Cast Your Vote For The Escapist's Game of the Year 2012

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Cast Your Vote For The Escapist's Game of the Year 2012

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We couldn't agree amongst ourselves, so we're leaving it to you to decide the best game of 2012.

There's no doubt that 2012 was a big year for videogames. From XCOM: Enemy Unknown to Dishonored to Mass Effect 3, we've played so many great games this year that we couldn't seem to agree on which game deserved to be king of the hill. While we couldn't pick just one as the best, we did manage to trim it down to a tidy 20 titles. Now we're turning to you, the experts, to determine which game deserves the top honors for the year.

To get in on the action, check out our Game of the Year 2012 page, and take a gander at the list. If you want to learn more about any given title, just click "Learn More" to see all the related content on The Escapist. Once you've made the tough decision, and narrowed your own choices down to one, just click the "Click to Choose" button to the left of the title to select it, then click "Vote Now!" to submit your vote.

Naturally, for a decision this big, you'll want to discuss it amongst yourselves, so please take to the forums below to debate the merits of your choice for Game of the Year 2012. Maybe you'll even sway some votes to your side. Speaking of, voting will run from 9am Eastern, December 17th until 9am Eastern, December 24th. The winner will be announced on the 26th at 12pm Eastern. You only get one vote, so choose carefully. Also, as a special "Thank You" for your vote, you'll even get an exclusive badge based on the game you chose.

Good luck and happy voting!

Permalink

I think we can all agree with Journey.
Yep, it's unanimous.

EDIT: Damn it, I forgot about Spec Ops: the line.
Hmm, this makes it hard for me.

It's not like I expected either of my favorites to actually win, but still, it would have been cool to have an option to vote for them as well.

Gotta go with the Walking Dead. It was a damn amazing experience. Tho Spec Ops was pretty damn close to getting that vote, as well. Id say it was a pretty good year for games, lots of good stuff came out.

Tough choices, but Guild Wars 2 is the clear vote for me. The classes, the setting, the actually enjoyable gameplay which wasn't trying to be a WoW clone with a dozen action bars like just about every other MMO.

Still, I like the fact that FTL is on there and I wouldn't mind at all if that turned out to be the winner. Not that it would since it's an indie game up against all these big name releases, but it would be cool. If it were possible, I totally would have picked it as runner-up.

Of those? Bloody hell, I'll go with UFO. It's a bit too short and the tech trees could have been fleshed out more but none of that really mattered because I was playing a remake of an old PC strategy game on a console and it wasn't an FPS. That alone is worth the top spot.

My absolute not-constrained-by-shortlist pick goes to Trials Evolution though. There are many things that make this a great game but I shall focus on the one I feel is most significant: the endless replay value afforded by the full editor provided with the game and the posting of these community made levels on XBL for free. Kinda rare in this day and age, especially for consoles.

I voted Spec Ops the Line. Suffering through that game was worth it to see the endings.

Owlslayer:
Gotta go with the Walking Dead. It was a damn amazing experience. Tho Spec Ops was pretty damn close to getting that vote, as well. Id say it was a pretty good year for games, lots of good stuff came out.

As fantastic an experience as they both were, i don't think they were all that great as games.

Don't get me wrong, every gamer should definately play them for the experience (The Walking Dead is the only game to have ever made me cry) but i think "game of the year" should go to something more rounded. A game that excels on multiple fronts, not just one.

I voted for AssCreedIII
The only game I've played out of those
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Was a tough choice for me between Spec Ops: The Line, Dishonored or Mass Effect 3, but in the end I decided Mass Effect 3 is my choice for Game of the Year

So, where's Planetside 2?
Or Thomas was alone?
Black Mesa?
Global offensive?
Max Payne 3?
Natural Selection 2?
Super Hexagon?
Sleeping Dogs?
Day Z?

Seriously, you found space for Halo 4, BlOps 2, Mass Effect 3 and even the Secret World (seriously?). Is this really game of the year as voted by Escapist users or Game of the year out of these ones that spent a lot with us on advertising?

Ahem,

Knee jerk rant over, I don't really think that. However, in a year that's actually been pretty good for games, the Escapist GoTY short list seems to be an awfully shallow list of triple A 'same sameyness' games, a couple of Indy titles, a serious WTF or two and then a few new, extremely worthwhile titles. If it's going to be a publicvote, there needs to be more options, it's not like The Escapist is short of users.

I've played everything on that list except Persona 4 and Pandaria, the only ones I'd consider even close to Game of the Year are Borderlands 2, Journey, Walking Dead and Dishonored.

All the others are either the same game as last time out, a direct remake or tremendously disappointing against what they promised. There's been better than this in 2012!

Going with Dishonored. It just tickled all the things that I like about that kind of game.

Oh no. the Escapist is "learning" from the VGAs, but only letting us vote on Game of the Year. Will they be getting Samual L Jackson to announce it too? the only thing that I can truly give them is that they are giving the option of 20 titles.

OT: the funniest thing is that each of these games would fall into Game of the Year for very different reasons. emotional impact, overall fun, shear comedy...

So it will mostly depend on which one delivered its desired effect to the largest number of readers.

AntiChri5:

Owlslayer:
Gotta go with the Walking Dead. It was a damn amazing experience. Tho Spec Ops was pretty damn close to getting that vote, as well. Id say it was a pretty good year for games, lots of good stuff came out.

As fantastic an experience as they both were, i don't think they were all that great as games.

Don't get me wrong, every gamer should definately play them for the experience (The Walking Dead is the only game to have ever made me cry) but i think "game of the year" should go to something more rounded. A game that excels on multiple fronts, not just one.

I see your point, and while writing my post, i thought about something along the lines of that. That`s why i used the word "experience", not "game" when i wrote it. But I guess it`s just a preference in the end, since i still really wanted to vote for it. I mean, i still see your point, but from the games i played that came out this year, those two just seemed to broke some barriers that i haven`t seen any games do so before, and well, they really, really impressed me.

Out of curiosity, what did you vote for?

I voted XCOM as it's the only one on that list I've played. Been meaning to pick up Walking Dead and Journey for a while though.

Owlslayer:

AntiChri5:

Owlslayer:
Gotta go with the Walking Dead. It was a damn amazing experience. Tho Spec Ops was pretty damn close to getting that vote, as well. Id say it was a pretty good year for games, lots of good stuff came out.

As fantastic an experience as they both were, i don't think they were all that great as games.

Don't get me wrong, every gamer should definately play them for the experience (The Walking Dead is the only game to have ever made me cry) but i think "game of the year" should go to something more rounded. A game that excels on multiple fronts, not just one.

I see your point, and while writing my post, i thought about something along the lines of that. That`s why i used the word "experience", not "game" when i wrote it. But I guess it`s just a preference in the end, since i still really wanted to vote for it. I mean, i still see your point, but from the games i played that came out this year, those two just seemed to broke some barriers that i haven`t seen any games do so before, and well, they really, really impressed me.

Out of curiosity, what did you vote for?

Sorry for butting in here like this, but I feel pretty much like AntiChri5. I loved The Waling Dead and Spec Ops, I was VERY close to vote for Spec Ops, but after all I went for FC3. It just had everything in a neat package. The story wasn't as deep as Spec Ops or as emotional as in The Walking dead. It was a well written story with very memorable characters, beautiful visuals and aesthetics, great gameplay. You get the idea. Didn't get a chance to really try MP yet, but from what I hear its very decent too. I didn't play Dishonored/X-COM/Journey yet, so I cant vote for them, but I got them on my list.

I went with Spec Ops: the Line on this one. Even though I can't really go from the usual "I expected a weak CoD clone and was really surprised" standpoint, because Yahtzee's review was the first time I heard of this game, it was still a very powerful experience, and giving me something more than "just" fun is a thing I look for in video games lately.

Close runner ups were The Walking Dead (for similar reasons as Spec Ops, although episodic content, and "story tailoring to your decisions" being bullcrap pushed it away in the rankings), and X-Com (because this game is a digital crack cocaine. Seriously, the only form of rehab from this addiction is playing it on impossible difficulty).

Overall, a very good year for gaming IMO.

I don't which one to go with. Spec Ops, Walking Dead and X-Com were not the greatest games this year, as purely games ,but they're a direction I think the industry really needs to go.

gardian06:

OT: the funniest thing is that each of these games would fall into Game of the Year for very different reasons. emotional impact, overall fun, shear comedy...

So it will mostly depend on which one delivered its desired effect to the largest number of readers.

Issn't it like this no matter what we do?

Even if you would collect games with the same basic reason behind their popularity, such as "emotional impact", the winner would be the one that is more directly tuned at the typical Escapist reader. Spec Ops: the Line has emotional impact if you are familiar with modern FPS narratives, while Walking Dead would have extra emotional impact on you depending on your protective instincts, Dear Esther has an emotional impact if you just want to lay back and enjoy the artistic style, Katawa Shoujo relies on familiarity with animesqe aesthetics and familiarity with Visual Novel tradition, while Day Z relies on emergent gaming and immersion.

The winner wouldn't be one that is objectively "more emotional" than the others, but the one that directs it's emotional effect on the biggest possible niche.

I'm extremely disappointed with the lack of Torchlight II, but Borderlands 2 is a good second choice (and one that I actually played this year).

I went for The Secret World for being an MMO that dared step out of the WoW-Clone zone and being alot of goddamn fun.

I know it has no chance of winning, but I do suggest you give it a try if you haven't, now that they removed the subscription model.

I never like awards that open to public voting, much less online public voting. Awards that come from critics or inside the developer community for that media are much more worthy.

Voted for Farcry 3, since it came out i haven't stopped playing!

Also, where are the other games? there was more than this!

Damn it!!! I really want to do both XCOM and The Secret World. Two ace games. Both of which I have been waiting years for, and both of which lived up to what they needed too. Ahhh. Decisions decisions. Going with TSW, just because of how ambitious it was, and I have always loved a good Illuminati conspiracy.

I've only played two games on that list so far. Those being Diablo 3 and Xcom.......so my vote went to Xcom. So much fun with that game. I need to try classic mode.

Guize
C'mon guize
Vote Walking Dead

guize
srsly

"Smashes head into desk" TOO MANY GOOD GAMES! I mean, Christ, how am I supposed to pick? Dishonored didn't exactly blow me away but I could hardly call it bad, it's just that while I was playing it I realized stealth wasn't my thing because I was too impatient, and even then it was still fun. Then you got the awesome sci-fi games like XCOM, Halo and Mass Effect (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA NO) and FTL: Faster Than Light. After that, Assassin's Creed 3 was pretty fun. And then after THAT you have Spec Ops the freaking Line. And then you have Persona 4 Golden, I didn't play it because I don't have a Vita, but I played the original, so I KNOW it's good.

I CAN'T DECIDE!

EDIT: Screwed it, voted for the underdog. Voted FTL.

Mojo_22:

Sorry for butting in here like this, but I feel pretty much like AntiChri5. I loved The Waling Dead and Spec Ops, I was VERY close to vote for Spec Ops, but after all I went for FC3. It just had everything in a neat package. The story wasn't as deep as Spec Ops or as emotional as in The Walking dead. It was a well written story with very memorable characters, beautiful visuals and aesthetics, great gameplay. You get the idea. Didn't get a chance to really try MP yet, but from what I hear its very decent too. I didn't play Dishonored/X-COM/Journey yet, so I cant vote for them, but I got them on my list.

Understandable. Unfortunately, i haven`t gotten the chance to try FC3 out, so Ive got no experience regarding that game (well, actually Ive played only 4 games from that list of candidates, so there`s actually not a lot of games for me to vote for, anyways). Tho i have seen and heard the praise it has gotten: a ton of great scores from critics and gamers alike.

It`s pretty difficult to compare two such different games like The Walking Dead and FC3, tho. They`re just so different. And i ended up selecting the one that had the biggest emotional impact on me. I guess Im a sucker for such stuff, but hey. To each his own, and all that.

I notice a distinct lack of Crusader Kings 2 which is my Goatee.

In fact, it seems to me mostly big name games and very little of the more interesting stuff that happened on the fringes.

Guess I'll go with Dishonored. While SpecOps and TWD were great (TWD made me cry. Eat that Neil Young!) Dishonored is the closest I've been to the glory days of Deus Ex and Thief on that list.

Shame about gems like Resonance, Primordia, Miasmata, Chivalry and Natural Selection 2. :(

I went Walking Dead, but honestly, it's a great list. I have XBox, so I didn't play Journey, but I heard it's amazing. Far Cry, Mass Effect, Borderlands, XCom, Assassin's Creed and Spec Ops were all really well done too. I don't really care what wins as long as it's not Blops 2.

Also Dishonored was good.

Spec Ops: The Line.

In a year where then debate over video games being 'Art' is truly starting to get going, to spark discussion in many circles, I think Journey and Spec Ops: The Line are two massive points in favour of gaming not just being an art form, but the most important one of our age.

It's a sweeping statement, but hear me out; Art is designed to prompt emotional response or thought, not simply for enjoyment. Well, that's also a sweeping statement, but it's one that truly evocative and striking art pieces fit pretty well. A Christmas Carol is an important piece of art, despite being a money grab, because it makes you think of redemption, it fills you with warmth, it inspires you to move away from the laptop and go give your room mate a hug and talk about your big brother, who you miss now more than ever. Picasso's art pieces force you to re evaluate the human form, to take it apart in your mind, to look at it as a sum of it's parts.

I've never played Journey. I'm a poor sod, and had the Corps paid me this bloody Christmas, I'd have rushed out to get a PS3, so I can't say I know too much about it. But Spec Ops; The Line made me ask questions about my entire experience as a gamer, it made me feel like a murderer despite my victims being little more than pixels on a screen, a few lines of code, and some sound files. Do I play games because I want to be a hero? What does being a hero entail? By playing games like Modern Warfare, Rage, even Halo, am I desensitising myself to violence on a mass scale? Or is this all in my head? Am I simply taking too much from a game that is actively ridiculing me for pouring so much of my self-esteem into being a hero?

No other game has made me feel utterly devastated by my own actions, even if I was rail-roaded, and yet had me asking questions not only about myself, but of the game industry in general. That kind of introspection, the idea of a piece of media deconstructing itself and asking 'why?' and 'what are the implications of this?' convince me that Spec Ops: The Line is the Game of the Year. It is a landmark in gaming history not because it's new and original to it's core; but because the tone and atmosphere are balanced so perfectly with it's message that you cannot help but be hit by it.

But in terms of entertainment value, where the FUCK is Fall of the Samurai?!

AntiChri5:

Owlslayer:
Gotta go with the Walking Dead. It was a damn amazing experience. Tho Spec Ops was pretty damn close to getting that vote, as well. Id say it was a pretty good year for games, lots of good stuff came out.

As fantastic an experience as they both were, i don't think they were all that great as games.

Don't get me wrong, every gamer should definately play them for the experience (The Walking Dead is the only game to have ever made me cry) but i think "game of the year" should go to something more rounded. A game that excels on multiple fronts, not just one.

I think that walking dead has shown yet again how important story can be to a game, and how it can be done well. I think that makes it important enough to warrant GotY even if it's gameplay doesn't match up to the other titles.

Chose Spec Ops: The Line. Not sure if it has a chance of winning (although a lot of people are saying it was between a game and it), but it was the best experience I had in a game I played this year (I choose the word experience because I can't say that I 'enjoyed' it so to speak.

Owlslayer:

AntiChri5:

Owlslayer:
Gotta go with the Walking Dead. It was a damn amazing experience. Tho Spec Ops was pretty damn close to getting that vote, as well. Id say it was a pretty good year for games, lots of good stuff came out.

As fantastic an experience as they both were, i don't think they were all that great as games.

Don't get me wrong, every gamer should definately play them for the experience (The Walking Dead is the only game to have ever made me cry) but i think "game of the year" should go to something more rounded. A game that excels on multiple fronts, not just one.

I see your point, and while writing my post, i thought about something along the lines of that. That`s why i used the word "experience", not "game" when i wrote it. But I guess it`s just a preference in the end, since i still really wanted to vote for it. I mean, i still see your point, but from the games i played that came out this year, those two just seemed to broke some barriers that i haven`t seen any games do so before, and well, they really, really impressed me.

Out of curiosity, what did you vote for?

I voted for Mass Effect 3.

If i take out any one elemet i enjoy, i still enjoy the rest.

If i take out the gameplay, i still enjoy the story and music and voice acting. If i take out the story i still enjoy the gameplay and music and voice acting. I love the singleplayer, i love the multiplayer, Mass Effect just succeeds on all levels for me. It still isn't perfect of course, but of all games this year it has come the closest for me.

Not that there is anything wrong with selecting on a single criteria. If thats what matters to you then thats what matters to you.

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