The Polynauts Games Awards: The Best and Worst of 2013

It's finally here.

Due to technical difficulties (dead laptop) I've had to put off the Polynaut Awards until today. It's time to finally reveal which games you chose to celebrate as your picks of 2013. The runners up for each category are listed in order of votes received.

Update: The Polynauts Worsties are now live - the reluctant awards that nobody would ever want.

THE 2013 POLYNAUTS BEST GAME(S) OF THE YEAR

That's right, The Last of Us garnered the most votes for best overall game of 2013, irrespective of platform. I'll let Sabre Swinger explain his reason for the pick:

The Last of Us.

For the same reasons that Shadow of the Colossus was GotY in its own time. This is a great achievement on aging hardware. It finds a new way to tell a story. And it is somewhat broken is some ways. The AI does, in fact, run around breaking the game at times. If this was made on a system with more than 512MB of RAM, I don’t think this would be a problem.

What The Last of Us does, is tell a story about a character. You don’t take over Joel’s body and put yourself in it. He isn’t the voiceless protagonist that you impose yourself on. Naughty Dog is telling a story about a very specific person. You get to point him in the right direction, and feel what he feels, but Joel is always Joel. That is a very brave move and I applaud it.

Every time you think "but that isn’t what I want to do", Naughty Dog is there reminding you that this is what Joel would do.

Also,

- giraffes

- "baby girl"

Props to Naughty Dog for making a game that a lot of people loved, and congratulations to the runners up BioShock Infinite, Pokémon X/Y, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and XCOM: Enemy Within.

BEST NINTENDO EXCLUSIVE

Runners up: Pokémon X/Y, Super Mario 3D World, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, The Wonderful 101.

BEST PC EXCLUSIVE

Runners up: Papers, Please, Rogue Legacy, The Stanley Parable, Shadow Warrior.

BEST PLAYSTATION EXCLUSIVE

Runners up: Dragon's Crown, Tearaway, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Resogun.

BEST XBOX EXCLUSIVE

Runners up: Peggle 2, Killer Instinct, Dead Rising 3, Zoo Tycoon.

BEST DEVELOPER

Runners up: Platinum Games, Telltale Games, Nintendo EAD Software Development Group No. 2, Irrational Games.

BEST PUBLISHER

Runners up: Ubisoft, Sony, Take Two Interactive

BEST IN-GAME PERFORMANCE

Runners up: Courtney Draper: Elizabeth (Bioshock Infinite), Troy Baker: Booker DeWitt (Bioshock Infinite), Steve Ogg: Trevor (Grand Theft Auto V), Ellen Page: Jodie Holmes (Beyond: Two Souls).

BEST ART STYLE

Runners up: Tearaway, Guacamelee, Bioshock Infinite, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

BEST CHARACTER(S)

Runners up: Elizabeth (Bioshock Infinite), Ellie (The Last of Us), David (The Last of Us), Trevor (Grand Theft Auto V)

BEST SOUNDTRACK

Runners up: Gustavo Santaolalla (The Last of Us), Jamie Christopherson (Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance), Brian Tyler (Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag), Malcolm Kirby Jr. (Saints Row IV)

BEST TRAILER

Runners up: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Final Fantasy XV E3 Trailer, Kingdom Hearts 3, Destiny: Law of the Jungle

AND.... THE WORST GAME(S) OF THE YEAR

The game which absolutely nobody seemed to enjoy. The game which was also partially responsible for the closure of Terminal Reality wins the dubious honor of Worst Game of 2013. Nobody wanted to say why they nominated this game so I'll just quote from Polygon's review.

Playing Survival Instinct is like listening to a roomful of barely competent musicians, each of whom is playing a completely different song. And every once in a while one kicks you in the groin. Also, you have a sunburn. The tide has begun to turn for licensed games thanks to great efforts like those from Telltale, Rocksteady's Batman franchise and others. The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is the exact sort of lazy, cheap cash-grab that gave licensed games a bad name in the first place. To put a slightly less nostalgic twist on an old cliche: They don't make 'em like this anymore. For all of our sakes, let's hope they never do again.

Sadly, your wish has been granted.

MOST BROKEN GAME

Runners up: Aliens: Colonial Marines, Ashes Cricket 2013, Battlefield 4, Star Trek: The Game.

WORST DEVELOPER

Runners up: Gearbox Software (Aliens: Colonial Marines), Twisted Pixel (LocoCycle), DICE (Battlefield 4), Terminal Reality (The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct).

WORST PUBLISHER

Runners up: Activision, Square Enix, OP Productions.

WORST PR BLUNDER

Runners up: The Xbox One Reveal, SimCity and Battlefield 4 both launch as broken products, Adam Orth Saga,Gearbox and Aliens: Colonial Marines.

And that's another year of community awards over with. Congratulations, and commiserations to those who picked up a Golden or Bronzed Paddy this year.

We'll see you again in December!

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