Kotaku Awards 2013: PC Game Of The Year

You've nominated. You've voted. Now let's announce Kotaku Australia's PC game of the year!

Reader's Choice

BioShock Infinite Congrats to Irrational and 2k Games.

2nd Place: XCOM: Enemy Unknown 3rd Place: Battlefield 4

Editor’s Choice

Gone Home This is a tricky one because, almost without exception, I played Indie games on PC exclusively, meaning that my PC game of the year is almost certainly destined to be the same as my Indie/downloadable game of the year.

And that game is Gone Home.

It’s hard to discuss Gone Home without discussing the backlash — some people have been openly hostile towards the game and that’s disappointing. At its root I think the disappointment stems from subverted expectations: players expected one specific thing, but got something else. They got a short, experience that was unfamiliar to folks expecting some sort of haunted house story.

But I think it’s silly to get frustrated with a game because it’s not another, different type of game. Its ability to subvert video game tropes, and to push directly against what we expect from a video game played in the first person is easily its greatest strength — not the writing, which is mostly good but occasionally a bit… less good.

There’s one moment in Gone Home. A light bulb explodes. It makes a noise, then darkness. You, the player, absolutely shit yourself (at least I did). It’s the one solitary moment in the game with a genuine ‘scare’, yet it’s just a blown light bulb — an occurence that can (and most likely will) happen in any domestic space at one point in our lives. It’s a perfect moment that simultaneously plays to and against the haunted mansion tropes that Gone Home subverts so well. Soon you realise the blown light bulb is not scary. There is no monster in the closet. There are no ghosts. Just a blown lightbulb. Another sign of domesticity, another sign that you’re simply in a regular house, with all the stories that store up in the furniture when human beings live together in the same space for a certain amount of time.

Runners Up: Papers Please, The Stanley Parable


    I loved Gone Home so damn much. I really cared about all those characters and played in one sitting. So much atmosphere too and '90s flashback triggers. My PC game of the year would easily be The Night of the Rabbit, though. Hooray for adventure games!

    im surprised xcom made 2nd place... :/

      I thought Xcom came out last year when Dishonored was released. Wasn't it just the expansion this year?

    i call bs... seriously Bioshock? of all the freaking games we can get on our PC you people chose Bioshock?

      yeah... i think given that almost everything is multiplatform these days, theres an awful lot of repetition on these GOTY lists.

      Perhaps a solution could be to have a few different categories
      "Best PS exclusive"
      "Best Xbox exclusive"
      "Best PC exclusive"
      then have a 'Best multiplatform' release. or maybe thats already covered by the overall GOTY category?

    No Antichamber here...
    No Antichamber in the indie/downloadable category...
    Not even an honorable mention.
    This is slightly disappointing.

    Bioshock was pretty great, but I still maintain that Antichamber was up there as one of the most interesting, well-made, smartest & fun games of the year (also, it wasn't a sequel to anything!)
    oh well... more hipster cred for me then :p

    Stanley Parable beats out Gone Home in my opinion. Both are simillar in certain ways, but as much as I enjoyed Gone Home for it's story, the Stanley Parable had me laughing and thinking more than any other game I've played in years. Stanley Parable was a game made for people who understand games and enjoy thinking about games.

    Absolutely loved Gone Home - the atmosphere... although I don't remember the blown lightbulb. The scene that really struck me was
    where they were dying her hair... even though I "knew" that the red liquid all over the bathroom was hair dye, I couldn't break away from the uneasy feeling that it wasn't...
    And that ending... absolutely wrecked me. Umm... in a good way, I suppose.

    Should be exclusive games, I think shadow warrior should of got the award but it wasn't even nominated, got great reviews and sold really well yet no mention at all.

    Last edited 11/12/13 12:58 pm

    I really love artistic games that have a different play style to the norm but I hated gone home. The story wasn't all that great in my personal opinion and the gameplay didn't grab me either. I honestly don't think Bioshock Infinite deserved game of the year either. The story was pretty good up until the end, which completely put me off it and the gunplay was average at best. not to mention repetitive enemies and pretty boring guns. I would have really loved to see something like the Stanley Parable, Payday 2, Outlast, Metro: Last light, Tomb Raider, DMC, Shelter, Sir, You Are Being Hunted, Rogue Legacy, Gunpoint, Don't Starve or as much as I don't like the gameplay, Xcom was a brilliant game. Not my kinda game but still a great game. Even State of Decay, a part of the super overused, zombie genre did stuff differently. Im usually the guy that likes most of the stuff he plays but some of these games really got on my bad side. Hope im not coming off as too much of a negative Nancy but I don't get why people loved Bioshock: infinite and Gone Home so much.

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