The past few weeks have been busy with different awards handed out to a lot of different games, in categories both new and old. We’ve told you what our favourite platformer is, our favourite shooter and RPG, but we’ve also looked at the best DLC of the year, the best narrative, character and soundtrack.
It’s also been quite remarkable to me just how closely most of these awards were reflected through the community Game of the Year voting, the results of which were posted earlier today.
Of course, we know how that vote went, but what about the staff Game of the Year?
Life Is Strange deservedly received a lot of praise and plaudits throughout its episodic release schedule, with a story and characters which touched many with its depictions. However, it came home in fifth behind the final adventure of Rocksteady’s epic trilogy, Batman: Arkham Knight.
Nintendo’s vibrantly colourful and rather unconventional entry into the world of competitive multiplayer shooters with Splatoon was third, juxtaposed with the muted tones and nightmarish world in the brutally difficult Bloodborne in second.
Our winner, however, was grander and wider reaching than all of those.
The excitement that built up for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt prior to its release was huge, having first been announced in early 2013 and making regular and impressive appearances at trade shows up until its eventual release in May of this year. It’s safe to say that, off the back of widespread critical and public acclaim, it was a game that managed to live up to a lot of that hype.
It drops you into the vast, magical realms of the Northern Kingdoms, with Aran writing in our review that it “is easily one of the most engrossing games I’ve had the chance to play. The story and characters are well worth the experience alone, and the world expertly draws on the desire to explore with its massive scale. You never know what will greet you or beat you just a few seconds down the path, and that’s what is exciting about this game.”
Importantly, CD Projekt Red haven’t finished with their game. It’s seen numerous patches that aim to fix certain elements of the game, refine and improve upon others, and we’ve seen both free DLC and the expansive Hearts of Stone expansion, with more to come.
This year was one filled with a wide array of fantastic games and experiences, but through them all, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is our Game of the Year 2015.