The TrueAchievements Staff Game of the Year 2015

By xPut Name Herex,
Greetings TAers!

As the 2016 gaming calendar begins (the first new games of the year are already releasing, as Unepic Achievements as that sounds), the staff here at TrueAchievements participated in our yearly tradition of deciding on our Game of the Year selection.

After last year’s mature and reasonable discussion, we sat down, bandaged some injuries (dropK1CK ninJA got a lot of points in with his signature sucker punch), and calmly decided on how to vote for the Game of the Year in 2015. It led to another mature and reasonable discussion. I’m happy to report that only one pair of arms was torn off by resident Wookie ChewieOnIce, so this year was a resounding success!

Staff Game of the YearStaff Game of the Year 2015

Honorable Mention

Ori and the Blind Forest Achievements - Official Review
Ori 1

Missing out of the top five by a single vote, Walkthrough Supervisor and Newshound LifeExpectancy makes an excellent case for the little indie game that could:

This is what happens when a developer is given the time, free of oppressive deadlines, to do a game justice. This is what happens when a developer puts plainly evident passion into a game. This is what the AAA industry lost long ago. Ori and the Blind Forest is a masters class in game design, with the tightest, most responsive gameplay of any platformer or metroidvania I've ever played. It is the single best game on which I have laid hands since Super Mario Bros 3. I am extremely saddened that I don't see more votes here for this masterpiece.
Top Five

5: Assassin's Creed Syndicate Achievements - Official Review
Assassin's Creed Syndicate

Walkthrough Supervisor Dang3R Gaming lets us know what it means to go back through the past to assassinate those people you were forced to learn about in History class:

I love the series in general, but this game just blew it out of the water in my mind. And having just played "Jack the Ripper" DLC, I love it even more. The gameplay was amazing, same with the story, and I loved every minute of the game.
4: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Achievements - Official Review
Title Screen

Newshound Marc Pilkington gives us the scoop on the world that CD Projekt brought to gamers this past year:

Games that excel in one department tend to struggle in another, but The Witcher 3 manages to exceed in all of them. Stunning graphics, a heartfelt story, fleshed out characters, solid gameplay and a beautiful soundtrack are all present here, helping to create one of the best RPG's ever to grace the gaming community. Even at eighty hours in, I was still eager to hop straight back into the world that Geralt inhabits and enjoy the plethora of content on offer. It's an RPG fan's ultimate gaming dream.
3: Batman: Arkham Knight Achievements - Official Review

To solve why this game is so loved without having to be the World’s Greatest Detective, we turn to Game Info Editor Zonrith1:

I confess that my heart has greatly desired this. Instead of a dark lord you shall have a Dark Knight! All shall love him and despair.

Arkham Knight keeps everything great about Arkham City, expands it and enhances it. The free-flowing combat and detective work are now coupled with extensive use of the iconic Batmobile. The rogue gallery is once more out in full force. The sound design is immersive and Gotham looks great in its bleak, gritty way. With plenty of lore and throwbacks to the comics (like the ever-compelling The Killing Joke), Arkham Knight offers compelling storytelling combined with well-tuned gameplay. It is fun in a way that video games should always strive to be.

It also helps if you say "I'm Batman" in your best Bale voice every 20 minutes or so.
2: Fallout 4 Achievements - Official Review
Screenshot 1

Moderator Parallax Demon gives a great explanation of what makes the latest Bethesda game a worthy addition to the publisher’s staple of classic games:

Fallout 4 is not a perfect game. The plot is not memorable, the world is a lot smaller compared to The Witcher or Skyrim, the graphics could be better and the RPG-element is downtuned again.

But, when you start to play it, it's so addictive. It's an open world filled with easter eggs, funny encounters, places to explore, goodies to be found etc. That's what all Bethesda games are; the story gives you a reason to start the game, and before you know it, you're doing all kind of things not story related at all.

Fallout 4 gives you all of that in the best looking world ever created by Bethesda.
And finally, the Grand Pearl Pooh-Bah of the contest, the TrueAchievements Staff pick for Game of the Year 2015!

1: Life is Strange Achievements - Official Review

To understand how a game about high school girls could capture the attention of so much of the gaming world this past year, Moderator Geoffistopheles breaks down the game (and also commits actions that would infuriate a certain mole):

Move over, Telltale, you've got some competition. I like the gameplay, using the rewind feature both for puzzles, conversation changes, and major plot twists. I liked the characters, who felt so alive that I could put real life acquaintances to their surface personalities. But most of all I adored the story, teasing at a slice of life as things slowly descend into darker territory, tackling issues that I did not expect the game to handle. If there were a console game this year to address the question "Are games art?", this would be the title to bring out.

Fun fact: In most choice-based games, I'll make a major decision in 15 seconds. Life is Strange once got me to turn the game off instead, because I was not prepared to make that decision.
Staff Windows / Mobile Game of the Year

Runner-Up: Dragon Mania Legends (Windows) Achievements / Dragon Mania Legends (WP) Achievements

Community Event Organizer and GTASC Host planting42 offers a look into the first game on our list:

As far as mobile games went this past year, Dragon Mania Legends was one of the best of the freemium offerings. Not only was it fun and engaging, it offered chances to interact with friends in different ways. Overall, it is the best game that Gameloft has released to date in my opinion.
Winner: Hitman GO (Windows) Achievements / Hitman GO (WP) Achievements

To explain how a traditional video game franchise made such a graceful debut on mobile devices, here is the Moderator who still can’t find the name field at registration:

Software development in general is as much a challenge in not only getting your product to work, but also making sure that your product is ideal for the platforms on which you expect to distribute. To that degree, Square Enix Montreal absolutely nailed their production of Hitman Go. Instead of the many hamfisted attempts at bringing established gaming properties on consoles/PC to new platforms, Hitman Go exemplified what can be accomplished when the unique aspects of a new platform are accounted for first, before worrying about how to retain identifying aspects of the main series, if needed at all. The end product becomes a magnificent puzzle game with plenty of challenges and is ideal for the short burst "pick up and go" gameplay that makes mobile games successful.
And there you have it! Now that you've seen our results, make sure that you check out the results of the site vote as well. The staff hope everyone gets a chance to play these wonderful games that we have highlighted from 2015 and eagerly looks forward to what 2016 holds in store for the gaming world. Happy Gaming!
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