The response to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor must be exactly what Warner Bros. and Monolith wanted. The action adventure title, which has gained comparisons to the Assassin’s Creed series, has become loved by both critics and fans alike. In particular, the game has received plaudits for its innovative Nemesis system and successfully integrating itself into the greater Lord of the Rings lore.
It seems like Shadow of Mordor has also been rewarded for its obvious quality. Aside from its strong sales figures and reviews, the game has become the darling of awards ceremonies. Last month, Shadow of Mordor won eight D.I.C.E. awards, including Adventure Game of the Year and Outstanding Achievement in Game Design, but lost out to Dragon Age: Inquisition for Game of the Year.
Now, Shadow of Mordor and Monolith have another trophy to add to their collection, and it’s a very impressive one. At last night’s Game Developers Choice Awards, where all award winners are chosen by industry professionals, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor won Game of the Year. The title beat the likes of Bayonetta 2, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and Alien: Isolation for the top spot.
Although Monolith’s game was also nominated for four other awards, including Best Design, Game of the Year was the only award that Shadow of Mordor won. The biggest success story of the night was indie studio Ustwo, which was presented with three awards for its game Monument Valley. The puzzle title won awards for Best Handheld/Mobile Game, Best Visual Art, and the much-lauded Innovation Award, winning out against the likes of Shadow of Mordor and This War of Mine in the process.
Other winners include Stoic, which won Best Debut for its tactical RPG The Banner Saga, and Cardboard Computer’s Kentucky Route Zero: Episode 3, chosen for Best Narrative against 80 Days and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. Alien: Isolation earned an award for Best Audio, whilst Bungie’s MMO shooter Destiny was presented with the Best Technology award.
The Game Developers Choice Awards are not just for the games themselves, though, and a number of individuals were also given awards. The creator of Final Fantasy, Hironobu Sakaguchi, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in the industry. Legendary designer and creator of Wizardry games Brenda Romero was given the Ambassador Award for her influence on gaming, and David Braben, the creator of Elite: Dangerous, received the Pioneer Award.
There may be more to come for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. The highly acclaimed BAFTA Games Awards take place on March 12th, where Shadow of Mordor is once again up for Best Game. Let’s see whether this award-winning run can keep going.