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[FEAR AWARDS] Here Are Your Picks For The Best And Worst Horror Games Of 2012

I’ve been writing for Bloody Disgusting for over three years and yet you still manage to surprise me. I thought I knew which games would take home some of the more obvious categories, like Most Disappointing and Game of the Year, but nope. I was wrong. I like it, just when I think you’re going to zig, you zag. It makes you unpredictable, and unpredictable is sexy.

Now that TJ and I have tallied up the votes in our fourth annual FEAR Awards, we’re finally ready to reveal them to you. If you like surprises, I highly recommend you continue reading. See you after the jump, you saucy minx.

A staple of the horror genre is gore, and lots of it (though that’s not necessarily always the case). There’s no denying that 2012 was a great year to be a gorehound, with games like The Walking Dead, The Darkness II, Diablo III, ZombiU, and Lollipop Chainsaw brimming with all things red and squishy, but which one did it best? Here are the top three, chosen by you:

WINNER: The Walking Dead
2nd Place: The Darkness II
3rd Place: Lollipop Chainsaw

Interestingly, Diablo III and ZombiU were both tied for last place with only 5% of the votes each. Ouch.

An arsenal hasn’t really been all that important a feature for horror games until the end of the PS2 era when games like Resident Evil 4 and Doom 3 gave more power to the player (Did I really just quote GameStop’s slogan?). Nowadays, giving us the right tools with which to bash, hack, and blast those ugly monsters away has become paramount in many games — some, like Dead Space, even revolve around their combat. Here are the three games you decided had the best arsenals:

WINNER: Lollipop Chainsaw
2nd Place: The Darkness II
3rd Place: Diablo III

Lollipop Chainsaw may have had a limited selection of weapons to choose from (basically a pair of pom poms, a chainsaw, and its many attachments), but I won’t argue that the few it had were pretty great. I am a little surprised the runners up didn’t perform better. I mean, come on, The Darkness II had an amazing arsenal and quad-wielding let you dish out all that pain at once!

Last year was a fantastic year if you enjoy re-living fond memories of past games. Silent Hill 2, SH3, Doom 3, Alan Wake, Resident Evil Chronicles, etc. When it came to ports or HD remasterings of old games, 2012 was generous. Here are the three that made you the most nostalgic:

WINNER: Silent Hill HD Collection
2nd Place: Doom 3 BFG Edition
3rd Place: Alan Wake (PC)

This batch of winners was a little surprising, given all the technical issues and controversy that plagued the Silent Hill HD Collection. That didn’t stop it from getting a quarter of the votes. In related news, Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition got 8%. Oof.

Zombies are getting more and more prevalent these days, and it doesn’t look like the undead hordes will be letting up any time soon. I could go on, but I feel like I’ve been talking about them nonstop for forever (feel free to say that slowly and enunciate each syllable), so here are your picks:

WINNER: The Walking Dead: The Game
2nd Place: Resident Evil 6
3rd Place: Call of Duty: Black Ops II Zombies

It’s no surprise Telltale’s The Walking Dead took the #1 spot, and with a hair over half of the total votes, a majority of you seem to agree. Black Ops II barely won over DayZ too, with only 1% more votes.

This has been my favorite category since we first introduced it two years ago. Each year the sea of sequels gets deeper as more games release that usually only build on the success of their predecessors. It’s nice to see a few games that try do something different. Here are the three you deemed the most original:

WINNER: The Secret World
2nd Place: Lollipop Chainsaw
3rd Place: Slender: The Eight Pages

I’m so, so, so very happy The Secret World got some love, because to me it was the most original game of the year. It was flawed, sure, but it was also ambitious and unique.

Compared to previous years, 2012 wasn’t great for handheld horror games. Some of this can be attributed to the fact that the handheld market has noticeably shrunk over the last couple years, but the horror genre has rarely seen success on tiny screens that make it difficult to immerse yourself in them — with the possible exception of the fantastic Dead Space for iOS.

WINNER: The Walking Dead: The Game
2nd Place: Resident Evil: Revelations
3rd Place: Alan Wake’s American Nightmare

The Walking Dead took home another win this year as your pick for the best Arcade/Mobile game of the year — again, with over half of the votes. Revelations and Alan Wake’s American Nightmare were close, with only 5% separating the two.

The Honorable Mention in Horror award is another of my favorites because I love it when a non-horror game introduces elements of horror into the mix. The three games you chose did this in different ways, and each definitely deserves a spot on the top three:

WINNER: Dishonored
2nd Place: I Am Alive
3rd Place: Dear Esther

The Weepers in Dishonored are super creepy, so I’m not surprised that won (and with just under half of the votes, no less). Because of its Silent Hill-esque visuals and emphasis on item conservation, I Am Alive felt the most like an old school survival horror game. Finally, Dear Esther — I loved that game. It’s story driven and not a single enemy is ever thrown at you, it’s just one of those games you need to immerse yourself in.

Multiplayer in horror games has always been controversial, and if you’re against it, I’m sorry to to tell you it isn’t going anywhere. However, if the following three games are any indication, it can also be really well done. Here are the horror games you decided got the multiplayer right.

WINNER: Resident Evil 6
2nd Place: DayZ
3rd Place: The Secret World

This was a close one and for a while DayZ was actually winning. I enjoyed Resident Evil 6, a lot, actually. It’s infinitely more fun when you play it with a friend, though I suppose the same could be said for DayZ and The Secret World.

If you haven’t noticed this already, we’ve been covering a lot of indie horror games lately. It’s a growing area of the industry that will only expand as additional tools and resources are given to indie developers through new services and platforms like Steam Greenlight, XBLA Indie, and the Ouya.

WINNER: Slender: The Eight Pages
2nd Place: Black Mesa
3rd Place: Lone Survivor

Mark Hadley’s Slender, the horror phenomenon that went on to spawn billions of Youtube reaction videos, also looks to have won your hearts. Its success has already inspired a Slenderman subgenre that includes games like Slender: The Arrival (a reimagining of The Eight Pages), Haunt, Faceless, Huntsman: The Orphanage, and Slenderman’s Shadow.

What’s scary is obviously relative to the person experiencing it. Dead Space 2 and Slender scared the crap out of me, but I have friends who played both without flinching. I’m pretty sure they’re robots, and that theory is mostly based on the fact that I had to create cyborg companions due to my inability to make real friends, but still.

WINNER: Silent Hill: Downpour
2nd Place: Slender: The Eight Pages
3rd Place: ZombiU

It looks like a majority of you thought Silent Hill: Downpour was scary, potentially more so than Slender. I personally would’ve probably gone with ZombiU, because that game is terrifying.

Not every game can be a winner, and for 2012, it seemed as if we were given just as many disappointing releases as we were good ones. Here are the three games that disappointed all of you the most:

2nd Place: Silent Hill: Book of Memories
3rd Place: Amy

Only 1% separated The War Z from Book of Memories, but really, all three deserve to win this category. Each was hugely disappointing in its own way.

Remember that sea of sequels I mentioned earlier? There were many of those thrown at us last year, but we also had a few newcomers too. 2012 was bound to have a plethora of sequels, seeing as it marked the beginning of the end of this generation of consoles with the Wii U, so game companies are saving their risks for the next generation. Of the few new IPs we were introduced to last year, a majority of them were actually pretty great. Here are three of the best:

WINNER: Lollipop Chainsaw
2nd Place: Slender: The Eight Pages
3rd Place: DayZ

You all really liked Lollipop Chainsaw, huh? It took almost half of the votes, and no game came close to it (Slender had half the number of votes Ms. Starling received). Again, as a huge supporter of ZombiU, I’m a little sad it didn’t even crack the top three, but I trust you know what you’re doing, so I won’t argue with your choices.

The next two categories are my favorites, even if they bum me out a little. Our Most Anticipated category is reserved for the games of 2013 that have already been announced. This means we know they’re coming, and we can’t wait. Here are the three that have you the most excited:

WINNER: Dead Space 3
2nd Place: Dead Island: Riptide
3rd Place: Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs

Dead Space 3 trounced the competition, strategically dismembering their limbs so it could TK them to the floor to make it easier for Isaac and Carver to teabag them with their new crouch ability. The other games were neck and neck, but Isaac and friends won hard.

Where our Most Anticipated category is for the games we know are coming, this is all about the games we want to see. A majority of them have already been confirmed, even though they’re all still pretty far away. I wouldn’t expect to see any of these release this year. With that said, here are the three games you’d most like to see:

WINNER: Left 4 Dead 3
2nd Place: Condemned 3
3rd Place: Doom 4

I would’ve been happy with any of nominee that made the list. But seriously, Fortnite had 2% of the votes? What’s up with that! Am I the only person who’s excited for a Minecraft inspired zombie defense game from the makers of Gears of War?

This category surprised me the most. When TJ called me with the results I had to pull a Freddy Krueger and lick him through the phone to make sure it was him and not some mad man with fake results. TJ has a very distinct flavor, so I was able to tell right away that Alan Wake’s American Nightmare is indeed your pick for Game of the Year.

WINNER: Alan Wake’s American Nightmare
2nd Place: The Walking Dead: The Game
3rd Place: Silent Hill: Downpour

I’m all right with this. I’m surprised The Walking Dead didn’t win — especially since it won every other award it was nominated for — but you know what? It has plenty of GotY awards already. I heard Telltale made a pool on the roof of their studio and just filled it with GotY awards. Where’s the love for Alan Wake? It’s right here.

Have a question? Feel free to ever-so-gently toss Adam an email, or follow him on Twitter and Bloody Disgusting.




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