Our second Game of the Year category for today, is Best Addon.
While 2012 definitely feels like it has been the year of the downloadable title, there’s been some cracking additional content released too, either via PlayStation Network, Xbox LIVE Marketplace, or just via good old Steam. But which was the best piece of content?
As we run down each position, our writers will have their say on each title, telling you exactly why they think each game is so good.
Of course, we’d love to hear your thoughts and picks for this category too, so please leave comments at the end of the article. In reverse order then, let’s get it on!
3: Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft (Blizzard – PC)
Calvin Robinson: Mists of Pandaria brings World of Warcraft into 2012, with the highest poly-count and texture resolution the world’s most popular MMORPG has ever seen. The panda lore is very reminiscent of Kung-Fu Pandas, but in a good way. They’re light-hearted stories about pandas with a heritage of martial arts and spirituality. Living on an island that is more than initially meets the eyes, the monks make for a great addition to WoW cannon. Mists of Pandaria adds hours of fun gameplay to the ever-expanding Warcraft universe, and should not be overlooked by any fan of the MMO.
Martin Baker: Whenever a new World of Warcraft expansion gets released, I get excited. I follow the development from the moment it’s announced – sometimes even before if some of the “leaks” look credible – and I watch the whole thing unfold until the moment I can get my hands on it and start playing for myself. Mists of Pandaria was no different and while there’s no big bad guy for the Alliance and Horde to go after this time, that doesn’t mean that the expansion is any less feature filled. Sure, there’s nothing to strive for when it comes to end-game PvE content, but with the expansion looking to reignite the struggle between the two warring factions, it looks set to be an exciting couple of years nonetheless.
A lot of people scoffed when they found out that the much-fabled Pandarian race was going to be added to World of Warcraft’s massive game world, and there’s a lot of reason behind those laughs seeing as the race was originally an April Fool’s joke, but the strange looking race have taken to the world as if they were a part of it all along. The Eastern themed Pandaria is a sight to behold and some of the features of the expansion are just a joy to play, I even lost myself for a good couple of hours in the game’s new Pet Battling system.
Blizzard have a knack for putting out product of amazing quality, and their expansions are no exceptions to that rule. Mists of Pandaria might be a little tamer than previous expansion but that doesn’t mean it’s not full to the brim with amazing, time-sucking content.
2: Mr Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage, Borderlands 2 (2K, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
Mick Fraser: Put bluntly, this is what DLC should be: a bite-sized extension of the main game that adds more of everything that made the game brilliant in the first place. Gearbox have always been spot-on with the off-beat characters that populate the Borderlands universe, and Mr. Torgue is an excellent example. Aside from the stacks of new guns, loot and content, the best thing about Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage is Torgue himself. Loud, crude and obnoxious, but hugely likeable with it, he’s the cherry on top of an incredible add-on campaign. That Gearbox put so much effort into extra content is worth a mention in itself.
Adam Cook: If everyone put as much effort into DLC as Gearbox did for Borderlands 2, then we gamers would feel a lot better about paying for the content. Often, paying up front for a season pass is like playing the lottery, you want to be in there for a chance, but you have a lingering feeling that you’ll never get anything back of worth. But Borderlands 2 nailed it, not only with the first Pirate DLC, but with the superior Mr Torgue addon. Such a huge piece of content, with plenty of love and attention to make it slot into the main game properly. Superb, keep them coming, Gearbox!
1: From Ashes, Mass Effect 3 (EA – Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
Colm Ahern: In a bittersweet fashion, I loved From Ashes. It was one of my favourite missions in the entirety of Mass Effect 3 because it revealed an awful lot about the fiction of the world, and also introduced the great Javik as a crew member. The only thing that irks me somewhat, is that this WAS downloadable content. There’s a lot of information dropped in here and it felt like it should’ve been on the disc.
Adam Cook: At first, I was dead against the idea of day one DLC for a game this size, and in many ways, it feels weird saying it was the DLC that I enjoyed the most this year. But it added so much content, and instead of just a character skin that you could use in battle, Javik added colour to scenes that without him, just weren’t as good. In fact, having Javik on my ship for my second playthrough meant that he was a permanent member of the battle crew, he just felt that essential.
Of course, it would have been far better for gamers if he was already there when you played Mass Effect 3 for the first time, but nonetheless, I’m glad I experienced the game with Javik, he’s a great character in a great game.
Keep coming back throughout the day and the week for more Game of the Year 2012 content. If you want to hear which titles were also in the running in each category, then listen to the daily Podcasts throughout the week.