Well, it's easy to say that there's been a lot going on this year in terms of great games. Which is certainly more than can be said for last year. Reviewers said "Gears of War?" and we realized that no one had made anything better.
Now we have a whole slew of things to consider. We have Team Fortress 2, Crysis, BioShock, Halo 3, Portal, Half-Life 2: Episode 2, Super Mario Galaxy, Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect, Guitar Hero III, Call of Duty 4, Unreal Tournament III, Ratchet and Clank Future...the list goes on. And amazingly enough, in that list alone, we have FIVE GAMES that aren't sequels! FIVE!!! That's 38%!
But as we all know, Game of the Year can't be about statistics. We don't simply take the game with the highest numerical rating and slap on the medal. The game has to break boundaries, be really fun, and we need to know that we'll remember it next year. (speaking of which, last year's GOTY is now on PC...)
Many of you will know me for being the obsessive Half-Life fan, but in the face of the sheer number of high-quality games that have come out this year, even I have to go into some deep consideration.
2007 has been a great year for games, and so my supreme authority deems the game twenty lines down to be the undisputable game of the year.
ALL OF THEM.
Why are we fighting? Why do we have to always pick one over the other? Do we really care if a game on a system that we don't even OWN gets worse reviews than another one? Game of the Year was only established to convince people what games to buy. But it has mutated into something that at this point, I don't like.
It's now a contest of fanboyism, a debate of minute details and things that can be considered so objective that in any other field they would be ignored.
Well, consider this, fanboys. Consider the fact that in the end it comes down to preference, and even the most well-learned psychologist/game critic won't be able to tell why there are people who liked Clive Barker's Jericho. And there's no reason we should make fun of them either. If they like the game, let's not try to convince them that their opinion is wrong. Let's not make the world think we're all game designers and take an in-depth look at the mechanics and decide whether it is allowable for someone to enjoy the game. Let's let them have fun.
The fact is, I don't want one game to be Game of the Year this year. Whereas often we are looking for innovations beyond any other, such as in that ever-distant spectacle, SPORE, I think that what 2007 turned out is pretty damn good. Let me demonstrate...
Team Fortress 2 showed us that Nintendo's cartoony styles could actually work harmoniously with one of the gorier games to come out this year, and remains the one online multiplayer game that anyone can pick up and play.
Crysis pushed boundaries for graphics, in games and even in the general CGI world. It also gave us the perfect way to approach a situation in many different ways. We have no doubt it'll remain the benchmark of choice for overclockers.
BioShock told us a story that seems completely uninfluenced by any of the traditional plotlines we've seen. It's not an alien invasion, a demon taking over the world...BioShock was something else entirely.
Halo 3 finished a wide-stretching storyline, and remains one of the best twitch-multiplayer games around. It also made an enormous leap in machinima with the introduction of Saved Films and the Forge.
Portal took things so much farther than Digipen's original creation. All the incredible writing from Psychonauts has visibly carried over into a solid game mechanic that works in ways even the developers can't imagine. It remains the only game that reviewer Yahtzee Croshaw has no criticism for.
Half-Life 2: Episode 2 finally took the Half-Life story somewhere. It reminded us that whereas all acting in movies is starting to look like Keanu Reeves, it's still possible for a game to bring a tear to your eye.
Super Mario Galaxy was more than a "flashback to the platforming era". It EXPANDED on the formula platformer. The gravity flipping and great, while not excessive, use of the wiimote, made this game definitely worthy of the long-standing Mario name.
Assassin's Creed brought Parkour to video games, and provides us with one of the most massive, GTA-style freeroaming games to come out all year.
Mass Effect, like KOTOR, gives you characters you will care about, worlds that will touch your eye, and a story that is truly unforgettable.
Guitar Hero III became the second video game to have a South Park episode based around it, and reminds us all of why we love music.
Call of Duty 4, rather than creating a new gimmick for the FPS genre, polishes the game that it knows so well to a mirror sheen. And it sent a powerful message to EA: WORLD WAR 2 IS OVER. GET WITH IT.
Unreal Tournament III provided a fantastic engine for BioShock, Mass Effect, and many other games to come, and is the first console game to attempt to bring mods from the PC to the consoles. Besides that, multiplayer is undeniably fun and varied.
Ratchet and Clank Future is finally one of the best PS3-exclusive titles, and combines the fun platforming of Mario with the also-fun gunning of Unreal. Except, in a manner of speaking...these guns are bigger.
We don't need a game of the year. As Christmas approaches, let us move our words from hateful fanboying (Altair would SO beat Master Chief in a fight) to mutual love of all games. (What if Altair taught Master Chief to be an assassin?)
Even if that includes Jericho.
Welcome to the Inconvenienced Blog. This is a Comedy and Gaming Culture Site all rolled into one. Alongside humorous articles, we'll also be be giving our thoughts on games, and the gaming industry as a whole.
Hope you stick around and get to know the place.