Best Combat of 2012: Mass Effect 3

Best Combat of 2012: Mass Effect 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
Writeup by Liz Maas
Over the course of the trilogy, we saw Mass Effect's gameplay start off with awkward battles in the first game, before moving to a cover system in ME2 and then finally hitting its stride in Mass Effect 3. The fighting moves much more quickly and naturally here, and with new weapons and powers present, the six classes available to Shepard all saw remarkable improvement. Add in a heavy melee to all of the above, and the game opens up to a variety of playstyles. If the single-player options aren't enough for you, booting up the multiplayer mode (and its multitude of free DLC) offers even more to choose from, ranging from krogan adepts to volus vanguards (yes, you read that correctly) to asari infiltrators. For those who aren't fans of simply shooting everything, you can pick up a biotic specialist — or rely on flamethrowers, turrets, drones, various grenades and even jetpacks to get the job done.

Runner-up: Xenoblade Chronicles
Runner-up: Xenoblade Chronicles (Nintendo Wii)
Writeup by Derek Heemsbergen
The combat system in Xenoblade Chronicles is evocative of modern MMORPGs while maintaining a unique identity. Standard attacks are automatic, but positioning and ability management is key, making every encounter exciting and strategic. A sense of camaraderie between the characters permeates the battlefield thanks to Chain Attacks and vocal quips, while Future Visions of enemy actions add a twist that no other game has replicated.

Overall Awards
Traditional RPG Action RPG Graphic Adventure Strategy RPG Indie RPG MMORPG Port or Re-release Downloadable Content (DLC) Best Combat Best Visuals Best Sound Best Story
Reader's Choice
Reader's Choice Best RPG of 2012
And the winner is...
Best RPG of 2012
Editors' Picks
Abraham Ashton Liu Andrew Barker Dave Yeager Derek Heemsbergen John McCarroll Kyle E. Miller Neal Chandran Robert Steinman Stephen Meyerink

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