Game of the Year Awards 2010 - Most Promising RPG
For almost one week you could vote for the Most Promising RPG of 2010 and we now present you the results of your votes and the votes of the RPGWatch editors.
Editors' Choice: The Witcher 2
The Witcher 2: Assasins of Kings is the long awaited sequel to CD Projekt RED's critically acclaimed game, The Witcher (2007). Based on Polish author Sapkowski’s books, the first Witcher game showed that you could combine interesting combat and beautiful, brooding art with an engaging storyline as well as choices and consequences that mattered.
The game's protagonist remains Geralt, a witcher, monster-hunter and mutant. He is investigating the reasons behind the assasinations of the kings of the Northern Kingdoms. And this time around, Geralt has some friends that will join him on his quests - friends he can develop deeper relationships and romances with, if the player so chooses.
One of the improvements in the game is the combat system, which should be more fluid with no more switching between light and hard attacks. Combinations between the two can be mixed freely and interchangeably. Pausing the game in combat will still be an option, however, the combat will be shown in slow motion. The skill trees and inventory have been totally reworked - including unlimited inventory space. Other improvements include the more than 30 armors that Geralt can be equipped with and, apparently, only four load screens throughout the game.
The acclaimed choice and consequences features from Witcher 1 will make a comeback in Witcher 2 and there will be two or more ways to finish many of the quests. And the game's main quest can end in one of 16 ways, depending on choices made during the game. In conclusion, the result should be a game as engaging, time-consuming and intriguing as the original.
Editors' Choice Runner up: Frayed Knights
Frayed Knights is one man's attempt to bring back party-based blob-style rpgs like Wizardry and mix in some humor. It has over a hundred unique spells - plus an average of around four variants per spell. The variety of spells is a breath of fresh air with different kinds of damage, damage over time, status effects and your typical buff spells. Frayed Knights will also have dozens of feats that the character can choose from when leveling up. For all of you who remember the days when monsters had weakness and strengths against certain types of elements then this will be a game you will surely love - you just don't just choose your most powerful spell; it will depend on the creature, what are they weak against, what are they can resist. You know - the types of tactical decisions that you haven't had to make it quite a long time.
It will offer a fairly unique trap / lock system that requires more strategy and resource management and which is more akin to combat than your usual lock / trap system; Rampant Games is attempting to bring something more to the locks and traps than a simple mini-game or a dice roll. Lastly, the game offers a drama-star system that rewards players for not playing it too safe with the save-game system. The game is the first in a planned trilogy to be released from Rampant Games.
Frayed Knights is being developed by Jay Barnson - the founder of Rampant Games and Tales of the Rampant Coyote. Jay has helped develop some amazing games like Twisted Metal and Jet Moto and is planning on releasing the first part to the trilogy sometime this year.
Editors' Choice Third Place: Venetica
Venetica is out now in many regions and from some of the ratings you would expect it to be a real disappointment. Still, it makes it to third place for our editors, which is mostly based on the fact that those who voted for it already played it.
Venetica is not perfect - it certainly has its share of flaws - but in our opinion they are not as big as some reviews would have you believe. It actually is an enjoyable and charming game with more depth than you would think at first sight. Perhaps it might have received better scores if it had been played with a more open mindset and maybe more gaming hours.
It most likely is not a technically superior game to some of the other options like Dragon Age 2 but the charm and artistic vision of Venice makes Venetica a welcome change of pace.
Gamers' Choice: The Witcher 2
Like the editors, our visitors also think The Witcher 2 is the most interesting game to look forward to in 2011. We can't blame them.
Gamers' Choice Runner up: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Bethesda has found massive success with the last few iterations of their open-world games but there are obvious drawbacks in their approach. For some role-playing fans, a Bethesda game is the ultimate opportunity to live in a fantasy world; for others, the focus on sheer breadth leads to weak NPCs, repetition and issues with gameplay mechanics, such as scaling and balance.
It's way too early to say how Skyrim will come together but there are reasons to hope this might be the best modern Elder Scrolls game. For starters, the setting and art we've seen so far show a return to Morrowind's values - a visually interesting aesthetic that showcases the culture and lore of the setting. Fallout 3 improved on the scaling system in Oblivion, so they have learned with experience. Likewise, Fallout 3 showed greater depth in the quests, with stronger dialogue and more choices. In another nod to Fallout, Perks have been added. Finally, the new engine and physics systems might address traditional weaknesses such as poor animation. All up, Skyrim represents a huge opportunity for Bethsoft and the result will be fascinating.
Gamers' Choice Third Place: Age of Decadence
It is not certain that The Age of Decadence will actually be released in 2011. But there are plenty of gamers who hope it will, leading to this years third place, after being first last year.
The Age of Decadence brings the promise of varied characters that really play differently, different solutions to quests, deep factions, action point based combat, crafting and alchemy and a well-developed diplomacy path. It all looks like an RPG players' wet dream. Let's just hope it will live up to its expectations, regardless of it being released in 2011 or not.
The following tables shows the results of the voting.
|1||The Witcher 2
||Drakensang: The River of Time||9,1|
|5||Dragon Age 2||6,8|
|5||Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim||6,8|
|7||Deus Ex: Human Revolution||2,3|
|1||The Witcher 2||26,8|
|2||Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim||20,7|
|3||Age of Decadence
|4||Deus Ex: Human Revolution||8,7|
|5||Dragon Age 2||8,2|
|6||Mass Effect 3||7,6|
|7||Path of Exile||3,2|
|8||Two Worlds II||2,3|
All other games scored a percentage of less than 1,8 %.
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