TSA Game Of The Year 2014: Action/Adventure

A quest for the best.

Alongside the annual rush of racers, shooters, and role-playing games, the action adventure genre continues to be a thriving staple, forever changing in shape and form. This year has been a testament to its sheer scope for diversity, producing everything from superpowered sandboxes to intimate, story-driven experiences. Needless to say, it’s the one category of games rarely susceptible to fatigue.

This year’s shortlist of action adventure candidates have each been unique in their own way. Whether introducing new and innovative ideas or simply renovating old ones, there isn’t one nominee among them that hasn’t in some way surprised us in their execution.

Not far behind the top two, we had Insomniac’s Sunset Overdrive with 22.3%. Combining fluid movement with over-the-top cartoon violence and a bonkers arsenal of weaponry, it certainly injected some colour into the Xbox One’s exclusive line-up. Aside from that, it proved to many that Insomniac could be just as cool and creative without having to align itself with PlayStation.

Speaking of exclusives, Bayonetta 2 also made the cut, albeit with 4.0% of the total vote. Also fighting for scraps, we had Watch Dogs and Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. Elsewhere, both The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us managed to squeeze their way in. No doubt, if our voting window was stretched a little further, both Tales from the Borderlands and Game of Thrones would have made the list too.

Missing out on the top spot by just one percent (ouch) was September’s astonishing Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. For a long time Tolkien fans had to make do with a series of half-baked adaptations and tie-ins before Monolith bravely stepped up to the challenge. The end result: a relentlessly entertaining open world romp. Although not entirely original as a whole, the game’s “Nemesis” system was something truly inventive, allowing enemy NPCs to remember your actions throughout the course of Talion’s adventure. Hopefully it’s a mechanic we’ll see more of in next year’s suite of open-world games.

Narrowly coming out on top of this year’s poll was PlayStation 4 marquee exclusive, inFamous Second Son, netting 30% of the overall vote. Despite having released way back in March, the game’s liberating fun factor and consistent sense of style helped it snatch first place several months after. No doubt the launch of Sucker Punch’s full-bodied expansion, First Light, also had something to do with it.

inFamous Second Son is TheSixthAxis’ Action Adventure Game of the Year 2014.

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14 Comments

  1. Quite a lacking category this year I thought. Infamous isn’t for me, didn’t enjoy the first 2. Metal gear is too stealthy and punishing if you get spotted. I’ve yet to play shadow of mordor but will pick it up when it’s cheap enough to get.

  2. Haven’t played Infamous but Shadow of Mordor was one of my favourites in a long time and easily the best adventure game this year.

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed Infamous Second Son and it looked amazing too. Shadow of Mordor didn’t appeal to me in the slightest but i’m surprised Watch Dogs didn’t do better as it was a really good game – much better than the Metal Gear paid demo imo.

  4. thoroughly enjoyed infamous.
    just started playing shadow of morodor,to be fair its a little overwhelming, the open world seems vast compared to the streets of infamous.
    still you get to smash the living f**k out of orcs and alike.

  5. Tough one this, I loved shadow of mordor but the story let it down very much to be a GOTY, so much effort & development put into game design & gameplay then with the story they though meh, no one will notice.

    Love infamous series, this one was no expect ion, fun from start to the end. Can’t wait for the next instalment. They should make it customize able, create your character, select your powers & your route, Cole the ultimate boss at the end

  6. inFamous was lots of fun, even if it was way too easy. The main problem I had was that they picked one of the endings from infamous 2 and stuck with that.

    Which would be fine, except if you then have a sequel with a character who is basically just a massive cockwomble, you probably want to pick the evil ending from the previous game.

    I can see why they picked an ending an stuck with that though. At some point, exponential growth in the possible stories (2 endings for the first game, 4 for the second, 8 for the 3rd) gets a bit unmanageable. Unless you’re building a JRPG, and then many, many endings seems to be acceptable.

  7. Surprised to see Second Son in first place to be honest. I haven’t played Shadow of Mordor yet but I’ve only heard good things. There seemed to be a buzz about Shadow of Mordor and while Second Son is a good game, I don’t remember there being the same excitement.

    I can’t remember what I voted for this one but looking at the list now, I would have to vote Sunset Overdrive.

  8. Disliked almost everything in Infamous. The traversal, the gameplay, the story. Looked nice though.

  9. I liked almost everything in Infamous. The traversal, the gameplay, the story. Looked nice, too.

    Glad it won. :)

  10. Infamous was a bit of a disappointment to me, it’s clearly the weakest entry in the series in my mind.

    Sunset Overdrive made up for it by being made from distilled fun and madness. It’s almost too much. Almost.

    And although I haven’t played it yet, Bayonetta 2 is one of the years highest scoring games, So I expected it to do somewhat better.

    Shadow of Mordor has the nemesis system, which is fun, but otherwise it’s nothing special.

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