The Platform Specific Awards picked the best game for each platform and now it’s the turn of the iLLest Awards. These are awards for the great and the not-so-great since they include the iLLest Multiplayer Game, the iLLest Indie Game, The iLLest Original Soundtrack, the iLLest Character and the not-so-iLL Disappointment of the Year 2013.
iLLest Multiplayer Game of 2013
Multiplayer is an important aspect of Gaming with the entire e-sports scene built around it. We pick some of the most notable games with great multiplayer components from among Starcraft II – Heart of Swarm, Gun Monkeys, The Last Of Us, DOTA 2 and Battlefield 4.
And the winner is…
DOTA 2 – iLLGaming Review Score: 9.5
This is a pure multiplayer game that started its closed beta, in August 2011 at Gamescom, with a total prize pool of over $1.6 million. There have been multiple MOBA’s in the past year but none can compare to the high polish and detail that Valve has to offer. A true free to play game model with the fairest cash shop, along with benefits like integrated Steamworks and collectable in-game rewards, it’s easy to get lost in the loot and customization. But it’s the variety that makes it so appealing, there are multiple modes and fun events throughout that you can play for months without a single 5v5 traditional match. With co-op, coach, AI matches and guides there is plenty of guidance for all willing.
iLLest Indie Game of 2013
The Indie Developers produced quite a few delights in 2013, which we sampled and from among them chose The Stanley Parable, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, Papers, Please and Gun Monkeys for our iLLest Indie Game award.
And the award goes to…
The Stanley Parable – iLLGaming Review Score: 9.5
This year we saw many games that tried to be more compelling media for storytelling. With vast empty exploration to excessive hand holding at every turn to present the player with an expensive pre-rendered cutscene. However The Stanley Parable(TSP) showed us how this was to be done. You do not need to take control away from the player to tell a story. In fact the story changes to what the player wants makes it and here lies its strength. TSP understands that it is the game and its job is to reflect the actions of the player; and even with all this freedom tells an interesting story every time. It looked at storytelling beyond linearity and hence delivered a greater experience than traditional media, highlighting the strengths of the gaming industry.
iLLest Video Game Original Soundtrack of 2013
Most of the iLL team are music aficionados and thus, this was one personally relevant award. We seek to pick what our ears perceive to be the best score in a video game in 2013 from Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Rayman Legends, The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto V.
And the best tunes can be found in…
Grand Theft Auto V – iLLGaming Review Score: 8.8
2013 was the year Indies came to the forefront and many GOTY lists have few AAA titles. Music has often been the strong point for smaller games but there’s one big series that has always had an insanely high standard when it comes to soundtracks. That series is Grand Theft Auto. Rockstar pulled out all the stops this time with an absolutely spectacular original score for the game coupled with choice exclusive tracks from famous artists. The Grand Theft Auto V(GTA V) soundtrack spans 3 albums.
The first album features original music from the likes of Nite Jewel, The Chain Gang of 1974 and Favored Nations. A playthrough of the game will have these songs instantly recognizable and tracks like Welcome To Los Santos (which happens to open the OST) are instant classics.
The second album features the actual game score by Tangerine Dream, Woody Jackson (Red Dead Redemption), The Alchemist & Oh No, DJ Shadow. These tracks are what you hear while playing the game in the background and GTA V’s soundtrack adapts to your gameplay. No Happy Endings from this album is the most memorable track from when Michael chases after Trevor in his car towards the graveyard.
The third album has selections from the huge radio station collection available in game ranging from Bootsy Collins to Waylon Jennings. I only wish Rockstar could sell the complete radio station track lists instead of just selections.
Spanning at 3 full albums, Rockstar have hit it out of the park with the GTA V Soundtrack. They’ve allowed us to load our own songs into the mix from the early games but when you have such an amazing choice of music to listen to in car and outside, you know the soundtrack is amazing. Here’s hoping they do a physical release of this soundtrack. For now it is available on iTunes.
iLLest Video Game Character of 2013
Video Game characters can have more interesting personalities than real people. We thought long and hard over which character in a 2013 game was the iLLest of them all.
And we chose…
Trevor Phillips from Grand Theft Auto V
From the time you are introduced to Trevor, you get a hint that this is not your usual guy. A franchise that produced some of the most iconic protagonists of the generation excelled all they did previously and introduced this Redneck maniac whose life is twisted between old friendships and a dream to start his own industry. Not to forget, the uncontrollable Trevor that makes the storytelling and character switching in GTA V so awesome!
not-so-iLL Biggest Disappointment of the Year 2013
Since we picked the best of gaming in 2013, we decided to slightly balance it by picking the worst. We were certainly disappointed by a lot of titles that over-promised and under-delivered.
But out biggest disappointment was…
SimCity – iLLGaming Review Score: 8.4
There was so much to look forward to with the new SimCity, until EA fundamentally flawed the game by making it a ‘service’ rather than a game. SimCity is a product of everything that was bad about video games in 2013 i.e. micro-transactions, bloated social networking, always online and no limitless modes. And it’s a shame considering how well the game looks and plays, most limitations come down only to EA’s hyper-corporate policies. RIP, SimCity. You will be missed.
iLL Gaming 2013 Award Roundup
- The iLLest Awards 2013 (Best Multiplayer Game, Best Indie Game, Best OST, Best Character, Most Disappointing Game)
- Editor’s Choice Awards
- Platform Specific Awards (Best PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and iOS/Android Game of 2013)
- Game of the Year 2013