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Pre-emptive because the year technically isn’t over and also because this is before the Spike TV awards. Let’s get to the awards.

Best Story

Winner: Mass Effect 2
It’s gripping, it’s funny, it’s emotional, it’s incredibly detailed and it’s interactive. Complete with a complex and genuinely compelling lore. From the likable and memorable characters to the detail and humour of the in-universe advertisements. What else could win?

Honourable mention: Red Dead Redemption
It probably would’ve won any other year. You could even argue that the basic story of John Marston’s tale is better than the proxy war plot of Mass Effect 2. But the suicide mission was more emotionally charged than anything in Red Dead, and the middle third of the game doesn’t drag as much.

It’s worth noting that Alan Wake and even the much criticised Heavy Rain probably would’ve been contenders in another year.

Best Presentation

Winner: Mass Effect 2
The original, high-contrast sci-fi art design, detailed graphics and cinematic presentation seal the deal. Did you see the light beams on the Quarian ship?

Honourable mention: Red Dead Redemption
Beautiful plains and environments, technically superior, but the detail suffers up close and the great art design was ripped straight from the movies.

Best Music

Winner: Mass Effect 2
Suicide Mission. ’nuff said. (Although the Illusive Man’s theme, Normandy Reborn, and Reflections also help tremendously)

Honourable mention: Red Dead Redemption
From the ambient western riffs, to the brilliant use of licensed tracks…This award could probably go either way.

Poet and the Muse from Alan Wake deserves a special mention for being awesome.

Best New Character

Winner: Mordin – Mass Effect 2
Does not require explanation.

Honourable mentions: John Marston, Bonnie MacFarlane – Red Dead Redemption

Best Downloadable Content

Winner: Lair of the Shadow Broker – Mass Effect 2
Even if you’re convinced this entire list is the ravings of a Bioware fanboy using GOTY as an excuse to heap praise on a new favourite game – you have to admit that nothing else could’ve won this one.

(Although the unused Red Dead Redemption DLC might have come close.)

Biggest disappointment

“Winner”: Splinter Cell: Conviction
Well, I needed one that Mass Effect 2 couldn’t win. Conviction gets this purely for all the missed potential in the game. Much like Far Cry 2 from 2008. We got Ubisoft’d again, basically.

“Honourable” mentions:

Game of the year

Why, it’s Call of Duty: Black Ops of cour-

MASS EFFECT 2 WINS EVERYTHING. But watch it be totally forgotten by major gaming sites because it came out so early in the year.

All in all, 2010 wasn’t too shabby for gaming. Agree? Disagree? We’d all like to hear your thoughts on the year’s best and worst.


One Comment

  1. That does pretty much sum up the years good gaming. Splinter Cell was still a great game though. Despite how short it was, and it’s dumb story its co-op is still one of my best gaming moments of the year.

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