COD4, Orange Box, BioShock, Rock Band D.I.C.E. up Interactive Achievement Awards

Activision's military shooter takes top prize, but 2K Games' undersea actioner, Valve's compilation, and MTV/Harmonix's rhythm game also get their props.

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LAS VEGAS--What the Oscars and the Emmys are to film and television, the Interactive Achievement Awards wants to be to games. Its sponsor, the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, not only takes its nomenclature cues from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, it also put on a glitzy affair for the 11th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards, which unfolded Thursday night in the largest ballroom in the Red Rock Casino and Resort in Las Vegas.

After an extended red carpet ceremony, the awards began fashionably late, with a group of sharply attired executives and cramped reporters rubbing elbows in front of the awards hall. After the obligatory hobnobbing and posing for cameras, the nearly 1,000-strong crowd gradually seated themselves and awaited the entrance of emcee Jay Mohr, who hosted the event for the third year running.

Unlike past events, this year's awards tried to enforce a strict "business attire" dress code on its nearly all-male audience. As evidenced by the flood of denim entering the hall, the upscale fashion edict didn't take. However, the skewed gender ratio of the audience did not go unnoticed by Jay. "It's like a hooker's fantasy in here," he proclaimed after taking the stage after several false starts.

Mohr then delivered some impromptu statistical analysis: "So 38 percent of gamers are women and older and 20 percent are over 50....that means 10 percent of gamers are cougars! Or as I like to call then, MILFs--moms I'd like to frag."

Following a round of applause, Mohr entered into a less typically NC-17-rated monologue than usual. "We’re streaming live on the Web right now," he said referring to GameSpot's live webcast, "so keep the profanity to a minimum." He then jokingly challenged a certain game designer: "I'm talking to you, Jaffe!" Appearing later on in the broadcast, the infamously outspoken game developer did not disappoint, letting forth a B-52's worth of F-bombs just to make his point.

Mohr's opening monologue also obliquely--and explicitly--referenced Web animator Zero Punctuation's recent review of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The subtle cue was no accident. The critically acclaimed shooter from Activision and its Infinity Ward studio took home the evening's biggest prizes, including overall game of the year, console game of the year, action game of the year, and outstanding achievement in online game play.

Tying COD4 at the four-award mark was top-nominee-getter BioShock, which won outstanding achievement in sound design, outstanding achievement in original music composition, outstanding achievement in story development, and outstanding achievement in art direction. Another favorite, Harmonix and MTV Games' Electronic Arts-distributed rhythm game Rock Band, took home trophies for outstanding innovation in gaming, outstanding achievement in soundtrack, and family game of the year.

Another title scoring a trifecta wasn't exactly a newcomer. Valve Software's Orange Box, which compiles 2004's Half-Life 2 with its two episodic sequels, the online shooter Team Fortress, and the darkly comic puzzler Portal took computer game of the year, outstanding achievement in game play engineering, and outstanding character performance. Other notable winners of the evening include World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (massively multiplayer game of the year), Super Mario Galaxy (adventure game of the year), and Mass Effect (role-playing game of the year).

But perhaps the night's biggest winner was Ken Kutaragi, the former head of Sony Computer Entertainment and the so-called "Father of the PlayStation." Largely unseen since he retired from Sony last June, the executive looked relaxed, sporting a tailored leather jacket and semilong hair as he took the stage to receive a lifetime achievement honor. However, the once-famously-aloof executive delivered a heartfelt speech thanking his family, colleagues, and the industry for the chance to help turn games from a novelty activity into mainstream entertainment.

A full list of tonight's Interactive Achievement Award winners are listed below in bold.

Overall Game of the Year
BioShock (2K Games, 2K Boston, 2K Australia)
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Activision, Infinity Ward)
Rock Band (MTV Games, Harmonix)
Super Mario Galaxy (Nintendo, Nintendo)
The Orange Box (Electronic Arts/Valve Software, Valve Software)

Console Game of the Year
BioShock (2K Games, 2K Boston, 2K Australia)
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Activision, Infinity Ward)
Mass Effect (Microsoft Game Studios, BioWare)
Rock Band (MTV Games, Harmonix)
Super Mario Galaxy (Nintendo, Nintendo)

Computer Game of the Year
BioShock (2K Games, 2K Boston, 2K Australia)
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Activision, Infinity Ward)
Crysis (Electronic Arts, Crytek)
The Orange Box (Electronic Arts/Valve Software, Valve Software)
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (Vivendi Games, Blizzard Entertainment)

Handheld Game of the Year
Drawn to Life (THQ, 5th Cell)
Jeanne d'Arc (SCEA, Level 5)
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords (D3 Publisher, Infinite Interactive, 1st Playable Productions)
Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters (SCEA, High Impact Games)
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (Nintendo, Nintendo)

Massively Multiplayer Game of the Year
EVE Online: Trinity (CCP, CCP)
Guild Wars: Eye of the North (NCsoft, AreaNet)
Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa (NCsoft, Destination Games)
The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (Midway, Turbine)
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (Vivendi Games, Blizzard Entertainment)

Action Game of the Year
BioShock (2K Games, 2K Boston, 2K Australia)
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Activision, Infinity Ward)
Crysis (Electronic Arts, Crytek)
Halo 3 (Microsoft Game Studios, Bungie Studios)
The Orange Box (Electronic Arts/Valve Software, Valve Software)

Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year
Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation (Namco Bandai Games America, Namco Bandai Games)
Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars (Electronic Arts, EA LA)

Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts (THQ, Relic)
Supreme Commander (THQ, Gas Powered Games)
World in Conflict (Vivendi Games, Massive Entertainment)

Sports Game of the Year
FIFA Soccer 08 (Electronic Arts (Electronic Arts)
MLB 07: The Show (SCEA, SCE San Diego)
NBA 2K8 (2K Sports, Visual Concepts)
NHL 08 (Electronic Arts, EA Canada)
Skate (Electronic Arts, EA Black Box)

Adventure Game of the Year
Assassin's Creed (Ubisoft, Ubisoft Montreal)
God of War II (SCEA, Sony Computer Entertainment Santa Monica)
Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (SCEA, Insomniac Games)
Super Mario Galaxy (Nintendo, Nintendo)
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (SCEA, Naughty Dog)

Outstanding Innovation in Gaming
Assassin's Creed (Ubisoft, Ubisoft Montreal)
BioShock (2K Games, 2K Boston, 2K Australia)
Rock Band (MTV Games, Harmonix)
Super Mario Galaxy (Nintendo, Nintendo)
The Orange Box (Electronic Arts/Valve Software, Valve Software)

Outstanding Achievement in Game Design
BioShock (2K Games, 2K Boston, 2K Australia)
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Activision, Infinity Ward)
Rock Band (MTV Games, Harmonix)
Super Mario Galaxy (Nintendo, Nintendo)
The Orange Box: Portal (Electronic Arts/Valve, Valve)

Racing Game of the Year
DiRT (Codemasters, Codemasters)
Forza Motorsport 2 (Microsoft Game Studios, Turn 10 Studios)
Motorstorm (SCEA, Evolution Studios)
Need For Speed Pro Street (Electronic Arts, EA Black Box)
Project Gotham Racing 4 (Microsoft Game Studios, Bizarre Creations)

Role-Playing Game of the Year
Eternal Sonata (Namco Bandai Games America, Tri-Crescendo)
Jeanne d'Arc (SCEA, Level 5)
Mass Effect (Microsoft Game Studios, BioWare)
Rogue Galaxy (SCEA, Level 5)
The Witcher (Atari, CDProjekt Red)

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design
BioShock (2K Games, 2K Boston, 2K Australia)
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Activision, Infinity Ward)
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 (Ubisoft, Ubisoft Paris, Red Storm)
Skate (Electronic Arts, EA Black Box)
Need for Speed ProStreet (Electronic Arts, EA Black Box)

Outstanding Achievement in Soundtrack
BioShock (2K Games, 2K Boston, 2K Australia)
Guitar Hero III (Activision, Neversoft)
Rock Band (MTV Games, Harmonix)
Singstar POP (SCEA, SCEE London Studio)
Skate (Electronic Arts, EA Black Box)

Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition
BioShock (2K Games (2K Boston, 2K Australia)
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (SCEA, Naughty Dog)
God of War II (SCEA, SCE Santa Monica)
Heavenly Sword (SCEA, Ninja Theory)
Lair (SCEA, Factor 5)

Downloadable Game of the Year
Azada (Big Fish Games, Big Fish Games)
Build-a-Lot (HipSoft, HipSoft)
flOw (SCEA, That Game Company)
Peggle (PopCap, PopCap)
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords (D3 Publisher, Infinite Interactive, 1st Playable Productions)

Outstanding Achievement in Online Game Play
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Activision, Infinity Ward)
Forza Motorsport 2 (Microsoft Game Studios, Turn 10 Studios)
Halo 3 (Microsoft Game Studios, Bungie Studios)
Rock Band (MTV Games, Harmonix)
World in Conflict (Vivendi Games, Massive Entertainment)

Outstanding Achievement in Game Play Engineering
Assassin's Creed (Ubisoft, Ubisoft Montreal)
Rock Band (MTV Games, Harmonix)
Super Mario Galaxy (Nintendo, Nintendo)
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (Nintendo, Nintendo)
The Orange Box: Portal (Electronic Arts/Valve Software, Valve Software)

Outstanding Achievement in Story Development
BioShock (2K Games, 2K Boston, 2K Australia)
Drawn to Life (THQ, 5th Cell)
Mass Effect (Microsoft Game Studios, BioWare)
The Darkness (2K Games, Starbreeze Studios)
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (SCEA, Naughty Dog)

Outstanding Character Performance
BioShock (2K Games, 2K Boston, 2K Australia)
Heavenly Sword (SCEA, Ninja Theory)
Mass Effect (Microsoft Game Studios, BioWare)
The Orange Box: Portal (Electronic Arts/Valve Software, Valve Software)
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (SCEA, Naughty Dog)

Outstanding Achievement in Visual Engineering
Assassin's Creed (Ubisoft, Ubisoft Montreal)
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Activision, Infinity Ward)
Crysis (Electronic Arts, Crytek)

Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (SCEA, Insomniac Games)
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (SCEA, Naughty Dog)

Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction
Assassin's Creed (Ubisoft, Ubisoft Montreal)
BioShock (2K Games, 2K Boston, 2K Australia)

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Activision, Infinity Ward)
Heavenly Sword (SCEA, Ninja Theory)
The Orange Box: Team Fortress 2 (Electronic Arts/Valve Software, Valve Software)

Outstanding Achievement in Animation
Assassin's Creed (Ubisoft, Ubisoft Montreal)
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Activision, Infinity Ward)
Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (SCEA, Insomniac Games)
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (SCEA, Naughty Dog)
The Orange Box: Team Fortress 2 (Electronic Arts/Valve Software, Valve Software)

Family Game of the Year
Guitar Hero III (Activision, Neversoft)
Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 (Ubisoft, Ubisoft Montpellier)
Rock Band (MTV Games, Harmonix)

Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action (Microsoft Games Studios, Screenlife)
WarioWare: Smooth Moves (Nintendo, Nintendo)

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Avatar image for kevinvargas1
kevinvargas1

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What about the achievement to Assassin's Creed?

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wh1te_m4trix

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It's funny how in the sports section of the awards 3 out of the 5 nominees are EA owned.

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NachoPSN

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@Uptown I agree. Besides, they're stilldolling out dl content (recently two maps and a car for $3.99), so don't complain people. As COD4 for GOTY, i can't say i'm surprised, even though i may not agree 100%...

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cuneofamily

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Woot Bioshock ^_^

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juan99692k6

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I'm glad COD4 received the Honors they deserve it !!!

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BoobyUnger

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COD4 ftw oh and h3 multi is not better than cod4

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Supabul

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These big gaming award shows don't have a clue

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Uptown

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People...MotorStorm is a fun game. Get over it seriously. It was ONLY docked in review scores for its lack of maps and modes....the actual game itself is spectacular....and does bring something fresh to the racing genre....not to mention its amazing looking.

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acidrain1976

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ANOTHER game award show? Zzz...

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borgmaster

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first, CoD4, while it is a great game, Halo 3's multiplayer was better. Character performance and story development should've gon to Mass Effect, it got gyped. and also, WTF Motorstorm?!?!!?????

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BlueBirdTS

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Forza 2 deserved racing game of the year, and I still think CoD4 is overrated.

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zinstro

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Crysis deserved better

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Dunnie91

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ps3 got owned..only one of its original games won

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nintendorocks

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Super Mario Galaxy got robbed...

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Zetona

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How could Motorstorm possibly have beaten Forza for Best Racing Game?

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cravygravy

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Ehhh.... I'm just glad to see Halo 3 didn't win anything. Call of Duty 4 was by far the most fun I've had in a long time playing a game. I think just on that it deserved it. The story might of been short but it was so well done. Bioshock was really good but it still didn't feel like game of the year to me... at least not as much as Call of Duty 4 did.

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Chief_Kuuni

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Not bad at all, that's all I could say, Bioshock to me was game of the year, not by far though but by enough

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jonano12

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my god that host is the most annoyin person iv ever seen and that voice janis for friends comes to mind anyway halo was a great game but it is basically halo 2 with better graphics so i dont think it deserved to be there and cod 4 is ruddy briliant cant wait for the next one deserved to win

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RHCPfan24

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Well, COD4 is great, but BioShock is better. There are so many more innovations and unique gameplay elements in BioShock that weren't in anything else. Still, everything else is justified. Also, that announcer was horrible, and the audience doesn't seem that enthusiastic about the whole thing. "Game of the year goes to COD4!" (met with 10 people clapping).

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MikeyOfLamb

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What is up with CoD4? There's nothing new. Typical shooter with great graphics, pretty good sound and music, but the gameplay is old. Heck, that gameplay has been around for ages. Why didn't they pick somthing new, better gameplay? For example, Bioshock, Assassin's Creed, or Crysis.

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GamerDMB94

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Pretty good. i agree with most of it expect this stuff character performance, sure the acting in the orange box is really good but i think mass effect should have won it. Game of the year, I don't know, i mean I love COD4 and everything but the story's short and the no online achievements(I know it is supposed to make it more fun) and it does but you know.Bioshock is really good too but a little over rated(so stop your whineing). I would have liked for some halo on there too, i am not freaking out about or anything i just love halo(even though it does get a little boring somtimes.) other than that it's ok

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oatrx7

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GOOD LUCK!, no M$ marketing Hype in this awards. Halo? nahhhh.

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ryaz_weaponx

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Kool

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Deadlocked4Life

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I'm still a little surprised that Halo 3 didn't win anything. It may not be the most original title on the market, but it is a finely crafted game nonetheless. There was a whole lotta' love put into that game, and it shows. If it wasn't the third in the franchise it would have left shockwaves, just as the original did.

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Jedifro

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Almost every top game got at least one award. I am not sure what is so family oriented about Rock Band...but glad the developers got the praise for their hard work

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Get_Shorty

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Rock Band Family game? If your brothers and sisters are the Jackson 5 lol. But seriously hmmm no Halo Award oh well. Can't wait for BioShock to come on PS3... that' s when I'll be playing it, along with any additional exclusive content as well.

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clawboy

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The awards show was good but the host was terrible. And yes COD4 deserved the game of the year award.

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Kratos_Cruxis

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Motorstorm over Forza?.... i just dont see it

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Sydwynder

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As much as I hate to admit it, COD4 is a better game than Halo 3. People who say otherwise probably have only played H3. Don't get me wrong, I still love Halo 3..............

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sandy4v

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Character performance should have gone to - Nariko - heavenly sword and animation to - Ratchet and clank

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AceCometh

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BioShock lost?! NOOOOO!

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human_hunter

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Its really sick that COD4 won game of the year and Halo wasnt even in that catagory. But i did notice that Crysis wasnt anywhere on the lists of games which i find very odd. why would that game be left out?

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DesertClawX2X

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I guess that the Halo purists are going to be angry that their "gift from God" didn't win. :lol:

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Jigsaw_McGraw

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COD4 deserves it...it should win best game in the past 5 years for that matter.

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raahsnavj

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How many award shows / groups are there for games now? I'm starting to feel like I'm part of the country music industry... Everyone is handing out awards.

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Rowr14

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I agree with every single one of them except... Outstanding Character Performance = The Orange Box: Portal (Electronic Arts/Valve Software, Valve Software) WTF. Remember that game Mass Effect, you know that game which is pretty well built on character performance. Sure sure i played through portal, i had a freaking whale of a time, but does the robot lady beat every single mass effect character? o wait ill even throw in the team fortress guys caus they are awesome. No way. Companion cube? still a no. I would like to take this chance to remind you the companion cube has no feelings. But if it did it would have voted for Mass Effect. I mean at least bioshock, in fact at least any of those games. Well thats my tirade. Otherwise the judges or whatever did pretty well, i cant see much room to disagree with any of the others. *edit - o wait. On closer inspection Forza 2 definetely should have come in over a classic 'overhyped because its the only thing on the system' Forza is excellent, i have no desire to ever play GranTurismo again.

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jskate28

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I would have given the award to Bioshock but it's a close call. COD4 is pretty awesome. I do agree that Halo 3 doesn't belong in the game of the year category.

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RgvXavi

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i guess i didn't look at the full list because i had no idea Forza 2 got the 'chile gigante' or big **** to you non spanish speaking gamers. motostorm.... really? nah, not even close Forza 2 is WAY better than motorstorm. I mean Forza 2 has a cult following where as motostorm is just a follower.

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Fable_Lord

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i dont get it cod4 wasn't that good and not innovating. the enemy's just kept coming, untill you moved up that aint normal. The orange box like 4 games for the prize of 1, and then the innovative game portal. i played all the cod games, and the best cod is still cod1

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HellRazer360

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mass effect or bioshock should have one game of the year....call of duty 4 dosent have half the storyline that those 2 have

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veggie530

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Call of Duty 4 finally gets some widespread recognitiion with a reward...about time. The GOTY nominees (all excellent) and the Adventure GOTY nominees are evidence of how great of a year it has been. Uncharted, Ratchet and Clank, Mario, GoW II and Assassin's Creed were all worth playing -- if not great.

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Brotto

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COD4 deserved every award it got.

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prioritymail

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2008 was a great year indeed. All the games that where nominated deserve their respective awards.

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jusducks6

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NHL 08 gets the shaft again. This time to skate. what the f***

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king_halo_king

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Forza Motorsport 2 should have won best Racing game, motorstorm sucks. But Call of Duty 4 was definitely the best game of the year! :)

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FraserAlexander

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The only award bioshock deserves is innovative design or something like that...it is definitely not GOTY material...so overrated. COD4 gets my playtime and I traded in Assassin's and Halo3...Mass Effect is awesome too.

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Oliphaunt

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Anyone saying Halo 3 should have won this and that has to understand Halo 3 was NOT groundbreaking... The original Halo was very much so, but Halo 3 is the same game with minor tweaks. And saying Forge is a huge step... ya for consoles PC games have come with scenerio editors for years INCLUDING bungie PC games... Anyone remember Marathon? Bungie even decided to reuse the name Forge with halo.... some reference for the uneducated: << LINK REMOVED >> I agree the Orange Box is nothing more than reselling a 2004 title with a few expansions for that title to make another 50 bucks. It should have been at best in the expansion category and using an expansion for best game design is kinda a slap in the face for Mario Galaxy.

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Brambler

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Super Mario Galaxy isn't really an adventure game but OK, guess they wanted to give Nintentdo something. MotorStorm has a fun factor that none of those other racers can touch.

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prasath_amd

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Ya i also agree that Forza Motorsport 2 deserves the Best Racing Game of the Year..........AT the same time Crysis really deserves the Computer Game of the Year

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