2012's year of gaming is coming to a close and that means Neoseeker is deep in deliberation over its "Game of the Year" award. In the months of December and early January each of Neoseeker's 10 nominees for Game of the Year will be profiled. Join in the discussion, speculate on the nominees, and subtly persuade us which game deserves such an honorable award.
The next nominee for Neoseeker's 2012 Game of the Year is a late entrant into the contest, but maybe that helps its case because it's still fresh in our minds. I'm talking about Far Cry 3, released only a bit more than a week ago. Yet in that short time Far Cry 3 has proved its worth. This open world first person shooter is rich with content and personality, but it's the ease with which any gamer can jump in and have a unique and memorable experience that earns Far Cry 3's place on this list.
Picture yourself leaping from a mountain cliff and gliding through the air with a wing suit. In the distance the squealing of tires signals the beginning of firefight, as a pirate jeep turns to attack a camp of armed island natives. Having none of it, you direct your wingsuit to take you over a river running parallel to the road and pull your parachute. This won't do, as the sound of gunfire marks the beginning of the fight. It will be over by the time you get there! You cut the chute and plummet into the river... directly into the maw of a giant crocodile. By now the pirate's have noticed your presence and being to lay down machine gun fire on you. This is how you die, but you quickly reload a recent save so you can try that out one more time. Sold, right?
Why Far Cry 3 is great:
- An Island Awaits - If I developed games I would put every single one of them on an island, and the reason why is perhaps best represented by Far Cry 3. Thick wilderness, wild animals, long beaches and deep caverns. Every step is an adventure, both dangerous and exhilarating. If I could, I'd do away with the map, vehicles and fast travel, because Far Cry 3 is at its best when you're in the deepest of jungle with the sound of things that want to kill you surrounding you. There's nowhere to go and it's awesome.
- Drugs - Don't get me started on protagonist Jason Brody and his boring friends, but I will be frank and admit I encouraged his habitual use of hallucinogenic drugs. Yes, they often resulted in what could essentially be called cut-scenes, but at the same time they were perfect examples of the awesomeness of first-person gameplay. Everything around you shifting, in constant fluctuation and all you want to do is go forward -- get out of this dream. I hope, if Far Cry 3 gets an expansion, it's just one long surreal drug trip.
- Do What You Want, 'Cause a Pirate is Free - I don't really have to elaborate on this, I don't think. Far Cry 3 does a great job of giving the player free rein to do what they want, when they want. Every step is like tumbling down a rabbit hole, encouraging exploration and improvisation.
- Vaas - There have been some very well-realized villains in games this year, and Vaas is a competitor for the top spot. His mixture of calm dialogue and insane babble, along with spurts of sudden, violent aggression are simply brilliant. His flawless dialogue or outstanding voicework, applause for Michael Mando everyone, that make him exciting and terrifying. It's his eyes, his cold, psychotic stare that make Vaas real, though. Throw the DirectX 11 in the trash, I could care less about my resolution, but take Vaas' eyes out of Far Cry 3 and you've got a lower quality experience.
I've got to admit, Far Cry 3 proved to be the most conflicting of my nominations. There some parts of the game that didn't really settle well with me, but after due consideration I found the great parts were just too great to ignore. There were memories in Far Cry 3 I won't soon forget, experiences that won't be found in any other game. It's a free-roam FPS with a rather linear campaign, and it's certainly not the Far Cry folk will recall from earlier in the franchise, but it's still without question one of the best games of 2012.
Neoseeker Game of the Year nominees:
- The Walking Dead
- Hotline Miami
- Darksiders II
- Assassin's Creed III
- Far Cry 3
- Halo 4
- Guild Wars 2
- Dota 2
Also, check out and vote in our community Game of the Year poll where the current leader is Borderlands 2.