The year 2013 has been huge for gaming. We got sequels, originals, remakes, revamps, and everything in between. In fact, this year has been one of the most debated since the beginning of Front Towards Gamer – so much came out, and so much deserves recognition.
To manage the sheer amount of awards we have to give this year, the 2013 Golden Claymore Awards are being spread out over the course of seven days. It’s day three, and here are today’s awards.
Most Promising Kickstarter – Mighty No. 9
This is a Kickstarter that best represents what is so great about crowd funding as a service. Raking in over $3.8 million of its $900,000 goal, this is what happens when a well known and seasoned game developer like Keiji Inafune pitches a project that one can tell he truly believes in. It’s a no-brainer for someone thinking about supporting the project, especially when looking at the progress Double Fine has made with its adventure game Kickstarter that led to Broken Age. Mighty No. 9 also best represents the spirit that goes along with crowd funding-based game development: making something that couldn’t be made otherwise. With Kickstarter, Inafune is able to bypass the middle man of game development, and go straight to the source to let them decide if this thing gets made. Will Mighty No. 9 live up to its MegaMan legacy? Only time will tell, but I have great hope for the future of this game and this business model as a whole.
- Morgan Park, Associate Editor
Most Anticipated MMO of 2014 – Wildstar
Imagine if Pixar and Borderlands had a baby; that’s essentially what Wildstar is. Coming from NC Soft, the guys who brought us Guild Wars 2, Wildstar looks to be the next big thing in the PC gaming MMO sphere. Adding in a never-before-done aesthetic (excluding Knack), and adopting the Eve Online subscription model and free-form capitalistic economy are just a few things that make Wildstar something to look forward to in the new year. Also, the idea of Pixar cartoons swearing is pretty funny.
- Quin Sullivan, Contributing Editor
Best New Mechanic – Bows (Tomb Raider, Crysis 3, The Last of Us, etc.)
Tomb Raider. Crysis 3. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. Warframe. You’d think, “hey, these aren’t even remotely similar games,” and you’d be correct. Well, except for one point: they all obsess over bows and arrows. Maybe it’s the “silent but deadly” approach that makes bows so appealing. Maybe it’s the satisfaction of letting an arrow loose into the face of your foes. Maybe it’s that you could replace every instance of the word “bow” and “arrow” in this paragraph with the word “fart” and make it 100% more juvenile and hilarious. Either way, using a compound bow to silently reduce your opposition is one of the most interesting (and refreshing) new ways to play games as of this year, and I hope it continues well into 2014.
- Rhys Egner, Associate Editor
Best HD Remake – The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Edition
It’s hard to say anything new about a game that released over a decade ago. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker shocked GameCube players by taking the franchise in a new direction – a dichotomy of cutesy style and mature overtones. I guess we can start by just looking at the screenshot above. Doesn’t look like a decade-old game, does it? Wind Waker HD arrived with a whole new dichotomy – a game from two generations previous that looks just as good, if not better than next generation launch titles. Beyond graphics, the game’s pacing was improved, fan complaints were addressed, and the game was fully reformatted for a new system. This is the model for HD remakes. Developers, take note.
- Tony Wilson, Reviews Editor
Best DLC – Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep (Borderlands 2)
I review games based on how effectively they achieve what they set out to do. When their final goal is hindered by the dumbest AI, cheapest difficulties, and a nonexistent player base, all the while being a terrible game in addition to those malformed “features,” then it’s done nothing to impress me and everything to make me loathe its existence.
Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep does the exact opposite. The first three downloadable add-ons to Borderlands 2 were fun, dull but amusing, and downright bad, and left me feeling a little cheated about the $30 I spent on the season pass (a mistake I plan on never making again). However, the fourth (and final) entry in the Borderlands 2 DLC “extravaganza” caught me completely off guard. Instead of being outsourced, it was developed in-house. Instead of trying to create side stories, it expanded on the main game’s plot (albeit in an unconventional manner). Most importantly, it added variety, a very different feeling world, and it made me like Tiny Tina. Yes, you read that right; I thought – and still think – the worst part of the main game was Tiny Tina, who was the digital equivalent to a shrieking howler monkey in a termite-infested forest filled with land crabs (of which I have actually experienced). However, Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep was crafted with such love and care for fans of Dungeons & Dragons, Zork, and even Saturday Night Live skits, that I couldn’t help but adore every minute spent on my loot-filled journey to slay the Handsome Sorcerer.
- Rhys Egner, Associate Editor