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Game of the Year 2012 - Action Adventure

Running, jumping and climbing.

Action Adventure

Our Action Adventure Game of the Year 2012 is Dishonored from Arkane Studios and Bethesda. Perhaps the most striking thing, at least initially, about Dishonored was the aesthetic of the game world. It was a kind of diesel punk style, mixed with an almost Soviet utilitarianism in its building design but set upon an ageing layer of Edwardian London.

Its success wasn’t just about how it looked though. Dishonored offered a little bit of something different in its gameplay too. The freedom to play how you wanted – even though the game encouraged stealth – meant that you really could approach each of the missions as a kind of challenge room. Go in loud and messy or think of it like a puzzle and nibble around the edges until you crack it.

Dishonored was a joy but it had some stiff competition to win this category. Assassin’s Creed III saw a jaw-dropping return to form for the series after dalliances with tower defence and often repetitive mission structures. The breadth of things to do in colonial-era Northeastern America offered plenty of replayability and Connor’s frustration and sense of justice was a refreshing direction to take the lead character in after Ezio’s charm and arrogance.

Uncharted: Golden Abyss’ position in the chart perhaps demonstrates the love affair we have with the series and the eagerness with which we approached the best the Vita had to offer this year, too.

Here’s the chart showing our top five.

Action Adventure

And here’s the table which shows every game that managed at least one vote from us.

  1. Dishonored
  2. Assassin’s Creed III
  3. Uncharted: Golden Abyss
  4. Sleeping Dogs
  5. Gravity Rush
  6. Borderlands 2
  7. Darksiders II
  8. Asura’s Wrath
  9. Rayman (Vita)
  10. LEGO LotR
  11. MGS HD
  12. Mark of the Ninja
  13. Resident Evil 6
  1. gazzagb
    Master of speling mitakse
    Since: Feb 2009

    Glad AC3 didn’t win. It’s a great game, but Connor is boring as hell and Boston + New York just don’t fit the free running parts of the game.
    I haven’t played much of Dishonored, but from what I have it’s well deserving. Really need to get it on PC once I’ve cleared out my Steam games backlog.

    Comment posted on 31/12/2012 at 15:06.
  2. avengerrr
    Since: Oct 2012

    Not to mention AC3 was a buggy mess. Can’t be bothered with it any more. I’d much rather play Far Cry 3.

    Comment posted on 31/12/2012 at 15:31.
  3. colmshan1990
    Since: Apr 2009

    I think most of us can agree that MGS HD deserved to win this category easily (let’s face it, there’s not many games better than either MGS 2 or 3, never mind both combined).

    I loved Uncharted Golden Abyss, Gravity Rush is great, Rayman is fantastic, Lego LotR seems good but I’ve only played the first level and that’s all I’ve played on that list (waiting for Steam to offer better deals than the ones that have popped up this sale- maybe in the summer?).

    Comment posted on 31/12/2012 at 15:48.
    • Gamoc
      Since: Forever

      HD re-releases should not be winning game of the year awards.

      Comment posted on 31/12/2012 at 16:08.
      • colmshan1990
        Since: Apr 2009

        If they’re the best game released in that year, I don’t see why not.

        Comment posted on 31/12/2012 at 16:33.
      • ron_mcphatty
        Since: Sep 2008

        Colsham, I agree it was an incredible collection, but I’m with Gamoc. What would probably have been best is to have some sort of honorable mention for HD re-releases, but then the lions share of the work is porting and refining rather than creative design, its a tough one to be sure.

        Comment posted on 31/12/2012 at 16:34.
      • MadJunkBoy
        Since: Aug 2010

        i agree with ron and Gamoc…
        HD games has the advantage of have been released for a long time and therefore grown by time…
        the games released in 2012 just can’t compare since they havn’t had the same ammount of time as a released game…

        Comment posted on 31/12/2012 at 16:45.
      • teflon
        Community Team
        Since: May 2009

        Perhaps we should open it up to allow votes for Game of The Year editions too? :P

        Comment posted on 31/12/2012 at 17:19.
  4. bunimomike
    Since: Jul 2009

    I know there are sites out there that do hindsight reviews and Twitter (for me) is alight with people who aren’t happy with AC3. Seems like it truly didn’t deserve the accolades which is rare for the people I know.

    Dishonoured appears to be a belter so will come to that later in the year when I’ve cleared my games to play on Steam (and the PS3).

    Comment posted on 31/12/2012 at 16:30.
  5. tactical20
    Since: May 2010

    Not getting AC3 until it comes down in price, and missed Dishonored when it was a proper bargain. In fact I haven’t played any of the games on the list except Borderlands 2!

    Comment posted on 31/12/2012 at 16:43.
  6. Kaminari
    Since: Jan 2010

    As a game, AC3 is a decent open world which tries too hard (and fails) to be RDR. As the conclusion to Assassin’s Creed, it’s a HUGE disappointment which doesn’t even deserve to appear in the top 5.

    Comment posted on 31/12/2012 at 18:56.
  7. wonkey-willy
    Since: Jan 2010

    dishonored! cracking game…
    enjoyed it from start to finish!

    Comment posted on 31/12/2012 at 20:20.
  8. Bodachi
    Since: Jan 2010

    I must pick this up a some point. Hopefully I’ll have to time to invest into it.

    Comment posted on 31/12/2012 at 21:17.
  9. rht992
    Since: Apr 2009

    Really need to get my hands on this. Loved AC3 but the restrictions, bugs and occasional bad pacing stopped it from being the near perfect experience number 2 was. Also anyone wish they had multilayer ship battles?

    Comment posted on 01/01/2013 at 02:34.
  10. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    Dishonoured, what an excellent game. Does have a few flaws, such as lack of replayability and Corvo having no personality at all. But it is an excellent new IP and i would welcome a sequel. I think Bethesda plans to turn it into a franchise. I wonder if we will see a game every few years?

    Comment posted on 02/01/2013 at 10:57.
    • psychobudgie
      Since: Nov 2009

      It was Dishonoured’s re-playability that got it most of it’s plaudits. I’m on my second playthrough at the moment and the game is like night and day depending on the decisions made and kills racked up.

      Comment posted on 02/01/2013 at 13:47.