2006 Game Awards
And the runner-up is…
So Sam Fisher has been a bad boy eh? In the latest of the Tom Clancy-branded series, Fisher stars as a–this may come as a total surprise–double agent. An interesting gameplay mechanic in the single-player tests Fisher’s ability to play for both sides. The trust meter was an interesting innovation that ensured players didn’t get too complacent working for one side. Those moral choices also translated into multiple endings, a well-needed reason to play through Double Agent more than once.
The multiplayer was also improved, with more streamlined maps created for newer players. As they gained experience, the more difficult scenarios were opened up to them. Still, even with this the multiplayer and single-player components still felt like more of the same. Double Agent is a fantastic game to be sure, but not impressive enough to earn the top spot.
And the winner is…
Planet Sera is the setting for this futuristic war 3rd person shooter. Marcus Fenix just got out of the slammer and what’s there to greet him? A planetary war above and below ground that pits the last vestiges of humanity against the brutish hordes of the Locust. To describe Gears of War in any other term than visceral would do the game an injustice. Blood doesn’t just leak from wounds, it pours out into unholy pools. High-caliber rifle shells and melee chainsaws remind players that when you fight on Sera there’s a good chance pieces of you will be left behind. The action demands constant attention as you guide Fenix around cover, dash through crossfire and toss grenades into emergence holes.
Gameplay aside, Gears of War looked like one of the best games ever released, making Sony eat foot when they attempted to tout the graphical superiority of the PlayStation 3. There’s just something special about watching the couch you’re using for cover splinter into a million tiny pieces as you re-think your strategy.
[next, Best Role-Playing Game]