Now that all five nominees have been written about, and a strong argument has been made for each outstanding game, it's time to announce the winner! Without further ado, the 2012 Game of the Year is...
The Walking Dead: The Game!
It's hard to quantify exactly what makes The Walking Dead: The Game the game of the year. It's got it's fair share of issues, both from a technical and gameplay standpoint, yet the whole experience still manages to be the best of the year. The story of Lee and Clementine is arguably the best told in the universe that includes a massively popular graphic novel and television show. The game constantly challenges you to make difficult, split second choices that require more consideration than any other choices gamers have made in the last year. It all adds up to a notable downloadable game, and the best game of the year.
It all boils down to the writing, though. In an industry that's growing more and more interested in showcasing graphical power and gameplay gimmicks, the digital market has consistently delivered on the types of stories that many players miss from the AAA games. From the very first moments of the first episode, it's clear that Telltale Games is committed to telling a dark, yet stylized story that can only work in the world created by Robert Kirkman.
And let's not ignore the significant fact that The Walking Dead: The Game is an adventure game. For a genre that many believed dying or dead, this game has grown immensely popular over the five part season, sending a clear message that there's a market for these games, as long as they are done properly. If only the puzzles could've held up to what once made the genre so great.
It's worth mentioning that Far Cry 3 came in a close second, with Journey rounding out the Top Three. This year was all about challenging what gamers were familiar with, and these three games represent something that pushes us firmly outside of our comfort zones. The Walking Dead: The Game just so happened to be the best at it.
Congratulations to Telltale Games on their win. Perhaps they can repeat this success when the next season releases!