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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 Shooter
Best Shooter 2014 Titanfallwinner badge Titanfall

"Titanfall features an intuitive parkour system, cool futuristic technology and of course the big robots themselves. The Titans are tough, but not invulnerable, and a good amount of sustained fire will bring one down. Although there are only three types of chassis, there is a surprising amount of variety in play styles to be found here. There are weapons to be unlocked as you level up, and you also have a tactical ability, such as the cloaking device or a stimpack to increase your running speed. You can carry standard grenades, or mines, or projectiles which interfere with electronics. Then you have a couple of Kits like being able to detect the AI minions on the minimap, or an enhanced parkour kit. When you lay it all out on paper it seems infeasible that it will all come together into a coherent experience, but it does, and superbly." - Matt Porter

Honorable Mentions:Wolfenstein: The New Order, Far Cry 4, Destiny

 

Best Action Game
Best Action game 2014 Bayonetta 2winner badge Bayonetta 2

"The over-the-top zaniness of Bayonetta 2 never lets up. While you begin the game with Bayonetta’s classic guns on her hands and feet, it won’t be long before you unlock more weapons like scythes, swords, and whips. Each weapon has its own strengths and weaknesses but the fun part is figuring out how to mix and match. Many weapons can be placed either on Bayonetta’s hands or her feet and this will change how her attacks behave. While the game’s plot leaves a lot to be desired, the way in which it is presented is more than entertaining and the action is so fun you’ll forget about why anything else is happening." - Austin Clark

Honorable Mentions:Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Watch Dogs, Far Cry 4

 

Best Racing Game
Best racing game 2014 Forza Horizon 2winner badge Forza Horizon 2

"Forza Horizon 2 offers a much more accessible open world compared to its predecessor. No longer are you tied to roads that the developers have carved out, and in fact many gameplay elements rely on taking risks and shortcuts. Off-road races, likely inspired by the Rally DLC for the first Horizon, are absolutely exhilarating. The game definitely steps up in the vehicle selection. Over 200 cars are on display here, from manufacturers across the globe and throughout different time eras. All of the cars have wonderfully unique handling, as the trademark Forza simulation engine continues to work behind the scenes while presenting players with a more arcade style of gameplay. This title offers almost everything that arcade racing fans crave." - Alex V

Honorable Mentions:Mario Kart 8, Trials Fusion

 

Best Strategy Game
Best strategy game 2014 The Banner Sagawinner badge The Banner Saga

"Blending Oregon Trail’s journey-simulation with strategy RPG, the game does an effective job of giving players an unrelenting challenge as they desperately try to lead their people away from the dredge threat. Battles all take place on a grid, with turn-based, tactical combat. While the combat is not earth-shattering in its brilliance, it adds a nice twist as each enemy has an armor rating that must be reduced in order to do more damage to their actual life. This adds spice to the fray, as you will have to decide when to weaken an enemy's armor and when to go for the kill. From internal struggles to external threats, players will have to decide who they will protect as more and more people begin to ask you for assistance. Playing the hero and villain lead to equal amounts of reward and punishment." - Josh Hinke

Honorable Mentions:Transistor, The Western Front Armies, Banished

 

Best Adventure Game
Best adventure game 2014 The Wolf Among Uswinner 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. There are no dull scenes to pad out the runtime and every conversation helps to flesh out characters or provide information for your investigation. The dialogue choices do a better job of matching your intentions than the sometimes misleading suggestions offered before. You’ll really care about choices too as the feeling an investigation is getting away from you ensures you pay attention to every little thing." - Brendan Griffiths

Honorable Mentions:Valiant Hearts: The Great War, The Walking Dead: Season 2, Jazzpunk

 

Best RPG
Best RPG 2014 Dragon Age: Inquisitionwinner badge Dragon Age: Inquisition

"As you overcome challenges and make crucial decisions, you become leader of the inquisition. As Inquisitor, the fate of the world is in your hands. These difficult choices may kill characters or change the allies that join the inquisition. With a different starting world state and branching choices, there is compelling reason to replay the game." - Ben Thomas

Honorable Mentions:South Park: The Stick of Truth, Dark Souls 2, Wasteland 2

 

Best Sports Game
Best sports game 2014 FIFA 15winner badge FIFA 15

"Packing numerous improvements in team management options, FUT, and gameplay itself, this is a great sports package for any fan. Changes to tackling and goalkeepers will require players to adjust, and AI teams now behave more realistically than ever before. With the best and most authentic looking presentation in the franchise to date, FIFA 15 is a complete and enjoyable experience of virtual footy." - Alex V

Honorable Mentions:NBA 2k15

 

Best Platformer
Best Platformer 2014 Shovel Knighwinner badge Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight is a fun platforming game with an 8-bit retro aesthetic. You play as the eponymous Shovel Knight, a small knight with a huge quest. Shovel Knight has come to this land with two goals: to defeat the evil Enchantress and quest for his lost beloved. He wields a Shovel Blade: a multipurpose weapon whose techniques have now been lost to the ages.

Honorable Mentions:Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Fenix Rage, Strider

 

Best Puzzle Game
Best puzzle game 2014 The Talos Principlewinner badge The Talos Principle

"What initially looks like little more than a clever little puzzler with a bit of pretentious flair thrown in for good measure reveals itself as a genuinely really well-written work of sci-fi. Strictly speaking there are few (if any) puzzle elements in The Talos Principle that other first-person puzzlers haven't already laid claim to. Some work iteratively, giving you a meager set of tools and providing an ever-mounting set of obstacles as you gain access to more options, while others force you to work economically, using what appear to be an insufficient number of items by cutting as many corners as possible. Others just play with the existing mechanics in new and unexpected ways. They're the kind of puzzles that demand you be completely aware of your surroundings, and even in the small details you can see the game gently pushing you towards this state." - David Will

Honorable Mentions:Valiant Hearts: The Great War, Monument Valley, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

 

Best Arcade Game
Best arcade game 2014 Trials Fusionwinner badge Trials Fusion

"With Trials Fusion, RedLynx has raised the bar again, and it will be fascinating to see where the series goes from here. Precision is still key, and the controls are so intuitive that it's only ever your fault if you fail. The progression through the campaign keeps you coming back for just one more try. The addition of challenges and tricks keeps things interesting. This is still a wonderfully fun and engaging game that will delight and frustrate you in equal measures. " - Matt Porter

Honorable Mentions:Velocity 2X, Nidhogg, Geometry Wars 3

 

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