The 2011 Interactive Achievement Awards have recognised the best in video games, computer games and mobile entertainment – as well as achievements by individuals and teams in their chosen field – just as they have for the past fourteen years.
Audience favourites Call of Duty: Black Ops, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, ENSLAVED: Odyssey to the West (which had six nominations), Halo: Reach, Plants vs. Zombies and WoW: Cataclysm went home empty-handed.
[img_big]center,1,2010-05-27/35.jpg,John Marston: Most outstanding character performance[/img_big]
In terms of sheer number of awards, the night belonged to Rockstar Games and their Wild West epic. The game picked up a total of five awards, for Action Game of the Year, as well as outstanding art direction, gameplay engineering, game direction and character performance for John Marston.
It feels like years since Heavy Rain was released, but it’s good to see it wasn’t forgotten by the awards committee. It was presented with three awards – Best Original Music, Outstanding Visual Engineering and one for Innovation in Gameplay. Given what the team at Quantic Dream were trying to achieve, I’d say that last one should make them very proud.
[img_big]center,2761,2010-11-18/Heavy_Rain-PlayStation_3Screenshots16708MALL_03.jpg,Also awarded for best use of Jason[/img_big]
The awards weren’t totally dominated by three franchises – Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit was named Racing Game of the year, Limbo picked up Adventure game of the year, and FIFA 11 won the Sports category. Fighting Game went to Super Street Fighter IV, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty was the obvious winner for Simulation and Strategy, while God of War: Ghost of Sparta was considered the best Portable title, and Dance Central took home the Family Game of the Year.
In the audio categories, Best Soundtrack went to Rock Band 3, while Best Sound Design also went to deserving indie representative Limbo. God of War III was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Visual Art prize.
[img_big]center,3326,2010-11-19/concept_swamp.jpg,Limbo was the only indie game recognised[/img_big]
StarCraft: Wings of Liberty was rewarded again for its outstanding achievement in online gameplay (awarded by “world-renowned undersea explorer” Dr. David Gallo.
Industry veteran Bill Budge was presented with the Pioneer award, for his work which planted the very earliest seeds of today’s modding scene.
This year’s Lifetime Achievement award went to Bing Gordon, who’s been around longer than video games themselves (or so it seems), a man who is credited as Chief Creative Officer on more than 100 titles! He was congratulated by industry icons and celebrities such as Will Wright and Robin Williams (who knows all about respawning).
The company’s beloved Doctors – Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk – were welcomed into the AIAS Hall of Fame by Blizzard‘s Mike Morhaime and Epic Games‘ Mike Capps. Joining the party onstage was EA CEO John Riccitiello.
Mass Effect 2 lived up to the hype, winning the Best Story award and RPG Game of the Year. It missed out on the Game Direction gong, and “Male Shepard” went home empty handed despite the Outstanding Character Performance nomination.
[img_big]center,3556,2010-11-19/sfdeclazarus.jpg,The drama from Mass Effect 2 won big[/img_big]
I think Ray Muzyka summed up everybody’s reaction the best when he was told that his favourite game had lost to the one he created:
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