I was emotionally invested in Max Payne 3 from start to finish. Watching a broken Max Payne navigate his way through the ruthless and corrupt streets of Brazil was a haunting and exhilarating experience that is unforgettable.Trevor Stamp, News Editor

What makes this game great is how it plays like an action movie feels, while showing how the previous games in the series have taken a toll on Max. The over-the-top combat sequences are fought by an older, depressed Max who has little to live for and still trying to do what he thinks is right. Seamlessly stitching together these combat scenarios are beautifully written and acted story elements which further flesh out the perpetual downward spiral of Max’s depression.Austin Adamson, Associate Editor

Max Payne 3 gave me two things I’ve wanted in a game: a grim story with a more neo-noir vibe like Man on Fire and beautifully lifelike animations; Max Payne 3 delivered on both. Rockstar took the the series to Brazil without losing that noir feel and keeping the character of Max not only slightly realistic of someone in his position, but also slightly sympathetic. With some of the best gameplay in a third person shooter and crazy animations, Max Payne 3 was definitely one of my highlights of the year. There’s also that sick soundtrack by HEALTH.Diego Escala, Reviews Editor

 

Best Wii/Wii U Game – Rhythm Heaven Fever

Monkeys playing golf. Sorting spiders from candy. Stabbing peas with a fork. The absurdity and wackiness of the individual stages in Rhythm Heaven Fever are a big part of what makes this game so charming. The bright colors, and simple yet detailed visual style and the short, catchy songs are what tie the game together and what made this game the most enjoyable experience I had on any Nintendo platform this year.Austin Adamson, Associate Editor

 

Best Multiplayer – Halo 4

Halo 4 does everything right about multiplayer. Its integrated in every part of the game. 4 player cooperative campaign isn’t a new thing anymore, but Halo 4 makes sure that you can enjoy playing as the Master Chief with your buddies. What makes the multiplayer experiences of Halo 4 truly phenomenal is the contextualized branches of Halo Infinity, Spartan Ops and War Games. Spartan Ops is a cooperative, weekly released advancement of the Halo storyline while War Games is the ultra refined and modernized competitive multiplayer we have always loved. In both of these modes, players are progressing their personal Spartan and advancing a meta game of unlocks and customization.Austin Adamson, Associate Editor

 

Best Soundtrack – Journey

While Hotline Miami might be the soundtrack that I’ll be pumping out of my speakers the most, it was Journey’s that really changed the way the entire game felt. I can’t imagine playing Journey without its soothing orchestral tunes and I can’t even listen to the soundtrack without picturing every moment from the game. This is a rare case of the game and music complimenting each other in a wonderful way.Diego Escala, Reviews Editor

Journey’s score is really well put together. It flows together like a poem, and hits high and low points emotionally like the composition behind a play or musical.Trevor Stamp, News Editor

It is very rare that a soundtrack integrates as perfectly into an experience as Journey’s does. If I ever point to a single soundtrack as being truly exceptional, it will be this one. None of it was a disappointment. - George Treviranus, Graphic Designer