Roll your D20s its time for the RPG game of the year award. It all sounds so simple but behind the doors these games represent some of the more complex mechanics and plots around, giving us some of the most expansive and varied gaming environments we’ve ever seen.
Role-playing is all about immersion, and these games represent some of the deepest, most engrossing experiences available, often involving the player in some of the most grandiose tales of pure fantasy. The roleplaying game mechanic has been with us since the RPG Lord, Gary Gygax, first thought of pen & paper tabletop games with your buddies, and since then leveling up and character development has found its way into a huge proportion of video games.
Every year the benchmarks for gaming get pushed further and the big hitters in the industry are now at the stage where they have to create entire worlds for a player to roam around in at their own pace. The Best Open World Award nominees are those titles that set those benchmarks.
Developers build breathing worlds for the gamer to skip merrily through, but it is only the best that allow the gamer to bounce along with a rocket launcher in hand and a complete world of possibilities resting on their trigger finger. Mastering this field means keeping the player entertained whenever they want, without railroading them into a story arch they cannot escape, while simultaneously providing them with entertaining, relevant options whenever they so wish. No easy feat, but the year’s nominees manage to walk that ground comfortably.
Throw away Dickens. Set alight your copy of Tolstoy. Wuthering Heights meet paper shredder. You have no need for these intellectual curios with gaming’s huge advances in storytelling and character development.
These are the cream of the crop, the Booker prize for our new interactive age. All of the nominees give us a riveting yarn that had us hooked from the very first page screen, with stories that will live long in our memory. Intriguing plot devices, exceptional character dialogue, twists and turns that all come together to deliver a real contender for the Best Story Award.
Game soundtracks are often cruelly overlooked, but a title’s music and composition can often be the things that really makes or breaks a game’s atmosphere and tone. 2014 has been a pretty standout year when it comes to fabulous musical scores, especially in smaller games.
However, a number of them really stood out to us, and difficult as it was to narrow down to just four, here are the games whose music really transported us to another world.
They have been known to drive grown men to tears by their beauty. Their exquisite attention to detail has brought millions flocking to bask in their brilliance.
No, it’s not the Mona Lisa, it’s of course the GGA’s Best Visuals Award nominees. These games are on another level when it comes to polygon crunching gorgeousness, delivering some of the finest visual experiences ever dreamed of in video game land.
This award is looking at games and hardware in our industry that break the mold and do it with style. Not content to follow the reliable formula, sometimes something can really shine through because it tries something different.
It might not be perfect this time around, but this award heralds the attempts as much as the successes. Without innovation the industry would become boring fast.
Only the best of the best are nominated for the prestigious Game or The Year title, and there can be only one. We are all looking for that one supreme game that brought us to our knees over the past 12 months. Maybe it was the most beautiful experience ever, or perhaps its story was so imaginative that you couldn’t help but be whisked away to its pixelated shores. Nominees are usually highly competent in every facet that makes a title brilliant and all of them are video game titans that stand above the rest. These titles reach the lofty heights where the ‘Half-Lifes’ and the ‘Elder Scrolls’ of gaming history dwell. They push the industry forward, innovating with rich new features and exceptional gameplay, all the while perfecting mechanics that will set the template for every other title to aspire to.