As another year has passed and space year 2013 draws to a close, its that time of year when the Zero1gaming team set the fireplace going at Z1G towers, draw up the armchairs and debate their picks for 2013 Game Of The Year.
These discussions always start out with good natured debate, but rabidly degenerate in angry arguments and, finally, to fisticuffs, with many a noogie and nipple-tweak exchanged. Its not unheard of for the odd elbow drop to be thrown around too!
So, after the dust settled, the raw steaks applied to black eyes and the teeth picked up from the floor, the team Z1G picks for Game Of The Year can be revealed:
Paul Izod – Tomb Raider
Yes, yes, following my almost carnal review of Bioshock: Infinite, back in March, I probably should pick that. But I can’t look past Tomb Raider based on one factor: its the game I had most fun with all year, bar none. No other game this year made me keep coming back over and over, a game that captured that addictive magic where I’d gladly forgoe basic human needs just for more play time. Its that feeling that made me fall in love with gaming all those years ago and Tomb Raider brought that back for me and that’s why it’s my 2013 Game Of The Year.
Ed Prosser – Bioshock: Infinite
For me, game of the year was Bioshock Infinite. A Triple-A first-person shooter (and a sequel no less) which succeeded in blending engaging gameplay and narrative themes and ideas with a great visual aesthetic and good characterisation thanks to stellar voice acting from Troy Baker (The Last of Us) as Booker DeWitt and Courtnee Draper as mcguffin Elizabeth. The plot does an adequate job of keeping the show on the road, with minimal missteps and is paced well enough to keep you playing through till the end. All in all, a cracking body of work which, if you’re interested in games at all, you really should play.
Tim Bowers – The Last of Us
What can you say about this game that hasn’t already been said.The story of Ellie and Joel has stood out more than any other this year. Not only did developers Naughty Dog create a stunning world to play in, they also created characters that you believed in. Ellie not only warmed Joel’s heart, but she also touched the lives of many other players, here was a strong female character that didnt resort to a low cut top, over inflated breasticles, or get captured every five minutes. The standout experience of 2013.
Drew Pontikis- Payday 2
As infuriating as it is brilliant, Payday 2 if nothing else has certainly been the most addictive game of 2013. With hype reaching astronomical levels prior to launch, it immediately sold out across the country and gamers immersed themselves in a world of cooperative gameplay that is rarely available. Whilst many bemoaned the lack of level variation, the IQ bereft AI and the drill (oh God that drill!), people were as hooked on breaking into safes and meth labs as they were obsessed with collecting masks. Great fun all round, if you can get a copy.
Joseph Butler-Hartley – Bioshock: Infinite
My favourite games leave me pondering long after they finish, and all these months later I’m still attempting to unravel Bioshock Infinite. Painfully human yet cosmically surreal, the narrative and the characters will dig their claws into you and not let you go. To back up the story, the gameplay is incredibly entertaining and varied, and it’s probably the most fun I’ve had with a first-person shooter in a long time. Visually, it’s the most amazing game I’ve ever played, and I’d rate the first hour of game play as possibly the best hour I’ve had with a controller in my hand
Oliver Smith – Grand Theft Auto V
As I have been furiously convincing myself for several years, bigger is not always better. But every once in a blue moon, an offering of grand proportions manages to counter that argument with a mass of content that’s also laced with quality – Grand Theft Auto V is the pinnacle of such a concept. As expertly crafted as it is enormous, this mountain of content is one of the greatest digitised efforts ever committed to disc. A trio of expertly realised characters tearing through the greatest game-world ever made, make this criminally inexcusable game the satire-rich GTA that before now only dreams could conjure.
Kimmo Kuppe: The Wonderful 101
I’ll admit my blood oath to Platinum games contributed to this as my choice, but I did actually have some criteria for this choice. I didn’t want to pick a game that was a reboot, sequel, prequel, remake, or otherwise part of an already established franchise. I wanted something brand new. I also wanted to pick something that felt like a GAME in that it was a challenge and it had some replay value and some real improvement of skill. This disqualified a pretty big chunk of the expected GOTYs since lately games with zero gameplay but movie-quality story telling get all the props. The Wonderful 101 which came out for the troubled Nintendo WiiU fits my demands perfectly. Blending the action heavy deep combat Platinum is known for with a Super Sentai/Super Hero setting with unique controls that really utilize the WiiU gamepad, The Wonderful 101 should be required buying for anyone who already has a WiiU or is planning on getting one. And remember: The “1” in the Wonderful 101…. is you.
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Paul Izod is a lifelong gamer. Since he was old enough to tap at his Dad's PC's keyboard he's been a gamer. Dedicated and often opinionated, you can be sure he'll always have something interesting to say about the subject at hand. Find him on Twitter at @PaulIzod or @FaultyPixelUK or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org