Welcome to the results of the PC Invasion Readers’ PC Game Awards 2017. Unlike The Game Awards I’m afraid we can’t promise to be gate-crashed by an ‘exuberant’ Josef Fares. However, I can promise not to name-drop multinational corporations every ten seconds. So it’s not all bad news.
A couple of things to address from comments we received during the Readers’ Awards voting. Yes, Age of Empires: Definitive Edition appeared in error on the ‘Best Remaster’ list, despite not actually being out yet. I think that was my fault. It was left over from a nominee brainstorming session.
Second, someone mentioned that Hollow Knight was a shocking omission from the lists. Yep, probably. I haven’t played it myself, but from the sounds of things it should have been in there somewhere. Your write-in vote was noted. Obviously that’s not going to be enough to help it win, but it does get it this mention in the intro.
Right, with that business out of the way, let’s take a look at the readers’ PC Game Awards winners. We received thousands of votes and thank you to everybody who participated. We like to hand over these awards to the readers, and you didn’t disappoint.
Best PC Exclusive 2017 – Divinity: Original Sin 2
Just as the first Divinity: Original Sin took the readers’ PC Exclusive award in 2014, so the sequel has triumphed in 2017. As a few pointed out, it seemed a slower year than usual for ‘big’ PC exclusive titles; but that shouldn’t take away anything from Original Sin 2 which is another absolute beast of an RPG. It smashed the rest of the competition with 86% of the vote. The isometric party-based RPG is in terrific health going in to 2018, and Larian’s releases are a massive part of that resurgence.
Best Multi-Platform 2017 – NieR: Automata
A much narrower victory in a much more crowded field, but Yoko Taro’s NieR: Automata takes the multi-platform award. It secured 22% of the vote, putting it fairly safely ahead of joint runners up Cuphead and Wolfenstein 2 (16% apiece). I’ve not actually managed to play this yet, but the fact that PC Invasion readers and Tim all love it suggests that I should put some time aside this Christmas.
Best PC Port 2017 – Middle-Earth: Shadow of War
The closest vote of the lot. For a long time it was basically a four-way tie between eventual winner Shadow of War (21%), Prey (19%), Bayonetta (19%), and Destiny 2 (18%). I think that indicates there was no utterly outstanding PC port this year, but many that were in that ‘pretty great with a small problem or two’ range. Shadow of War was a solid performer; seemingly well optimised for a broad selection of hardware, and full of plenty of UI, control and graphics options for a nicely customised game. Default mouse acceleration was its biggest flaw at launch (as far as I know that’s still there), but, overall, a worthy winner in this category.
Worst PC Port 2017 – Assassin’s Creed Origins
NieR: Automata’s victory in Best Multi-Platform is even more impressive when you realise it came second (with 16%) in our ‘Worst Port’ poll. It’s clearly good enough that people are prepared to suffer through the issues, or seek out the FAR mod which fixes a lot of things. No such luck with Assassin’s Creed Origins, whose CPU-gobbling ways remain firmly in place. This result really confirms that performance is king with most PC users. There are nominees on this list with far sparser customisation options and much bigger control flaws than Origins, but the fact that getting 60fps out of the new Assassin’s Creed is possible only for those with machines powerful enough to brute force it means 30% gave it the nod.
Best PC Remaster – StarCraft Remastered
54% of the voters in this category were thrilled that Blizzard had chosen to remaster StarCraft. Sharper HD textures, remastered audio (including dialogue), and automated matchmaking were all part of the new version. StarCraft’s relevance in PC gaming history (and its eSports present) wasn’t in any danger of disappearing, but it’s good to see a company apply some sensible modern trappings to their older classics.
Best Expansion or DLC 2017 – XCOM 2: War of the Chosen
Just over half of the votes (51%) went to War of the Chosen. Having not played any of this, I’ve sub-contracted this blurb out to Tim. He says, “it revamps and revitalises XCOM 2, basically; it offers more customisation, adds actual villains who taunt you and show up seemingly at random, and heavily mixes up the tactical options available to you.” Sounds good, what else? “It breaks a lot of the XCOM 2 rules in interesting ways, both with your characters and your opponents. Plus it fixes a lot of the lag and slowdown, which is nice.” Thanks Tim!
Best Indie 2017 – Cuphead
No, we don’t have a good working definition for what “indie” means in 2017 either. Cuphead is pretty indie though, right? The guys from Studio MDHR remortgaged their homes to get the boss-rush platformer finished, re-finished, and then finished some more. That’s probably not an advisable plan for every prospective developer to follow, but it does sound like a fairly indie gaming thing to do. Cuphead’s 1930s Fleischer aesthetics are as gorgeous as they are accurate; the game is an incredible piece of artistic craft, with an audio set that’s just as worthy of praise.
Best VR 2017 – DOOM VFR
For the most part we tried to include games (rather than tech demo type experiences) in this category, and two of those came out on top. DOOM VFR took the main prize with 38% of the vote, with Ubisoft’s Star Trek Bridge Crew coming second (31%). In the end, you guys appear to marginally prefer bursting helldemons into gory chunks over co-operative Star Trek roleplaying. At least, where VR is concerned.
Least Terrible Publisher 2017 – Paradox Interactive
Always quite hotly contested, and Paradox Interactive won the hearts of 36% of you. That’s pretty interesting, because they’re not shy about aggressively pushing out multiple pieces of DLC for all of their games. Perhaps the key here is that those expansions tend to be high quality, are usually optional (looking at you, EUIV’s ‘Common Sense’), and are always accompanied by a substantial patch adding lots of free features to the base game. Paradox attracted a lot of criticism after arbitrarily raising their international prices this year. But they responded fairly well to that PR blunder with an apology from CEO Fredrik Wester and a reversal of the policy.
Most Egregious Loot Boxes 2017 – Star Wars Battlefront 2
Only Divinity: Original Sin 2 had a more convincing win than this. Yes, with a commanding 80% of the vote, Star Wars Battlefront 2 wins the inaugural Most Egregious Loot Boxes award. Implemented so cack-handedly that in-game store purchases were (temporarily) removed from the game at launch, EA’s folly has even managed to spark calls for legislation against practices that are, in some cases, barely distinguishable from gambling. Congratulations. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer company.
The Definitely Not Going To Be Finished Award – Star Citizen
There’s a slim chance this award could look foolish in hindsight, but the people have spoken and they seem pretty confident. With development running on and on there’s no end in sight for Star Citizen. Except, of course, as a money-making exercise. Anyone want to buy some land?
A category with a lot of games, which spread the vote across quite a few titles. In third place, with 11% was Warhorse Studio’s Holy Roman Empire-based RPG, Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Next up, in second, was the PC version of Monster Hunter World (13%). Plenty of you are keen to see how Capcom’s popular series transfers to our platform. In-keeping with the theme of an isometric RPG renaissance, however, it’s Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire (17%) that has a lot of you hyped for 2018. Obsidian’s sequel gets the Most Anticipated trophy.
All the PC Invasion Readers’ PC Game Awards 2017 winners will become part of our definitive Best Games of 2017 list which will be posted before the end of the year. Thanks, once again, for all your votes. Roll on 2018.