Gamebrit Game Of The Year Awards 2012
It’s 2013, the Christmas decorations are packed away, the New Year’s hangover has gone and the gym membership has been renewed. With the new year well and truly established, it’s time to look back and celebrate another magnificent year for videogames with the annual Gamebrit awards.
The Gamebrit team has deliberated over the best releases of last twelve months and have decided on the following winners, across the following categories. Without further adieu, let the awards commence:
Mobile Game Of The Year – Letterpress
The man behind iOS hit Letterpress, is probably better known for his work on Twitter clients. Developer Loren Britcher went from working as in indie to actually working for the social network, but has since left Twitter and returned to working solo. Britcher, under the Atebits name, attempted something different following his departure, and this time it wasn’t a Twitter client.
Letterpress is Britcher’s first ever stab at creating a game and it’s a fresh take on the word puzzle. Apart from sporting stark sleek clean looks what sets Letterpress apart from other word games is the unique mix of word-finding and Risk-style strategy. Making a grab for word tiles, and in-turn victory, becomes competitive, addictive and fun.
Honourable mentions: Super Hexagon, Rayman: Jungle Run
Handheld Game Of The Year – LittleBigPlanet Vita
It’s not been the best first year for the PlayStation Vita. That said, it did provide a stellar handheld gaming experience in LittleBigPlanet Vita.
Media Molecule explored the Vita’s unique capabilities delivering a game with a wonderful art style and intuitive touch controls, creating a downright fun puzzle platformer experience. A deserving addition to the franchise.
Honourable mentions: Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, Uncharted: Golden Abyss
Indie Game Of The Year – Fez
A game seemingly overlooked by numerous Game Of The Year awards, Fez captured our gaming hearts thanks to the help of its charming lead character, Gomez, classic pixel art style, and a beautiful soundtrack.
A title with such incredible depth, it’s hard to believe that it was mainly the work of one man, Phil Fish. The three year wait was definitely worth it.
Honourable mentions: Hotline Miami, Super Hexagon
PC Game Of The Year – The Walking Dead
Telltale Games surprised us this year with their take on Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic series. Following on from Telltale’s previously licensed titles, including Back to the Future and Jurassic Park, expectations were not exactly sky high. Thankfully the resulting point-and-click adventure perfectly demonstrated how interactive storytelling should be done.
Telltale’s The Walking Dead offers a compelling story filled with genuine and credible characters that’s unified with absorbing puzzles, quick pivotal decision-making moments and plenty of action.
Honourable mentions: Dota 2, Diablo 3
Nintendo Wii/Wii U Game Of The Year – Call Of Duty: Black Ops II
It’s not been the best of starts for the Wii U, with a launch consisting of some questionable ports, and not one release managing to break into the UK Top 20 within two weeks of release. Treyarch however, proved that a port could be more than a straight up conversion, breathing new life into a game.
Making full use of the Wii U’s capabilities, Black Ops II seamlessly introduced the GamePad into its gameplay mechanics to create a gaming experience unique to the Wii U edition.
Honourable mentions: New Super Mario Bros. U, Zombie U
PlayStation 3 Game Of The Year – Journey
One of the PlayStation 3’s stand-out exclusives’ of 2012. Like That Game Company‘s previous release Flower, Journey is a pure gaming experience.
A beautifully cinematic platforming game — its awe-inspiring visual style turn the sand dunes of the desert into a work of art. Journey is a joy to behold and a joy to play. Journey also marks the first time a game has been nominated for a Grammy.
Honourable mentions: Dishonoured, XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Xbox 360 Game Of The Year – Halo 4
Numerous fans were worried when 343 Industries took over responsibility of the Halo franchise from Bungie, they needn’t have been. Halo 4 introduced arguably one of the best campaign modes along with jaw-dropping environments, proving that Halo is in safe hands.
One of the best aspects of Halo 4 is its online multiplayer: By taking a leaf out of Call Of Duty’s book, adding kill rewards and an improved levelling system 343 mixed-up and improved one aspect that many thought couldn’t be improved upon.
Honourable mentions: Mass Effect 3, Far Cry 3
British Developer of the Year – Criterion Games for Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Guildford-based Criterion Games, probably best known for the Burnout series, took on the Need for Speed franchise back in 2010.
Most Wanted, not to be confused with the 2005 game of the same name, has been described by many as a spiritual successor to 2008’s Burnout Paradise. Featuring an open-world environment filled with plenty of exotic cars to find, drive and race, along with the Burnout-esque gates, billboards and drive-thru stops make Most Wanted very nearly the Burnout Paradise 2 we so dearly wanted.
Gamebrit Game Of The Year – Fez
For us it came down to two titles. So while Halo 4 brought us a refreshing re-vamp of what we knew and loved, it was Fez that truly surprised us.
Fez is the clear result of years of hard work and dedication from a man that clearly loves videogames. Its references to classic Nintendo titles of yore is a satisfying nod to the games that inspired it.
With a glorious visual style that draws from an amalgamation of past titles, along with an approach to puzzles that is both fiendishly clever in its intricacies and surprisingly original, Fez really did delight. In an era full of repetitive gameplay mechanics Fez is a refreshing gem .
Unfortunately there’s no physical award for the winners, just immense satisfaction for the developers knowing their game was a favourite of the Gamebrit team. What could be better than that?
A huge congratulations to all the winners.