It's the day we've been building up to - it's time to award one single title the Game of the Year for 2012. Our nominee list is filled with fantastic titles. Persona 4 Golden took us back to one of the greatest JRPGs of all time, now made that much better by additional content. Dishonored showed that just because a game is stealth-driven that doesn't mean it has to be slow or force you along a single path. Mass Effect 3 was an impressive cap to the series, and even if the ending was controversial it's tough to deny the quality of the rest of the game. Journey showcased a novel kind of multiplayer rarely seen, and gameplay that focuses on emotions of awe and wonder over empowerment. Halo 4 reassured fans that there's nothing to fear from Bungie passing the reigns over to Studio 343. And, finally, The Walking Dead brought an oft presumed dead genre back into the limelight thanks to its stellar narrative. Sadly, there can only be one Game of the Year.
Here is the Shortlist:
And the Winner is...
Journey is one of those exceptional games that makes for an unforgettable experience. Beautiful art direction and graphics were twinned with a grammy-nominated soundtrack and an intriguing multiplayer concept to create the most memorable game of the year.
Even though Journey doesn't last very long, you'll be mesmerized the entire time. There's a feeling of awe that comes with traversing the different environments in the game, as you slide majestically along the sands, sunlight pouring through between the columns of deserted structures.
Not content to complacently rest on a single emotional note, there are sections of Journey that throw you headlong into positions of helplessness and powerlessness, something rarely explored in the medium. It's an emotional rollercoaster right up to (and including) the finale - a finale which brought many to tears.
All that and more is why Journey is our Game of the Year for 2012, and the first download-only title to ever claim the title.
Congratulations, ThatGameCompany, and here's to another great year of gaming to come in 2013.