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Game of the Year Awards 2014

Highlighting the best games from the year gone by

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Introduction  |  Gameplay Awards  |  Special Awards  |  Genre Awards  |  GOTY

Best Story
best story 2014 The Wolf Among us winner badge The Wolf Among Us

"The backbone of the story is a murder mystery with you needing to interrogate suspects and make snap decisions about what line of questioning to take, or at several points, decide which suspect to chase. Making the wrong choice or heading to one area first can have direct effects on the story and change who lives and dies. It’s impossible to go into much detail without ruining even the first episode. The fresh -and very dark- take on many familiar characters is a revelation though, and I imagine many gamers will be keen to check out Willingham’s comics after playing this." - Brendan Griffiths

Honorable Mentions: The Walking Dead: Season 2, The Banner Saga, Dragon Age: Inquisition

 

Best Graphics (Art)
best graphics art 2014 The Banner Sagawinner badge The Banner Saga

"The art of game is absolutely gorgeous, capturing epic landscapes and intricate character details with equal precision and skill. Each location and person you talk to is completely unique, helping add to the epic scope of The Banner Saga’s vision. Seeing the dredge slowly crowd in around your resting screen as you prepare for large scale battles adds tension to each passing moment, demonstrating the desperateness of your situation." - Josh Hinke

Honorable Mentions:The Wolf Among Us, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Transistor

 

Best Graphics (Technical)
Best Graphics (Technical) 2014 Infamous: Second Sonwinner badge Infamous: Second Son

"The stylized comic book-like cutscenes have been reduced to a minimum for this entry, instead replaced by the usual modern exposition scenes. These are expertly acted out however, and help immerse players in the world. It helps that this is the best PS4 looking title to date. It features the same great high resolution textures and effects like those in Killzone: Shadow Fall, but what helps the game stand out is the attention to detail. Water reflections while it rains look incredibly accurate, the particle effects are the best you’ve ever seen, and power abilities all look fantastic." - Alex V

Honorable Mentions:

Ryse: Son of Rome, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

 

Best Music
best music 2014 Destiny winner badge Destiny

"Martin O'Donnell's Destiny score threatens to surpass his own classic work on Halo. The soundtrack shows off the composer's range, effortlessly switching between subtle undertones for exploration and epic themes for climatic battles. If there is any fault in O'Donnell's magnificent score, it might be that the work is so good you'll find yourself swept up in it's grandiose and lose track of the dozens of enemies your trying to blast away." - Josh Hinke

Honorable Mentions:Transistor, The Wolf Among Us, The Banner Saga

 

Best Sound Design
best sound 2014 Alien: Isolation winner badge Alien: Isolation

"The crippled station will lurch and rumble, suffering through collisions and system malfunctions. You may walk down a corridor, enveloped by flashing lights and klaxon alarms, only to react at the faintest sound or shadow. Or you may admire the reflections on the floor before receiving a telltale blip from your motion tracker." - Ben Thomas

Honorable Mentions:Titanfall, Far Cry 4, Transistor

 

Best Atmosphere
best atmosphere 2014 Alien: Isolation winner badge Alien: Isolation

"The Sevastopol Station is rich with atmosphere and based heavily on the design of the first Alien movie. Aesthetics from the movie are preserved with a retro sci-fi design and padded walls. The atmosphere is perfect for the Alien threat and the retro design is a refreshing change from the sterile modern approach to sci-fi." - Ben Thomas

Honorable Mentions:

Far Cry 4, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, The Banner Saga

 

Best Voice Acting
best voice acting 2014 Dragon Age: Inquisition winner badge Dragon Age: Inquisition

"When compared to the developer's previous games, there seems to be a better distribution of dialogue. Nine companions and three advisors each have important story arcs that culminate into specific missions. Companion variety is excellent, from the driven warrior Cassandra to the comedic mage Dorian. You are rewarded with BioWare's silky dialogue in the personal cut scenes." - Ben Thomas

Honorable Mentions:South Park: The Stick of Truth, The Wolf Among Us, The Walking Dead: Season 2

 

Most Memorable Character
Most Memorable Character 2014 Bigby Wolf winner badge Bigby Wolf (The Wolf Among Us)

"Set in 1980’s New York, you play as Bigby Wolf, the Sherriff of a district of the city known as Fable Town. Cast your minds back top all those childhood stories of fables like Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella and now imagine all those characters were real. All of these characters, some of whom are centuries old, had to leave their homelands and are trying to make a new life in New York. Those that don’t have a human appearance (think Toad and the Three Little Pigs) must pay for a Glamour, an expensive spell that provides a temporary human appearance. It’s the only way they can leave the house without facing the wrath of the original Big Bad Wolf, you. There are a few light-hearted moments, such as Colin the pig crashing on Bigby’s sofa, using the fact the wolf blew his house down as guilt-tripping leverage. The voice acting is also suitably impressive, with a collection of New York and further afield accents proving to be a great match for many of the characters." - Brendan Griffiths

Honorable Mentions:Iron Bull (Dragon Age: Inquisition), Jane (The Walking Dead: Season 2), Blazkowicz (Wolfenstein: The New Order)

 

Best Original Gameplay Design
Best Original Gameplay Design 2014 Watch Dogs winner badge Watch Dogs

"Everything in Chicago is connected to the Central Operating System (ctOS), and it controls almost every piece of the city’s technology. This plays into the central hacking gameplay of Watch Dog; by simply pulling out the smartphone, Aiden gets a glimpse into the life of every NPC citizen that is near him by instantly offering a profile with bits of info like their name, photo, occupation, or a secret of their life. When you see an interactive item either within range of your phone or through a camera, you can hack it. This ability to jump between cameras and different points of view not only allows for better exploration of the environment, but also acts as a puzzle of sorts in some missions where Aiden performs everything remotely. Hacking adds an unprecedented amount of choice to the players." - Alex V

Honorable Mentions:Titanfall, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Crypt of the NecroDancer

 

Best Singleplayer
Best singleplayer 2014 Dragon Age: Inquisition winner badge Dragon Age: Inquisition

"Dragon Age: Inquisition has massive scope, both in world design and narrative. The comprehensive story is packed with astounding characters and riveting decisions. Old characters return, depending on the world state imported from Dragon Age Keep, and key decisions will shape the story. These difficult choices may kill characters or change the allies that join the inquisition. This framework plays to the strengths of BioWare, and gives the player control over an open adventure that is thick with narrative." - Ben Thomas

Honorable Mentions:The Wolf Among Us, Transistor, The Banner Saga

 

Best Multiplayer
Best Multiplayer 2014 Titanfall winner badge Titanfall

"Modern Warfare changed the way multiplayer shooters worked when it released back in 2007. Titanfall is merely a progression of the foundations that were laid down by that game, but even so, you’ll have a great deal of fun while playing it. Titans are the obvious talking point, but there is a lot more besides. It features an intuitive parkour system, cool futuristic technology and the game is rife with small touches that add to the overall experience. As unique as the game is, it still sticks to the basic leveling up formula that FPS games have been using for years. However, it's still remarkably engaging." - Matt Porter

Honorable Mentions:Super Smash Bros, Assassin's Creed: Unity, The Elder Scrolls Online

 

Best Gameplay
Best gameplay 2014 Titanfallwinner badge Titanfall

"I hopped between walls to reach the roof of a building, took out an enemy and then jumped from the roof onto the back of an opposing giant mech. I ripped open a panel and started shooting away at the electronics inside. The pilot, having been warned of my presence, hopped out and attempted to get me off. I called down my own titan from orbit, turned on my cloaking device, jumped off and clung to a nearby wall. I waited a couple of seconds. My titan dropped from out of the sky and crushed both the titan, and the player in front of me. Welcome to Titanfall." - Matt Porter

Honorable Mentions:Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Far Cry 4, Bayonetta 2

 

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