The PC Gamer GOTY Awards Season Pass!
Our 2015 Game of the Year awards are firmly ensconced in hypertext history—along with your strenuous suggestions that The Witcher 3 should have won each and every one of them. Like video games, however, the end isn't really the end when a Season Pass exists. Have a nice soak in your finest wooden tub as we honor the real achievements in gaming for 2015.
Best VR game
Palmer Luckey's X-Treme Beach Volleyball | Awarded by: Chris Livingston
While 2015 didn't see the release of commercial VR headsets, we still got to play a great VR game when Palmer Luckey was on the cover of Time Magazine and we all got to make jokes about it for a couple days.
I'm not sure how this was cover idea was pitched to the young billionaire. "We'd like to make it look like you're dangling from the waistband of your underpants over the most boring image of a beach we could find. We'd also like to make it appear that you're not looking at the beach itself, but into the completely featureless sky. Also, take off your shoes! That will make the whole thing even less appealing!"
At any rate, the cover became a meme. Here's a bunch of them, as collected by Time Magazine.
Best reader trolling
Geralt in a tub | Awarded by: Phil Savage
I suspect the only reason I'm now deputy editor is because I spent most of the year thinking of elaborate ways to post Geralt's shimmering feet, and a promotion was the only way anyone could get me to stop. The problem wasn't I thought the picture was funny—although I do—but that readers started complaining when we kept using it. As a jerk, that sort of behaviour can only encourage me.
If you've not been keeping track, there's more to this picture than just the glorious original. Over the year, we've had the horrifying deep dream variant, the unicorn variant, and, my personal favourite, the long con. There's even a sale stoat version, combining my two stupidest running jokes into one image. I'd like to think it's been the defining image of the year, and hope that everyone's either learned to grudgingly accept or perhaps even genuinely enjoy its many appearances.
Destroyer of worlds
Undertale | Awarded by: Tyler Wilde
Oh, sweet GameFAQs forums. Whether pretending to be playing WoW in prison or thinking of SpongeBob memes, you are a delight. But not this Christmas—if you can even call it that, now that it’s goddamned ruined—thanks to the unhinged cruelty of a cabal of skeletons and barking dogs that cheated Undertale up through the brackets of the GameFAQ’s Best Game Ever poll, destroying the legacies of greater games along the way, even striking down the poor, innocent classic, Zelda: Ocarina of Time. You’re a monster, Undertale. Your heart’s an empty hole. Christmas is over.
Most Dedicated Player-Base
Evolve | Awarded by: James Davenport
After launching in February to general we-dig-it acclaim, Evolve’s active players have dwindled significantly to around 400 per day. Similarly structured game (and from the same former devs) Left 4 Dead 2 is still pulling over 9,000 active players a day. OK, so what happened? Hard to say at this point. Full priced multiplayer focused games don’t seem to do well in the long run, with a few exceptions. Maybe it was the glut of downloadable content that scared everyone off. Maybe the concept was too difficult to market or marketed incorrectly. Maybe it was the slow burn of unlocking all the characters. Maybe the monsters were too scary. Maybe when you hit stage 10 and the game started growing people parts and speaking it got ‘too real’ for people. Maybe it was too weird when the game went through its teen game years would tell you to stop! Stop playing and go away! You don’t care about me! Maybe it was when the game made starting quarterback and found a girlfriend and wouldn’t come home until late, even on school nights. Maybe it was when the game got that scholarship and left to study business law. Maybe it was when the game didn’t call you for two years and bought a boat and, an–Evolve! Evolve, if you’re reading this, please come home. You’re dearly missed.
Hideo Kojima | Awarded by: Tyler Wilde
Back in October, Hideo Kojima went on a real vacation and had a wonderful time. He went to the beach, as you can see in this real photo of his vacation. Maybe he met Palmer Luckey there? No, he didn’t. Palmer Luckey went on a virtual reality vacation, whereas Kojima went on a real one that had nothing to do with the new studio he opened this month. He even brought sea shells back for everyone—that’s everyone at Konami, where he loved to work—and those, too, were real.
The Clippy Commendation for Excellence in Reminders
Windows 10 | Awarded by: Tom Marks
The next iteration of Windows launched this year, free to upgrade for anyone on Windows 7 or 8 for the first 12 months after its summer launch. And since then, those of us who haven’t yet upgraded have been affronted by the daily onslaught of “upgrade now!” notifications in our taskbars. Microsoft even went as far as secretly downloading the OS onto machines so the install process could happen quicker, showing just how badly they want everybody to upgrade to Windows 10 right this god damn minute. And apparently those notifications have been working, with Windows 10 being the second most popular OS used on Steam at ~29% of the userbase for November—an improvement over August when it was the third most popular with ~16%—and that percentage is still rising. So congratulations, Windows 10. Your incessant notification messages that I have to click out of every time I start my computer are slowly doing their job. Clippy would be proud.
Worst use of a movie theater
Pixels | Awarded by: Tyler Wilde
I had a miserable stinking time at Pixels. I only barely remember the details of the movie now, but I do recall that Q*bert turns into a sexy lady and marries Josh Gad and they have Q*bert babies. That’s the last thing that happens in the movie Pixels. Sorry I spoiled it for you. Pixels doesn’t respect or even show real interest in the video games it’s exploiting, happy to treat “cheat codes” as a novelty the way my dad might have in 1991 to refer to a back road that’s faster than the freeway. And then it plops out another mopey Adam Sandler character who's undervalued by women—until he proves his worth and we learn that gamers can be heroes, too. I knew he was actually good all along! It's like an insecure teenager fantasizing about how much his classmates will love him when he finally goes super saiyan for real, and the same hackneyed “nerds are the greatest kissers” bit that should've died with Revenge of the Nerds, another bad movie.
Dog of the Year
Dropsy | Awarded by: James Davenport
Nothing says ‘I’m a dog!’ more than a dog peeing on something. Or a dog saying, ‘I’m a dog’ but let’s be realistic here, we’re talking video games. Serious business. Which is why the clown dog from the clown game, Dropsy, most definitely takes our Dog of the Year award. Sure, I wrote at length about D-Dog’s adorbs panting animation and context sensitive ‘pet’ command, but in Dropsy, you do the doggiest thing of all doggone-it. The player can take control of the pooch and pee on hydrant shaped objects. If you succeed as the dog and do a good potty—yes, who’s a good potty boy?—then, just like when Dropsy nabs a hug, a little splash animation plays, which I can only assume is exactly what a dog sees every time they pee. And really, what else is a relationship with a dog besides applauding when they go to the bathroom in good places instead of bad places and giving ‘em a nice belly rub once in awhile?
Best game you invented
Rising Dark Shadow: Apocalypse Protocol | Awarded by: Chris Livingston
Back in September, we posted a survey asking readers to tell us what elements should be included in the perfect first-person shooter. Not only did hundreds of you respond, but you came up with what sounded like a better FPS than pretty much anything else released this year. Its title? Rising Dark Shadow: Apocalypse Protocol. The title alone, plus the fact that it takes place in a post-apocalypic steampunk city during World War 2, guarantees it'd be a smash hit.
We've even had a certain number of requests from AAA developers interested in acquiring the rights to RDS:AP, provided zero counts as a certain number. If it's ever made real, don't worry—we'll make sure everyone who took part in the survey receives a certain amount of the proceeds.
Shower With Your Dad Simulator 2015 | Awarded by: Wes Fenlon
Last year Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare star Kevin Spacey won PC Gamer’s coveted award for best dad. We wondered, deep in our hearts, what it would be like if Kevin Spacey was our dad. This year, though, a daring game made us ask a deeper question. If Kevin Spacey was our dad, would we shower with him? SWYDS2015:DYSSWYD wins the best dad award this year for including not one, but three dads, all of whom you can shower with. Technically none of these dads feature the licensed likeness of Kevin Spacey, but our imaginations are very strong.