1 – The Walking Dead Season 2
From the amount of times I screamed, cried, and hit the keyboard in frustration, The Walking Dead Season 2 is my Game of the Year. Though not quite as good as Season 1, it nonetheless moved me in ways that I hadn’t realized a game could…and the worst (best) part was that I was in control of the action–the game made me feel responsible for the lives saved and lost. Clementine’s journey of suffering and her desperate search for safety were beautifully pulled off by Telltale.
The choice system Telltale implements in games such as this reminds you constantly that everything you do has an effect–your words will be remembered, your actions are noticed. Yet they constantly remind you, also, that sometimes fate is inevitable, and choices are never as simple as an easy right or wrong. The Walking Dead Season 2 had three primary ways the game could end, depending on your choices as Clementine. In between were plenty of tense dialogues, fast-paced action sequences, and moments of snap-judgment where lives hung in the balance.
The Walking Dead Season 2 was an excellent conclusion to the series on its own, but it left me hoping for more installments in the series, even if they don’t include the same characters. I’ve never felt as invested in a character as I did with Clementine, though admittedly much of that was carried over from Season 1, Season 2 did a good job of carrying it through. For its moving plot, choice-based gameplay and mechanics, haunting soundtrack, and excellent voiceacting, The Walking Dead Season 2 is my Game of the Year for 2014.