The Escapist's Game of the Year 2012

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When the hell were we supposed to vote? Why did no one tell me about this?

Fijiman:
When the hell were we supposed to vote? Why did no one tell me about this?

It was on the front page for a week.

BehattedWanderer:
It's okay, Journey, we all still love you. There were just other games that were amazing as well.

Sixth place. Not bad considering the top five are all cross platform.

Eric the Orange:

Fijiman:
When the hell were we supposed to vote? Why did no one tell me about this?

It was on the front page for a week.

Well that would explain why I didn't see anything about it. I rarely am on the front page long enough to see anything like that. Although one would think that a general message would have been sent out or something.

There is an obvious flaw with this poll, and there would inevitably be one no matter what game "won".

Fundamentally, 86.52% of your community decided on something other than the top choice, and their votes all seem to count for nothing. Naming anything "Game of the Year" based on less than a fifth of your audience's support will never end well.

I hated the ending even after the Extended Cut but the rest of the game was nothing short of amazing. It was the only game on that list (of the ones I played I mean) thatmade me feel sad, angry, desperate, excited, etc.

Sure the ending disappointed me but the rest of the game kept me on such an emotional high and had such good gameplay that it was my only real choice for game of the year. Happy to see many others agreed with me.

PirateRose:
14% is not much of a win. That means 86% of the people voted for something else. I knew there would be an issue like this, with so many options they threw into this thing, it was far too spread out. If it had been something like over 50% of the votes, then I'd say ME3 truly won, but this isn't a win at all.

It's a minority that enjoyed the game.

By your account, only a minority enjoyed any of these games. This is rather a look at who enjoyed each game more, and a narrow lead goes to ME3.

Fappy:

Blunderboy:
Quick, someone get Zeel back!

:D

I've got to say, though I voted for Far Cry 3, I'm pleased ME3 won. I enjoyed the hell out of that game.
Plus now that I've got X-Com, I really want someone to make a ME version.

This thread would be on page 5 by now if Zeel was still around. I'm actually surprised ME3 came out on top in this community.

It'll be on his little rant of a blog soon enough. Kind of surprised that ME3 won, given all the complaints it had.

On this forum, the ME 3 haters response has been either one of the first three things and each has failed to do the forth.

1) Attempt to discredit Escapist
2) Attempt to discredit the method of polling
3) Accuse the voters of cheating
4) Realize this is a game that people actually enjoy and still play.

Ugh... Escapist Community, I am disappoint.

Even ignoring the entire ending debacle, the rest of Mass Effect 3 was still a huge step down. The story was just one giant Maguffin plot involving a magical device that had never been hinted or foreshadowed at thus far, characters acting against any kind of logic or reason, badly written antagonist characters *cough*Kai-Leng*cough* yet more atrocious flip-flopping in terms of Shepard as a character (He's fighting Spectre! Now he's working for Spectre! Now he's fighting for Spectre again!), a reluctance to address any of the player choices made in the previous two games (like the entire Reaper base-suicide mission that was supposed to be the point of ME2)... it was just a bad story. I'm sorry guys, but a few well written monologues and a couple of romance scenes don't stop a badly constructed, poorly thought out story from being a badly constructed, poorly thought out story. Especially when the ending (both original and extended cut) are also as atrocious as they are.

This is completely ignoring the fact that the actual game itself is little more than a series of fetch missions, the assets used in-game are incredibly poor quality for such a high profile release, the day 1 butchering for DLC was just atrocious... I mean, they took an actual Prothean, and turned him into an optional day one DLC character. How the fuck does that in any way make any sort of sense? That would be like Final Fantasy VII offering you one of the Ancients as an optional player character. It's just such a slap in the face of the lore and story established in game...

I know this sounds like petulant whining, but I simply cannot understand how, in a year when we've had games released that have genuinely stretched the boundaries and raised the game on how we look at games as art (Spec Ops: The Line and Journey perhaps being the two most notable examples), an utterly predictable, clichéd, sci-fi game that does nothing its prior two instalments didn't already somehow gets crowned the years best. The original Mass Effect I could see as a GOTY when it came out, if only for how it upped the ante on RPG presentation. ME3 on the other hand is just so uninspired, so by the numbers, so utterly predictable... it seems downright criminal to give it such acclaim over the likes of Journey, Dishonored, Spec Ops and other games that have genuinely tried to push the boat out.

Bleh... just my ramblings. Take them as a you will.

a win for mass effect definitely surprises me because you would think the people who want to discuss such things on the boards are probably the same folks who are participating in the polls. those who enjoyed it and kept their opinions to themselves are probably less likely to actually vote aswell.

or maybe this community is just full of masochists. who knows, but im glad the walking dead found itself in such a respectable position. excellent game that. (didnt play me3 btw)

Murmillos:
ME3 for the most part is a good game, but when you have a horrendously botched ending, that should have excluded it as GOTY.
No, its just not a bad ending, its a horrendously botched ending.

I tend to let people choose what they want, and i think i like many other forget how great a game me3 was up until the very end, so if 90 95% of the game is brilliant imo, and the last 15 minutes is omfg bad, it still should be considered. Yes the ending was so bad not played any of the dlc sofar.....shoot me. but i do recall up until the death run how awesome that game was, especially for mordrin and grunt and wrex.

cerebus23:

Murmillos:
ME3 for the most part is a good game, but when you have a horrendously botched ending, that should have excluded it as GOTY.
No, its just not a bad ending, its a horrendously botched ending.

I tend to let people choose what they want, and i think i like many other forget how great a game me3 was up until the very end, so if 90 95% of the game is brilliant imo, and the last 15 minutes is omfg bad, it still should be considered. Yes the ending was so bad not played any of the dlc sofar.....shoot me. but i do recall up until the death run how awesome that game was, especially for mordrin and grunt and wrex.

The problem isn't just the ending itself. If the ending was a 15 minute side-plot that had no bearing on the main jist of the main narrative arc, then yes you would be correct.

As it stands, however, the last 10-15 minutes of ME3 is where Casey Hudson and Mac Walters tried to explain everything that happened regarding the Reapers across the previous 3 games. This is the Bioware revealed the canonical explanation for why everything has happened thus far. And it sucks. The explanation is absolutely terrible. So not only does that undermine Mass Effect 3, it undermines every single part of the Mass Effect story which is dependent on the Reapers as a plot device.

Remember during Mass Effect 1, when it's starting to become clear to everyone that the Reapers are a threat, and they need to try and figure out what it is they're planning?

Remember the speech with Harbinger in ME1, where he's all "You cannot comprehend what it is we're doing, because we're so far above you, mwa ha ha!"?

Remember at the start of Mass Effect 2, where the Illusive Man shanghais you into joining Cerberus because they're the ones who stand the best chance of finding out what the Reapers are after?

The basic reasoning for the entire story of the trilogy was revealed in ME3, and it was beyond terrible. Therefore, the shitty quality of ME3's ending does go beyond the mere 10-15 minute timespace it occupies, and actually negatively impacts the rest of the series. Because whenever you play any of the games in the series now, you're going to know that the entire reason for anything happening in any of the games is:

Machine Man 1992:

Hyper-space:
People often tend to forget that it was mostly a very, very vocal minority that whined over ME3. I remember when people were making polls, during the shitstorm, on whether people liked the game or or not, the majority opinion was always very positive, despite the campaign of some people to prove otherwise.

Proof please. Otherwise, dispense with this "silent majority" nonsense.

Just because someone couldn't be arsed to bitch about it online doesn't mean they were fine with it.

Again, the polls made during the controversy proved that there was a majority of people that did not mind the ending, which if you compare it to the number of people who commented (that hated the ending) shows that the people who hated it felt much more compelled to express their outrage than those who didn't.

Ha boooyyaaa I voted for mass effect shame I never get noticed that often, I will just float in the background (call me Dexter).

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

cerebus23:

Murmillos:
ME3 for the most part is a good game, but when you have a horrendously botched ending, that should have excluded it as GOTY.
No, its just not a bad ending, its a horrendously botched ending.

I tend to let people choose what they want, and i think i like many other forget how great a game me3 was up until the very end, so if 90 95% of the game is brilliant imo, and the last 15 minutes is omfg bad, it still should be considered. Yes the ending was so bad not played any of the dlc sofar.....shoot me. but i do recall up until the death run how awesome that game was, especially for mordrin and grunt and wrex.

The problem isn't just the ending itself. If the ending was a 15 minute side-plot that had no bearing on the main jist of the main narrative arc, then yes you would be correct.

As it stands, however, the last 10-15 minutes of ME3 is where Casey Hudson and Mac Walters tried to explain everything that happened regarding the Reapers across the previous 3 games. This is the Bioware revealed the canonical explanation for why everything has happened thus far. And it sucks. The explanation is absolutely terrible. So not only does that undermine Mass Effect 3, it undermines every single part of the Mass Effect story which is dependent on the Reapers as a plot device.

Remember during Mass Effect 1, when it's starting to become clear to everyone that the Reapers are a threat, and they need to try and figure out what it is they're planning?

Remember the speech with Harbinger in ME1, where he's all "You cannot comprehend what it is we're doing, because we're so far above you, mwa ha ha!"?

Remember at the start of Mass Effect 2, where the Illusive Man shanghais you into joining Cerberus because they're the ones who stand the best chance of finding out what the Reapers are after?

The basic reasoning for the entire story of the trilogy was revealed in ME3, and it was beyond terrible. Therefore, the shitty quality of ME3's ending does go beyond the mere 10-15 minute timespace it occupies, and actually negatively impacts the rest of the series. Because whenever you play any of the games in the series now, you're going to know that the entire reason for anything happening in any of the games is:

well the og plot was that dark energy was destroying the universe and somehow all the gate travel and etc was run on dark energy and etc, either way the original story plot fell apart the minute people started digging through the codex and saying hey everything in me is run on dark energy how the hell does destroying everyone solve that if all the gates and etc ran on it?

I still think a team of monkeys could have done better with the ending than the ending by committee retcon they did.

IronMit:

Warachia:

Vault101:

I'm not sure what your sayin ghere

He's saying if suddenly, right when Luke confronts the emperor, the emperor shows him that the empire created several utopias and the darkside was a necessary evil, and he'll stop using it once the rebels are gone, you know, things that make no sense and don't hold up when put into context.
That aside I really liked the extended cut, you should try it if you hated the original ending.

Thanks lol.. I know the post wasn't directed at me but i feel like replying

I watched the endings and additional scenes on youtube myself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NNUImNL9Ok

This video sums up what some people think of the endings

I will add;

1.My assets still didn't directly affect the battle- apart from 2x2 different mini cutscenes
2.My assets only affected what I could select at the end
3.Deus ex machina throughout the entire game...no ending re-do could fix this
4.The order-chaos explanation was not changed. It couldn't be..they would have to undo the cut and paste forshadowing of this from ME3. (rannoch reaper and vendetta)
5.citadel was still captured and got to earth off screen
6. They spent 3games changing my opinion about synthetics just to tell me they were right the first time...something tells me they made up this ending out of the blue- you don't even have to read the Drew interviews and haestrom sun forshadowing

All the new ending did for me was to explain exactly what they meant by something that is lore breaking

yh i'm still bitter! lol

Fair enough there are more things in game that the extended cut changes though, two things that I have a problem with are:
3.The duex ex machina was billed as a duex ex machina throughout the entire game, it's not as if it only shows up at the end.
6.The original intent was to use the dark matter they foreshadowed in the second game, but something came up and from what I found they decided to change it due to several story leaks, for example, in one of the leaked scripts you were supposed to chase the robot that would later become EDI's body across several planets, after the leak they altered it, and I'm sure it was a legitimate leak because that was the script I read (partially) before the game came out, and the game still follows very closely to what was in that script, I'd bet you the reason the ending sucked was because they ran out of time and money, which is why the one guy very quickly slapped together something and he didn't care how bad it was. I'm not giving them a pass for this though, if the story's leaked, you don't have to change as much as they did.

It's what I voted for, ending or no ending it was a hell of a trip.

I was gonna say somethin that made sense but after looking at that convoluted pie graph thing Escapist crafted up just for the Game of the Year award, I thought I'd just release some gas instead.

This is pretty shocking, I haven't played it yet but I heard pretty much nothing about this game other then the ending from this community. In the hundreds of threads on Mass Effect 3 pretty much all of them were on that topic, no body ever talked about anything else. I guess being the most talked about game of the year has merit in itself.

Far Cry 3 was awesome and my personal GOTY yet I'm glad Walking dead got 2nd. ME3 though, Really?

Pretty chuffed to see probably my favorite 5 games of the year making up the top 5 of this poll (maybe I'd switch out Dishonored for Diablo III, but it's close enough), and super stoked to see Spec Ops in there. I called all the others making top 5, but I really didn't think Spec Ops would make a dent. I know it was raved about a lot, but I haven't actually met another person who's played it.

Personally went for ME3, because it was the best game I've played since the original Mass Effect. Ignore the ending, it was easily the best game I played all year, include the ending (the original one, not the extended) and it ranks as one of the best games I've played ever. Not going to flamebait by going into exactly why I liked it, but basically all the complaints about how the ending essentially negated every choice you made across 3 games and could actually be interpreted as causing the destruction of Earth and ultimate loss in the war, I felt exactly the same, and laughed my ass off for like 5 minutes straight.

Yay, ME3 gets game of the year (the ending sucked, blah blah blah).

But the rest of the numbers are really weird. Black Ops, Panderia, and Diablo 3 got less than Hotline Miami? Just no. The Escapist needs to change their voting system because this is too off.

Hmm, I'm not terribly surprised by this.

Not how I would have called it though, I probably would have said

1) The Walking Dead
2) Hotline Miami
3) Super Hexagon
4) Little Inferno

But y'know, whatevs, Little Inferno is for all intents and purposes a crap game since it's meant to be a meta-commentary on crap games, so I'm not surprised it wasn't mentioned.

But Super Hexagon deserves way more recognition.

Edit: And by "how I would have called it" I mean how I would have liked it.

Caramel Frappe:
I didn't see much of Mass Effect 3 being discussed nor getting love in the thread as we were voting for top game, I guess many just put aside their disliking of the ME3 ending and just wanted to show their love for the game overall. If it wasn't for that ending, ME3 would hold up on it's own quite well.

As people have been saying, "Silent Majority".

It's not just people putting aside there dislike of ME3's ending aside. I guarantee that there are many people like me that neither disliked or liked the ending of the game. The ending was "meh" and that is middle ground for me.

I thought the other 99.5% of the game was phenomenal. It could also be chalked up to people like me, who don't see the ending as a major/linchpin part that holds the story together. I believe that the journey to the end is the most important part. I found that journey to be amazing, so that is why I voted for it. If the journey doesn't lead to something good or awesome, then that is life; in some cases, no matter what way something is approached, sometimes there will be no way to get a perfect end.

erttheking:
This is nothing short of an OUTRAGE!....WHY IS FTL SO LOW ON THE LIST!? I guess it's a good thing I voted for the underdog because apparently it needed the freaking support.

As for ME3...eh...not really sure what to think about it. Haven't played the game in months and I recently deleted all of my save files for all three games because the ending disgusted me that much, but I'm not really angry that other people still like it. Maybe a little disappointed, but I really can't fault them for it.

Well, my Game of the Year got only .71% of the vote. Seriously, people. Play Mark of the Ninja. Such wonderful gameplay.

endplanets:
Yay, ME3 gets game of the year (the ending sucked, blah blah blah).

But the rest of the numbers are really weird. Black Ops, Panderia, and Diablo 3 got less than Hotline Miami? Just no. The Escapist needs to change their voting system because this is too off.

It's a fair voting system. See list of games, vote for the one you think should get it. The only thing that you can think is too off, is people's opinions, because the system or set up of the vote had nothing to do with what games did better.

Besides, even though CoD games sell so well, they have never been of GOTY material. Also from much talk I have heard in many gaming sectors, Diablo 3 was a big meh of a game and didn't live up to the vast majority of expectations. And finally, considering most of the views of the community on WoW as being an old and dieing MMO, I'm not surprised by it not doing very well, and basically, unless the MMO is the only thing some people play that year, most people aren't going to pick an MMO as the winner, because let's face it, MMOs tend not to be of the quality for GOTY.

Congrats to ME3. Personally I would have rather either of the three games after it take the prize. While I found ME3 to be a good game, I liked the better games and stories that Spec Ops, The Walking Dead, and Dishonored had.

Eh, ME3 wasn't all that bad up til the end.
...Well, apart from the multiplayer. That bit was Asshole Central.

Disappointing, and somewhat hypocritical choice, given how we had a solid month of bitching about the game.

Hyper-space:

Again, the polls made during the controversy proved that there was a majority of people that did not mind the ending, which if you compare it to the number of people who commented (that hated the ending) shows that the people who hated it felt much more compelled to express their outrage than those who didn't.

Oh, really?

http://social.bioware.com/633606/polls/28989

You call a 91% vote for "endings suck" evidence of a "majority of people that didn't mind the ending"? The debate has still raged over the last nine months, and it has no end in sight.

The only thing this poll proved is that there are slightly more people who were willing to overlook the myriad number of flaws throughout the game and upvote it based on a misplaced sense of fan loyalty.

If anything, the controversy has permeated the small number of outlets that (non-ironically) voted ME3 as their GOTY. They (like the other blinded fans) still try to qualify it with the same old "the ending sucked, but the rest of it was brilliant!" response, overlooking the broken fetch quests, borked journal system, bugs and glitches, terrible story beats, etc. I'm happy that Walking Dead got as high as it did - for a new IP, it set the benchmark for moral choices in video games this year.

Predicted this would happen.

Happy this happened.

Brilliant game.

crazyrabbits:

Hyper-space:

Again, the polls made during the controversy proved that there was a majority of people that did not mind the ending, which if you compare it to the number of people who commented (that hated the ending) shows that the people who hated it felt much more compelled to express their outrage than those who didn't.

Oh, really?

http://social.bioware.com/633606/polls/28989

You call a 91% vote for "endings suck" evidence of a "majority of people that didn't mind the ending"? The debate has still raged over the last nine months, and it has no end in sight.

That doesn't really counter his point. People who disliked the ending are gonna be the ones who both comment over and over about it and the ones who vote in these polls.

And criticising the endings for not being "bright" enough is just dumb. They attempted something different, they didn't completely pull it off, but at least they looked to challenge boundaries and try something new rather than conform to the happily ever after model.

Ugh. It could have been worse, ME3 was atleast functional as a third person cover shooter.

It's amusing how the game that helped EA to be called the worst american company, also wins this GOTY. The result is ironic enough to let everything else slide.

TWD did not win and there's actually 3 decent entries in the top 5, so the Escapist community gets a pass.

AnarchistFish:

That doesn't really counter his point. People who disliked the ending are gonna be the ones who both comment over and over about it and the ones who vote in these polls.

We've already had this argument innumerable times, and each time, the people who defend the game come up with the same nonsensical arguments. 65,000 votes in favor of anything, regardless of whether it's right or wrong, and especially when it's the clear majority by a long shot, is a definite indicator where the tastes of the fanbase at large lie.

This was during the time of the "Bioware defense force" - you can bet that if there were such a "majority" of people who liked the game, they would have changed the tide and voted that the endings/game were fine. No such thing happened.

Aside from these scant few GOTY awards (not even from the outlets who really counted in terms of opinion - that is, if people didn't already perceive gaming journalism as a joke), the largest response to the game over the last nine months has been incredibly negative, even from people who liked the game in the first place. You can see it in this topic as well (as I posted before) - even the people who liked the game have to qualify it by saying one part of it was terrible.

They attempted something different, they didn't completely pull it off, but at least they looked to challenge boundaries and try something new rather than conform to the happily ever after model.

Again with the nonsensical "it can't be a happy ending" nonsense. There's nothing wrong with killing the protagonist or destroying the universe - provided it makes sense. There's a reason why story conventions that have been in use for hundreds of years are still regurgitated ad nauseum - they work.

Throwing all of your characterization and plot out the door so you can create an entirely new conflict in the last 15 minutes of the series is objectively bad writing. Creating a story (even a third installment) where the material doesn't give you a clear sense of what's going on, who's who and why any of this is important makes a work muddled. There are numerous other problems with the game beyond the ending, which most fans (if the response online is any indication, and not just this forum) have realized.

It has nothing to do with "challenging boundaries" and everything to do with ending a story in a way that makes sense.

ME3 wasn't even that good... gameplay was okay, but tedious and samey from beginning to end (especially on hardest difficulty), and the writing was downright terrible all the way through, with as usual, the companions being the really interesting part of the game rather than the story itself.

I don't even understand how it got first over Walking Dead... ah well.

AnarchistFish:

That doesn't really counter his point. People who disliked the ending are gonna be the ones who both comment over and over about it and the ones who vote in these polls.

And criticising the endings for not being "bright" enough is just dumb. They attempted something different, they didn't completely pull it off, but at least they looked to challenge boundaries and try something new rather than conform to the happily ever after model.

Most people didn't complain about the endings being bright, it's that the endings were horrifically dark. Bioware was aiming for bittersweet and ended up with a "universe is ruined, everyone is dead" scenario... at least for the stuff before the ending DLC. I wouldn't call bad writing challenging boundaries is all.

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