PSXE Game Of The Year Awards 2015
Game of the Year
- Assassin's Creed Syndicate
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- Fallout 4
- Rocket League
- Batman: Arkham Knight
Winner: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
But here's the thing: Up until a very short time ago, this award was going to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. It seemed only right. Perhaps technically and when dissected, MGSV is the better overall game. That being said, other considerations worked their way in at the last minute.
We had some question as to whether or not The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt should win overall Game of the Year; as you can see, it only earned an 8.7 score when it launched. Every other game nominated for the award scored higher; MGSV significantly so. After all, CD Projekt Red released an unstable product, which required a half-dozen patches over the span of several months to really fix. We don't believe we should be rewarding this sort of unfortunate trend. At the same time, the counter argument is that the game is fixed, it's as solid as can be right now, and we should be evaluating the products as they stand as of December 31, 2015, and not nailing them in place when they launch.
There's good logic to that. On top of which, hindsight is always 20/20 and we started to realize that in looking back at MGSV, a lot of fans - like, a lot - were starting to say things like, "well, it was great but it just didn't feel like MGS," or, "it's an awesome game but I just couldn't finish it for some reason." There is a marked departure from previous series iterations and perhaps its biggest downfall is that for the first time in the IP's history, the story actually takes a backseat as opposed to being the headliner. This is really what irked long-time fans and in truth, it annoyed us as well. Open-world and freedom has been the bane of the great interactive story's existence in this industry.
On the flip side, The Witcher 3 delivered absolutely everything we could've hoped for. It was every bit as epic as anticipated, it had all the depth and fantastical flair most RPG lovers appreciate, and it did have a fully realized story that, despite all our wandering and the game's massive size, never really disappeared into the background. Toss in the generation's single best expansion to date and you've got a game that just plain shines. It's the RPG, in our estimation. And as for Fallout 4, there are numerous detractors out there and while we don't agree (it's an excellent title), it just doesn't have the same impact in our eyes.
Well, that's it for this year. Here's hoping 2016 is the year to end all years!
1/2/2016 Ben Dutka