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Game of the Year Awards 2011

New Game Network staff make their annual selections for the best video games of the year!

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Introduction  |  Gameplay Awards  |  Special Awards  |  Genre Awards  |  GOTY

 

Gameplay Awards

 
Best Story
best story 2011 deus ex human revolution
 
Being a prequel to one of the best video games ever made is no easy task for the writers. Lead writer, Mary DeMarle, crafts a world dealing with the issues of augmentations. The protagonist, Adam Jensen, is the head of security at a major augmentation firm. An attack almost results in his death and the loss of several key scientists. Augmentations save Adam’s life, but at what cost? The gripping tale of betrayal and conspiracy makes Human Revolution's story the best of the year.
 
Honorable Mentions:
 
Best Graphics (Art)
best graphics art 2011 Trine 2
 
This platformer from Frozenbyte uses incredible color and saturation to bring the world to life. Consistent design across each of the levels, from murky swamps to chilling ice caves, brings a unique element to each setting. Large snails or menacing trolls are all created with attention to detail and feel at home in this mystical universe. Each level is a huge 3D painting that is indeed a work of art.
 
Honorable Mentions:
 
Best Graphics (Technical)
best graphics technical 2011 Battlefield 3
 
DICE uses the new Frostbite 2 engine to great effect in their latest battlefield experience. Amazing new lighting effects which include simple radiosity, smoke shadows, and subtle high dynamic range effects, enhance the incredible destruction. Improved animation with more natural transitions creates a feast for the eyes.
 
Honorable Mentions:
 
Best Original Music
best original music 2011 skyrim
 
Jeremy Soule was asked to compose the music behind Bethesda’s latest Elder Scrolls game. He once again proves more than capable of producing musical themes that are memorable and enjoyable to listen to after many hours. Creating an immersive experience, the music injects a powerful feeling into all Dragonborns.
 
Honorable Mentions:
 
Best Audio Design
best audio design 2011 battlefield 3
 
The thunderous boom of a tank shell and the screams of fear from fellow soldiers are just some features that make the sound so crucial in BF3. Building on the great sound design from BC2, it takes the atmosphere up a notch. The entire battle rages on in your speakers, bringing forth a presentation aspect of the game that's often underutilized elsewhere.
 
Honorable Mentions:
 
Best Voice Acting
best voice acting 2011 portal 2
 
winner badgePortal 2
Whether it's GLaDOS' snarky remarks about testing and subsequent failure, or the quibble from Wheatley to the main protagonist Chell, the voices in Portal 2 are as unique and memorable as the character designs. Well written dialog only adds to the already excellent voice acting and well-timed delivery, making Portal 2's voice actors the best in 2011.
 
Honorable Mentions:
 
Best Character
best character 2011 portal 2 cave johnson
 
 
Aperture Science's CEO, Cave Johnson, is one of the most memorable characters this year. And he doesn't even exist! Well, not in the present time, anyway. Voiced by the always entertaining J.K. Simmonds, the character is brought to life with old audio recordings as we only get to hear as he rises to power as CEO and carries on through his life, until eventually he is no longer able to continue testing due to old age. "The testing area is just up ahead. The quicker you get through, the quicker you'll get your 60 bucks." Who could resist easy money? 
 
Honorable Mentions:
Wheatley (Portal 2), Joker (Batman Arkham City), Zimos (Saints Row The Third)
 
Best Atmosphere
best atmosphere 2011 dead space 2
 
Being aboard the Sprawl is an eerie experience for Isaac Clarke. Bulkheads creak and you can hear screams echoing from the distance as monsters tear apart humans. The necromorph outbreak is captured with all the tension that goes along with it. Every corridor is a threat and even the lack of sound can question your sanity. The Sprawl is a dark and frightening place, and that’s why we love it.
 
Honorable Mentions:
 
Best Singleplayer
best singleplayer 2011 skyrim
 
Although the main quest line might not have the best story, Skyrim excels because it has a world with lots to do. Side quests take you to unexpected places to meet interesting people. You can truly forge your life as the Dragonborn and feel part of a living world. There are dozens of hours to be found simply exploring the world, offering the best offline experience this year.
 
Honorable Mentions:
 
Best Multiplayer
best multiplayer 2011 battlefield 3
 
Multiplayer in Battlefield 3 is a truly dynamic, engrossing experience that may have you screaming in pain or laughing in astonishment. Each match plays out differently and every squad requires different tactics.There is great sense of being a part of a conflict much bigger than just the next encounter, and that's not something many shooters can claim.
 
Honorable Mentions:
 
Best Gameplay
best gameplay 2011 battlefield 3
 
Rarely does everything come together quite like this. Tight controls, great visuals, strong immersion and a long-lasting adrenaline rush are just some of the terms used to describe the Battlefield 3 experience. With endless variety in weapon customization, solid shooting mechanics, and breathtaking presentation - this is the most complete gameplay experience of 2011.
 
Honorable Mentions:
 
Most Original Gameplay
most original gameplay 2011 la noire
 
L.A. Noire is something different, not just for Rockstar, but for the genre as a whole. There has never been quite a game like this, with an interesting setting and unique gameplay that falls outside of established mechanics. With its amazing animation tech and interrogation system, as well as investigation mechanics, L.A. Noire brings new mechanics to the table that may later evolve to revolutionize the industry.
 
Honorable Mentions:
 

Introduction  |  Gameplay Awards  |  Special Awards  |  Genre Awards  |  GOTY

 
 
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