Game of the Year 2015
2015 was a year full of amazing games! We saw the PS4 and Xbox One start to really shine with true, built from the ground up, next generation games. Wii U and 3DS may have lagged behind in terms of quantity but both platforms still had some fantastic releases that were well worth taking a look at. And, as always, PC was also shown its usual share of love with fantastic games that even managed to pull me away from my comfortable console gaming setup for a while. With that said, let’s get into Second Best Gaming’s Game of 2015!
DRUM ROLL PLEASE
Life Is Strange! What a game. I will say this once more. What a freaking game! Life Is Strange threw me for possibly the biggest gaming surprise in years. I had not heard much about this game until the day that episode one was released. I watched a trailer, looked up the developer and thought, “why the hell not?” After playing through the first episode in one sitting I was hooked. Life Is Strange has this weird way of connecting to the kid in all of us. If you have lived to be at least 16, you’ve dealt with the struggles of growing up and losing touch with old friends. This game tugs on the emotional confusion that all teens experience and forces players to make tough decisions.
By the end of the game, I was so attached to the characters. The dynamic between Chloe and Max is perfect. Two young girls that reconnect after drifting apart over the years. This makes the final decisions in the game the hardest. Despite the tough choices, I could never put the controller down for too long without that constant urge to discover what would happen next in Arcadia Bay. There were times when I caught myself disgusted with certain characters and crying alongside others. The amount of interaction that occurs puts you right into the game. I did not simply feel like I was along for the ride. I felt like I was Maxine Caulfield. These decisions were not easy. I never quite finished the game. After I made my final decision and the credits rolled, I couldn't help but think for days on end if I had made the right choice.
At this point it is needless to say that Life Is Strange scores an A+ when it comes to story. Now a lot of critics and players like to point out the games biggest and most apparent flaw, the writing/voice acting. Yes, in a decision based, story driven game this is extremely important but somehow, it does not affect the experience. At least, for me it didn’t. Sure, at the beginning of the game, hearing Chloe say “hella” really pulled me out of the experience for a minute but after a while it became apparent that those less than educated, internet inspired words were part of what made Chloe who she is. The performances can feel a bit “cringey” at times but the story is just that compelling. Opinions on this game have been rather controversial throughout the year but thats just it about Game of the Year. It’s not about the game with flawless voice-over, or the prettiest graphics, or even the best gameplay. No, Game of the Year is about the game that provides the most enjoyable experience and for me, that game was Life Is Strange.