Rocket Chainsaw’s Official 2012 Game of the Year

January 13, 2013

We took our time, but it’s finally here: introducing Rocket Chainsaw’s very first Official Game of the Year awards. Late last year we requested both readers and staff submit their top five favourite games of 2012, awarding points based on rankings, with the aim of totalling scores to discover which games proved the most popular and memorable among our regular audience. What better way to chose our Game of the Year than for everybody to get involved, right?

But before we get into that, there’s another matter to address. To make our Game of the Year submissions a little more exciting, we decided to give away a $50 JB HiFi voucher to one lucky nominator. Getting straight to the point, congratulations go to forum member Jesse, as our unpredictable, morally neutral and totally unbiased android selected you as our next sacrificial offering the most worthy of a little new year bonus. Expect to hear from us shortly. Thanks to all other members who participated in voting, and you can look forward to equally (and perhaps even better) rewards this year.

Moving on, it’s time to get to the actual Game of the Year awards. For the record, the top five were close enough that any one voter could have changed the tally, and this made for some exhilarating counting. And so, without further ado, from the very best to the least very best we present to you Rocket Chainsaw’s Official Game of the Year 2012.

It was a close call, but the gamers have spoken. Rocket Chainsaw’s reader’s favourite game of 2012 was Telltale’s harrowing adventure series The Walking Dead. The emotionally gripping tale of zombie apocalypse survivors Lee Everett and Clementine was simply too good to pass up, their father/daughter dynamic and fight for survival tugging at heart strings, and providing some of the most memorable and gut wrenching gaming moments of 2012. Here’s what some of our readers had to say about The Walking Dead.

The gameplay is very simplistic, bland even. I had numerous cases of frame rate drops and some other technical issues here and there. Still, no game this year gripped me like TWD. Every episode left me feeling depressed about something and yet I couldn’t wait to play the upcoming episode. It has memorable characters and a story that will burn into your mind. You are missing out on an amazing gaming experience by skipping this game, play it now!

– Soap of Death

The top two games for my year were very emotional experiences, The Walking Dead lucks out because it feels more guided then Journey. Telltale continue to re-invigorate the adventure game genre, with a title that isn’t necessarily fun to play, but all the more compelling for a interactive that made me care far too much about some pixels on a screen. The feeling of dread based on my own actions, and guilt from doing what i consider to be the right thing was amazing. It also managed to bring about a smart ending, without feeling like something was forced down your throat at the last second. Clementine and Lee are instantly among my video game hero’s.

– Redemption

We’ve always felt it’s hard to pass up mountains of good old fashioned loot, and our readers seem to agree. Coming in a close second is Gearbox Software’s Borderlands 2. A bigger, badder, and bolder game than its predecessor, Borderlands 2 upped the ante with greater production values in the cast and presentation, more varied locations and questing, an excellent selection of playable characters with interesting tech trees, and of course more loot than you can shake a chainsaw at. Our readers loved it, and here’s why.

I’ve sunk 175 hours into ONE character. Enough said? No? Well, it’s simply the best co-op game I’ve ever played. Arse in single player, but superb multiplayer. It’s even more addictive than the first, and the humour is back in force. Did I mention it’s insanely pretty? Because there’s that. Varied, beautiful, brilliantly designed environments. Gorgeous soundtrack. Get a few friends together, and get stuck into it. You can thank me later.

– Bronze

Quite seriously an epic and well crafted game. I’d rate it higher than the other 3 games i have listed below but unfortunately this series needs to go to space with loot pickups from spaceship combat to pull me back into it’s universe. I have played this to death on Borderlands 1 and i can’t make myself play Borderlands 2 to finish off its last achievements. A spectacular game that i will never play again (and wont bother with any new DLC) But certainly this belongs in the top 5.

– Banefire

Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying Mass Effect 3‘s legacy in 2012. Arguably the most controversial game to be released that year, BioWare’s science fiction space opera climaxed with the final invasion of the Reaper threat, and capped off the generation long odyssey of Commander Shepard. Blood was spilled and tears were shed as characters, both friends and foes, saw the conclusion of their story arcs in one way or another. Irrespective of the controversy, Mass Effect 3 was clearly an important title for many of our readers, and thus deserves its spot at number three.

If I were to list my most disappointing games this game would be number 1 with no competition. It’s probably the same reason why it’s on my goty list. No other game, scratch that no other thing in media had me this invested in it’s story. This game has the best moments in games ever but all I see is missed potential and a crappy ending.

– Jesse

Ok yeah the ending blew chunks, but up until the ending it was easily the best of the ME games. The set pieces were awesome, the characters were great the shooting was the best the series has had. If it wasn’t for that fucking ending this would probbably be number 1 on my list. Although the new cut of the ending did fix a lot of my problems, it still kind of stunk.

– Shambrook

They say that all good things come in three, and that rings true for Far Cry 3 as our fourth best game of 2012. After the series passed hands from Crytek to Ubisoft, the latter company produced the polarising Far Cry 2, with claims of much bigger things to come. It may have taken a few years, but fans finally got what they were promised, as Far Cry 3 addressed most if not all of Far Cry 2‘s reputed shortcomings. Appealing to the most avid of sandbox connoisseurs, Far Cry 3 opened up a sprawling tropical paradise and granted gamers the tools to sneak, shoot, hunt, craft, kill, and destroy their way through a multitude of threats. Freedom of play is king, and that’s why Far Cry 3 is here.

 UI issues aside (it holds your hands via prompts a little too much) I haven’t had this much fun in an open world game since Just Cause 2. A stand-out sandbox.

– emech


I loved every minute of this game. The story, the gameplay, the graphics, the voice actors, all of it. Not very often you can put 25+ hours into a FPS and want more, well I was SHATTERED when this was over. I disliked both of the first Far Cry games, this game took everything that was right with them and tweaked the formula to get it perfect. It may be the first game that I have enjoyed being stealthy, makes you feel like a total bad ass. Early in the game when you are collecting pelts to upgrade stuff, ohhh man it was such a good game.

– emwearz

What a lucky game Sleeping Dogs is. Coming in at our fifth best game of 2012 might seem like a blessing, as the Hong Kong blood opera inspired sandbox title was a risk of not seeing the light of day at all. All seemed lost after Activision canned United Front Games’ gritty story of undercover cop Wei Shen taking on the Triad, but thankfully Square Enix swooped in to help them finish up where they left off. Blending martial arts melee combat, slow motion athletic gunplay, high speed vehicle chases, and even a little free running fun, Sleeping Dogs let gamers live out their most vivid John Woo fantasies in an immaculately rendered and deeply immersive oriental city.

It’s true I’ve only put around five hours or so into this game, but boy have they been fun. I was up until 2 last night, which rarely happens (i like sleep okay). The story is one of the most intriguing things I’ve seen in a videogame that works as it does. It looks beautiful, plays excellently, and is just… fun! I love GTA, but for everything GTA is missing, this makes up for.

– TehRoadie

Amazing combat and driving sections that put most games to shame, plus an interesting story and great little details

– darkstormSW

Naturally all the games mentioned during our Game of the Year submissions totalled far more than five, but only the above made the cut. We did make sure to tally up the remaining titles in order of total votes, some coming awfully close to making the top five, and plenty coming a draw with others. Here’s the remaining ranking list of Rocket Chainsaw’s Game of the Year nominees.

6. Dishonored (Arkane Studios)
7. Journey (thatgamecompany)
8. FTL: Faster Than Light (Subset Games) + Diablo III (Blizzard Entertainment)
9. Spec Ops: The Line (Yager Development) + Halo 4 (343 Industries)
10. XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Firaxis Games) + Tribes: Ascend (Hi-Rez Studios)
11. Max Payne 3 (Rockstar Vancouver) + Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games) + Dragon’s Dogma (Capcom)
12. Assassin’s Creed III (Ubisoft Montreal) + Gravity Rush (SCE Japan Studio) + Guild Wars 2 (ArenaNet)
13. Binary Domain (Yakuza Studio)
14. Planetside 2 (Sony Online Entertainment)
15. Resident Evil: Revelations (Capcom)
16. Dead or Alive 5 (Team Ninja) + The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (360) (CD Projekt RED) + Paper Mario: Sticker Star (Nintendo)
17. Thomas Was Alone (Mike Bithell) + Mark of the Ninja (Klei Entertainment) + FEZ (Polytron Corporation) + Crimson Shroud (Level-5) + Final Fantasy XIII-2 (Square Enix) + Plants vs. Zombies (Vita) (PopCap Games)
18. Trials Evolution (RedLynx) + Carmageddon (iOS) (Stainless Games) + Uncharted: Golden Abyss (SCE Bend Studio) + Chivalry: Medieval Warfare (Torn Banner Studios) + Tiny & Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers (Black Pants Game Studio) + Kid Icarus: Uprising (Project Sora) + Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Valve, Hidden Path Entertainment) + Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion (Ironclad Games) + Forza Horizon (Playground Games) + Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward (Chunsoft) + PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond (Creatures Inc.)
19. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Treyarch) + The Last Story (Mistwalker) + Civilization V: Gods & Kings (Firaxis Games) + Persona 4: Golden (Atlus) + Rayman Origins (PC) (Ubisoft Montpellier) + Torchlight II (Runic Games) + Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (Sumo Digital)
20. Deadlight (Tequila Works) + MechWarrior Online (Piranha Games) + Hero Academy (Robot Entertainment) + Ragnarok Odyssey (Game Arts) + Papo & Yo (Minority) + Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy (Indies zero) + Asura’s Wrath (CyberConnect2) + Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013 (Ubisoft)
21. Escape Plan (Fun Bits Interactive) + Street Fighter X Tekken (Dimps / Capcom) + Darksiders II (Vigil Games) + WW3 ’13 (Yukes) + Fieldrunners 2 (Subatomic Studios) + Black Mesa (Black Mesa Modification Team) + Legend of Grimrock (Almost Human Ltd.) + Pandora’s Tower (Ganbarion) + SSX (EA Canada) + Pinball Arcade (FarSight Studios) + Michael Jackson: The Experience (Vita) (Ubisoft Shanghai)