Could – or should – a downloadable title win Game of the Year?
That may be a difficult question to answer for gaming websites and sources come the end of 2012, as it appears Thatgamecompany's Journey will be in the running for the year's highest award.
Right now, the artistic and innovative gem holds a slight lead at GameRankings for the highest rated game of the year, coming in at 92.26%, just ahead of Mass Effect 3 's 92.12%. At Metacritic , it's ME3 with the slight lead; 93-92. But beyond the scores, let's break things down for a minute: The gamer outcry against ME3 was well documented and could very well hurt BioWare's epic RPG when it comes time to vote for Game of the Year. Furthermore, we're already halfway through the year, and the only other legitimate contenders are Max Payne 3 , Xenoblade Chronicles , and if you want to take a leap, Diablo III (which also had significant, well-known issues).
In looking at the rest of the year, perhaps the biggest contenders have already been confirmed for 2013: Bioshock Infinite and The Last Of Us . And with every passing day, it seems more and more unlikely that Grand Theft Auto V will hit this year. So what's left? Well, Assassin's Creed III appears to have the best shot at the illustrious award in question, or maybe Halo 4 can take the crown. Another title that might have a chance is the hotly anticipated Dishonored , which looks potentially awesome . That one could be this year's Skyrim if everything goes well; the mixing of genres is borderline ingenious, damnit.
Then again, maybe a game like Medal of Honor: Warfighter , Borderlands 2 , Lords of Shadows 2 , Resident Evil 6 , or Hitman: Absolution can take the world by storm… Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 ? Oh, I suppose. But at this point, it's by no means a stretch to say that Journey could emerge as the finest interactive experience of the year.