2006 Game Awards
And the runner-up is…
For all its greatness, Gears of War just had one too many damaging elements to give it the top spot this year. Yes the gameplay was fluid, yes the action was great, and yes it kept us at the edge of our seat. By and large, however, the action was contained in a very short single-player campaign. Gears of War was the kind of game that left players demanding more to fill that insatiable lust for combat. There were a bevy of multiplayer modes and an online cooperative campaign to keep players interested for a while but nothing that could compare to the emotions unleashed during solo play. Berserker crashing through wall, I’m looking at you.
Combine that with a noticeable percentage of games with disc-read errors and occasionally end-mission bugs and you have a game on the brink of greatness, but not quite there yet.
And the 2006 Game of the Year is…
Political intrigue, mysticism, magic, a little romance, and combat… lots and lots of combat. What should normally be wrapped up in a Lord of the Rings novel is instead found in this brilliant gem of a game, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It’s hard to think of anyone who wouldn’t be enthralled with this title. It has everything that nearly every kind of gamer around the world would want. Its storyline is only the tip of the iceberg, detailing the life – or end thereof – of Emperor Uriel Septim. It follows all the way until the near apocalypse of the land of Cyrodiil, as Oblivion begins to pour out upon the land. You, the unnamed hero, must gather forces and move to strike against the forces of Oblivion. Or, if you prefer, simply wander about the countryside indulging in the innumerable side quests, or even simply going homicidal and attacking anyone within eyesight. These are the options given you in Oblivion, and as daunting as the concept may seem, it results in hours and hours of high quality, high intensity gameplay that will leave you attached to your Xbox 360 or PC for a very long time. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has well-earned its title as this year’s Armchair General Magazine 2006 Game of the Year. There’s nothing better.
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