eGamer Awards 2012: Best First Person Shooter
This year undoubtedly delivered incredible games in the FPS genre, and with quality as high as this it certainly was pretty damn hard to choose the best one of them all. You know that it’s been an amazing year for a genre when you find yourself wishing that you could give the prize to more than just one game, but obviously we can’t do that. So without further delays, let’s take a look at what the year had to offer us in this genre and attempt to choose the best first person shooter overall.
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The first person shooter genre is definitely one of the most popular in the game, and all gunners (that is shooters, not Arsenal supporters) are well aware that a great deal needs to be offered in order to make it to the top. It’s quite easy to stick a floating gun on the screen wielded by a generic nameless and faceless brick and call it an FPS, but the truly fantastic games in this genre pull out all the stops and deliver a complete experience we can’t forget. Whether this comes in the form of a grand multiplayer or an engaging single player – or in some cases both – is up to the game, and of course, in the end, what we evaluate is how well our nominees managed to achieve their goals and how good the playing experience is. What more could we ask for but guns, guns and more guns? The answer to that would be the best use of them in the most exciting, diverse and memorable playing experience.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Call of Duty: Black Ops II was an exciting entry in the series because it was arguably the first title from Treyarch in which the studio had total creative freedom. Clearly, this played no small part in the game’s success. Arguably the best Call of Duty game to come out of the series in a very long time, the game did enough to feel fresh and as frantic as ever. The most admirable thing about it was that it was an amazing package, and it was packed so full of content that players were almost guaranteed to get more than their money’s worth in return. With a great single-player campaign, the improved Zombies mode and of course the classic multiplayer except with all the new bells and whistles that Black Ops II’s setting provided, Black Ops II just had so much to offer and it so much of it extremely well. Love or hate Call of Duty, we don’t really care. All we care about are good games, and Black Ops II was exactly that.
We’ve no shortage of praise for Borderlands 2, and it really is one of our biggest highlights this year. Addictive beyond reasonableness, and constantly entertaining, witty and engaging, the game more often than not surprised us by how far it moved up the food chain since the original title. Borderlands 2 did everything bigger and better than the original game, while still keeping the core experience in tact, and this in essence made it the perfect sequel. And one of the most impressive things about the entire game was the absolutely staggering variety in guns and weaponry, which never ceased to amaze us. Of course, there was also the dangerously addictive co-op that was an absolute blast to play. Borderlands 2 only ever gave us more reasons to love it while we played it, and that’s commendable.
Halo 4 was an incredible achievement for new developer 343 Industries, as it not only brought the famous Master Chief back from the brink, but also revitalised the Halo franchise with new life and purpose. While we’re quire sure that Halo fans would have loved the game, we also felt that even newcomers should step in, because this game was really that good. Overall, Halo 4 set a new bar for the series, and it was a high quality game that retained the spirit of its predecessors, but admirably took things in new directions. We felt that Halo 4 put forward a strong argument to be declared one of the best games in the series, and in some respects it was perhaps even better than what came before it. After all was said and done, Halo 4 was just an amazing experience, and a sure highlight this year.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive
Counter Strike: Global Offensive was a pleasant surprise this year. Firstly, it was extremely cheap, which already made it sit well with us, and secondly the result was just a really great game, enabling us to put aside our worries for this title’s return. The game remained faithful to what made the series great, and it was just awesome, hellishly addictive and a fantastic opportunity to attract newcomers while at the same time build on its already established community. Even though its success depended, and still depends, entirely on its community, as a game Counter Strike: Global Offensive delivered for us, and we felt that with its price making it feel like an absolute steal, there really wasn’t any PC gamer we wouldn’t have recommended the game to. It easily deserves its spot on our nominees list.
Far Cry 3
Far Cry 3 in no time at all became one of the biggest talking points of the year, and for good reason. Despite some minor flaws, the game stood out as one of the best titles this year had to offer us, and it was pretty easy to overlook its multiplayer shortcomings when the single-player was so damn amazing and expertly crafted and executed. With a spectacular open-world, memorable characters, rewarding and diverse gameplay and content that would keep you busy for hours and hours, Far Cry 3 was a stellar game that was absolutely worth the wait. Sure its release time may have been sketchy, but missing out on this game is something we may very well consider to be a crime. Far Cry 3 was fantastic.
It wasn’t Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and that may or may not come as a surprise to you. Taking nothing away from the game, it just didn’t break new grounds, and was still a Call of Duty game. Perhaps the most significant reason would be that our other nominees asked the bigger questions.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Halo 4 didn’t take it either. This genre has been packed with quality, and the best reason you’re going to get is that we valued the remaining nominees higher, and that’s just because we can’t take away anything from the games nominated for this award.
It seemed like an impossible decision between our winner and Far Cry 3, and we spent so much time debating it, often ending up with the two games in complete stalemates. However, in the end it came down to marginal differences, and we’ll get into it as soon as you head down to see the winner.
After grueling and exhausting debates, where a conclusive decision seemed to be nowhere in sights, Borderlands 2 finally ended up claiming the prize. As we said, it came down to marginal differences, and for the most part we turned to the multiplayer offerings and replay value in each title to differentiate them. When looking at these two aspects and comparing them appropriately, we were at last given clarity on the matter, and ultimately Borderlands 2 is the stronger of the two titles with regards to what we looked at. We felt Borderlands 2 deserved all the praise its getting for outclassing its predecessor in virtually every way possible, and for just delivering one of the best games of this entire year.
In the end, Borderlands 2 did more than enough to earn its number one spot in this category, and its abundance of great content, excellent narrative, action-packed and insanely addictive gameplay that skyrocketed in entertainment value as soon as you had friends along, ensured that it left a lasting impression on us. All of this makes Borderlands 2 our choice for the best first person shooter of 2012.