Tell Us Dammit: Game Of The Half-Year!

Okay is now the best time? June is over. Which means the first six months of this year are over! Which means this is as good a time as ever to declare your game of the half-year! So what is it?

I am about halfway through The Last Of US, the game I expect most people to chose as their game of the half-year, but to be perfectly honest I don't see it dislodging my own personal choice: Luigi's Mansion 2.

Actually the 3DS has had a good innings so far this year. I expect there'll probably be a few of you out there who think Fire Emblem or the new Animal Crossing is the game of the half-year.

Okay so I'm declaring Luigi's Mansion 2 as my choice — what about you guys and girls? Let us know in the comments below.


    You picked Luigi's Mansion 2 as your favorite? What the hell am I missing out on Mark?

      It's surprisingly great. I was expecting a good game, but not like this. Definitely give it a go if you can.

      Although I'm backing Bioshock Infinite personally, The Last of Us had an unbeatable story, but the gameplay was average.

    Tomb Raider for me - that's AAA big budged blockbuster done right

      For me, the game felt too much like a series of set pieces with too many unnecessary fights.

      It was a solid game but I felt like the narrative and gameplay were at odds with each other far too often. I honestly preferred DmC: Devil May Cry over the new Tomb Raider simply because DmC was more consistent in its delivery.

      EDIT: Not saying you're wrong to like it, just saying why I didn't.

      Last edited 04/07/13 11:27 am

      Tomb Raider gets my vote too.

      It wasn't flawless but the set peices were fantastic.
      Some of the plot points did annoy me incessantly though*

      *Take a jacket off one of the people you've killed if you're cold.
      *When she inadvertantly killed the helicopter pilot without remorse

        Take a jacket off one of the people you've killed if you're cold.

        Tell me about it! Same with all the phoney righteous stuff. Also, henchmen are people too.

      Yep, I vote Tomb Raider too. Although I'm only part way through The Last Of Us, so that may change.

    I think I need a bit of a cooling off period after playing games so that I don't just say that the last great game I played is the best game of the year.

    That being said, of the games that have come out this year that I've finished, The Last of Us is the best. Even if I did finish it on Sunday.

    Luigi's Mansion 2 is the only game that I think could usurp that position though. Completely different games, going for completely different tones but if Luigi's Mansion scratches the right itch, I could definitely make the argument for it over The Last of Us.

    On the other hand, Luigi's Mansion 2 probably doesn't have (TLOU ending spoiler) giraffes!

      The Last of Us is definitely my pick. I'm all about the story with a game, and man, what a story. The gameplay was really engaging too, so that's why it gets my pick over other good games I've played this year like Bioshock and Tomb Raider.

    im going to say Bioshock Infinite, ive yet to play TLOU or LM2 but how i felt after beating that game was just incredlible, a whole new feeeling of joy for me from such a well told story

      Bioshock Infinite would have been it for me too, but then TLoU came out and few games manage to rival its ability to captivate and immerse me into its world.

        yes but as i said, ive yet to play the Last of US, its on my list of games to go buy and play but just havent yet

          I was in EB at lunchtime, it's on sale there for $77 atm.

            $68 here, your point being, im not up to it on my list of games to buy, its about 5th down my current list

        I personally felt Bioshock Infinite immersed me more, it was the whole envronment and setting, not just cutscenes that drew me in.

        The Last of Us had a superb story line, but the gameplay in between ruined some of the immersion for me.

    I don't have a PS3 so its Tomb Raider on Xbox for me.

      Same here

        Dude, I'll happily lend you my PS3 and the game just so you can play this!

        EDIT: For the record I'm mainly on the 360, so the PS3 had a bit of dust on it before this game came out.

        Last edited 04/07/13 11:22 am

          I intend to buy a PS3 at some point. Maybe when the PS4 comes out (since I'm not going near next gen until they've been out for a while).

          Exactly the same here, bought ps3 for this game a year ago, now its finally come out and took top spot from Tomb Raider on 360, really hate the ps3 control pad though.

            I know exactly what you mean, I was mainly an XBox gamer until this year. I find the PS3 controller to be too small, I don't like the triggers or the Convex thumbsticks either (my thumbs and trigger fingers always fell like they're going to slip off).

            Can you guys recommend any good third party controllers.

              Clicking L3 and R3 is horrible, no wonder the sticks are the first thing to go on them. A mate of mine has a converter that works with a wired xbox360 controller, he got it from some chinese website

            I'd say it's a personal preference thing. I got a 360 earlier in the year for the exclusives on that side I'd missed this gen, but game mainly on the PS3 and PC (with a dualshock-like gamepad), and found the 360 pad very painful to deal with. I've put in over a hundred hours with it now, and it still feels awkward and unnatural, and much prefer the DS3. It's nothing to do with the games - really enjoying them, I've just spent so much time on the Dualshock-style stick setup that the offset sticks of the 360 pad just feel whack (and the deadzone feels larger as well, although that's just a feeling, I haven't really tested anything). I'm sure that, d-pad aside, the 360 pad is a great controller, but it takes a long time to become equally comfortable with both if you've only used the other for most of your gaming time.

          Funny enough, my Mum has a PS3 (and more games than me!) so hopefully I can borrow it from her!!

            I can ask her tonight if you want. ;)

            All jokes aside, I highly recommend that you grab the PS3 and give it a spin. I can't recommend this game enough.

              This is what keeps me reading comments on Kotaku, even when most of the time I wish I hadn't. :D

    The only 2013 games I've bought so far as Bioshock Infinite, Dead Space 3, Crysis 3 and The Last of Us. I finished BSI, only played half an hour of Dead Space 3, haven't started Crysis 3, and I'm only halfway through TLoU.

    I don't think I'm allowed to call myself a gamer anymore.

    That said, TLoU is way better than BSI.

    Last edited 04/07/13 11:21 am

      You're not alone, of the games in my collection that I've started there aren't really a lot that I've finished. It's not that they're bad games, It's just that I tend to keep buying new games and want to play them or I'm in the mood for something different.

      I never used to be like that, I always used to play a game to completion (end of the campaign).

      Starting today I am going to make a concerted effort to not play a game until I've finished the game I'm currently on.

        It's also Shameless Gaming month! Time to clear out that pile of shame.

    ITT: People trying to justify why, despite being carried by their stories and having average (or below) gameplay elements, Bioshock and The Last of Us are the best games of this half year.

    My vote goes to Metro Last Light, with Fire Emblem Awakening a close second.

      Or people just really like those games, and you didn't?

      opinions, they are a funny thing.

      Last edited 04/07/13 12:08 pm

        If you're nominating for a GOTY (or GOTHY in this case) on the basis of whether you 'like' it or not, you're already missing the point.

          Hey everyone, stop judging a game based on how much you like it. That's the wrong way to enjoy games!

            No, you've misunderstood, GOTY is not about ENJOYING games. I'm perfectly happy for someone to say they enjoyed BS:I or TLOU, that's fine. If this article was 'Tell Us What Your Favourite Game of This Half Year Was?', they would be fine answers, but this is about presenting a title, an award. I ENJOYED Cabin In The Woods, but that doesn't mean it deserves an Oscar. I enjoy watching Archer, but do I feel it deserves a Best Comedy Emmy? No.

            The problem is, if we start throwing awards and recognition at good stories layered inside average gameplay mechanics, the innovation stops. We get more average shooters with good stories. The difference between movies and games is the GAMEPLAY, no? The more we lean towards putting story before mechanics, the further towards movie we get. Is it ok to enjoy these games? Sure. But should they be given GAME of the year for increasingly taking control away from the player in lieu of more cut scenes (which BS:I and TLOU had in droves)? I don't think so.

            Enjoyment WILL factor into a GOTY choice because typically, people enjoy things that are fun, and the amount of fun that a game is to play is very relevant to the quality of the game. But to say that the reason I think this is game of the year is because I liked it best, not necessarily because it was the best game, is rather dumb.

              A "game of the year" is generally a consideration for what is generally felt to be the "best" game, and is a highly subjective consideration. A game is many things. It is visual design, sound design, a setting, a set of rules that adhere to those of the game world, gameplay elements that allow you to interact with said world, written dialogue, a plot, a narrative, a physics engine, set pieces, etc.

              A great story can set a game apart from it's peers in the same way that poor game mechanics can drag it well down. What most people look for in a "GOTY" candidate is a game that balances all of these well - because no game will ever do all of them in the best possible way.

              The Last of Us (which I haven't finished, myself) apparently has an excellent setting, plot and narrative, the gameplay works well enough most of the time, and leaves people generally feeling positive about it because it achieved what it set out to do. Bioshock Infinite on the other hand had a great setting, interesting characters and solid gameplay, but was rather thin on actual story and left behind some plot holes once it finally stopped playing coy and let you actually know what was supposed to be going on.

              I can't comment at all on Metro Last Light, but you apparently thought... well actually you haven't particularised why you 'voted' on it at all. you criticised BSI and TLoU for their "gameplay elements" without really qualifying that in any way, so I assume you consider Last Light to be the opposite of that. Maybe you could use your reasoning to support why you felt like Last Light was a GOTY contender instead of simply dismissing out of hand the thoughts put forth by everyone else?

                Not much point really. Scrolling through the rest of the responses and it's just a TLOU circlejerk. I'd rather point out why 99% are being silly than to try and present a case for another game that's going to be immediately skipped by the 99% because it's not about TLOU.

                Do you really think a GAME where the GAMEplay 'works well enough most of the time' is deserving of GOTHY? It's not like it's innovating or trying something new and didn't know how to execute it properly. These are recycled mechanics we're talking about; for each mechanic you can find an earlier game that did exactly the same thing.

                A lot of people are throwing around 'immersion' too. For me, the glass-shatter moment was when I was in combat, and my 14 year old 'whole reason for the plot' device ran right across my screen, in the middle of open battle, and just stood there, with everyone ignoring her. I just couldn't take any combat seriously after that. At least Elizabeth in BS:I actually reacted somewhat realistically in combat, she would actively search for cover and would 'scrounge for supplies'. In this way, the gameplay disconnects me entirely from the story, and once you realise that, shock horror, you're in a game but not actually playing the likeable, charismatic superhero, I don't even think the story raises itself above predictable.

                Last edited 04/07/13 3:10 pm

                  Well, I can see why you'd be disinclined to put forward an actual case for why you thought something was good. As you've demonstrated, it's much easier to complain about things you think are bad.

                  Absolutely, and when coming up against such well-reasoned arguments as "The Last of Us. No question," and "The Last Of Us. That is all.", ie people judging on the game they liked the most rather than any sort of objective, or at least semi-objective scale, I may as well be banging my head against the wall :)

                  Last edited 04/07/13 3:49 pm

          Kermitron hit the nail on the head there, but if we don't base game of the year on how much we enjoyed the game, then what do we base it on?

          i can see reviews based on your logic now.
          "Metro last light wasn't an enjoyable game, but it wasn't buggy and when you shoot people they die. GOTY"

          i haven't played metro last light, and I'm not making fun of it in any way, it actually looks good. just trying to point out how ridiculous you are being. What i'm saying is, you are right in your opinion to not like the Last of Us and Bioshock, but saying that we shouldn't give games merit on how much we "like" them is plain dumb.

            I tried to reply to you and Kermitron at the same time, not sure if you saw it:

            Enjoyment WILL factor into a GOTY choice because typically, people enjoy things that are fun, and the amount of fun that a game is to play is very relevant to the quality of the game. But to say that the reason I think this is game of the year is because I liked it best, not necessarily because it was the best game, is rather dumb.

              can you follow your own advice and get back to banging your head against the wall pls

      I really like the gameplay in the TLOU, that's why I picked it. I just don't have the same gripes with the combat that some other people have had, I really liked it.

        Yep, there was nothing "average" or "below average" about the gameplay of TLOU. It was outstanding. Combine that with what was probably the high-water mark for graphics in this console generation, a damn near perfect soundtrack and backed up by some of the best writing and acting this medium has played host to and you have one very strong GOTHY contender.

      The Last of Us is an amazing story perfectly reinforced by its gameplay elements.

        I agree. Seeing as TLOU is a game about a hostile, unpredictable environment that **SPOILER ALERT** leads into eventual betrayal . Perfect reinforcement. Couldn't have said it better myself.

        Last edited 04/07/13 2:26 pm

    Tlou being ps3 exclusive has limited its audience so it's gotta be bioshock for me although I'm desperate to play tlou.

      I really dont get all the love for TLOU - I am at the University, game says 70% through, and all I've been experiencing is a great story interrupted by a terrible shooting game

      What is all the love for this game? What am I missing? I loved UC2, but since then ND has focused more on graphics and movie-scenes then the actual game play

        I agree, although I wouldn't call the gameplay terrible, it wasn't bad, it just wasn't spectacular either.

        I'm not as far in as you are... but I'm not enjoying it either.

        I will freely admit that I despise stealth games.

          My main interest in playing is for the story. Just wish they would stop putting AAA titles as exclusives it makes no sense to me, playstation may have paid the developer money to be exclusive but was that more money than they would have made on Xbox and pc sales?

            It sells consoles. If the title is good enough. I have two friends that bought PS3 just recently to play the sony exclusives (uncharted killzone and last of us). Last of Us was the tipping point for them.

            Naughty Dog is owned by Sony... unless they buy themselves out (the way Bungie did from Microsoft) they're never going multiplatform.

    The Last of Us is the best game I have played IN years...

    Nothing even comes close, it's in a league of it's own, and I play a hell of a lot of video games.

    Luigi's Mansion 2, definitely Luigi's Mansion 2. My time with TLoU was ... well lets just say it wasn't fun for me.

      Agree about TLOU not being fun... great story, not a fun game

      There may be something wrong with me...but I had lots of fun with this game. I genuinely think it was a fun game. I really enjoyed playing it. And I didn't pull the wings off flies when I was a kid...

        Nothing wrong with you at all - people have fun playing different games. The trouble with TLOU was the hype was so enormous, that I feel any publication who dared question the game element of this title was hounded down, so it received a lot of unwarranted 9's and 10's.

        In a few months time, when the hype train has died down, people will look back and say "great graphics, great story, shame about the actual game" (and all the rules it breaks, I'm sick of walking past another full armed hunter and dont take his weapon/ammo or running into another hunter with seemingly infinite bullets - and the plot holes... for example the shootout after the hydro-power plant and before the ranch - anyone who has played that scene will know what I am talking about - bug stupid plot hole there)

        A good example is UC3 - for the first month or so, everyone way saying GOTY, best game ever etc etc, but if you ask most of those people now, I would be surprised if they didnt say that UC2 was better

          Polygon gave it a seven or something IIRC and I agree reviewer hype can skew a result one way or another. Look at the initial reviews of Bioshock Infinite versus the mixed views of players afterward.

    I loved The Last of Us, loved it so much. It just gets better and better as it goes, right up until that fantastic conclusion. Easily my game of the year so far. The gameplay was awesome, the atmosphere, characters and story were perfect. It's the best long game (over 2-3 hours) I've played for a while.

    Luigi's mansion (which I haven't finished yet) is awesome, but for me it's only awesome for a handheld game, I don't know if I would feel the same way about it if it was a full console experience.

    Bioshock Infinite - I know a lot of people absolutely love this game, but I'm struggling to finish it. Love the art and setting, the story is interesting, but the gameplay is just not inspiring me at all. I felt the same way a little bit about Bioshock 1 actually, but that had a much more atmospheric feel to it, and it felt like it had a better sandbox to play in - the way you could plan your attack on a Big Daddy before triggering it.

    Last edited 04/07/13 11:29 am

      Same. Bioshock Infinite was great but something about it didn't leave me completely satisfied. Whereas with TLoU everything just felt right. It felt complete and it's one of the few games that I really don't regret paying full RRP for.

        I don't regret it, but I only paid full RRP for it because my PS3 won't read dual layer discs anymore :( so I got if the PSN

    Bioshock Infinite all the way for me. I don't have a PS3 so haven't got TLOU. Bioshock Infinite has been one of those games I just couldn't put down...even after finishing it half a dozen times.

    As for the next six months - personally I'm looking forward to Saints Row IV, even if we get an edited version. GTA5 I might get, not as keen on it as I am with Saints Row. And of course the PS4.

    The Last of Us. Haven't even finished it yet, but the magnificently varied environments, sound design, AI, combat, stealth, level design, voice acting... it all just adds up to awesome.

    I'd probably go DMC: Devil May Cry or The Cave

    Fire Emblem Awakening. Rarely in my whole life has a game reeled me in like that. I had 90 hours racked up in the first two weeks without even realising.

    Last edited 04/07/13 11:38 am

    I don't know! I've played Tomb Raider, The Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite, Luigi's Mansion 2, and others, and they were all very good but, I dunno... I probably had the most fun this year playing Sleeping Dogs, is that eligible? Sure it was highly derivative and was all about punching, shooting and driving, but I enjoyed it. Maybe I'm the problem with the gaming industry?

      I've been meaning to check out Sleeping Dogs...I really liked True Crime: Streets of LA and I get the sense that SD is like that but better.

        Sleeping Dogs was really, really great. There are a few elements that could have used some work, but it lost a few things to budget cuts so it's understandable. In spite of that, it worked well as a whole. I definitely want to see more games like it.

      Pretty sure sleeping dogs was last year, but it sure was fun that's for sure. Game of the half year for me the last of us, I played and the fiancé watched we both loved it

    The Last of Us

    I can't remember any other games coming out this year.

    June is almost over? We're already a few days into July :P

    While TLOU was great, I think I'm still leaning towards Tomb Raider for GOTHY.

      I'm glad someone pointed that out...someone's confused

    June is almost over.

    I KNEW IT! Mark is in possession of a time machine!

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now