GOTY 2015 Write up – Day 1
It’s that time of year again, the time where we “discuss” (argue) about all the games we played this year and try to somewhat arbitrarily list them in ways which can both help people find things they might have missed…and more often than not to just go “WE REALLY LIKED THIS GAME, LOOK AT IT.”
We’ve got a lot to get through, so i’ll keep this intro short but there’s a few things to take into consideration with this.
First, this is a short (HAHA) write up to accompany our podcast series rolling out every day this week and so will only really focus on the winners of each category mentioned. If you want to know more about why they and the runners up were chosen, not to mention what other games were nominated (2015 was a really good year for games, so I suggest looking into them more than most years) then listening to our podcast series is highly recommended. You can find links to them pretty much everywhere on the site or find us on iTunes, Overcast or whatever your podcast app of choice is. EDIT: you can listen to this episode at the bottom of this page
Second, you may notice that first small point got a bit rambly and large, I’m prone to that. Sorry. I also comma splice like a motherfucker. I was late at writing this so I doubt Ben or Mike will have time to make it as presentable as usual. Sorry again.
Third, we tried to narrow down nominees into one winner with two runners up in each category. I’ll be listing them but as mentioned in the first point I will not be going into detail on any but the winner. So listen to the podcast for more (you may see a theme here.)
Fourth, none of us are paid for this shit. This is partly to pre-empt the inevitable “HOW MUCH DID X PAY YOU” comments but also moreso aimed at the “MY FAVOURITE GAME WAS Y, YOU DIDN’T EVEN MENTION IT.” We aren’t paid for this. GFG is entirely run by volunteers, a group of friends who just really like to occasionally write about games and stuff. The podcast was founded by Paul, Mike and myself as a way to share the ramblings we had on the bus into Glasgow every morning with the world. Those days have passed but regardless, we make no money off this and as such can’t play everything. Even if we do spend most of our money on games, we all have full time jobs, none of which involve playing games.
Fifth, That said, if you listened to the podcast and noticed that we didn’t mention a game you feel really strongly about let us know! Comment on one of these posts, send us a tweet @GlitchFreeGame or an email at podcast@Glitchfreegaming.com and we’ll try to check it out! We’re always interested in new games.
Finally, these are just our opinions (largely mine, because I wrote it.) Enjoy Day One of our Game Of The Year awards.
Most Disappointing Game
Winner – Batman: Arkham Knight
Runners Up – Hotline Miami 2, Armello
Arkham Knight had everything going for it. The last Batman game was lackluster but also made by a different studio, the two that Rocksteady did make are still among two of the best licensed games ever created and quite simply we were all eager for some good ol’ Batman action. Then Arkham Knight came out and a good quarter of the main campaign plays like a marginally more in depth version of Battlezone. Bat-Tank has become a running joke around that release for a reason, so much of what should have been a really fun open world beat-em-up ended up being a half-assed arena tank game in a way that as incredibly disappointing. Then there’s the way the story wraps up, which without spoiling it here is hot garbage. None of us even played it on PC, so we dodged a bullet on that crazy nonsense but we were of course aware of the fact that they had to take a goddamn version of the game off sale for months. MONTHS!
This would have all been less disappointing if the majority of the actual Batman bits weren’t so gosh darn fantastic and in a lot of ways the best the series has been since Arkham Asylum.
Best Open World
Winner – The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt
Runners Up – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Mad Max
Okay so, we were perhaps not great about naming some of these categories because it’s a bit weird to have The Witcher 3 both in here and some later categories. That said. The Witcher 3’s world is massive and beautiful and so much fun to explore that we couldn’t resist giving it this award. I’ll keep this one short because we’re going to be talking about The Witcher 3 a lot this week.
Winner – Rare Replay
Runners Up – Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, Gears Of War: Ultimate Edition
Let me tell you about two games which defined Microsoft’s output last gen for me personally (Paul and Mike also loved them.) These games are called Viva Pinata…and…Viva Pinata 2. It’s just so goddamn fun to tend to your garden and encourage new Pinatas to come and stay, breed them together then slaughter them, feeding their sweet candy centers to their children. Uh.
It gets dark and weird when you look too hard into it. I legitimately love those games though and they are both in Rare Replay, along with somewhere just under a Billion other games.* Including Jet Force Gemini! That game is also awesome! Or maybe not, I haven’t played it since I got it bundled with my N64 as a kid. No matter what, the sheer amount of content in Rare Replay’s collection practically pushes itself into the list, the brilliant wrapper built around it is just the icing on the cake. Also it’s super cheap, if you have an Xbox One you should own this collection.
*Maths says it’s closer to 30.
Best Driving Game
Winner – Forza Motorsport 6
Runners Up – Driveclub Bikes, Project Cars
Forza has been a pretty fantastic series in recent years. 3 and 4 were on par if not better than the Gran Turismo series latest entries and the two Horizon games are easily the best open world racing games this side of Burnout Paradise. So naturally it was disappointing when 5 was rushed out for the Xbox One’s launch an failed to match up to the series lofty standards. 6 is the current gen Forza game we deserve. It’s beautiful, running at a flawless 60FPS and incredibly fast. The handling is without a doubt the best in the series and it’s just filled to the brim with cars and features. If you need a racing game but can only afford one? Forza 6 is the logical choice.
Winner – Tales From The Borderlands
Runners Up – Undertale, King’s Quest Episode 1
Humour is hard to pull off in general, in video games doubly so. Comedy is almost entirely about timing is which so hard to do when a player is fucking around with your subject matter. TellTale’s interactive story style of game has created one of the best ways for humour to be conveyed and Tales From The Borderlands (TFTB) is them finally cashing in on that. Avoiding for the most part the referential humour and memes of Borderlands 2 and Pre-Sequel, Telltale captures the Borderlands style often better than Gearbox themselves. They make a group of characters that are both cartoonishly snarky and double crossing in such a fantastic way. They even make Handsome Jack funny. Yeah, I don’t know how either. It’s that good.
Winner – The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt
Runners Up – Undertale, Fallout 4
I did warn you, didn’t I? The Witcher 3 is pretty much everything I ever wanted in an RPG. The combat is fun and visceral with enough depth and room to upgrade over time to let it grow over the hundred or so hours I put into the game. The monsters are so uniquely designed and fun not only to hunt but to research and hunt. Of course, the highlight of the game is the writing. Not every character can be talked to like in a Bethesda RPG or something but when you can talk to someone you want to listen. Even the smallest of side quests have such fantastically written dialogue that the characters feel interesting and fleshed out, nevermind the larger chains of quests and the main story itself. The one complaint we had about it really was the strange loadout system for the skill tree. It’s a weird way of restricting what the player is capable of doing and we weren’t too fond of it. Other than that though, it’s outstanding. And it doesn’t really come into it here but that first piece of DLC? Without a doubt the best RPG DLC I’ve ever played.
That’s it for day one! Day two should be up uh…tomorrow?