The 10th Annual VGA Awards: Highlights and Winners
On Friday at 9 PM, industry titans from around the world gathered together as Spike TV ran the Tenth Annual Video Game Awards.
Produced by Emmy Award winning Mark Burnett and hosted by acclaimed actor Samuel L. Jackson, the awards recognized and celebrated this year's best and brightest titles in gaming. Over the course of two hours, the show, hosted at Sony Picture Studios in Los Angeles, was broadcast on MTV 2, MTV, Tr3s, Spike.com, Gametrailers.com, and Xbox LIVE.
The awards show also saw guest appearances by Snoop "Lion", Jack Black, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Alba, Zachary Levi, Johnny Galecki, Adam Scott y The Walking Dead's Danai Gurira, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun and Robert Kirkman.
Telltale Games was this year's biggest winner. They managed to take home Studio of the Year, with their title The Walking Dead: The Game taking home Game of the Year, Best Adapted Video Game, and Best Downloadable Game. In addition, Clementine's voice actress, Melissa Hutchinson, was awarded Best Performance By a Human Female. Definitely all fitting rewards. The Walking Dead: The Game ranks among the best titles I've ever played, with a compelling narrative that proves not every game based on a TV series or movie has to suck.
Journey also won multiple awards, including Best Independent Game, Best PS3 Game, and Best Original Score. Again, this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who's played the game. I've heard nothing but good things about it, and its developer's unique approach to game design caused many of us to question the entire medium.
Halo 4 also took home two awards: Best Xbox 360 Game and Best Graphics. That second one is a touch surprising to me. I'm not saying the game looked ugly (it didn't); only that I wasn't aware the industry had such an unhealthy obsession with bloom lighting.
Last, but not least, Borderlands 2 took home two, as well: Best Shooter and Best Multiplayer Game. Handsome Jack's actor, Dameon Clarke, was additionally awarded Best Performance by a Human Male, while Claptrap was voted Best Video Game Character of the Year by fans and attendees.
In addition to Halo 4, other console-specific awards included Best Wii / Wii U Game (New Super Mario Bros.), Best PC Game (XCOM: Enemy Unknown), Best Handheld / Mobile Game (Sound Shapes), and Best Social Game (You Don't Know Jack).
We also saw "Cities" by Beck declared the Best Individual Song in a Game.
The Best RPG of the year was Mass Effect 3, Bioware/EA's conclusion to the years-long story of Commander Shepard, while Bethesda's Dishonored bore the title of Best Action/Adventure Game and Persona 4 Arena was labeled as the year's Best Fighting Game.
Other industry "bests" included Best Individual Sports Game (SSX), Best Team Sports Game (NBA 2K13), Best Driving Game (Need for Speed Most Wanted), and Best DLC (Skyrim's "Dawnguard" DLC, surprisingly).
Last, but certainly not least, Grand Theft Auto V was voted as the Most Anticipated Game of 2012, while Half-Life 2 was voted by fans to be the Best Video Game of the Decade.
Finding out which games were the best wasn't the only reason to tune in, though. Viewers could vote on how the show progressed, determining what they'd see on-stage (and on-screen) next. The end result was that we were treated to some downright awesome world premieres and trailers, including: The Phantom Pain, Dark Souls II, Gears of War: Judgment, The Last of Us, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, BioShock Infinite, and Tomb Raider.
We also saw a healthy helping of DLC announcements and trailers, as well: Assassin's Creed 3: The Tyranny of King Washington, received a new trailer, and 343 revealed that Halo 4's Spartan Ops will continue this January.
Two words: Holy crap. Looks like we've got a lot to look forward to in 2013, don't we?
A gamer at heart, Nick started writing when he was a child. He holds a BA in English, works as a freelancer, and loves every minute of it. One day, he hopes to net himself a career in game design - but that's something for the future.
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