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Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best Multiplayer Game

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Best Multiplayer Game 2012, Borderlands 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Game of the Year 2012, GOTY 2012, Halo 4, Journey, Nintendo Land, PES 2013, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, War of the Roses

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best Multiplayer Game

There were too many games to count that offered up a superlative multiplayer component this year, particularly with persistent social MP features proving ubiquitous. There was an overwhelming barrage of titles to choose from for this list, with the process made even harder by the advent of the Wii U and its asynchronous delights. That the likes of Need For Speed: Most Wanted, Forza Horizon, FIFA 13, Far Cry 3, Assassin's Creed 3, and Mass Effect 3, New Super Mario Bros. U could only muster Honourable Mentions serves to show just how packed this category was with quality.

Any of the following would have made worthy winners, albeit perhaps for different reasons. Again, the sheer variety in multiplayer offerings this year only further underlined how brilliantly we gamers have had it this past twelve months...

NB. Click on the thumbnails for price comparisons and the game's title for the relevant review where available.

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Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best Multiplayer Game

Black Ops II

As usual, Call of Duty delivered another comprehensive multiplayer component this year, with Treyarch making tweaks here and there to expand ad enhance rather than overhauling. Reliably excellent fun as always, the simple -yet brilliant- revolution of giving players total freedom to tailor their loadout made Black Ops II a joy to play. Not many new modes to speak of, but existing party favourites, deathmatch options and shiny futuristic boomsticks will made it a surefire online MP hit.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best Multiplayer Game

Borderlands 2

We described Borderlands 2 as "the best co-op shooter of its generation" and it still holds true to that accolade. Outstanding AI, superlative scripting, one of this generation's finest villains in Handsome Jack, and more loot than we knew what to do with, Borderlands 2 was a huge step up from its predecessor. Not that Borderlands 1 wasn't great, it's just that its bigger, badder, bolder brother was so very pleasing.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best Multiplayer Game

Halo 4

343 Industries were up against it, the pressure must have been huge. Yet, with Microsoft's biggest frnachise in their hands, they pulled off the incredible: not only did the match up to Bungie's predecessors, they even managed to surpass some of them. Halo 4's campaign was excellent, but it was in the multiplayer modes that 343 really pulled out all of the stops. War Games is still giving us tons of fun, with expanded loadouts and greater gameplay variety than ever before. And then there was Spartan Ops: yes, there were examples of some lazy content recycling, but we've simply been having too much fun to care. An utter blast.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best Multiplayer Game

Journey

Thatgamecompany provided us with something utterly unique this year: a game with completely anonymous, completely non-violent, non-communicative, barely interactive multiplayer. It sounds like it shouldn't make sense, and there might well be many for whom Journey was something of a throwaway experience. But for us, it was something truly special, unlike anything else this year, with shared expeditions to the mountains summit providing some of the very best gaming memories of all time. Yes, we just said that.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best Multiplayer Game

Nintendo Land

As a collection of minigames, Nintendo Land was never going to be groundbreaking. But what it is, is a game that is inviting, engaging, rewarding and so full of polish that it sets a very high benchmark for this type of game. What it set out to do was showcase the WiiU potential. What it provided was not only a glimpse into a future for a console which most definitely has potential, but it also reminded us where some of gaming's finest moments lie, and brought local MP back with emphatic delight.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best Multiplayer Game

PES 2013

PES 2013 mkes the list over FIFA 3 because it gave complete control over to the player, meaning that when you played another human being, you knew absolutely that it was a hardcore test of skill, dexterity, strategy and execution. With FIFA feeling a little too fast, and a little too slick this year, PES was on hand to deliver a footballing experience that revelled in the tiny details, resulting in supremely tight games, furiously addictive grudge matches, and moments of sheer beauty.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best Multiplayer Game

Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed

With no Mario Kart out this year, and LBPK proving a little disappointing, SEGA stepped up to the plate to deliver some anarchic karting fun this year, building upon the success of Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, and giving it the Diddy Kong treatment. Taking to the skies and diving onto the waterways, SASRT produced a thoroughly engrossing party racing title that served up some fine SEGA fan service too.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best Multiplayer Game

War of the Roses

A gloriously chaotic 64-player experience predicated on pure skill and brutal swordplay, War of the Roses gave us a fresh take on deathmatch combat, by taking us back in time.

Best Multiplayer Game 2012 | Journey

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best Multiplayer Game

Quite how thatgamecompany managed to get us to care so very much about a companion who remains faceless, anonymous, and virtually silent save for that sung note like a soft bell chime, we'll never know. Journey's desert was on one hand a deeply lonely expanse, and if made alone, the eponymous trek to the top of the mountain could be a richly personal experience. But when you came across another wandering figure out in the wilderness, the sheer joy of enjoying their company was a game mechanic in and of itself. The alienation effect, the emphasis on the impersonal, it makes you stick together when you bump into someone else. And if you get separated, or eventually go off on your own distinct adventures, you feel that loss keenly. We had some cracking competitive and co-operative games this year, you only have to look at the table above for evidence of that. But none affected us quite as much, or in such a unique fashion, as Journey did.


Add a comment2 comments
stevenjameshyde  Dec. 20, 2012 at 16:31

As wonderful as Journey is, for me a truly great multiplayer experience is all about partying up with friends. If Journey had supported that - or better still, local MP - it would have won by a mile. As it stands, Borderlands 2 gets my vote

Mass Effect 3 deserves a mention for being the most unexpectedly fun 'tacked-on' MP of the year

Breadster  Dec. 20, 2012 at 17:43

Journey is a great game and all, but giving it best multiplayer is just daft imo. To be honest, looking at the rest of the list, nothing really excites me too much, but yeah...

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