Best of 2014 – Day Four: Graphics, Art, Story, Writing

Over the next ten days, Hardcore Gamer will be revealing its Best of 2014 Awards leading up to our Game of the Year. Today we present you with the Best Technical Graphics, Art Design, Story and Writing:

Best Technical Graphics: inFamous: Second Son

GOTY2014-InfamousSecondSona

Few games this year have shown off what the current generation of consoles can do. Publishers were too concerned with shipping PS3 and Xbox 360 copies of games, which held back technical progress. While we’ve had plenty of beautiful games, we never got a game that screamed next-gen until inFamous: Second Son came out. Sucker Punch utilized the advanced capabilities of the PS4 to deliver a breathtaking graphical experience. A beautifully realized Seattle was Delsin Rowe’s playground, and four different powers with gorgeous particle effects his toys. inFamous: Second Son may not be as good as previous inFamous games, but you can’t deny how beautiful it looks.

Runner-Ups
Grand Theft Auto V (HD Remaster) Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Far Cry 4 Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

Best Artistic Design: South Park: The Stick of Truth

GOTY2014-SouthParktheStickofTrutha

The Stick of Truth was stuck in development hell for years. THQ’s demise left the game’s future in doubt until Ubisoft rescued it. The end result was the best South Park game in history. Taking RPG tropes and combining them with one of the funniest shows of the last 20 years leads to a hilarious adventure. The show’s cast and art style are finally done justice in game form along with biting humor. This controversial game isn’t for everyone, but series veterans will be used to its sense of humor while longtime RPG fans will enjoy playing something that brings back JRPG gameplay and puts it into scenarios you would never expect.

Runner-Ups
Child of Light Sunset Overdrive Murasaki Baby Transistor

Best Story: Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair

GOTY2014-Danganronpa2a

Murders? Mysteries? Talking stuffed animals? Tropical islands? Unorthodox graduation ceremonies? Sexy, only-slightly-censored but totally unnecessary fanservice scenes? No, we’re not describing “Dateline Presents: The Bachelor.” It’s Danganronpa 2, and it weaves a tale of the silliest yarn in all of Japan, stitched across a quilt of elaborate schemes, expert character development and compelling dialogue. Yes, crumbs of generic pie permeate its flaky crust, but its innards are as beautiful as its artwork, slowly unraveling a compellingly tasty tale in which nothing is what it seems. With twists, turns and deadly incentives, few games this year have been as downright absorbing.

Runner-Ups
The Wolf Among Us South Park: The Stick of Truth Valiant Hearts Transistor

Best Writing: South Park: The Stick of Truth

GOTY2014-SouthParktheStickofTrutha

The past South Park games have been somewhere in quality between Superman 64 and an unfinished student project, so people were justifiably wary of South Park: The Stick of Truth when it was first announced. Somehow, it exceeded even the most optimistic of expectations as show creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker dedicated the same level of effort they put into the show. The writing was perhaps the high point, and the title was laugh out loud funny and often felt like you were just watching another episode of the show. In fact, in terms of writing the script actually surpassed many South Park episodes, and it was this quality that helped make the title as enjoyable as it was.

Runner-Ups
Dragon Age: Inquisition Divinity: Original Sin Ether One The Last of Us: Left Behind

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