The year is finally over and the verdicts are in – 2007 rocked!!!
We saw some great games as well as some major announcements from top developers from the video game’s most profitable year to date.
So here we are, dressed for the best and ready for the FIRST EVER VG Freedom Awards.
This is the first of what may eventually be hailed as the most illustrious honor in the industry (I hope).
So let’s get right to it:
Crysis – PC
I haven’t gotten the chance to play this game directly, but I can say that it is defiantly the best looking game of the year. Call of Duty 4 was the sure-fire winner for a period of time until this gem rose from out of nowhere to provide some splendid visuals that are simply incomparable. Let’s hope we see this on a console sometime very soon.
BioShock – Xbox 360, PC
This is a category usually dominated by RPGs, but this year the underwater shooter takes the gold. I am a little fuzzy on the details, but from what I am told the story and music of BioShock is absolutely amazing. Nevertheless, some props must also go to Assassin’s Creed for its unique presentation and approach.
Halo 3 – Xbox 360
I am a sucker for good music and I feel that a great soundtrack can really make a game. Halo 3’s serene soundtrack adds an additional dramatic element to its presentation that would degrade the gaming experience without it. Super Mario Galaxy is the runner up in this category.
Most Unique Nontraditional Gameplay:
Rock Band – PS3, Xbox 360
If you can afford it, Rock Band appears to be one fun time for you and a few friends. Having a track list very similar to Guitar Hero 3 and the ability to download additional content, Rock Band is a title that may take its unique elements well into 2008 and beyond. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is our runner-up.
Best Sports Title (traditional and non):
NHL 08 – PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Surprisingly enough EA managed to clean its hockey franchise up to make this the best sports title of the year. Amazing visuals coupled with solid controls and an immersive dynasty mode makes this an excellent package. Online play and the create-a-play modes are also a new treat to the series. Skate is the runner-up by taking the skateboarding franchise in a more believable direction.
Super Mario Galaxy – Wii
Mario is back – big time. After a disappointing journey in Super Mario Sunshine, Mario has redeemed himself and has breathed new life in the 3D plateforming world. Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction doesn’t even come close. This is a must-have, for everyone.
Best Action-Adventure Title:
Assassin’s Creed – PS3, Xbox 360
This is one title that is unique in its presentation and is one of the best looking of the year. The controls are fluid and the gameplay is enjoyable. It is a clear example of one game that actually lived up to its hype. Heavenly Sword would have been a little closer if it was a bit longer.
Best First-Person Shooter:
Call of Duty 4: Modern Combat – PS3, Xbox 360, PC
With the number of outstanding FPS this year, this category is basically the top contenders for game of the year. However, Call of Duty 4 puts together a nearly flawless package with its real-life combat carnage that finally places you in the shoes of the brave men and women fighting currently. Perfect in nearly every way, sorry BioShock.
Best Multiplateform Title:
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare – PS3, Xbox 360, PC
You may simply read above. Unparalleled and amazing on any plateform you choose to play it on. The Orange Box is close because of the value of its abundance of quality content.
Best Handheld Title:
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass – DS
Almost any Zelda title is a sure-fire win in any category and Phantom Hourglass is no different. Its unique use of controls will make this the most fun that you’ll have without a TV in-front of you.
Best Wii Exclusive Title:
Super Mario Galaxy
If you need a reason to buy a Wii, here’s one. Mario has always been a title that acts as a flagship for a Nintendo console and Super Mario Galaxy is such a title. The amount of detail and care that Nintendo places into its content is the reason why Nintendo is still afloat today. Nothing compares.
Best Xbox 360 Exclusive Title:
Since BioShock is not technically exclusive, Microsoft’s flagship will do just fine. The best-selling video game of all-time is the 360’s best exclusive – and with good reason. The visuals are decent, the multiplayer is as good as ever, and the story is great. Is there a 360 owner that doesn’t own this one?
Best Playstation 3 Exclusive Title:
This is the closest thing to a draw you can get between Heavenly Sword and Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. However, the presentation of Heavenly Sword is unparalleled in its voice acting and character animation this year. It is a tad bit short and has been know to freeze, but this is one title that effectively uses the SIXAXIS controller.
The VG Freedom 2007 Game of the Year:
Super Mario Galaxy – Wii
It could have been Call of Duty 4, but I have a soft spot for Mario. This game reinvents the 3D plateformer and is an inspiration to developers everyone as to the amount of polished detail that every title should strive for. This is Nintendo creativity at its best. Mario looks, plays, feels, sounds, (and probably smells) its best. Is it the best Mario game ever created? Not too sure, but it certainly is the best game of 2007.