The winners for the 16th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards are in, with top honors going to a game we never expected would be a Game of the Year contender a year ago. With high profile titles like Mass Effect 3, Halo 4, and Assassin’s Creed 3 packed into one stellar year it seemed like the triple-A was going to rule the roost, however that was not the case.

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves let’s give credit where credit is due. And by that we mean congratulating Journey on its Game of the Year win. Thatgamecompany has been cleaning up at various awards shows, and its recognition at D.I.C.E. only further emphasizes what a tremendous game the developer made.

Describing Journey as a game almost doesn’t actually communicate the experience either; it’s something truly unique. Games have come a long way from being defined as two virtual bars and a bouncing ball, and Journey is proof of that.

Journey came home with 8 awards in total, including Outstanding Innovation in Gaming and Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction. The Walking Dead also nabbed a fair share of awards — four to be exact — including Adventure Game of the Year and Downloadable Game of the Year. Ironically, both Journey and The Walking Dead are downloadable yet Journey didn’t get that award too.

Halo 4 did come away with two awards, representing the triple-A titles in fine fashion. And XCOM: Enemy Unknown dominated the category it was destined to win: Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year.

Plenty other deserving games were recognized along with those mentioned, check out the full winners list below:

  • Action Game of the Year – Borderlands 2
  • Mobile Game of the Year – Hero Academy
  • Handheld Game of the Year – Paper Mario Sticker Star
  • Most Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition – Journey
  • Most Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design – Journey
  • Outstanding Achievement in Story – The Walking Dead
  • Outstanding Achievement in Character Performance – The Walking Dead‘s Lee Everett
  • Downloadable Game of the Year – The Walking Dead
  • Casual Game of the Year – Journey
  • Web Based Game of the Year – SimCity Social
  • Family Game of the Year – Skylanders Giants
  • RPG/MMO Game of the Year – Mass Effect 3
  • Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year – XCOM: Enemy Unknown
  • Outstanding Innovation in Gaming – Journey
  • Sports Game of the Year – Fifa Soccer 13
  • Racing Game of the Year – Need for Speed Most Wanted
  • Fighting Game of the Year – PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale
  • Outstanding Achievement in Online Gameplay – Journey
  • Outstanding Achievement in Connectivity – Halo 4
  • Outstanding Achievement in Animation – Assassin’s Creed 3
  • Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction – Journey
  • Outstanding Achievement in Visual Engineering – Halo 4
  • Outstanding Achievement in Gameplay Engineering – XCOM: Enemy Unknown
  • Adventure Game of the Year – The Walking Dead
  • Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction – Journey
  • Game of the Year – Journey

For a year that many said was an “off” one for video games, there were certainly plenty of titles worth recognizing in a number of different categories. And the fact that two downloadable titles dominated the D.I.C.E. awards only emphasizes how diverse the gaming landscape has become. Congratulations to all the winners.

What do you think of the D.I.C.E. Award winners? Are you surprised Journey is getting so much recognition?

Source: Escapist