For those unaware, The Golden Joystick Awards are pretty much the Oscars for the video games. So which games claimed the top prizes this year? Read on in this 2nd and final part of the article. You can find part 1 here.
Winner: World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
Raise your hand if you were surprised. Now put it down again and feel a little less intelligent than your peers. World of Warcraft is still dominating the genre in terms of active subscribers and pure marketing power, and this came at absolutely no surprise to anyone. Star Wars: The Old Republic is a potential contender for next year, but there’s just as much chance that EA insist on a change to the game that will infuriate the entire player base and diminish the game to a husk of its former self. (Ultima Online, I’m looking at you EA…)
Winner: Fallout New Vegas
This game won purely because there wasn’t anything better. Yes, I know: that’s the whole concept of these awards. However in this case, it was because the competition did fairly poor in 2011. Fallout: New Vegas is nowhere near as compelling as Fallout 3 was. The setting is incredibly dull and a little too Americanized (which I spelled with a z, the irony..) and I found that there is far too little actual role-playing in this game. Where Fallout 3 was fun front-to-back, I found it incredibly difficult to like the world in Fallout New Vegas. Perhaps I should give it another go, but really I don’t think this game deserved a Golden Joystick.
Winner: Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Assassin’s Creed is one of those series which unveils a dark secret among many people who hardly ever game: They like killing other people. And getting away with it. It’s difficult not to like the series, despite Ubisoft’s doing everything in their power to try and make you hate their games. One thing that does annoy me is the control scheme, which should have been ported much better, but alas. When a game is this good, we forgive a lot. It was up against the likes of Portal 2 and LA Noire, so winning this Golden Joystick is quite the achievement. If only it wasn’t made by Ubisoft, we could have felt pretty satisfied about it as well.
Winner: Call of Duty: Black Ops
The FPS genre has been dominating the PC Gaming industry ever since Wolfenstein 3D shocked the world. It was quickly made popular by the likes of Doom, Unreal Tournament and Quake, and it’s hard to think of PC Gaming without shooters these days. I’ve not played Black Ops as unfortunately CoD games are released so fast that you’d have to be playing just shooters to follow the series as they come out, but from what others tell me it’s pretty much a CoD game. A solid but otherwise uninspired / uncreative shooter that follows a format that works. And why change a winning formula anyway?
Innovation of the year
Winner: Nintendo 3DS
You know what’s nice about Nintendo? They stick to their roots. Back in the old days, their games were Dull and repetitive and today their games are still dull and repetitive. But I’m being harsh, I am sure the 3DS is very exciting for kids, and keeps them entertained in the back of the car. Beyond that, wouldn’t you just get something ‘real’ to game on? You’ve got to admire the attempt at doing something different with handhelds, even though mobile phones perform the same function these days and the 3D effects have such a poor effect on children that it is adviced not to let anyone under 5 near the things. Wait, wasn’t that the genre it was aimed at in the first place?
Winner: Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic actually made an appearance on stage during the awards to be honored for services to gaming…. What??? You mean the incredibly annoying cartoons? The poor platform games? Sure they were very fast-paced and at least did things a little different, but Jazz Jackrabbit took the same game-play and made it more fun in every single way. I’d really contest that Sonic had a ‘massive impact’ on the gaming industry. I doubt things would be all that much different if he never had existed.
One to watch
Winner: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Apparently Skyrim is the game people are most excited about at the moment. We can’t really blame them, as anyone who is a fan of The Elder Scrolls series has been craving more since they finished Oblivion. (Several times..) Let us hope that Skyrim equals the greatness that was Morrowind, though I wont be playing it until most of the DLC and Mods are out. Because we know there will be at least 12-16 pieces of DLC, if not more and buying these type of games new is just not economic anymore. Support the developers? Gladly: As soon as they stop ripping me off by not including horse barding in a free patch, but charging a ridiculous fee for something so utterly meaningless. /bitter
Ultimate game of the year
Winner: Portal 2
Everyone and I mean everyone I know who has played Portal 2 wont stop talking about it. Amazing, awesome, utterly fantastic, funny, etc. The problem is; this is making me want to play the game LESS rather than more, as it sets huge expectations. Unlike the rest of the gaming world, I always felt Valve games were a little overrated, just because they were made by Valve. Don’t get me wrong, I am a HUGE Steam fan and appreciate everything the company does for the industry, but I’m just not the biggest fan of their games. That said, I’ve never played either of the Portal games, so there’s hope for me yet. Secretly, I do think it looks like quite a lot of fun. ;)