Month: December 2015

2015 Game of the Year Winner

2015 Game of the Year Winner

As another year ends, the CGM staff has come together to award Game of the Year to deserving titles of 2015. After a lengthy and heated debate on podcast, and a vote from the CGM staff all over the world, we have crowned our GotY picks! Eight categories that span all year and a wide range of genres. These titles are the best of the best of 2015 and demonstrate unique qualifications that set them apart and above in 2015. Here is our pick for 2015 Game of the Year.

Game of the Year is not a title that is considered lightly. This is a game that not only stands out within its genre, but stands beyond all games across all genres. It is a game that showcases extreme technical proficiency, incredible storytelling capabilities, an immersive and believable game world, and stays with the player long after they’ve finished playing. It’s a game that players not only want to talk about months after completion, but to revisit and find every last little detail. It is with great deliberation that we present these games for the title of Game of the Year.

Nominees: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
                    Fallout 4
                    Undertale
                    Splatoon

Winner: The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a shining example of what video games can be, not only technically, but artistically. Its sheer scope is baffling and the amount of content within can very well keep players engaged for an entire year. Its combat mechanics are tight and technical, rewarding precision over barbaric button bashing, and its levelling and upgrade system, while some may considering restrictive, add a layer of depth to the game that forces you to strategize every encounter.

But beyond being a technically proficient game, it’s also a deep and complex story that makes the player an integral part of it, stopping them to consider each choice as they influence momentous events. Its beautiful designs for landscapes, monsters, and people create a world that feels alive; one that’s as beautiful as it is harrowing. The Witcher 3 is a sterling example of a video game, deeply complex, awe inspiring, and above all FUN. It truly deserves the title of Game of the Year.

Game of the Year 2015: Atmospheric

Game of the Year 2015: Atmospheric

As another year ends, the CGM staff has come together to award Game of the Year to deserving titles of 2015. After a lengthy and heated debate on podcast, and a vote from the CGM staff all over the world, we have crowned our GotY picks! Eight categories that span all year and a wide range of genres. These titles are the best of the best of 2015 and demonstrate unique qualifications that set them apart and above in 2015. Here is our pick for Atmospheric Game of the Year.

Immersion is a concept often tossed around by game designers. While many try to use it, very few understand how to separate the player from the game, making them feel like a part of the world. One of the most important elements in immersion is atmosphere; creating a world that feels alive and filling it with believable characters that feel like they belong there. These games exceeds above all others at setting the stage and weaving the elaborate yarn.

Nominees: Her Story
                    SOMA
                    Until Dawn
                    Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

Winner: Until Dawn Until Dawn is a true teenagers-trapped-with-a-killer horror experience; it follows the pacing of a slasher flick to a tee. More than that, though, it’s a very different take on atmospheric horror. Instead of leaving the player trapped in a horror scenario, it puts them in control of a group of teenagers and tasks them with their survival.

Though much of Until Dawn’s appeal will be lost on those uninitiated into classic horror culture, for those who are, this represents a very unique experience. Everyone has at least one slasher flick fan in their life, and this might just be the perfect game that 2015 has to offer for them.

World of Warships (PC) Review 11

World of Warships (PC) Review

I never really got into Battleship. Mainly because I didn’t own it as a kid, but more so because as an adult, it was far too easy to hide your ships in every corner of the board and let your opponent blindly fire at an empty middle where “traditional” players might have put their ships.

World of Warships is basically virtual Battleship only with much more action and strategy involved. One of the three historically based, vehicular combat MMOs brought to you by Wargaming Public Co Ltd, (the cleverly named) World of Warships takes the slow, methodical combat of naval battles and turns them into a pretty intense experience, testing your tactical expertise.

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World of Warships plays like a third-person shooter with a few RTS elements mixed in for good measure. Players can choose from a variety of ships within four different classes: destroyers, cruisers, carriers and battleships. How you play is determined by what ship you use, and your strategies need to be tuned accordingly. Destroyers are some of the faster ships and are more suited to charging into battle firing shells and torpedoes, while battleships are slow, lumbering behemoths that can deal and take the most damage. Most interesting of all ships, and easily my favorite, are the carriers, that literally change the game into an RTS (seriously, even the viewpoint is changed from 3PS to overhead), as you manage a fleet of planes and help control the battle.

However it isn’t as simple as just choosing a ship and going to war. Each ship is host to a litany of fine touches. Players can choose from one of the six available nations’ fleet of ships, and each one offers differing varieties in the types of ships (Germany for example only offers Cruisers and a single Battleship). On top of that, through playing matches, players will earn in-game currency (while they can choose to purchase premium currency) to purchase upgrades for their artillery, add bonus “perk” upgrades to their ship as well as upgrade their captain for added special perks like “increased chance to ignite enemy ships” or “decreased chance of being flooded.” These upgrades add a nice RPG flavor to the game, and given WoW’s more methodical, tactical style of gameplay, this forces you to focus your efforts towards creating the most effective ship.

Matches are easily made and incredibly balanced. I never found myself waiting more than a minute or two to get into a match, and what I found quite interesting was how the game matches your opponent’s ships to that of your team. Often I thought I could be sneaky and overpower the other team with a deft aerial assault, only to be matched with another carrier of relative calibre. This is an excellent system and ensures that no team ever has the upper-hand over another.

The game is quite pretty and technically proficient. Battles are randomized quite nicely and the variety of battlefield offers interesting methods for strategy. From the harrowing battles in the wide-open Ocean, to the sunrise battles on New Dawn, each level is not only a treat to look at, but adds interesting elements to the tactical gameplay (the Ice Islands being my personal favorite.)

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On higher end computers you’ll get the full spectrum of details and fine touches, from the waves on the seas to the nuts and bolts on the ships. However, those on the lower end need not worry; World of Warships optimizes itself very well on almost any computer. I ran it from my Dell Inspirion 14-5447 laptop, and while it didn’t look as nice, it ran smooth as butter.

If I had to say one negative thing about the game, it’s the slow pace at which you unlock ships and bonuses. At the start, you’ll unlock the first few ships fairly quickly, but then it really feels like you hit the wall, and getting to the next upgrade becomes a serious grind. On top of that, the slow methodical gameplay just didn’t hold my attention for very long. Make no mistake, I enjoyed my time with World of Warships, I just felt like I had my fill after a few hours.

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Overall, World of Warships is an excellent game, and I’d highly recommend it if you’re into this kind of thing. For a free MMO, it’s technically proficient, looks great, and will provide a fun experience.  Even though I couldn’t find myself getting into it, I definitely understand why it has the following it has.

Game of the Year 2015: Indie

As another year ends, the CGM staff has come together to award Game of the Year to deserving titles of 2015. After a lengthy and heated debate on podcast, and a vote from the CGM staff all over the world, we have crowned our GotY picks! Eight categories that span all year and a wide range of genres. These titles are the best of the best of 2015 and demonstrate unique qualifications that set them apart and above in 2015. Here is our pick for Indie Game of the Year.

The indie game scene is one of the last vestibules for truly inventive games. While the AAA scene chases fads, extends franchises for sequel dollars and creates larger, bloated yet stagnant games, independent developers are finding new ways to explore the medium, with fresh ideas and inspiring creativity. These games shows just how far a small budget and a big idea can go.

Nominees: N++
                    Axiom Verge
                    Armello
                    Undertale
                    Crypt of the NecroDancer

Winner: Undertale Few games come along that have almost everyone in agreement about how incredible and influential they are. Few games come along that are challenging, charming, sweet, scary, funny, and quirky all in one amazing package. Few games come along with a story and characters that enrapture you so deeply that you feel a real connection to them. Few games come along that stick with you months after you’ve played them. Undertale is one of those games.

Taking the best elements from traditional JRPGs, Undertale tells a deeply moving story while changing the traditional formula of turn-based combat in a way that challenges players’ pre-conceived perceptions of the genre. It wears its influences to genre revolutionaries like Earthbound and Final Fantasy on its sleeve, has an incredibly deep Meta that will keep players guessing the whole way through, and a soundtrack that easily could have won “Soundtrack of the Year.”

Game of the Year 2015: RPG

Game of the Year 2015: RPG

As another year ends, the CGM staff has come together to award Game of the Year to deserving titles of 2015. After a lengthy and heated debate on podcast, and a vote from the CGM staff all over the world, we have crowned our GotY picks! Eight categories that span all year and a wide range of genres. These titles are the best of the best of 2015 and demonstrate unique qualifications that set them apart and above in 2015. Here is our pick for RPG Game of the Year.

There are many things that make up the RPG genre; from games that echo the traditional sensibilities of pen & paper RPGs to the stories and characters that have become synonymous with JRPGs, the RPG genre challenges the player’s tactical ability and decision making skills over the simple “button mash” beat-em-up styles of more action-based genres. These games stood out as the most gripping and stimulating experiences in the genre this year.

Nominees: Bloodborne
                    Fallout 4
                    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
                    Xenoblade Chronicles X

Winner: The Witcher 3 In some respects, The Witcher 3 shares a lot of similarities with recent Bethesda and BioWare games. Mechanically, the game also manages to get a lot of things right, with a lot of systems clearly keeping to their more complex cRPG roots. There’s a crafting system that’s almost overwhelming in its requirements for ingredients, components, and the possibility to upgrade existing items.

The Witcher series has always been defined by its blending of real-time, action-based combat with traditional RPG systems in vast, open-world settings, and The Witcher III is no exception. It is one of, if not the most overwhelmingly beautiful games to date, with graphical settings that can make even the most powerful of purpose-built gaming PCs weep. For fans of the franchise and action-oriented RPGs alike, The Witcher 3 is truly the must-have title of 2015.

Game of the Year 2015: Racing

Game of the Year 2015: Racing

As another year ends, the CGM staff has come together to award Game of the Year to deserving titles of 2015. After a lengthy and heated debate on podcast, and a vote from the CGM staff all over the world, we have crowned our GotY picks! Eight categories that span all year and a wide range of genres. These titles are the best of the best of 2015 and demonstrate unique qualifications that set them apart and above in 2015. Here is our pick for Racing Game of the Year.

In the realm of racing games you either go fast, or get left behind. Racing games need to challenge their players with high speeds, precise controls, and most of all, exhilarating fun. From open-world street racing, or traditional tracks, these games speed past the rest.

Nominees: Need for Speed
                    Forza Motorsport 6
                    Project CARS   

Winner Need for Speed Whatever your level of experience in racing games, there should be something to your liking here, as the arcade-style gameplay means that knowledge of real-world cars and physics have very little to do with one’s ability to drop in and enjoy the world of Venture Bay.

For everyone else, though, the game’s return to Full Motion Video cutscenes featuring a posse of young, energy drink-guzzling, car-loving, fist-bumping misfits will help you to be sucked up in the silly drama and races as you work your way through the single-player experience.

Game of the Year 2015: Action

Game of the Year 2015: Action

As another year ends, the CGM staff has come together to award Game of the Year to deserving titles of 2015. After a lengthy and heated debate on podcast, and a vote from the CGM staff all over the world, we have crowned our GotY picks! Here is our pick for the Action Game of the Year.

Do you like car chases, big bloody brawls, explosions, and chaos at every turn? Then action games are right up your alley. These games challenge your reflexes, quick-thinking, and make you the hero every kid dreams of being. These games will get your heart racing and adrenaline pumping better than all others.

Nominees: Mortal Kombat X
                    Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
                    Batman: Arkham Knight
                    Halo 5: Guardians

Winner: Batman: Arkham Knight Gotham is finally playable in all of its glory and is absolutely astounding to simply glide or drive though. The rain-soaked and bleak design feels very much like the non-period specific gothic lightshow of Tim Burton’s Batman universe and the city has been crafted down to minute details. The combat is just as comfortably thrilling as always, with Rocksteady increasing the speed and ease of the design to make it even more simple, addictive, and powerful.

As our reviewer Phil Brown put it, “Taken as a trilogy, the Arkham series isn’t just the greatest superhero video game series ever mounted, but one of the greatest interpretations of the Batman mythos in any medium.”



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