I had the honor of attending the Inside Gaming Awards this weekend and I had a blast! The venue (Avalon) was beautiful, the people were fun, and the DJ (Cole Plante, I believe) was droppin’ bass.
As for the awards themselves, about half fell in line with my opinions. Here is a list of the winners:
- Game of the Year: Halo 4
- Best Co-operative Multiplayer: Mass Effect 3
- Best Competitive Multiplayer: Halo 4
- Best Sound Design: Halo 4
- Best Art Direction: Journey
- Best Animation: Max Payne 3
- Best Environmental Design: Dishonored
- Best Original Score: Fez
- Best Original Game: Hotline Miami
- Best Game Cinematography: Mass Effect 3
- Best Narrative: Spec Ops: The Line
- Best Downloadable Game: The Walking Dead: Season 1
- Best Indie Game: Fez
- Best Additional Content: Mists of Pandaria: World of Warcraft
- Best Character Design: The Walking Dead: Season 1
- Best Trailer: Gamescom 2012 Trailer: The Last of Us
Best character design was one of my favorite categories. The nominees included a Native American, a black man, a woman, and a Latino. The game industry IS changing and growing, even if it is so very slowly. It was great to see that win.
So which games didn’t make sense for me?
Game of the Year: Halo 4
OF THE YEAR? I’m sorry, but in a year with Mass Effect 3, The Walking Dead, XCOM, and Borderlands 2, there is just no way. I don’t hear anyone still talking about Halo 4. I didn’t have anyone telling me I absolutely had to play it because it was amazing. These other games had both of those factors.
Best Co-operative Multiplayer: Mass Effect 3
Now, you all KNOW I love ME3. I love it with all my little fangirl heart. But Borderlands 2 should have taken this award.The frantic, crazy pace of the multiplayer combined with the drop in and out gameplay made for crazy fun. The tagline “Bring Friends” even spoke to the central nature of the multipayer to Borderlands 2. Yes, ME3‘s multiplayer is great fun, but when compared to the smooth, effortless multiplayer of Borderlands 2, it just doesn’t make the cut.
Best Sound Design: Halo 4
Realllly? I may be crazy here, but Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Journey, and Borderlands 2 all spoke to me of a more precise sound design. I was really surprised when they picked Halo 4.
Best Animation: Max Payne 3
No. Skullgirls. If they wanted to say “Most Realistic Animation” then yeah, sure. But best? Skullgirls was unique and zany, with eye-popping colors and flowing designs. Go home, Machinima, you’re drunk!
Best Environmental Design: Dishonored
Okay, now I liked Dishonored for what it was. It was refreshing to have a new IP with a completely unique world and story. But. The environment was my LEAST favorite part of this game. Dull, washed out grays and browns made my eyes hurt while I searched for pathways. Honestly, I think Fez, Journey, or Assassin’s Creed 3 could have easily taken this. Fez was so intricately designed that the developer said that he didn’t even know how he did it sometimes. The breathtaking simplicity yet complexity of the game is awe inspiring. AC3, while not for me, was undeniably huge, with a sprawling and vividly-realized environment that made you really feel like you were in historic America. And I don’t even need to say anything about Journey. All in all, I think this was a poor choice.
Best Original Score: Fez
So now that I’ve tooted its horn, I also have to say that Fez did not have the best score. In my opinion, that would go to Journey. In fact, I found Fez‘s music slightly annoying. I also own the score to Mass Effect 3, so I could argue that over Fez too…
Best Original Game: Hotline Miami
Nope. Just no. I do not see the fascination with this game. And it’s not original! It’s a throwback, for goodness sake! This game beat Tokyo Jungle, The Unfinished Swan, Asura’s Wrath, and Journey? This worries me that someone thought that the most original game was a bunch of white men beating and shooting people up. I would pick ANY of those games before this one.
Best Narrative: Spec Ops: The Line
Out of the nominees, Mass Effect 3 or The Walking Dead really should have taken this one. Both games hinge on their respective narratives, with story being the driving force of the game.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that awards come down to various expert opinions. I’m no expert, I’m just a girl. A girl who loves gaming. The show was great, and congrats are in order to all the winners!
For a look at all the winners and nominees, check out Machinima’s playlist.
Also peep our photo album on Facebook. Be sure to “Like” our page while you’re there to stay updated!
A big thank you to Machinima for letting me attend and for feeding me.