The Average Gamer

Colin’s Golden Joystick Picks for 2014

Colin Oculus Rift E-VR
It’s October and that means the Golden Joysticks are just around the corner and this time round the publicly voted awards enter it’s thirty second year; that’s eight years older than me. So I’ve been asked to pick a few favourites from this year’s categories and nominees.

Oculus Rift DK2 – Innovation of the Year

After my first experience with the Oculus Rift at least year’s E3, I knew that, while looking remarkably silly, Oculus were on to something pretty special. Over a year on and with Facebook’s mountain of seemingly infinite money behind them, the technology has improved quiet a bit. This year saw the release of DK2 – Development Kit 2 with its higher resolution OLED screen, lower latency and even positional tracking.

At this year’s EGX, I managed to try out Oculus Rift DK2 with few different titles. Most notably was a special tech demo The Creative Assembly had put together showcasing how Alien: Isolation could work with DK2. I was sat down and told “See how long you can survive.” Oh boy. Alien: Isolation feels like a completely different game using the Oculus. I felt myself cautiously looking around Sevastopol station and actually moving my head to see round corners and peer over desks I was perched behind. I didn’t last long. I moved my head just that little too far and was spotted and with the Rift squarely on my face, being dinner for an Alien was a horrific experience.

Battlefield 4 – Best Multiplayer/Best Gaming Moment

It’s been a year since Battlefield 4 launched and it’s had quite a rocky year. Constant bugs, strange hit recognition and just crashing in each platform. Numerous updates and one substantial fix later, Battlefield 4 finally feels like the game that was supposed to launch last November. I’ve played over 70 hours of Brokenfield 4 and it’s still one of the most satisfying multiplayer shooters from the last year. Teaming up with friends in a five-man squad and proactively taking control is both rewarding and fun, while not following any objective can be just as enjoyable.

Battlefield 4’s final lot of downloadable content, The Final Stand is set to release in the next few weeks with new weapons, gadgets and another four new explodable playgrounds, bringing the total to 32 playable maps all with some sort of ‘Levolution’. Remember that gaming buzzword? During the round, the map changes as you play. On the ‘Siege of Shanghai’ level an entire skyscraper topples, decimating players who happened to be battling on top or near by. On the ‘Lumphini Garden’ map, players can active a landslide that will change the landscape of the map completely.

Don’t Starve – 3 nominations – Best Original Game/Best Indie/Best Visual Design

I think Debbie would just delete me from existence if I didn’t mention Don’t Starve from Klei Entertainment at least once. The basic premise of the game is just that – don’t starve – but really it’s much more than that. It drops the player into a hash, unforgiving randomly generated world with little explanation or help and you have to scavenge and craft to survive. Just make sure you away from the Deerclops.

Dont Starve HomeWhile originally hitting the PC back in April last year, Don’t Starve was released on Playstation 4 early this year and on PS Vita last month. Debbie has written up an extremely handy guide on how to survive your first few days in Don’t Starve that you should probably check out.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag: Sea Shanties – Best Gaming Moment

Old Billy Riley had an annoying shanty.
Old Billy Riley, oh, Old Billy Riley!

Old stupid shanties stuck in my head now.
Old Billy Riley, oh, Old Billy Riley!

Stuck in my head now and I’m bound for bed.
Old Billy Riley, oh, Old Billy Riley!

Wake from bed and it’s still in my head.
Old Billy Riley, oh, Old Billy Riley!

Piss off Billy Riley.

Voting closes at midnight tonight and Green Man Gaming are giving away a free copy of XCOM: Enemy Unknown on Steam to everyone who enters (while allocations last). You can submit your own votes here.