Skyrim, Bastion, Arkham City lead GDCA nominations

Bethesda's and Supergiant's action RPGs join with Rocksteady's latest Batman adventure to snag five nods each at Game Developers Choice Awards.

Be they mainstream or enthusiast, most media outlets have proclaimed their Best of 2011 winners. With the 2012 Game Developers Conference coming in March, some of the top names on the development side of the industry will weigh in with their picks, and today event organizers announced the finalists for the 12th annual Game Developers Choice Awards.

Supergiant's Bastion tied Skyrim and Arkham City for most GDCA nominations.

GDCA finalists in the Game of the Year category do not stray from some of the top picks of 2011. They include Batman: Arkham City, Portal 2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Dark Souls, and GameSpot's Game of the Year, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Portal 2, Skyrim, and Supergiant Games' downloadable action role-playing game Bastion led nominations, with each game receiving five nods in various categories. Other top nominees include Naughty Dog's Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, Team Bondi's L.A. Noire, and EA's Battlefield 3.

Category winners will be selected by an invite-only committee comprising 500 game developers from across the industry. The GDCA ceremony will take place Wednesday, March 7, at 6:30 p.m. as part of the 2012 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. GameSpot will be on hand to provide coverage of the event as it happens.

A full list of nominees can be found below.

Game of the Year
Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady Studios)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
Portal 2 (Valve)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Eidos Montreal)
Dark Souls (FromSoftware)

Best Game Design
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo)
Portal 2 (Valve)
Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady Studios)
Dark Souls (FromSoftware)

Innovation
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure (Toys For Bob)
Portal 2 (Valve)
Bastion (Supergiant Games)
Johann Sebastian Joust (Die Gute Fabrik)
L.A. Noire (Team Bondi)

Best Technology
Battlefield 3 (DICE)
L.A. Noire (Team Bondi)
Crysis 2 (Crytek Frankfurt/UK)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (Naughty Dog)

Best Handheld/Mobile Game
Tiny Tower (NimbleBit)
Super Mario 3D Land (Nintendo)
Jetpack Joyride (Halfbrick)
Infinity Blade II (Chair Entertainment)
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP (Capy Games/Superbrothers)

Best Audio
Bastion (Supergiant Games)
LittleBigPlanet 2 (Media Molecule)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
Dead Space 2 (Visceral Games)
Portal 2 (Valve)

Best Downloadable Game
Stacking (Double Fine)
From Dust (Ubisoft Montpellier)
Bastion (Supergiant Games)
Outland (Housemarque)
Frozen Synapse (Mode 7)

Best Narrative
Portal 2 (Valve)
The Witcher 2 (CD Projekt RED)
Bastion (Supergiant Games)
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (Naughty Dog)
Saints Row: The Third (Volition)

Best Debut
Supergiant Games (Bastion)
Team Bondi (L.A. Noire)
Re-Logic (Terraria)
BioWare Austin (Star Wars: The Old Republic)
Eidos Montreal (Deus Ex: Human Revolution)

Best Visual Arts
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (Naughty Dog)
Rayman Origins (Ubisoft Montpellier)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron (Ignition Japan)
Battlefield 3 (DICE)

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53 comments
WCK619
WCK619

of course Skyrim is going to win everything. Snore.

ck10304
ck10304

Deus Ex should be included in Visual Arts and Narrative categories for sure, one of my favourite stories of the past few years.

Nima427
Nima427

three of my favourite games are in this list ! batman , deus ex & skyrim ! my vote is batman then skyrim and after that deus ex !

rezagog
rezagog

my vote is Batman : AC only.

rezagog
rezagog

oh see baby I just hope Dead Space 2 get the best audio award. but I can't stand this battlefield 3 I dont know whats the tech behind it. where is Uncharted 3 in GOTY ?

Quant1c
Quant1c

I personally prefer Deus Ex over every other nominee of GotY.

juliano001
juliano001

Bastion is good, but not that good. And the music is weird. Skyrim is soooo much better. In depth RPG.

SlappyDog
SlappyDog

Batman: Arkham City and Skyrim for Goty...This is going to be hard.

Kiriyama_X
Kiriyama_X

My vote is for Skyrim or Dark Souls..

Llama345
Llama345

I find it hilarious that Team Bondi is up for Best Debut, wasn't there a story on here not too long ago that said they got canned?

toddx77
toddx77

@smoke_dog_4ever I understand why bioware did what they did with ME2 but I still don't like it. I probably just have my head up my ass but I don't like a developer changing a game to pander to people who wouldn't have played the game in the first place if it was like the first one. Also I don't know what you play on but as a PC gamer the first ME game plays a lot better on PC using a mouse and keyboard for controls compared to the 360 version. As for Dragon Age 3 I'm rather glad bioware is taking the open world approach. And it is nice to see an RPG like skyrim getting so much attention but the only thing I don't like about skyrim and bethesta games in general is that your character is so bland and so far as where I am in Skyrim it seems like there can be too much open world at times but it beats Dragon Age 2's being stuck in a town pretty much the whole time. I think open world in Dragon Age 3 will work great if bioware basically does the same travel format as origins but instead of just showing that read line while traveling from place to place, you would actually walk there yourself.

smoke_dog_4ever
smoke_dog_4ever

I see your point with Mass Effect 2. I personally loved the inventory system of ME1 and thought, initially it was a horrible idea to swap it up in the second one. I can understand the reasoning for why they turned it more into a FPS with RPG elements than it had been initially - when you think about it, at the time of ME2's release, this wasn't long after games like COD:MW, Halo 3, etc. The FPS genre was just starting to explode into the mega genre it is today. I think it was a smart move on Bioware's part to appeal to the FPS fans like they did with ME2. As a further example, the reports/rumors now are that Dragon Age 3 will be open world, similar to Skyrim. People are going CRAZY for Skyrim now. I'm not sure if the RPG genre has ever been bigger than it is now with Skyrim getting as much praise (and media attention from the PS3 problems). Going the route of open world with Dragon Age 3 is a step in the right direction of what gamers are clamoring for right now.

toddx77
toddx77

@Sigil-otaku I knew I would be confused by starting with 3 but I wanted to play a Halo game and since my friend was selling his for like $7 bucks I just bought it. Thats probably why I liked Reach so much compared to a lot of other Halo fans who hated it. Having only played 3 I didn't know as much about Halo compared to others so Reach didn't seem that bad. I get only 2 weapons for MP but SP I like being able to keep the weapons I find and having to find health. In Halo regeneration works since its Sci fy but in games like Half Life, Doo, and Quake finding health packs makes more sense. @smoke_dog_4ever I felt AC was totally new for a few reasons. It was more open world which was nice, much better story, more characters, more riddler trophies, seeing the riddler, better challenge mode, more characters to play as, and finally ROBIN!!!! Hopefully because of AC people will stop being ignorant of Robin *cough* Seth Macfarlane. As for Mass Effect I felt Mass Effect 2 was a step back in gameplay. It felt more like a shooter and pretty much all the RPG elements were taken out so that really killed it for me. If Mass Effect 2 kept the same level up system as the first game I think the game play would have been better.

smoke_dog_4ever
smoke_dog_4ever

@Roots_Of_Rhythm FYI, I did do most of the side missions, not all of them, but enough to get bored with playing the same game from two years ago. Like I said, it's a good game, but it's not worthy of all the praise people are throwing at it like it's the most original game ever. I, like many others, were tired of COD when MW3 launched as MW2 1.5, giving very little innovation to the gameplay. The same goes for Arkham City, and anyone who feels AC is totally new, original, and not at all like Asylum is completely fooling themselves. And anyone who thinks they know a person based on an avatar is also fooling themselves. Look at Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 - you can clearly see differences in gameplay between those two games and innovations in the gameplay. Though it's a sequel, it clearly defines itself as setting itself above and beyond the original. Does AC do this from AA? No. Same graphics, same gameplay; a few new gadgets and new locations does not merit the amount of praise the new Batman has received. You'd think it was AA two years ago and not the game it is today, two years after it's already been done before. So bring on the thumbs down and hide this comment as well fan boys! The truth hurts.

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

@toddx77 Well what do you expect when you jump in mid way? That's like me playing the last uncharted and having no real respect or care for the characters since I never bothered with it, no understanding of how they got where they were etc. (not that any of that matters in uncharted though) and so just playing through it and saying, yeah it's an okay shooter. At least your not judging it too harshly but overall those things you mentioned are just smart mechanics, carrying only 2 weapons only adds to necessary weapon planning along with not running into enemy (on multilayer) who simply have 30 guns that can break any situation and have no need to stop camping. Regenerating health is bad in some ways, I prefer games like Halo and Half-life that have some recognisable health (even if the shield itself regenerates) which is just good for strategy e,g, good players know how to stay in cover and lose less health by letting the shields regen. Oh well, not everything is for everyone and no point in arguing too heavily. I'm not a fan of uncharted though, honestly can't understand where the love comes from. Every character acts the same (can do wild jumps, climbing etc. along with every character being a jokester), The games aren't bad, I actually like them but they just don't strike me as 'amazing' and can't understand why anyone would say that considering it's not that good.

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

@jeffbordonaro Actually COD is not colourful, it's not got equipment or armour abilities and it's certainly not got much in the way of anything out of the derivative norm. You compare burgers, maybe because it's a brilliant way to change the subject and blur reasoning? I was comparing 2 games and all the points were fair and valid in the sense that they weren't wrong. Perks are not really the same as armour abilities but I will actually admit they are a something that makes it stand out a bit more. If you actually do want to compare them and think Halo is any where near as bad as COD then your very confused.. Like I said it does change elements, it's more unique in it's design and enemies etc. You said COD had world building and other things I mentioned? Well can't argue if we're going to make stuff up. The only point I can sort of agree with you on is that COD had a unique element to it's gameplay (the perks) but other than that explain how it stands out as a military shooter. Go on and try. If halo died at Halo 3 then why did reach get the usual 8 million sales? And why was it one of the most popular games online for over a year after it's release and still set to have sequels? Oh yeah , cos it's dead *rolls eyes*. You actually think uncharted is a great game series and that COD compares to Halo on design? I really have lost it with this gaming community *face palm*. Oh well can't expect much online.

toddx77
toddx77

@Sigil-otaku Actually I do play halo but I only have Halo 3 and Reach since I never had an original xbox so my experience with halo 1 and 2 was pretty much multiplayer at friends houses. I added Halo to the list because its a FPS and those types of people play shooters simply because they are shooters and nothing more. I guess it isn't really fair for me to judge Halo too much since I haven't played the first 2. From just playing 3 and Reach though it doesn't seem like anything too special to me. I was totally confused during 3 which is natural but my friend was selling his 360 games and he sold it to me for under $10. I did enjoy the story to Reach though and thought the story was better than Halo 3. I do look forward to getting Halo 1 HD on the 360 and Halo 4. The only real problem I have with Halo is that it changed the FPS by adding regenerating health and 2 weapons only in FPS which I hate. Story wise though from what I have seen I wouldn't say its a bad game, just different opinions as I think Uncharted has great stories in each game, amazing characters, and great game play.

dxdevilex0
dxdevilex0

Skyward Sword should have been nominated for game of the year,it might not deserve to be GOTY but it should deserved to be nominated...

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

@toddx77 Nothing wrong with Halo. COD sucks because it's derivative military shooter 101 with nothing to stand out and basically average all around but you'd have to be immature or simply a hater of any FPS to complain at Halo. It bucks many trends of FPS such as it's far more colourful, it's got a decent story and world building, there's smart mechanics such as the shield which add to realism rather than being a standard man who is shot in the head and watches the blood drain away in 2 seconds, it has GREAT music which adds to the atmosphere and unlike most FPS it doesn't sit on it's laurels and hope it's good enough. Adding things like armour abilities on reach or equipment on Halo 3 to try and improve the diversity and add another layer to combat, working on new modes and features like recording matches, taking pictures, forge mode and firefight etc. I don't think you play Halo so I doubt there's reason to examine it in too much detail but overall to lump Halo with COD is sadly ignorant as it is better designed in every way. I think it's more sad that Spike are so into Uncharted, another casual shooter with nothing to stand out other than every character in it's story being the same, joke obsessed person in different skin and a lot of over cinematic explosions or vehicles crashes / destroying. It's so derivative and plain it's a shock people fall for it so easy, the plots don't connect and only the back stories of the characters do so even the games just feel like near senseless random missions in the life of Nathan drake.

toddx77
toddx77

@firehawk998 Spike video game awards are for the people who think cod, halo, and gears are the best games ever. I bet everytime Portal 2 won an award majority of the audience was like "what portal 2? Does it have online death match?"

Death_Blade_182
Death_Blade_182

Am I the only one cheering for Portal 2 as GOTY? I mean, I love Skyrim and Arkham City as much as anyone else. But there's just something about Portal 2's fluent level design, musical score, and flat-out genius writing that... I don't know, it just made a bigger impact on me than any other game of 2011.

kuda001
kuda001

Greg Kasavin getting some props and recognition, well deserved.

firehawk998
firehawk998

GDCA > Spike video game awards. Who agrees with me ?

exedeath
exedeath

Arkham City is easily the best game released in 2011.

GIXX3R
GIXX3R

The GOTY nominees is absolutely SPOT ON! I'm really glad Deus Ex HR and Dark Souls are on the list. Both are among my favorite games of the year and they deserve all the recognition. Also glad Witcher 2 and Dead Space 2 got a nod each.

NeonNinja
NeonNinja

Bastion- the hope of all gaming. Let's do this!

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

Loved loved loved Bastion! Hope it does well; it reminded me of a swank combination of the Legend of Zelda, Diablo, and Robotron. Didn't really innovate, just did a damn good job at what it set out to do and was a ton of fun to play! Arkham City was probably my favorite higher profile title on this list. Game was absolutely amazing and I can't stop playing it. Didn't think Rocksteady could top AA, but they definitely did!

Rocker6
Rocker6

@Gelugon_baat Just my opinion,also,the fact how its PC exclusive isn't that important.Whats important is,I enjoyed it a lot as a shooter,much more than most modern FPS games,especially military shooters(MW3,BF3).Also,most FPS games today have cliche stories just as excuses to shoot everything,and are very,very short,only difference is,most of them are made by much larger companies than Flying Wild Hog,with more staff and resources,who are just lazy.Hard Reset was a great debut that could lead to much more better games from the said company in the future if they get more resources... But as I said,my opinion,you have every right to disagree,aren't these awards subjective in the end?

Sam39150
Sam39150

I can see Skyrim winning many of these awards but best technology? That a bit farfetched lol. In fact, I'm not sure why its even nominated in the first place considering how "well" the tech worked on the ps3.

Rocker6
Rocker6

I take it that Best Technology is about best game engine.In that case,why nominate Skyrim? The Creation Engine isn't a new engine,its just Gamebryo with few improvements,but all of its older problems remain,like pop-up,NPCs getting stuck inside walls,rocks and many,many bugs... Also,for a Best Debut,I would easily pick Hard Reset,its probably the best FPS game I played from 2011,but I suppose Flying Wild Hog is too small studio to even be nominated in these d@mn popularity contests,but very few ppl made a great debut game,fun and very stable,and continued giving it good post-release support(many gameplay improvements) asked by fans over Steam forums.

AntonSaidWhat
AntonSaidWhat

Lmao, Jeff, your job is to play Dark Souls or what? ANY game will get boring if you've played that much in so little time. Ive played Dark Souls like 80 hours since then, I don't play it from morning till I go to sleep, it's still fun.

roganth
roganth

@jeffbordonaro lol boring, you have been playing dark souls as a full time job since for 3 months. It was released 13 weeks ago. 460hours/13weeks = 35.38 hours per week

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

This is the only video game award show I trust since it isn't pure marketing, it's just developers. I look forward to it.

CLOCKWORKIAN
CLOCKWORKIAN

Glad to see Dark Souls get a GOTY nomination. That and Uncharted 3 have been my favorite games of 2011 by far.

TheTrueMagusX1
TheTrueMagusX1

I am glad to see Outland nominated. It has been vastly overlooked. One of the best downloadable games out there.

megadeth1117
megadeth1117

All the nominations are damn good. I wouldn't expect SR3 to be nominated for Best Narrative, but it's a surprisingly well written game.

Daian
Daian

I'm amazed how a game as crazy fun as Saints Row: The Third can get a nomination for Best Narrative, good for Volition, great job on that one.

packtop
packtop

How can a game like Skyrim with all the bugs and glitch can have so many prizes is beyond me. Skyrim is my favorites game of 2011 but still doesn't deserve so much praise with all the bug and glitch it have.

Roots_Of_Rhythm
Roots_Of_Rhythm

You beat Arkham City in two days, huh smoke_dog? Would I be wrong in assuming you didn't bother with any of the extra stuff...as in, 90% of the game? Your Halo avatar says it all.

HaloPimp978
HaloPimp978

Skyrim is in almost category expect best downloadable.

smoke_dog_4ever
smoke_dog_4ever

Going against my better judgment (knowing the fan boys will come out in full force to give this comment thumbs down), I played Batman: Arkham City, beat it in two days, and I didn't feel that it deserved the 10 out of 10 most organizations gave it. Was it a good game? Yes. Was it a great game? Yes. Was it almost identical to Arkham Asylum, with respect to differences in location and story elements? Yes. For that reason, I'm not entirely sure why everyone is freaking out screaming "OMG BEST GAME EVER!!11!!1"I enjoyed the game, but I don't think it should have received over a 9.5 score. It was more of the same thing with a few new gadgets and you get to play as Catwoman for an hour. I just personally feel it doesn't deserve the amount of praise and adoration it's been receiving when it can be argued it's Arkham Asylum 1.5.

another_drew
another_drew

and yet another best of list in which mw3 left out YYYAAAAYYYYY :D

JamilAhmed1994
JamilAhmed1994

Hah, Skyrim nominated for Best Audio but Battlefield 3 is not.