Hmmm. “Game of the Year”? Can I have a “Game of the Year That Isn’t Halo” category?
For me, it has to be Bioshock for its glorious look and feel. Here is a FPS come RPG that sees you wandering around a submerged world built at the end of WWII as a home where scientists and artists wouldn’t be constrained by others. The trouble is, everyone’s gone a bit mad and you’re looking for a way out.
From the very first moment you set foot in the crumbling Rapture you are immersed in such a detailed and atmospheric world that you can only tip your hat at the developers for the sheer amount of effort that has gone into creating such unique environments.
Looks would be nothing without a game, though, and whilst it has average-at-best FPS mechanics your ability to mix and match Plasmids opens up combat massively. Whether you want to freeze an enemy, set them alight, throw a swarm of bees at them, the choice is yours and the freedom allows everyone to tailor their own gameplay experience.
Topping off this superb game is the narrative, which is second to none. I’m not going to give anything away but everyone who has played will know exactly which moment I am talking about when I say it caused me to take a step back in awe at how the player is woven into the storyline.
If only the final boss battle didn’t exist I would be truly happy.