Uncharted 2 leads GDC Award noms

Naughty Dog's acclaimed action adventure scores seven nods; fellow GOTY hopefuls include Dragon Age, Assassin's Creed II, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Demon's Souls.

For this year's 10th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, show-runner Think Services has already confirmed Valve Software cofounder Gabe Newell as a winner. The man behind such acclaimed franchises as Half-Life and Left 4 Dead will receive the Pioneer Award due to his innovative work on Valve's digital delivery service, Steam. As for the rest of the GDCAs, Think Services this week announced award categories and nominees for the March show.

Win or lose, Nathan Drake is walking out with the statue.

Naughty Dog's lauded Uncharted 2: Among Thieves scored the most nominations for this year's ceremony with seven, one of which is for Game of the Year. While it isn't up for the top honor, Thatgamecompany's placid Flower received five nominations, while Ubisoft's Renaissance-era action adventure Assassin's Creed II picked up four nods.

Beyond Uncharted 2 and Assassin's Creed II, other Game of the Year nominees include BioWare's Dragon Age: Origins and Rocksteady Studios' Batman: Arkham Asylum. From Software's unforgiving role-playing game Demon's Souls, which was awarded GameSpot's 2009 Game of the Year, is also among the Game of the Year contenders.

Event organizers have added one new category this year: Best New Social/Online Game. The category accommodates a variety of alternative gaming platforms, including Facebook and free-to-play online games. Inaugural nominees include Zynga's Farmville, Sony Online Entertainment's Free Realms, and PopCap's Bejeweled Blitz.

The 10th Annual GDCAs will be held in conjunction with the 2010 Game Developers Conference, which takes place March 9-13 in San Francisco. The awards ceremony will be held on March 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Moscone Convention Center. GDCA organizers have yet to announce a host for the event, though Double Fine's Tim Schafer has filled the role for the past two years.

10th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards nominees:

Game of the Year
Assassin's Creed II (Ubisoft Montreal)
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Rocksteady Studios)
Demon's Souls (From Software)
Dragon Age: Origins (BioWare)
Uncharted 2 (Naughty Dog)

Best Game Design
Assassin's Creed 2 (Ubisoft Montreal)
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Rocksteady)
Flower (Thatgamecompany)
Plants vs. Zombies (PopCap)
Uncharted 2 (Naughty Dog)

Best Handheld Game
Flight Control (Firemint)
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (Rockstar Leeds/Rockstar North)
Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Nintendo EAD)
Scribblenauts (5th Cell)
Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor (Tiger Style)

Best Visual Art
Assassin's Creed II (Ubisoft Montreal)
Borderlands (Gearbox Software)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Infinity Ward)
Flower (Thatgamecompany)
Uncharted 2 (Naughty Dog)

Best Technology
Assassin's Creed II (Ubisoft Montreal)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Infinity Ward)
Killzone 2 (Guerrilla Games)
Red Faction: Guerrilla (Volition)
Uncharted 2 (Naughty Dog)

Best Writing
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Rocksteady Studios)
Brutal Legend (Double Fine)
Dragon Age: Origins (BioWare)
Halo 3: ODST (Bungie)
Uncharted 2 (Naughty Dog)

Best Audio
Brutal Legend (Double Fine Productions)
Dragon Age: Origins (BioWare)
Flower (Thatgamecompany)
Rock Band: The Beatles (Harmonix)
Uncharted 2 (Naughty Dog)

Innovation
Demon's Souls (From Software)
Flower (Thatgamecompany)
Plants vs. Zombies (PopCap)
Scribblenauts (5th Cell)
Uncharted 2 (Naughty Dog)

Best Debut
League of Legends (Riot Games)
The Maw (Twisted Pixel)
Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor (Tiger Style)
Torchlight (Runic Games)
Zeno Clash (ACE Team)

Best Downloadable Game
Flower (Thatgamecompany)
PixelJunk Shooter (Q Games)
Plants vs. Zombies (PopCap)
Shadow Complex (Chair Entertainment)
Trials HD (RedLynx)

Best New Social/Online Game
Bejeweled Blitz (PopCap)
Dungeon Fighter Online (Neople/Nexon)
Farmville (Zynga)
Free Realms (Sony Online Entertainment San Diego)
Restaurant City (Playfish)

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Discussion

162 comments
mehrabx
mehrabx

Hmm goty uc2. Writing DAO. Technology batman aa. Innovation plants vs. Zombies. Visual uc 2.

mojem
mojem

For me Uncharted 2 will take it all, but I'm disappointed Kill-zone 2 didn't get a bunch of nominees because it was just fantastic. I would say a close tie to U2. ( Oh and just notice how there are mostly PS3 exclusives in the nominees. Just goes to show how great PS3 is he, he, he. )

jaguar_danger
jaguar_danger

EAA... PUES ESTA ALGO AY DOS TRES PZZZ.... NMZ

OwnageGuy
OwnageGuy

woot farmville ftw. loved that game. haha and so mw2 fails so epically, only 2 nominations which i doubt they'll win. No GOTY for you IW.

sleepnsurf
sleepnsurf

Trials HD or Shadow Complex for best downloadable game for sure.

Fyre8892
Fyre8892

@im-a-roustabout I completely understand what you're saying. However, when you talk about games that will still be played a year from now MW2 is going to have every one of those nominees beat. It is worth remembering that popular things are popular for a reason i.e. because they're good. While MW2 fell short in the single-player experience (unlike UC2), MW2 features a considerable amount of innovation in multi-player on top of an already tried and true competitive concept. As I previously stated, it's not GotY worthy, but I still feel as though it was slighted. I will say however that I was glad to see DA:O on that least, even if it is doubtful to win. It's really a phenomenal game, and it got shafted pretty bad at gamespot's awards.

kamizuka
kamizuka

"Uncharted 2 was great, I'm going back for more online once the DLC gets here!!" i'll explain to you guys :) there are new DLC for uncharted2 multiplayer where you can play as that guy from infamous and resistance even Sev and a Helgast from Killzone2. dont believe me? check VGcharts i hope GS is going to post it sone.

cjasko94
cjasko94

I could not really tell a HUGE difference between COD4, and MW2 graphics.. lol and COD4 is a 2007 title.

cjasko94
cjasko94

Gamestop awards > VGA Uncharted 2 was great, I'm going back for more online once the DLC gets here!!

meathead86
meathead86

Unchartrd 2 was cool thats how u make a great playstation 3 game

kingsi7e
kingsi7e

@Zidaneski Innovation can be different. As far as I remember Uncharted 2 is the first game that uses massive levels where stuff tends to move/collapse/explode/change to this extent. Kinda new feel to the whole level concept.

Zidaneski
Zidaneski

Flower I think deserves game design and visual art awards. How did Uncharted 2 get nominated for innovation? Its my GotY but not because of its innovation.

NoCoverNeeded
NoCoverNeeded

Uncharted 2, what a fantastic game, in my mind its the best game i ever played

evil_angel74
evil_angel74

how did MW2 get nominated for best visual art? somebody please tell me. and wallywallas, spot on, couldn't have said it better myself

Dill-Man
Dill-Man

UC2, AC2, and DA:O all deserve as many awards as they can get. Three magnificant games.

Solid_Azeus
Solid_Azeus

Atleast 4 PS3 exclusives in almost every category and about 2 360 exclusives nominated.

tracerhank
tracerhank

I don't understand: what's with all the hate on a good game? The more good games we have, the more gamers win. There are a lot of good games that came out this past year, and awarded or not, I am happy to be able to play them. Can we all just enjoy the games and celebrate? Before the world ends in 2012? ^.^

Eazy1891
Eazy1891

For when in my message I said cuz I meant U2 I'm using myphone and whenever somethings put down that makes no sense it puts down whatever word is closest

XanderZane
XanderZane

Here are my picks. Game of the Year : Uncharted 2 Best Game Design: Assassin's Creed 2 Best HandHeld: Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Best Visual Art: Uncharted 2 Best Technology: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Best Writing: Dragon Age Origin Best Audio: Uncharted 2 Innovation: Flower Best Debut: Torchlight Best Downloadable Game: (Don't know. Flower, Shadow Complex and Trial HD all deserver this award. Pick one) Best New Social/Online Game: Farmville. Those are my picks anyways.

jadefury27
jadefury27

Uncharted 2 should get at least 5 of 7, awards innovation and tech are the two they might lose. innovation's gotta go to scribblenaughts and best tech may go to modern warfare 2.

tyber78
tyber78

uncharted2 deserves game of the year.

kavna
kavna

GOTY - Assassins Creed II for me. I haven't played Uncharted 2, so I can't comment on what seems to be the argument of the season, but AC2 was a beautiful game. What really set it apart from me was it's storyline, while it may be somewhat far-reaching, it's sheer ambition has to be applauded. It's also the type of multi-faceted storyline that is genuinely, only possible in the medium of video games and thus I feel it sets the medium apart from films, where Uncharted seems all to keen to imitate them. Not only was it an astounding game in it's own right, but the improvements on the original were so vast that it actually painted my memory of the first game rather positively (upon attempting to play it I quickly remembered how much I despised it). Altair even got some (much-needed) character development through his diary entries. AC2 is my GOTY without question. As for the other nominations, I'm not really fussed. I'm disappointed Dissidia wasn't nominated for the handheld award, but am glad to see Spider getting a few nods. Games like Spider need to be embraced and encouraged. I'd like to see Tim Schaefer get the writing award, I loved Brutal Legend mainly FOR it's writing, and as a musician I resent the 'audio' category. As someone said, that's voice acting, sound design, soundtrack, original soundtrack, all lumped into one vague category and it'll probably go to Rock Band.

thedirtyleg
thedirtyleg

@wallywallas Yes! You are awesome! Finally somebody actually gives a good argument for UC2 as an innovative game. My only response to your argument is that improving graphics and set-pieces in action/adventure games is a natural progression in that genre. That is, it's completely normal to improve those things (even though they may HUGE improvements) because that's what you expect out of a new, big-budget action/adventure game. Thus, if a game's improvement is focused primarily on normal and expected things, it is IMPROVEMENT, not INNOVATION. Innovation would be better defined as a new gaming experience altogether. Goldeneye was innovative. Guitar Hero was innovative. Flower was innovative. But in any case, your argument is still pretty strong. I can't deny that seeing all those parts in the game (I watched all of it but played little) certainly FELT new and innovative to me, so maybe that's where the GDC committee is coming from here...

tdawg2594
tdawg2594

I don't know why i see some hate for killzone 2 i don't think some of you guys played killzone the original at all pop in your original killzone disc then play killzone 2 and you will see how much kz2 changed from the original not saying it deserves GOTY but don't act as if it wasn't an amazing shooter the only problem with killzone 2 is they need more stuff needed online to make people play it more often cause i remember when it first came out everybody was online playing. Why are we having so many uncharted haters o.0

kuroshiro99
kuroshiro99

All the nominees deserve to win something.

im-a-roustabout
im-a-roustabout

@Fyre8892 Because people these days want to see video gaming as an art form, no matter how good or bad the game did, will be given awards if it broke boundaries, innovated, or made something amazingly new that's going to set the bar for the rest to come. Giving a video game an award just for sales is kind of dumb unless you want to point out that they shattered the record of "biggest entertainment launch ever", besides that though no thankyou. Even movies and car companies etc don't reward the car with the most sales.

wallywallas
wallywallas

To everyone who is saying: "how is Uncharted 2 innovative?", please stop pretending you have actually played the game. The technology used in the moving train chapter, the tank pursuit, the convoy chapter, the helicopter chase, building crumble, etc... it's like nothing ever seen in videogames before. In the past, these type of sections in the story would have been cutscenes, but Naughty Dog made them playable and very fun and exciting to play too. The technology used to make these scenes playable has never been applied in videogames before. It's a moving scene used on top of a moving scene on dynamic set pieces. ALso, unlike most other videogames, the color palette used is varied in comparison with other games. Green jungles, white snow caves, dark museums, etc... instead of two color palette games like KZ2 or MW2 that stick to 2 colors primarily. If you actually played the game, you would have been able to appreciate how awesome and innovative this game really is. Much like MW2 has set the benchmark for coop games with Spec Ops, Uncharted 2 has set the benchmark for graphics engine and dynamic set pieces. Uncharted 2 is GOTY, no questions asked.

Get_Shorty
Get_Shorty

Best Audio? Wow they could have given that two separate entries; soundtrack and original music... really unfair to the other nominees that don't have Beatles songs.

Eazy1891
Eazy1891

Okay two games that shouldn't get innovation award are definitely Cuz and mw2 mw2 is no different than cod4 IMO and cod4 might even be better for Cuz I mean don't get it twisted its a great game and deserves Goty but it didn't really do too much new just a lot better that's just my opinion though anyone with me??????

InnerSenses
InnerSenses

@ lamprey263 @ badtaker I think the reason why Uncharted got the innovation award because of the way it managed the PS3's cell... I think the name the system they developed was the Active Cinematic system? The system that let them make the moving train level, the falling building (when you're being pursued by the helicopter) and the Convoy chapter.

darkboy90
darkboy90

Why isn't infamous on the list?

Artemios
Artemios

For GOTY I'd go with Dragon Age: Origins. I'm not saying that Batman,Uncharted 2, and Assassin's Creed II aren't great games! They're phenomenal, I have all three of them for the PS3 (as well as Dragon Age). However, the really long storyline of Dragon Age, the six different classes you can play as, the six different original opening story lines for each class, and the fact that your decisions ACTUALLY affect your progress throughout the game, for me, totally deserves Game of the Year. Dragon Age, then followed by Uncharted, then followed by Assassin's. For Dragon Age Origins, the length of the game, I totally got my money's worth! PSN: ajantonin

Zeetex85
Zeetex85

wow lots of games but at the same time unfair because in 09 a few more should be added to the list

redskinStu
redskinStu

Killzone 2 deserved more....as usual, it's mostly games released within the last two months. Shallow.

racing1750
racing1750

Naughty dog deserve these awards, Uncharted 2 is imo one of the greatest games of all time.

BrunetteGuard07
BrunetteGuard07

Under Best Audio: It's Beatles: Rock Band, not the other way around. Harmonix did this because it is it's own standalone game, and it's more of a Beatles game than Rock Band.

j_kizi
j_kizi

UC2 and Plants vs Zombies, two great games....

Morf_uni
Morf_uni

I hope Torchlight win Best Debut.... the guys deserve it :)

RitterXplode
RitterXplode

I wish the best of "luck" to Dragon Age and Torchlight.

nicklech16
nicklech16

Sweet, Plants Vs Zombie is all over the nominees! This game is definitely one of the best in this year!!!

lamprey263
lamprey263

Such a one sided list, like they didn't even play half the games that came out during the year. I thought Ghostbusters should have at least been mentioned for writing, and Battlefield 1943 deserved a mention for downloadable title. I also thought Uncharted 2 didn't need an "innovation" mention (whatever that means these days), after all for as excellent as the game is it doesn't do anything really new as far as gameplay is concerned, it's just really well made. Good to see Flower got a fair amount of attention, as well as Arkham Asylum, but I'm surprised for how well Modern Warfare 2 sold it didn't even make the list, not even Borderlands. And for all the hype that RE5 got it's like they forgot that game ever came out this year.

badtaker
badtaker

Uncharted 2 = Innovation =how?

left4right
left4right

i cant believe i saw the line Best Visual Art and no murmasa the demon soul game where mentioned

ralphikari
ralphikari

In a foreign film festival, an unknown guy got handed an odd trophy, misspoke his lines, took a bow, received a round of applause, and be forgotten. Sounds familiar?

mf1986
mf1986

Uncharted 2 is an awesome game, and my game of the year but INNOVATION?