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Schadsquatch's avatar

Without a doubt, Baldur's Gate deserves every accolade its been given so far. The amount of freedom it gives its players is absolutely amazing and has set the bar for RPG's until the end of times. It was unashamed pushing its "You pay what you get, and MORE!" model, making its player-base rejoice with its value out of the gate. Story, atmosphere, great characters, clever+rewarding gameplay, its all there. Definitely my game of the year.

Alex's avatar

I will have to say Baldur's Gate, I've not played the game yet. However, from what I've watched on streams of people playing it, the game really does give the player a lot of freedom and the story to the game is intriguing. Second to that I would have said Resident Evil 4, as it was good to see the remaster happen and the streams I watched really hooked me with that.

Scrbzy's avatar

Baldur's Gate 3 would be my actual choice because it's literally too good not to be, but for the sake of diversity I'll throw Dredge's hat into the ring.

I have quite a few hours in Sunless Sea which at its core, shares some similarities. However Dredge encapsulated me with its charming art-style and excellent use of sound. The mechanics are simple enough that you can pick it up very quickly, but I don't think this is a detriment to the game. Where it really shines is through it's depth with quests, secrets, a vast collection of fish and clever puzzles that combine the simple art of fishing with eldritch horror.

It's worth picking up for cheap!

Lanah Tyra's avatar

Haven't played BG3 (yet) but even from just what I've seen on streams I have to admit it deserves all the awards it got.

I would still nominate Final Fantasy XVI as my choice, I already wrote a long review on it previously why it's my GOTY here but to put it shortly, I think it's a really refreshing addition to the franchise, with breaking away from the usual turn-based combat it shows some interesting new directions Final Fantasy can go in the future, hopefully giving a nudge to developers of the future instalments to dare to come up with different concepts.

  • amazing boss fights

  • music

  • voice acting

  • accessibility option provided by the Timely Accessories

  • story

  • summons are incredibly well designed

  • new features like the Active Time Lore

Cardy's avatar

Baldur's Gate 3 is my vote! Absolutely gorgeous game, and who doesn't love a sassy bisexual vampire daddy?? (You all know who I'm talking about)

Alex Sinclair's avatar

As someone currently working my way through BG3, I know exactly who you're talking about. Minimum of 100 words for this bounty though, so please edit and add a little more detail/justification if you want to be considered for a prize

GameofBeardz's avatar

I'm going to throw a different game out there, one that snuck under the radar but blew me out of the water when it hit: Lies of P.

This was not a game that I was expecting, less so a game I was expecting to get sucked into so violently and wholeheartedly. Whilst there are many souls-games out there now, all of which are magnificent in their own ways, Lies of P's story, set in a gritty, industrialised London where killer puppets are on the loose grips you right from the very beginning, through to the very end.

The classic tale of Pinocchio is presented in a way that has never been seen before but with all the trademarks of the story, Geppetto being the father of the puppets, the Blue Fairy and Jiminy helping you in your quest in their own ways as well. You also have choices to make throughout the game, will you lie or be a good boy and tell the truth? Your choices influence your character and the story.

If you have the stomach for a souls-like and the hankering for a unique world and story that will suck you in, I cannot recommend this game enough. The fact that it came relatively out of nowhere and hitting us with the unexpected, is what makes Lies of P my GOTY.

Retro Stu's avatar

If ever there is an indication of how good a game is it has to be it's ability to draw someone in to play it who would never normally consider that genre.

Enter Sea of Stars and me. Turn based has never been my thing in the slightest and the hot take which I know people will argue with is I find it too slow. I have two uni friends who were obsessed with FF VII and yet I just couldn't get into it because I felt so passive in just selecting actions in fights. I gave it a couple of hours but decided it wasn't for me.

With Sea of Stars though it already had two things to draw me in - it's set in the same universe as The Messenger (one of my favourite games of all time) and it shares not only the same composer (RainbowDragonEyes aka Eric W Brown) but also new takes on music from The Messenger too.

Add to that you can cause bonus damage or parries with strategic button presses too I immediately felt like this was a turn based game that could hold my focus - and that it did. For a solid 50 or so hours I strived on stream for every possible achievement and the true ending which was so satisfying. I know some people felt like it was offering nothing new to the genre but for me it's proved a gateway and I'm currently enjoying a ton of turn based stuff as a result. Full marks to Sabotage Studio!

Lanah Tyra's avatar

That's really nice to hear. I love turn based games, the slow gameplay suits me well but I understand why it's not for everyone. Haven't played Sea of Stars yet but it's definitely on my list, and it's indeed a huge achievement if it could appeal to someone who normally wouldn't play turn based games.

Retro Stu's avatar

I grew up on a diet of platformers so slow paced never quite scratched the itch for me but the combination of the gorgeous art style, infectious music and overall gameplay of SoS absolutely won me over. I hope you get to play it soon! We'll have to catch up on what you thought of it!

Alex Sinclair's avatar

Thanks KAZO+AR! It's a minimum of 100 words for this bounty, so please do edit and tell us why you like it if you want to be considered for a prize. Granted, a lot of it has been said, so I suggest an anecdote or two about your favourite moment or character.

KAZO+AR's avatar

Sure ! I will proceed a new submission thank you Alex Sinclair

avrona's avatar

Probably the mildest take, but Buldur's Gate 3 has to be the pick, given how all overall solid it is and how it embarressed everyone else in the industry.

MURRRAAAAY's avatar

Ok, so I am going to go for a game which I feel didn’t get the hype it deserved even though it did do well with reviews and my pick for game of the year is Ghostrunner 2! Now let me tell you I was shocked how hooked I got on this game as I played it a lot on and off live stream! Why this surprised me as this is a souls like game (spoiler alert I don’t like souls like games) in terms of its difficulty, the constant dying and retrying approach to defeat tough as nails enemy’s during super fast samurai vs bad guys with guns fights! It really can be spectacular at moments! Oh yeah you pretty much wall run everywhere like a parkour death machine where you enjoy some insanely cool slow mo gore moments where you gleefully slice bad guys in 2 with your katana which goes through bad guys like a hot knife through butter…it’s freaking awesome!

This gameplay loop really gave me a huge sense of reward after progressing though a tough area after literally 100 tries, it was such a buzz to finally defeat whoever stood in my way…especially as I was playing this on PS5 using a controller where you really had to be zoned in to do the business as I’d a game that can be as fast as Ghostrunner 2 probably lends itself better to keyboard and mouse… but loving the dopamine hit of unlocking PlayStation trophies I opted for the console copy of the game! Thankfully you also have some special abilities which can be your equalizer against tough enemies such as a laser blast (I forget its proper name) which will literally slice through any poor bad guys caught in its path, it’s very handy!

There is also some light RPG elements where you can get upgrade chips to unlock new abilities to make your cybernetic Samurai even more deadly so it pays to be vigilant when wall running through the city to pick up these valuable upgrades!

Visually on PS5 the game runs fantastic and is a real looker with a stunning cyberpunk aesthetic! And that’s not all the dark future synth music that’s booming over your ears as you mow down waves of bad guys with your katana just add to the blood pumping action.

The level design is fantastic also as some of the stages are huge, with challenging environments to traverse with your wall running abilities, thankfully you have a trusty grappling hook too! The game will force you to get your thinking cap on to unlock puzzles to find your next move through the location and there’s even a motorbike, when your playing through those levels it legit can make you feel a bit of motion sickness as it’s so intense and so well done! Seriously do not miss out on this, it’s incredible.

I really loved my time with Ghostrunner 2, it is a huge step up in every aspect from the original game in my opinion and I actually think it being so tough has made me a better gamer! How did that happen, well no matter how tough it got I was determined not to be defeated so I could get that next cybernetic samurai feel good hit unlike other tough games I have played, where time is at a premium with other stuff IRL needing done I would just go “Ach forget this” it’s getting boring but, oh no, not with Ghostrunner 2 and that’s why it’s my game of the year 2023 and why you my friend should check it out.

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