2015 is upon us. It's the new year, and it's full of exciting new gaming possibilities. At this time it's also important to reflect back on the top gaming moments of 2014. The titles that represent the very best effort made by legions of talented individuals, solely designed to provide players with the maximum amount of entertainment.
The Gameplanet Players’ Choice Awards are the largest videogame awards in New Zealand, determined by the votes of thousands of dedicated Kiwi gamers.
This year, we conducted an extensive preliminary round in which you shared with us your favourite games of 2014. The top ten nominees, as selected by New Zealand's gaming community and listed here in alphabetical order, were:
◆ Dark Souls II
◆ Divinity: Original Sin
◆ Dragon Age: Inquisition
◆ Far Cry 4
◆ Goat Simulator
◆ Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
◆ South Park: The Stick of Truth
◆ Wolfenstein: The New Order
◆ World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
Next, we invited you to vote for these games to determine the winner. Voting has now closed, and today we reveal the top five finalists and your overall Players' Choice Game of the Year.
5th – South Park: The Stick of Truth
8.7 percent of the final votes
We said: 8.5/10 – "The humour is the real reason to play this game, and alongside the usual bad taste gags and celebrity burns, it’s great to see the writers having fun with the video game format specifically. They gleefully pick holes in such absurdities as the silent protagonist, fighters taking turns to attack each other, NPCs spouting canned dialogue, and the idea that a person would have time to record multiple audio logs while trying to escape an alien spacecraft.
"In the inglorious history of tie-in games, this one’s a rare winner." (Read More)
4th – Destiny
10.8 percent of the final votes
We said: 8/10 – "Despite [a] few gripes, Destiny delivers as a new-gen spectacle, and one that should keep gamers engaged for a long time yet. I’ve thrashed it in the last few days, and now I have hand cramps, a sure sign I was having fun – even though it can be a little repetitive and predictable.
"Destiny has been a long time in the making, and there was a lot of hype around the game from the moment its existence was leaked to the public. Is it worth your time? Absolutely. Is it the best game to release on the new generation of consoles? Most likely. But does it live up to the hype of its many, many ‘Best of E3’ awards? Close, but not quite." (Read More)
3rd – Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
14.5 percent of the final votes
We said: 9.5/10 – "The core story in Shadow of Mordor could feasibly be hurried through in a dozen or so hours, but the constantly evolving and escalating conflict within the Nemesis system and the huge number of side quests can easily double or triple that. In any case, the joy in Shadow of Mordor is not measured in hours played, but in the accumulated swords of defeated orc captains. Shadow of Mordor is a triumph, and even a slightly flat ending and some repetition cannot diminish the overall quality of the game." (Read More)
2nd – Far Cry 4
15.9 percent of the final votes
We said: 9/10 – "Far Cry 4 isn’t worlds away from its predecessor in many respects, but for most that won’t be an issue as the franchise hasn’t been milked to death just yet. Its busy yet lush open world will have players pinballing from over-the-top event to over-the-top event, the new setting and skill tree are great, and it all ramps up much quicker than Far Cry 3. It's less likely to top Reader's Choice polls the way that game did two years ago, but it's nonetheless an offering of equal merit whose only sin is emulating what's probably the best open world action game of the past few years." (Read More)
1st – Dragon Age: Inquisition
18.1 percent of the final votes
We said: 8.5/10 – "Everything about Dragon Age: Inquisition instills wonder, whether it's utilising your Stronghold’s War Room to direct Inquisition agents across the nations of Ferelden and Orlais to unlock new regions, perks, or resources, or the continued escalation of the central story and the eventual revelation of the antagonist.
"The world is sold through numerous branching sub-quests, NPC conversations, and references to the previous games. It is a stunning achievement. Assembling this epic and directing the player through it is perhaps BioWare's greatest accomplishment to date.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is a triumph for a developer who has had to contend with backlash for many decisions in its recent releases, and this game isn't without its questionable design choices either, but the quality of core experience, and the obvious care taken to present players with a proper world to experience smooths over practically every bump in the road." (Read More)
Our very warmest congratulations to everyone at BioWare and Electronic Arts from the team at Gameplanet.
Congratulations also to Jennifer who is the winner of our Players' Choice voting competition and has scored herself over $500 worth of PlayStation 4 games!