close although Europa Universalis has an intersting touch like most historic games from Paradox

Action Adventure:
TLoU, just bad that it is console exclusive

Adventure:
hard call, Stanley Parable is awesome, Paper's Please was also kind of unique. I'll go with the Parable.

Horror:
don't know

So I'm guessing the Action-Adventure and Adventure categories are actually "we liked these games but we didn't know where to place them" categories?

Shooter: Bioshock Infinite because everything else is bad actually I hear Last Light was decent, everything else was shit though.

Platformer: I haven't played any of them but I'm guessing Mario because Mario.

RPG: Again I haven't played any of them, but I'm guessing either Path of Exile or Pokeymans.

Strategy: DOTA 2 is the objectively correct answer, nominees be damned.

Action-Adventure: I'd say either Last of Us or Black Flag

Adventure: Papers, Please wins easily. The Wolf Among Us may turn out to be better, but it's only on one episode so I can't in good faith call it a 2013 game. The Stanley Parable is also a valid pick I suppose.

Horror: Slender and the new Amnesia are poop. State of Decay wasn't really a horror game in my opinion, so that leaves Outlast which I didn't like that much anyways.

Alright let's do this then!

Best Shooter

Bioshock Infinite. I know a lot of people criticize its gameplay but I loved it. I love shooters that have crazy, over the top and hectic action. Infinite had that in spades. Add that to absolutely stunning visuals, a beautiful setting in Columbia, a strange yet thrilling story and some amazing characters (Elizabeth <3) and you have one of the best games I have ever played. My only criticism of it is that it didn't last long enough.

Best Platformer

Uh... I don't think I've played a platformer this year. Moving on!

Best RPG

Persona 4 Golden. It came out in 2013 in Australia so it counts damn it! I've sunk over 150 hours into this game over two playthroughs and I still want to go back for more. A brilliant combination of a dungeon crawler and a social sim this game has the best cast of characters I have ever seen. It even manages to make a child character that is not only not annoying, but someone who you actually care about. All the characters have their own personal arcs and I enjoyed ever one of these sub-stories. The main plot is fantastic as well and you'll find yourself playing long into the night to find out what happens next. It is one of the very few games that have managed to make me cry.

The dungeon crawling itself is a lot of fun, with an excellent turn-based combat system. Fusing and leveling a good team of personas is a highly addictive experience. The dungeons are long enough to be satisfying yet not too long that you get bored.

This game is what made my purchasing a Vita worthwhile, hell I believe it is worth buying a Vita just to play P4G. It is that good.

Runner Up: Pokemon X & Y

Best Strategy Game

Civilization V: Brave New World. BNW transformed Civilization V from a very good game to a truly great one. It introduced a huge number of new features that made playing peacefully just as fun and viable as playing a warmonger. It also basically eliminated the dull end-game slog as you now have a ton of things to occupy you right until the very end. The AI has been improved a lot and their aggression has been turned down for the most part - a very welcome change. Each game feels different now and you'll find yourself saying "just one more turn" for a long time with this one.

Runner up: XCOM: Enemy Within

Best Action-Adventure Game

The Last of Us. What an emotional ride. The tale of Joel and Ellie is a gripping and masterful tale. Watching the evolution of their relationship and their interactions with those they come across on their journey was great and by the end you genuinely care for them. Also respect to Naughty Dog for having the balls to write an ending that avoids the tired old sacrifice for the greater good.

The game is also ridiculously good looking for a console title and some of the set pieces are jaw dropping. The gameplay I felt really captured the essence of the game - struggling for survival, using any means necessary to proceed and trying to conserve your precious resources for when you really need them.

Runner up: Tomb Raider

Best Adventure Game

The only thing close to an adventure game I've played this year is The Stanley Parable, however I don't believe it deserves this award for two reasons.

1) It barely qualifies as a game due to it's lack of gameplay
2) I didn't find it very enjoyable *raises flameshield*

So no one wins this year! Although if The Walking Dead Season 2 is half as good as the first season this would go to it.

Shooter

Of the nominees I've only played CoD: Ghosts, Bioshock and Battlefield 4.
Out of those, Bioshock was a decent game with awesome setpieces and story. Ghosts probably has the larger replay value, not single-player mind you, but rather the multiplayer functions are pretty well done. BF4 is just atrocious and rushed. So for my dollar I'm gonna have to say Bioshock if only for the atmosphere and story. Gameplay-wise though Ghosts has it beat hands down, more fluidity and polish and replay value. I didn't play Metro so I can't give it a vote. Sorry.

Platformer

Hands down the Ducktales: Remastered remake is by far my favorite both because of nostalgia factor and its fun through and through. Easy choice for me.

RPG

I haven't played any except Path of Exile and the game is just... meh. Not worthy of any trophy. So I'll pass on voting but guess that out of them either Fire Emblem or Pokemon are cream of the crop. Was it really that lax on RPG's this year? Seriously?

Strategy

Also again don't own and haven't played any of the titles but I'd garner that X-COM's entry is the better of the choices only because I don't see what the Civ expansion brings to the table that would catapult it above the others and I'm still of the mind that the Starcraft II series is just a glorified xpac and graphical overhaul of the original. I loved the original SC, but just can't get behind SCII.

Action-Adventure

Between GTA V and ACIV I can't decide. Saints Row was good but not good enough, and I'm not that into TLoU like some folk are on this site, though I'll say its definitely more a GotY contender than Papers, Please (yeah I went there). So its a tie for me on GTA V and ACIV, both of which have brought me equal joy and pleasure.

Adventure

Well, having said my piece about Papers, Please, and not having played the other picks, I'd still have to say that Telltale is dominating the straight up Adventure market, harkening back in my mind to the Sierra days. So I do hope they get the nod for Wolf Among Us.

Horror

I'm not a horror fan usually, and this year none of the titles released sparked any interest so I can't rightly make a choice. Category, thy name is "Skip".

Well thats my thoughts... and personal GotY out of all the choices?

GTA V because I just feel its a game I can put in any time I want and get loads of entertainment from it without having to bother with story or anything. Its not too over the top, the world is very well put together and feels alive and just generally does me a solid without angering or frustrating the fuck out of me at all.

Thats all folks (credit to Mel Blanc, may he rest in peace).

EDIT: Also why no love for Ni No Kuni, Luigi's Mansion 2, Monaco, Payday 2 (which totally deserves at least an honorable mention), or Tearaway.

All of those deserve to be on their respective genre's list.

amaranth_dru:

Also why no love for Ni No Kuni

This is what I was thinking. It was one of two games I bothered to buy new this year.

Also would have liked to see Thomas was Alone for the platformer genre

Shooter: Bioshock Infinite
Kind of biased as it's the only one I played but what ever, i'm just a poor working class chimney sweep boss, who do I look like the queen of England!?! Although I agree that the way Booker chowed on what ever he found in peoples bins like some kind of potentially racist fox, the way the living city became a ghost town before the first bullet even left the barrel and the lack of random Song Bird encounters (talk about a missed opportunity) the rest of the game was B E A Uuuuuuutifuuul.

Platformer: Rayman Legends
Again, the only one I played, but so good... soooooo good... well not as good as the first but still... soooooo good. Although I was disappointed to see the final world was just a repeat of the musical levels with brain busting effects over the top the rest of the game and the extra characters (skins) easily made up for it. A little short but still great... just hope Ubi don't kill it some how.

RPG: Fire Emblem: Awakening
As happy as I am that Pokemon FINALLY moved into the world of 3D with Pokemon X/Y, I sunk so many hours into FE: A I actually cringe a little whenever I load up the game. Not quite as hard as previous installments but I could always just replay on Hard mode. I preferred previous FE games as they tended to talk about bigger ideas, such as acceptance, racism, war, etc but still a great game. I didn't know it may have been the last of the series, I shit it for a second after reading that, glad to see we might get a few more.

Didn't play to many games in 2013 as it was my second year of uni, all I can really say about this year is thank God (or Jim) for the 3DS, the things an amazing bit of kit.

I'm also disappointed not to see Luigi's Mansion 2 and Pikmin 3 on the lists but I suppose those games are kinda niche... i'm a niche'y kinda fella I suppose.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR, LET'S PARTY!!!

Where the hell is Gunpoint?

 

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