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Giant Bomb's Game of the Year 2009, Day Two

Five more categories, one day closer to our favorite game of the year.

Giant Bomb's 2009 Game of the Year awards feature rages on! What else needs to be said? Crank up today's podcast supplement and let's get right to it. 

Best Debut


InFamous


      
It's notable enough that Sucker Punch came out swinging on the PlayStation 3 with a game that was... not Sly Cooper. Not that there's anything wrong with Sly Cooper--and InFamous does retain some of that series' most notable mechanics--but it was a treat to see this talented studio come up with a new, darker setting and wrap it around some of the best open-world gameplay of the year. 
 
An intriguing story with twists and momentum, a slew of side missions that tied into the game world and the fiction, a moral-choice system without much contrivance but with real effects on the gameplay... and all of it swaddled in a rough, sinister comic book world full of larger-than-life heroes and villains that will certainly lend itself well to the game's inevitable sequels. InFamous is a textbook example of how to roll out a great new franchise and give it legs that will carry it into the future.
 
 

 Runners-Up: Borderlands, Shadow Complex 

  

Best Co-Op


Modern Warfare 2


The quality and breadth of the competitive multiplayer in the sequel to Call of Duty 4 was always a given. But Modern Warfare 2 might have shipped without a single-player campaign at all, with only its Special Operations cooperative mode to supplement the multiplayer, and still felt like a complete, satisfying package. It's got to say something that your two-player co-op mode is more varied and intense and satisfying than modes that support, three, four, or more players in other games. 
 
Spec Ops succeeds through its sheer number and variety of missions that have you doing everything from working tag-team with one player in the air and another on the ground, to working stealthily in tandem, counting down over your voice chat to pull off synchronized headshots. Every one of the 23 missions feels different and satisfying in its own way, and they're all completely new, punishing, insane experiences on Veteran difficulty. Spec Ops simply sets a new standard for cooperative online play. 
 

 image courtesy modernwarfare247.com
 Runners-Up: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Resident Evil 5 

 

The Brad Shoemaker "I'm Callin' It" Award For Best Use of Zombies


Left 4 Dead 2


If 2009 was the year of the zombie, let's all hope that 2010 is the year of games (and movies and TV and every other conceivable form of media) giving the undead a well-deserved break. We get it, zombies are scary/funny/ironic/insert-superlative-here. But Valve is still doing a fantastic job of using the undead tastefully that's easy to still feel good about. Left 4 Dead 2 amped up the action with a greater range of common infected enemies--zombies in HAZMAT suits, zombie riot cops, zombie clowns (!)--and a wonderfully visceral new dismemberment system that let you take those guys out by blowing their arms, legs, and heads off with glee.  
 
And it must be said that the "special" infected enemies transcend the form of the zombie altogether. The new additions like the spitter, charger, and jockey act and attack in unique ways you'd never expect out of the docile, shambling mall-dwellers originally envisioned by George Romero. As long as Valve keeps expanding on the zombie milieu in such imaginative ways, we'd be happy to receive a third Left 4 Dead game any time.
 

 Runners-Up: Borderlands - The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, Plants vs. Zombies  
 
 

Best Graphics


Uncharted 2: Among Thieves


All three of our nominees in this category aim to achieve very different things with their graphical presentation, and while each is stunning in its own way, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves takes it to another level. From the awesome scope of its exotic, international locales to the detailed character design and the incredibly fluid, naturalistic animation, the visuals consistently impress during both quiet dialog scenes and crazy explosive set-pieces. Even the way the camera moves can be impressive, and it says a lot when something so seemingly mundane has an appreciable positive impact on your experience. The graphics are a huge part of what makes Uncharted 2 such an effective thrill ride, and ultimately, this game is just a pure pleasure to look at.  
 
 
 

Runners-up: Batman: Arkham Asylum, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time

 

Best Ending


Silent Hill: Shattered Memories


A good ending to a story can serve a lot of purposes, not the least of which is tying the various threads of the plot together. But a great ending is one that also makes you stop and reflect on all the events that led up to it, and that's what the conclusion does in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.

...You know, this is a really tough award to write about; the way Shattered Memories' story wraps up is such an important piece of the puzzle, giving away too much about it would diminish the effect of each individual preceding event, as it happens. The game gets stranger and more confusing as it goes, sort of like what David Lynch would probably make if he ever got into video game development. It's that last pivotal convergence of story vectors, the way the disparate parts of the mystery come together in the game's final moments that give all of it meaning and make you want to start right over, playing through again to view the game's scenes again in a different light. That those scenes can change dramatically and lead up to a new ending that's different in its particulars but consistent emotional impact is key to the game's success.
 

Runners-up: Assassin's Creed II, 'Splosion Man 
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Posted by Brad

Giant Bomb's 2009 Game of the Year awards feature rages on! What else needs to be said? Crank up today's podcast supplement and let's get right to it. 

Best Debut


InFamous


      
It's notable enough that Sucker Punch came out swinging on the PlayStation 3 with a game that was... not Sly Cooper. Not that there's anything wrong with Sly Cooper--and InFamous does retain some of that series' most notable mechanics--but it was a treat to see this talented studio come up with a new, darker setting and wrap it around some of the best open-world gameplay of the year. 
 
An intriguing story with twists and momentum, a slew of side missions that tied into the game world and the fiction, a moral-choice system without much contrivance but with real effects on the gameplay... and all of it swaddled in a rough, sinister comic book world full of larger-than-life heroes and villains that will certainly lend itself well to the game's inevitable sequels. InFamous is a textbook example of how to roll out a great new franchise and give it legs that will carry it into the future.
 
 

 Runners-Up: Borderlands, Shadow Complex 

  

Best Co-Op


Modern Warfare 2


The quality and breadth of the competitive multiplayer in the sequel to Call of Duty 4 was always a given. But Modern Warfare 2 might have shipped without a single-player campaign at all, with only its Special Operations cooperative mode to supplement the multiplayer, and still felt like a complete, satisfying package. It's got to say something that your two-player co-op mode is more varied and intense and satisfying than modes that support, three, four, or more players in other games. 
 
Spec Ops succeeds through its sheer number and variety of missions that have you doing everything from working tag-team with one player in the air and another on the ground, to working stealthily in tandem, counting down over your voice chat to pull off synchronized headshots. Every one of the 23 missions feels different and satisfying in its own way, and they're all completely new, punishing, insane experiences on Veteran difficulty. Spec Ops simply sets a new standard for cooperative online play. 
 

 image courtesy modernwarfare247.com
 Runners-Up: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Resident Evil 5 

 

The Brad Shoemaker "I'm Callin' It" Award For Best Use of Zombies


Left 4 Dead 2


If 2009 was the year of the zombie, let's all hope that 2010 is the year of games (and movies and TV and every other conceivable form of media) giving the undead a well-deserved break. We get it, zombies are scary/funny/ironic/insert-superlative-here. But Valve is still doing a fantastic job of using the undead tastefully that's easy to still feel good about. Left 4 Dead 2 amped up the action with a greater range of common infected enemies--zombies in HAZMAT suits, zombie riot cops, zombie clowns (!)--and a wonderfully visceral new dismemberment system that let you take those guys out by blowing their arms, legs, and heads off with glee.  
 
And it must be said that the "special" infected enemies transcend the form of the zombie altogether. The new additions like the spitter, charger, and jockey act and attack in unique ways you'd never expect out of the docile, shambling mall-dwellers originally envisioned by George Romero. As long as Valve keeps expanding on the zombie milieu in such imaginative ways, we'd be happy to receive a third Left 4 Dead game any time.
 

 Runners-Up: Borderlands - The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, Plants vs. Zombies  
 
 

Best Graphics


Uncharted 2: Among Thieves


All three of our nominees in this category aim to achieve very different things with their graphical presentation, and while each is stunning in its own way, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves takes it to another level. From the awesome scope of its exotic, international locales to the detailed character design and the incredibly fluid, naturalistic animation, the visuals consistently impress during both quiet dialog scenes and crazy explosive set-pieces. Even the way the camera moves can be impressive, and it says a lot when something so seemingly mundane has an appreciable positive impact on your experience. The graphics are a huge part of what makes Uncharted 2 such an effective thrill ride, and ultimately, this game is just a pure pleasure to look at.  
 
 
 

Runners-up: Batman: Arkham Asylum, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time

 

Best Ending


Silent Hill: Shattered Memories


A good ending to a story can serve a lot of purposes, not the least of which is tying the various threads of the plot together. But a great ending is one that also makes you stop and reflect on all the events that led up to it, and that's what the conclusion does in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.

...You know, this is a really tough award to write about; the way Shattered Memories' story wraps up is such an important piece of the puzzle, giving away too much about it would diminish the effect of each individual preceding event, as it happens. The game gets stranger and more confusing as it goes, sort of like what David Lynch would probably make if he ever got into video game development. It's that last pivotal convergence of story vectors, the way the disparate parts of the mystery come together in the game's final moments that give all of it meaning and make you want to start right over, playing through again to view the game's scenes again in a different light. That those scenes can change dramatically and lead up to a new ending that's different in its particulars but consistent emotional impact is key to the game's success.
 

Runners-up: Assassin's Creed II, 'Splosion Man 
Posted by monster9999

Wow no Splosion man best ending for sure...no question

Posted by Hailinel

Good to see that Silent Hill managed to squeak in just in time for award consideration.

Posted by MisterWaingro

While I appreciate the raw look to the awards this year, I do miss the unique specialness of the page layouts for the best-of feature last year.

Posted by mattjam3000

I agree with most of these for sure.

Posted by imayellowfellow

woah im surprised the nominees for best graphics, but i guess they make sense

Posted by SyphonFilter0

nice ,uncharted 2 and infamous ftw!

Edited by The_Philosopher

Great categories guys. Always a joy to see game of the year awards that make me laugh instead of the boring same old stuff.

Edited by Venatio

Nice awards 

Posted by Mushir

Lol at the I'm Callin It award XD

Posted by gingertastic_10

Good to see InFamous win for best debut, also for Ratchet and Clank be nominated for best graphics. Those goods do look awesome.

Posted by Druminator

Awesome!

Posted by Spiritof

I still haven't played a minute of MW2's co-op. That's something I need to remedy the 20-O-Hen.

Posted by cstrang

And this article single-handedly gets me interested in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.

Posted by Evilsbane

Good stuff!

Posted by asian_pride

 Game of The Year Bombcast Day Two GO!
 
Lol at the Brad 'I'm Callin' It' Award xD Gratz to Left 4 Dead 2 for winning it.

Posted by sociald1077

I'm going to have to look into getting Silent Hill. I haven't played a true adventure game in a long time.
Posted by DanielJW

I'm surprised at the breadth of games being covered in these awards and the personal top ten lists. A lot them have been titles I've heard little about, like Silent Hill or FEAR 2.  
 
Nice GotY work so far, I'm liking it a lot. :)

Posted by Johno10

Killzone 2 not even a runner up for best graphics?
Posted by Nemesis

Agree with all of these. Good job Giantbomb! 

Posted by NickLott

I can't wait for stickers of the back of the game box for GOTY edition copies of L4D2 to read "Game of the Year 2009 - blahblah, Game of the Year 2009 - blahblahblah,  The Brad Shoemaker "I'm Callin It" Award For best Use of Zombies, Giant Bomb"

Posted by LincoIn

Resident Evil 5 had a satisfying ending, the quicktime cutscenes along with the epic PUNCH OF THE BOULDER should have atleast been a runner up!

Posted by lordofultima

Weird how L4D2 isn't even nominated for best co-op. Strange even.

Edited by Willy105

Left 4 Dead was a given.
 
@Johno10 said:

" Killzone 2 not even a runner up for best graphics? "

Other than the lens flares, it doesn't look that good.
Posted by BenderUnit22

I think Killzone 2 deserved a mention in the graphics category - even though Uncharted 2 takes it handily

Posted by AlienGuy18

'Splosion Man not only has the best ending of 2009, it has the best ending of any game ever made. Ever.

Posted by SJSchmidt93

Killzone 2 for graphics would've probably been nice. 
 
And Brad.... Left 4 Dead 2 over Plants vs. Zombies? Why?????

Posted by JoelTGM

So will next years best zombie game just be Left 4 Dead 3 then?  but then there's Dead Rising 2... hm

Posted by JJOR64

I really want to know the ending for Silent Hill now.

Posted by Rhaknar

oof tough call on best debut... i love both borderlands and infamous (and shadow complex lol), i would give it to borderlands, but thats just because its my goty :P I also thought DJ Hero could have been nominated, shame its only 3 nominees in these categories

Posted by SuperSecretAgenda

...MW2 has good Co-op?
 
O.o

Edited by dezvous

Hahaha, your "Holiday Themed" Bombcast music sounds so much like a track from Silent Hill. It's very eerie, but I love that series. I cannot put my finger on which track exactly... I'll find it.  
 
Also, I'm with you Brad, Uncharted 2 "handily" beats the competition. Batman looks very nice, but it's an UE3 game and developers need to learn how to step out of that art style when they're developing with that engine.

Posted by MushroomSamba

Borderlands doesn't get a mention for "Best Co-Op"?

Posted by TheYear20XX
@DOUBLESHOCK said:
" So will next years best zombie game just be Left 4 Dead 3 then?  but then there's Dead Rising 2... hm "
Let's not forget whatever zombie schlock Treyarch shoehorns into Call of Duty 2010: Not Infinity Ward Edition.
Posted by Jedted

I haven't played Silent Hill but the ending must be really earth shattering if it beat out AC2.  Even though i forsaw something like that after AC1 it was still jarring enough to make my head spin after watching it. 
Posted by Globox82

Great job

Posted by ANt610

What about Killzone 2 for best graphics runner-up??
Posted by TwoOneFive

runners up for best graphics: two games that cant compare to killzone 2. lol

Posted by Cazamalos

no batman:AA , demon's souls or dragon age at least nominated on new debut? .... day by day  i disagree more with the staff, but i love GB forum's :)

Posted by skippyscissors

I gotta go finish Silent Hill!

Posted by twillfast
@ANt610 said:
" What about Killzone 2 for best graphics runner-up?? "
This and...
 
@TwoOneFive said:
" runners up for best graphics: two games that cant compare to killzone 2. lol "
...this. If it'd be best art-style, then you'd definitly have a good list there, but killzone 2 definitly looks better than both of those runners uppers.
Edited by tbone81889

How did Modern Warfare win best Co-Op when it has very limited replay ability?  Also, why wasn't Borderlands even a nominee for best Co-Op?

Posted by addictedtopinescent

Nice, GB still giving out good awards 

Posted by RHCPfan24

I like these picks and any mention of David Lynch makes this article stand out for me :D

Posted by Vinny_Says

ODST had fun co-op....but I know the bomb crew considered it. I did get star 69 faster than the ODST coop achievements...so good choice for winner. 

Posted by Rhaknar
@twillfast said:
" @ANt610 said:
" What about Killzone 2 for best graphics runner-up?? "
This and...
 
@TwoOneFive said:
" runners up for best graphics: two games that cant compare to killzone 2. lol "
...this. If it'd be best art-style, then you'd definitly have a good list there, but killzone 2 definitly looks better than both of those runners uppers. "
well maybe you just anwsered your own question, maybe for them art direction is important in choosing best graphics
Posted by JohnRabbit

No ODST(Firefight) mention for best co-op? Spec Ops is great but Firefight was an absolute BLAST to play for hours on end.

Posted by AnxiousTube

Great picks Guys these are all awesome games.
Posted by AltDimension

Why is there no special feature page for this year's awards? All of this stuff going to be announced in blog posts? Lame.

Posted by Fallen189

These awards seem somewhat rushed.

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