: PSXE Game Of The Year Awards 2015

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PSXE Game Of The Year Awards 2015

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Another great year needs to be followed by another set of great awards...even if everyone won't agree. :)

2015 was a year of more delays but thankfully, the titles we did get were pretty darn good.

Choosing the Game of the Year title was basically impossible, while other categories required a whole lot of head-scratching. I checked in with a few other people behind the scenes to get their thoughts on these awards, so no, I'm not the only one responsible for handing out the hardware this year. But you know, that didn't really make things any easier.

And why? Because you wish you could honor all the great games! Here we go:

Achievement Awards

Best Graphics

Nominees

  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  • Bloodborne
  • The Order: 1886
  • Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
  • Star Wars: Battlefront
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Winner: The Order: 1886

Say what you want about the game itself, but nobody is going to deny that the visual presentation in The Order: 1886 is absolutely astounding. This stellar presentation excelled in just about every area, from character design to environmental detail to animation and special effects. Believe it or not, the strongest competitor was actually Star Wars: Battlefront but as we didn't find the overall map design - which we count in the Graphics category - to be anything special, the brilliance and realism of The Order just had to be the winner.

Best Music

Nominees

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  • Assassin's Creed Syndicate
  • Fallout 4
  • Bloodborne
  • Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

Winner: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

This was one of the most difficult categories in 2015. With Austin Wintory helping out on that epic and sweeping Assassin's Creed Syndicate score, the haunting greatness of Bloodborne's music, the memorable emotion of the Everybody's Gone to the Rapture soundtrack... But in the end, the score that continued to impress in just about every way, throughout the entire adventure, was found in the excellent Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Outstanding from front to back and beautifully orchestrated to fit the theme and style, we simply couldn't pass it over.

Best Sound Effects

Nominees

  • Star Wars: Battlefront
  • Project CARS
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III
  • Bloodborne
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Winner: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Another difficult category but once again, we kept coming back to the brilliant sound design in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The authenticity, coupled with the near-flawless balancing of effects and soundtrack, is what made MGSV the perfect game for a high-line set of headphones. There's no more intense and riveting experience than infiltrating a compound swarming with security measures, and it's partly because of the amazing sound. Those who don't believe sound doesn't have a tremendous impact on player immersion just aren't paying enough attention.

Best Acting

Nominees

  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  • Life is Strange
  • Assassin's Creed Syndicate
  • Until Dawn

Winner: Batman: Arkham Knight

Lots of games these days have top-flight acting, which is why it's getting harder and harder to pick a winner in this category. This year, we went with the stellar voice performances we all enjoyed in Batman: Arkham Knight. Led by an accomplished and even star-studded cast, it's not merely the quality of each performances that stands out; it's also the incredible variety. Each character is so wildly different from the next, and this is really the factor that allowed this particular cast to stand head-and-shoulders above the admittedly stiff competition.

Best Writing/Story

Nominees

  • Life is Strange
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Until Dawn
  • Tales From the Borderlands
  • Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

Winner: Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

Some fantastic stories this year but after a lot of thought, we concluded that while The Witcher 3 was great, it was only the second half that made it shine, and Life is Strange suffered from the occasional awkward scene. The game that made us think, that was so wonderfully polished from a narrative standpoint, was The Chinese Room's Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. Told incrementally, via mere glimpses of shadows, snippets of phone conversations, and ultimately surreal and highly philosophical in nature, this narrative was supremely impressive. Those with a penchant for intelligent, layered stories should appreciate it.

Best Artistry/Art Direction

Nominees

  • Bloodborne
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Assassin's Creed Syndicate
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Winner: Assassin's Creed Syndicate

Gotta love ingenious art direction; it just brings a virtual world alive. We saw plenty of great examples of artistic achievement in 2015 but none really wowed us like Victorian-era London, brought to gorgeous virtual reality in Assassin's Creed Syndicate. The costumes, city design, and general ambiance, with attention paid to every minute detail, was all worth lauding, which is no real surprise. This franchise has been a bastion of creative and imaginative achievement since its inception; this is how you create a historical homage!

Best Character

Nominees

  • The Joker, Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Quiet, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  • Ciri, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Max Caulfield, Life is Strange
  • Evie Frye, Assassin's Creed Syndicate

Winner: Ciri, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Lots of top-tier characters this year and people can argue all day about their favorite. But this is more about the one character that seemed so essential to the narrative, that it's impossible to imagine the game without them, that you can't imagine what the experience would've been like without their impact.

That honor falls to the new character in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Ciri. She is whom Geralt would die to protect, and extremely important to the safety of the entire world...but you have no idea why for the longest time. And after being shrouded in mystery, she explodes onto the scene with a personality and style all her own, and she really steals the spotlight toward the end of the adventure.

Most Addictive

Nominees

  • Rocket League
  • Fallout 4
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Destiny: The Taken King
  • Bloodborne
  • OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood

Winner: Fallout 4

You hear it everywhere you go: "I can't fu***** stop playing Fallout 4!" It's the game that gets under your skin, makes you dream about it at night, and causes the hours to slip away like water down a drain. Hopefully, you didn't get as hooked as this poor sap but chances are, if you love Bethesda's acclaimed RPG, you've had sessions that have extended far beyond your standard play time. And that's what unbelievably addictive games do.

Most Original/Innovative

Nominees

  • Teslagrad
  • Dying Light
  • Rocket League
  • Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
  • Life is Strange

Winner: Teslagrad

If you missed it, this was the compelling (yet somewhat flawed) game that centered on the laws of magnetism and expanded on those concepts for the sake of interactive enjoyment. Aptly named, of course, and filled with intriguing puzzles and captivating gameplay, Teslagrad will remind you that really innovative ideas can - and often are - found in small packages. By the way, my objection to Rocket League was that we saw the idea in the game's 2008 predecessor, Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars.

Most Overlooked

Nominees

  • Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
  • Project CARS
  • Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance
  • Life is Strange
  • Until Dawn

Winner: Life is Strange

Each chapter was well-received and many praised it to high heaven. But whether it was because it was an episodic title, spread out through the course of 2015, or because it was a more niche, story-driven experience, Life is Strange just never seemed to get enough attention. It barely registered a blip in the press after the first episode rolled out earlier in the year, and only received some minor headlines when each subsequent episode arrived. Perhaps the publisher should've considered running another ad campaign once all episodes became available.

Most Underrated

Nominees

  • Assassin's Creed Syndicate
  • The Order: 1886
  • Evolve
  • Until Dawn
  • Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

Winner: The Order: 1886

It came down to The Order: 1886 and Assassin's Creed Syndicate. Frankly, the latter's greatness wasn't appreciated by far too many critics (critics either using far too much subjectivity to evaluate the game, or critics stuck in the past, thinking this AC was exactly like Revelations or something).

However, it still wasn't as bad as the backlash the PlayStation 4 exclusive received, and for no real reason beside the fact that we've become an industry that abhors linearity. And as we also tend to associate length with quality (another illogical mistake), it was a double whammy for a game that should've received far more praise.

Most Anticipated Game

Nominees

  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
  • The Last Guardian
  • Detroit
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • No Man's Sky
  • Mirror's Edge Catalyst
  • Dishonored 2
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake

Winner: The Last Guardian

For the record, several titles from 2014 are actually on the list again, due to delays (Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and Final Fantasy XV). And while we're always tempted to give it to Uncharted 4, we already know what to expect, don't we? Brilliance and nothing less. However, when it comes to The Last Guardian, a game that we thought was dead but reappeared at E3 2015, it has to top the most anticipated list.

This could be the masterpiece to end all masterpieces or it could be a disaster, kinda long the long-awaited and ill-fated Duke Nukem Forever. And yeah, it might not come out in 2016 (no one expects it to, really) but whenever it shows up, we'll all be on the edges of our seats...

Platform and Genre Awards Ahead!!!

1/2/2016 Ben Dutka

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Comments (19 posts)

Temjin001
Saturday, January 02, 2016 @ 9:35:21 PM
Reply

Looks like some great picks!

It was one exciting year in gaming.

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Oxvial
Saturday, January 02, 2016 @ 9:38:05 PM
Reply

I'm okay with all the winners, kinda wish there was a way Undertale could compete for an award, but seem the developer doesn't even own a current gen console lol.

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Darth Retsof
Saturday, January 02, 2016 @ 10:46:13 PM
Reply

I've been hearing about "The Last Guardian" for years now...but that's all I hear, the name.

What is it about ??

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bigrailer19
Saturday, January 02, 2016 @ 11:03:47 PM

At this point I don't know if we will ever know. What they showed off almost 10 years ago is almost exactly what they showed off this past year. Progress isn't on their side.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, January 02, 2016 @ 11:19:59 PM

So far, a boy who rides a bird/cat for some reason. There are probably environment puzzles. That's all we know.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, January 03, 2016 @ 12:29:04 PM

I thought it was a bird/dog.

See how unclear this is?!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 03, 2016 @ 1:50:37 PM

haha

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BikerSaint
Sunday, January 03, 2016 @ 2:22:33 PM

I always thought of it being some sort of bird-griffin hybrid.

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Underdog15
Monday, January 04, 2016 @ 11:50:03 AM

I thought it was a flying ferret.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, January 02, 2016 @ 11:23:48 PM
Reply

I popped The Order in again recently and was impressed in a new way. While the older QTE mechanics do feel a little awkward on top of such gorgeous visuals I think nobody gave enough credit to the unique shooting experience it gave with the soft physics. It was a totally different feel from something like Uncharted's shooting or really any other tps. So fine tuned and squishy at the same time. Like a mix of mouse and controller with living environments. Totally underrated.

My faves are Fallout 4 and Life is Strange. LiS really did need some kind of sales strategy or press, it's so wicked unique I enjoy it more than any of the Telltale games.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 1/2/2016 11:26:43 PM

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frostface
Monday, January 04, 2016 @ 1:49:01 AM

Life is Strange was awesome. I do love the Telltale games but the fact that I have 3 of them sitting here started but no progress made on them past the first chapter, whereas Life is Strange I was glued to right until the end, kinda says it all.

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matt99
Saturday, January 02, 2016 @ 11:34:49 PM
Reply

A few months ago I bet you didn't think you would be giving GOTY to Witcher 3, I think you even said as much in one of your articles. However, I think your reasoning is right and you made the right choice. For me there's an intangible category that goes above all else, one that can only be known on December 31st and that is: which game did I most enjoy this year? For a lot of people-myself included-that was The Witcher 3. That's why The Witcher is my personal GOTY.

All in all, a great game of the year awards. Happy new year to everyone and Ben, if you thought 2015 GOTY was a tough decision, good luck with 2016!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 03, 2016 @ 12:16:51 PM

yeah i think getting addicted to Witcher was a surprise for Ben.

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wambo
Sunday, January 03, 2016 @ 2:04:26 PM
Reply

Agree with all these winners, expect my personal game for most addictive would be Bloodborne as i play that more than any other game.

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FM23
Sunday, January 03, 2016 @ 3:39:38 PM
Reply

W3 definitely earned it. The storytelling, complexity, and mature dialogue really took it over the top. The fact that the game was so big and didn't ruin the story was awesome. The only hiccup in the story was that Dandelion business. F*ck that guy!!! Haha And the combat, though boring, even did the job.

My favorite GOTY is Batman AK as default since I'm a huge Batman fan. FO4 easily second, but FO4 definitely had problems as far as the storytelling went (story was good) and that includes MGSV which I still believed had the best overall gameplay this year behind that brilliant game Bloodborne.

I will have to try Until Dawn, Life is Strange, and Rapture sometime this year.

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Victor321
Sunday, January 03, 2016 @ 4:50:02 PM
Reply

I’m going to try OlliOlli2 now :D

Everything about The Order was great. Some may view this as a knee-jerk response, but I truly mean that not once did the game's length ruin my experience.

However, what did ruin my experience was its unfinished narrative and the core characters taking a backseat-- excepting Galahad of course.

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pavlovic
Sunday, January 03, 2016 @ 9:37:26 PM
Reply

Rise of the Tomb Raider is overrated. It feels like an expansión more than other thing. And the final fight is just dumb.

Last years COD made more New things than ROTTR.

It is a good game, but nothing more.

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Banky A
Monday, January 04, 2016 @ 2:30:42 AM
Reply

The Order keeps blowing me away.

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MRSUCCESS
Monday, January 04, 2016 @ 8:20:17 PM
Reply

Thank you for putting this together. I'm sure it took a great chunk of your weekend.

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