D.I.C.E. Preview: Caught on tape

Game of the Year lead producers Cliff Bleszinski, Todd Howard, and Alex Rigopulos weigh in on the likely winner at this year's Achievement Awards.

With the year-end awards season winding down, three games have become staples in numerous "Best of..." categories: Gears of War, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and Guitar Hero II.

The three are very different games, with very different reasons for their popularity, but they're all vying for Game of the Year at this week's Achievement Awards, to be handed out at the D.I.C.E. summit, taking place in Las Vegas.

Alex Rigopulos.

In anticipation of the awards, GameSpot spoke with the lead designers for those three Game of the Year nominees: Harmonix cofounder Alex Rigopulos of the Guitar Hero II team; Todd Howard, exec producer at Bethesda Softworks, repping Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion; and Cliff Bleszinski, Epic Games' lead designer on the Gears of War team.

Alex speaks solo, while Cliff and Todd speak in the same call to hash out their differences (far fewer than you might expect).

GameSpot News will pick up the thread (and hurt pride) of the endless "Game of the Year" debate this Thursday when the awards take place.

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90 comments
insane_metalist
insane_metalist

Gears is the best but i didnt play oblivion or guitar hero

Dill-Man
Dill-Man

haha i like how all the editors of all the game mags and awards are just falling into the GOW trap, so overly mega-hyped that people cant accept that it was only an above average eye-candy game. Oblivion all the way, most people acknowledge this, accpet editors :D

xitwound117
xitwound117

"but I didn't really like Gears or Oblivion. Never played Guitar Hero so I can't comment there, but personally I think there are better shooters then Gears and better RPG's then Oblivion." ....what?! That's madness! Craziness! Insanity! No seriously, I love Oblivion and Gears of War. I just can't even begin to fathom not liking them.

DesmondPills
DesmondPills

GoW is good imo. but its nothing more than a highly polished shooter. the story is short and super linear. not that it isnt good, it is by all means but to make a game like that win over Oblivion for instance is really biased imo. i think for the game to win it should encompass characteristics which i hate to say Oblivion has. In depth everything, complete immersion of yourself into a fantasy world. now if a shooter somehow did this then id say it should win hands down. im not even a huge Oblivion fan but to deny what it is is just lame.

psychic_zebra
psychic_zebra

Don't want to sound like a broken record, but where's Okami?! Anyway, after listening to the interview with Alex Rigopulos, I'm really starting to think that Wii Sports might have a chance at this event.

Dreski83
Dreski83

I feel like a real nerd for listening, yet I can't help but feel pride for such awesome developers sharing props and commenting on how they feel games should be made. Thanks for audio clip GS.

Modx22
Modx22

Gears Hands down, great achv and awesome online play

joshSF
joshSF

they could have fleshed out the campain for gow a bit more, gow and oblivion are both great games... i don't have a real favorite

Gmacrusher
Gmacrusher

hahaha they got caught on tape but its interesting what they say if you put close attention!

peeweeshift
peeweeshift

I'm done with those games. gears multiplayer has me hooked, but i'm still dieing for a crimson skies or a new doa for my multiplayer gaming.

drgnstr13
drgnstr13

Guitar Hero 2 is a great game and all but it's not stunning and big. I'm not exactly sure why it's up there. Oblivion should take the gold because it is stunning and big.

zerooslo7990
zerooslo7990

Even though I liked Gears and GH2, I think Oblivion should win. That game has much more lasting value, huge world, and a great storys. It is also a much bigger technical achievement, no game before it had such a huge world, with dynamic NPCs all with their own voice.

Elyoshi
Elyoshi

As much as I love Gears of War, there were just so many things about it I wish they would have done better. The gameplay is near perfect, but the campaign leaves much to be desired, with a fairly weak story-line and an abrupt ending similar to Halo 2's. This being the first game in the series, thats not a good thing; but it leaves room for much improvement in the sequel. Guitar Hero 2 I feel is the least deserving of this award. Gameplay was great, soundtrack was great, but theres just not enough new here to make it feel like a true sequel rather than a mere clone with new songs (Which seems to be in issue for most rythm-based games.) Oblivion was my favorite out of these three, with a deep, inspired fantasy world, nearly flawless action-rpg gameplay, a strong story, and amazing voice acting that really made the characters come to life. There sure isn't much that they did wrong...

RightOn44
RightOn44

\/ Ah no, GoW is the best gmae of the year. People didn't go crazy for Oblivion the way they did for Gears and bigger levels don't mean better graphics and the gameplay is nowhere near as fun.

Tremere1
Tremere1

Oblivion should be the winner. It is better than the other two games. The graphic in Oblivion is the best because the world is bigger and even the game itself and the graphic card and windows aren't capable of generating the whole look (you can even get better Distant Land with some mods), the gameplay is the biggest till now. I don't understand why GoW should be the winner because it is the same like some other games, just fire and destroy the enemy. I haven't played Guitar Hero 2, but it looks really boring (I haven't seen any screenshots, but the name tells me a lot (a guitar boy?)).

mismajor99
mismajor99

I would choose Oblivion, the story and sheer amount of gameplay with mods make it number 1 in my book. Although, GoW is pretty amazing as far as eye-candy goes.

Marth3001
Marth3001

i would say that over all oblivion is a perfect game but there was always one thing that bugged me, the magical attacks only have three graphics, a fireball, a frost ball, and lighting. so i think graphically gears wins but for overall gameplay oblivion stands out front

dmastor
dmastor

OBLIVION is great and is the best for the 360 as a well well rounded 360 game(get it whatever) but i think gow is more fun then oblivion but oblivion is so great and so big of a game it can not be over looked and where the hell is kameo!

Muzykmann
Muzykmann

I'm glad to see that Oblivion is still being talked up by some. Shame it was overlooked at the end of the year. What can ya do though? Release a game early in the year, all the hype dies down by the time the awards are passed out.

danny123532
danny123532

gears of war doesnt diserve it its all eye candy which caoused them to cut out on the real thing games should be about gameplay and I did it on insane in about five hours.Any game that takes five hours to do doesnt really diserve anything.Where as Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion had eve candy and amazingly good gameplay too.Guitar Hero II what is Guitar Hero never heard of it.

Romanticide
Romanticide

lol Gears is popular to the kids for the pretty graphics. This generation is the death of real hardcore gaming. R.I.P Gameplay.

red_x2004
red_x2004

OBLIVION & Gears Of War are both fantastic games but for me I would choose OBLIVION this game is just amazing in so many ways the graphics, story, gameplay, it has it all . And not to forget that GOW is also an outstanding achievement in gaming history. And Guitar Hero II Cant even be compared between these 2 games!!!

JLCrogue
JLCrogue

GOW GOTY FTW!!!!!!!!!!!11shiftplusoneonew00t!!!!!!

Leakybubbles
Leakybubbles

OBLIVION definetly GEARS OF WAR could win. but Oblivion had it all in one package amazing HD graphics like gears of war but had so many things you could do. Gears of war is freakign awesome but oblivion should win all the way. OBLIVION FTW.

Matti9845
Matti9845

Oblivion should win, it was the first truely next gen game. Gow just followed in its shadow.

racerx737
racerx737

It's definitely between Gears of War and Oblivion for me, I have a feeling Gears is gonna get it tho because it was more popular and came out more recently.

Charlie2688
Charlie2688

Oblivion should be the winner cuz it manage to pack it all...Gears only has the graphics and Guitar has the fun factor, its sad to see how each year all the major awards have become only hyping machines and not the true awards for people that actually achieved something :(

IRoxxorUrSoxxor
IRoxxorUrSoxxor

Gears and Oblivion are the stuff. I'm really, really happy, by the way, to note that Gears and Oblivion both got more nominations than Twilight Princess, which deserves mention, but not the big prize. Also, how in god's name did Wii Sports make it in there? Films like Crank were some of the most fun I've had in a theatre in ages, but film-of-the-year it ain't. For that matter, Wii Sports doesn't even deserve consideration for a nomination, much less the award.

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

OH! It's DICE! Hickery Dickery DOCK! lol, anyone remember that? Anyway, I think Oblivion deserves it, but I think Gears will get it... because awards committees tend to lease out a single mind.

mkirklions
mkirklions

guitar hero doesnt match up to oblivion and gears. I want Oblivion to win because of the amount of things you can do, and gears for the graphics. Look what system they are on... Wheres resistance? wheres zelda? 360 ftw

axillia
axillia

Oblivion should get it based on sheer amount of activities you can do in that game. I have a feeling that Gears will win based on the technical achievements though.

Paceydre
Paceydre

Beated gears, now busy with multiplayer...just started with oblivion..so I can't yet say which game is better...come back in a few months.

Sanguis_Malus
Sanguis_Malus

Both Gears and Oblivion are top achievers, its a tough one. I love playing Gears more for its fun and intense action but Oblivion has so much depth and longevity to it. Whoever wins it will not detract fom the other, both are great games !!!

epormada
epormada

Tough choice between Gears and Oblivion, Guitar Hero can't even hold these games jock strap!!! I say, first time ever, a tie, give both Gears and Oblivion GOTY award!!!

just_an_opinion
just_an_opinion

I'd be hard pressed to choose between eldre scrolls and gears. i like them both for different reasons and both are great fun! whichever wins i'll be happy. i haven't playd guitar hero but heard nothing but good things about it.

Piaras007
Piaras007

I'd give it to Gears, simply for the hours of fun it has given me. Oblivion gets a bit repititive after a while

grognard
grognard

Both Oblivion and Gears are worthy candidates. What I can't understand is why Zelda won so many Game of the Year awards. It might deserve retro game of the year as it was simply a rehash of Ocarina, but it was hardly the best the industry had to offer in 2006.

GFofgaming
GFofgaming

Personally I would choose Oblivion.

Mr_Saturn26
Mr_Saturn26

it shold either be oblivion or Gutair hero2 either one should win, gears is horrible, its a crappy repetitve boring game, the only good thing about it is multiplayer online, the coop even sucks, its not even funny.

LeenaParvin
LeenaParvin

It's very difficult to choose. But i select Gears of Wars for now! >.>

uberjannie
uberjannie

Cliffy B for the win, I will check this one out as soon as i get back home from work :)

Chief_Kuuni
Chief_Kuuni

sounds cool, wish I could watch the show, I love Gears of War and wish I could have played Oblivion but not a guitar hero kind of guy though

anarchicgoth
anarchicgoth

Its so difficult to choose! Ive played HUNDREDS of hours of Oblivion but Gears is my current favorite!

swgneni
swgneni

I don't care about this article. Was hoping there'd be something spore related in it (since Will Wright will be speaking there about the team and hopefully releasing some new info), but alas, there was no info =(

noodles12345678
noodles12345678

oblivion would've been a much better game if not every cave looked so much alike and there were more enemies or something..that game was just way too generic and lame despite the vast amount of "options" in that game. gears of war was also an average game for me. it was fun while it lasted but multiplayer got old in about 4 days and there isn't much to the game except for its over the top decapitation. never played guitar hero. verdict - none of these games deserve any awards except for maybe best graphics or something in oblivion and gears of war. but since all games released in 06 were..lacking to say the least, i guess these three is all they've got to go on.

magemaximus
magemaximus

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