Hello, fine ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the final installment of BeefJack’s extravagant almost-a-month-long awards ceremony. In the run-up to Christmas, we’ve been throwing plaudits at our favourite games of the year across a selection of different categories. Each award is based on votes from BeefJack’s staff and contributors, and a complex series of algorithms (or, if you like, how many people voted for each game) determined the winners.
And now it’s over. But it’s over with the big one: our favourite game of 2010. Whatever will it be? There’s only one way to find out…
By: Lionhead/Microsoft | Released: October | Format: Xbox 360 | Review: 9.5/10
Luke had us very excited when he was reviewing Fable III. All week before the embargo dropped, he was regaling us with tales from Albion, news of how it had changed, and how Molyneux’s latest attempt at a Fable game was what all his efforts had been leading up to. Fable III ended up being awarded the second-highest score of 2010, and rightly so: even though these games are divisive, to those they click with they’re extraordinary adventure-RPGs. This one is in our top three games of 2010.
Mass Effect 2
By: EA/BioWare | Released: January | Formats: 360, PC | Review: 9.6/10
Which means our Game of the Year award must go to the highest-scoring game of the year, right? Well, not quite. It too is a runner-up. The 9.6/10-reviewed Mass Effect 2 was so close to taking the top prize, but in the end not everyone could agree on its wondrousness. It is, however, very clearly fantastic: an action RPG with a focus on combat and chatting, rather than stats and dice-rolling. And it features some of the most marvelous storytelling and character development we’ve ever seen in the medium. It might not be our overall winner, but it’s still one of the greatest games you can play today.
AND THE WINNER IS…
Fallout: New Vegas
By: Obsidian/Bethesda | Released: October | Formats: 360/PS3/PC | Review: 8.9/10
Yeah. Bet you didn’t see that coming.
Nor did we, to be honest, but as the votes started filtering in, it became clear that Fallout: New Vegas was the only game whose exemplary quality we all agreed on. While the shaky Gamebryo engine doesn’t do it any favours, with its odd animation and notorious bugs, that didn’t stop Obsidian Entertainment from doing wonderful things with the Fallout world. This is a more subtle, slower-burning but ultimately more interesting game than the miraculous Fallout 3. The setting of a post-apocalyptic Las Vegas is a strong one, the Mojave desert providing a perfect complement to the wasteland of the previous games. And while there’s no one standout moment, no other game this year has drawn us in so absolutely. It was a very, very close call, and not in any way unanimous. But, ultimately, it’s Fallout: New Vegas which takes home our grand prize for 2010.
That’s it for the awards, folks. Have a great festive period, and many wonderful gaming moments in 2011.