Uncharted 2: Among Thieves has won by a slim margin in our “Game of the Year” poll, barely beating out Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 with Batman: Arkham Asylum and Assassin’s Creed II rounding out the top four.
When Uncharted 2 received the award for “Game of the Year” at the Spike Video Game Awards, internet message boards exploded with praise and frustration. Less than a week later, the Inside Gaming Awards gave “Game of the Year” top honors to Modern Warfare 2 reigniting the fiery subject matter.
Obviously, the two heavy-hitter titles aren’t the only games whose names get thrown around as viable candidates for game of the year honors (make sure to check out Game Rant’s 2009 Game of the Year Round-Up).
However, just like in any industry, awards are subjective – based mostly on personal expectations, tastes, and experiences. Maybe you favor the artistry of independent games or the connectivity of a great multiplayer experience. Maybe you’re drawn to titles with innovative gameplay mechanics or breathtaking visuals. Without question, our preconceived preferences affect our feelings about a particular title – maybe more so than in any other industry. As gamers, we don’t sit back for a few hours and watch a film or visit a gallery (not to say these mediums don’t have their own intricacies) – we are actively involved in the creation of the gaming experience, our focus and personal approach to the gameplay change the narrative or our interactions with other players. Not to mention the fact we can spend hundreds of hours doing it.
Personally, and I’m openly admitting my background as a creative writer affects my point of view, I’m excited for the attention Uncharted 2: Among Thieves has been receiving. Even if certain gamers aren’t a fan of Sony, the Uncharted series, and can’t stand Nolan North voicing every character in the industry, most players can admit that Uncharted 2 raised the bar for what shelling out $60 for a game means. When I reviewed Uncharted 2 back in October, I noted that what made the title so great was its ability to bring together so many of the elements I mentioned above: amazing graphics, terrific action set-pieces, great gameplay, a deep multiplayer experience, and an immersive adventure story.
It wasn’t the only game that accomplished most, or even all of the components mentioned above, but for me, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves best represented the direction I’d like to see other developers go in the future – truly committing to not just a complete package, but a title that truly utilizes all these assets to provide players with a great experience no matter what game elements they’re most passionate about… that and no one can deny the opening sequence of Uncharted 2 is incredible – even if the game forces you to play through it more than once.
As I mentioned, this is simply my reaction, to the award season controversy – just to continue the great conversations we’ve been having with our readers in the comment sections of the “game of the year” related posts. Without turning it into a conversation about what games got screwed, we’d love to hear back from you all about which game this year really caught your attention – as well as what captivates you most about your favorite games?