Game of the Year 2012 – Action Adventure

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. 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.

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

  3. 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?).

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

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

      • 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.

      • 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…

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

  4. 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).

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

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

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

  9. 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?

  10. 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?

    • 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.

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