Giant Bomb News

317 Comments

Giant Bomb's Game of the Year 2010: Day Two

Best Downloadable Add-On, Best Co-Op, Best Download-Only Game, Best-Looking Game, and Best Xbox 360-Only Game get their props.

How did we come to these decisions? Listen to today's deliberation podcast and find out!

Best Downloadable Add-On


BioShock 2: Minerva's Den


2010 might go down in history as the year story-based DLC finally really came into its own, with significant new add-ons hitting some of the biggest games of the year and giving you some great reasons to fire those games back up weeks or months after you finished playing through their core storylines. But while plenty of this year's best DLC added onto and fleshed out the games on which they were based, no DLC felt like such a complete story and package in its own right like Minerva's Den.

Rather than trying to shoehorn a misplaced interlude into the events and framework of BioShock 2 itself, Minerva acts as its own self-contained story featuring entirely new areas and residents of Rapture. Minerva not only established and explored the technological backbone of Rapture with some fantastic vintage dawn-of-computing-style trappings (vacuum tubes! Alan Turing!), it also expertly told the tragic tale of Charles Milton Porter, the brilliant computer scientist who gave so much to his fellow citizens and was rewarded for it with betrayal. Minerva arguably surpasses BioShock 2 itself and is one of the best examples so far of how much can be accomplished with a low-priced downloadable add-on. 


Runners-up: Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare, Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker 
 

Best Co-Op

 

Halo: Reach

 
It shouldn't surprise you to hear that Halo: Reach is a terrific cooperative experience. Like the rest of the game, Reach's co-op follows in the footsteps of Bungie's previous Halo games, letting you work your way through the campaign with a crew, laying waste to everything in your path. Sure, you might not get the real feel of the game's story, since you're probably going to be yelling at your partners through most of the game, but working your way through waves and waves of enemy forces with a crew makes the campaign way more exciting.
 
Then there's Firefight mode, which was greatly expanded for Halo: Reach to make it a far more exciting take on the whole wave-based survival style. With the ability to tweak plenty of different variables when playing with friends to the variety of different maps you can use, Firefight might be good enough to take this category on its own. But when you add all that stuff together, Halo: Reach is the best cooperative experience to be had in 2010. 

Runners-up: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction
 

Best Download-Only Game


Pac-Man Championship Edition DX

 
Arguably one of the strongest categories in 2010, the downloadable space saw a huge number of amazing original titles this year, though none captured our collective imaginations quite like this re-reimagining of that most venerable of pill-poppers, Pac-Man
 
It's kind of unbelievable that Pac-Man could feel as vital now as he did when he first debuted some 30 years ago, but by shifting the focus from simple survival to a community-driven high-score race, and layering it with a jaw-clenching club-drug aesthetic, Namco has done precisely that. It's a miraculous balancing act between some really deep-seated nostalgic triggers and fresh, frenetic gameplay, and it's our pick for best download-only game of 2010.

Runners-up: Super Meat Boy, VVVVVV

 

Best-Looking Game

 

Kirby's Epic Yarn


I can scarcely recall a game so thoroughly dedicated to crafting an aesthetic as Kirby's Epic Yarn is. The latest platformer starring Nintendo's huggably squishy puff-ball of a hero, Kirby, is set in a world where everything has gone fully arts-and-crafts. All the characters (Kirby included) are constructed out of outlines of yarn, buttons, zippers, and other things you'd typically find at the local fabric store. Developer Good Feel stitches every single piece of this world with this patchwork art style, and manages to make it all mind-numbingly adorable in the process. Seriously, just watch Kirby morph into a little Kirby car, and dare yourself not to go "d'awwwww." Seriously, try it! If there's a heart in your chest, you'll fail! 

Runners-up: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Limbo

 

Best Xbox 360-Only Game

 

Halo: Reach

 
With the launch of the Kinect drawing much of Microsoft's focus this year, it felt like the third-parties had much more to offer Xbox 360 owners in 2010. But Bungie still made a huge impact by leaving its final mark on the first-person shooter it created, Halo. Halo: Reach combines some of the best that Halo has to offer, including a quality campaign, terrific competitive multiplayer and the best cooperative play that we saw all year.
 
Reach also stands out for its interesting story, which fills in a key time in the Halo universe that, up until the release of Reach, had only been addressed in book form. Reach's story is great, and even though you know how it will ultimately end--the battle of Reach certainly ain't pretty for our side--the game makes the whole thing interesting by letting you see it through the eyes of the Noble Team, a great group of characters that are strong enough to make you forget about that " Master Chief" dude.

With its stellar suite of options and high quality throughout, Halo: Reach stands tall as the best thing that you can only get on an Xbox 360 this year. 

Runners-up: Limbo, Dance Central
 
  
319 Comments
Posted by Brad

How did we come to these decisions? Listen to today's deliberation podcast and find out!

Best Downloadable Add-On


BioShock 2: Minerva's Den


2010 might go down in history as the year story-based DLC finally really came into its own, with significant new add-ons hitting some of the biggest games of the year and giving you some great reasons to fire those games back up weeks or months after you finished playing through their core storylines. But while plenty of this year's best DLC added onto and fleshed out the games on which they were based, no DLC felt like such a complete story and package in its own right like Minerva's Den.

Rather than trying to shoehorn a misplaced interlude into the events and framework of BioShock 2 itself, Minerva acts as its own self-contained story featuring entirely new areas and residents of Rapture. Minerva not only established and explored the technological backbone of Rapture with some fantastic vintage dawn-of-computing-style trappings (vacuum tubes! Alan Turing!), it also expertly told the tragic tale of Charles Milton Porter, the brilliant computer scientist who gave so much to his fellow citizens and was rewarded for it with betrayal. Minerva arguably surpasses BioShock 2 itself and is one of the best examples so far of how much can be accomplished with a low-priced downloadable add-on. 


Runners-up: Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare, Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker 
 

Best Co-Op

 

Halo: Reach

 
It shouldn't surprise you to hear that Halo: Reach is a terrific cooperative experience. Like the rest of the game, Reach's co-op follows in the footsteps of Bungie's previous Halo games, letting you work your way through the campaign with a crew, laying waste to everything in your path. Sure, you might not get the real feel of the game's story, since you're probably going to be yelling at your partners through most of the game, but working your way through waves and waves of enemy forces with a crew makes the campaign way more exciting.
 
Then there's Firefight mode, which was greatly expanded for Halo: Reach to make it a far more exciting take on the whole wave-based survival style. With the ability to tweak plenty of different variables when playing with friends to the variety of different maps you can use, Firefight might be good enough to take this category on its own. But when you add all that stuff together, Halo: Reach is the best cooperative experience to be had in 2010. 

Runners-up: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction
 

Best Download-Only Game


Pac-Man Championship Edition DX

 
Arguably one of the strongest categories in 2010, the downloadable space saw a huge number of amazing original titles this year, though none captured our collective imaginations quite like this re-reimagining of that most venerable of pill-poppers, Pac-Man
 
It's kind of unbelievable that Pac-Man could feel as vital now as he did when he first debuted some 30 years ago, but by shifting the focus from simple survival to a community-driven high-score race, and layering it with a jaw-clenching club-drug aesthetic, Namco has done precisely that. It's a miraculous balancing act between some really deep-seated nostalgic triggers and fresh, frenetic gameplay, and it's our pick for best download-only game of 2010.

Runners-up: Super Meat Boy, VVVVVV

 

Best-Looking Game

 

Kirby's Epic Yarn


I can scarcely recall a game so thoroughly dedicated to crafting an aesthetic as Kirby's Epic Yarn is. The latest platformer starring Nintendo's huggably squishy puff-ball of a hero, Kirby, is set in a world where everything has gone fully arts-and-crafts. All the characters (Kirby included) are constructed out of outlines of yarn, buttons, zippers, and other things you'd typically find at the local fabric store. Developer Good Feel stitches every single piece of this world with this patchwork art style, and manages to make it all mind-numbingly adorable in the process. Seriously, just watch Kirby morph into a little Kirby car, and dare yourself not to go "d'awwwww." Seriously, try it! If there's a heart in your chest, you'll fail! 

Runners-up: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Limbo

 

Best Xbox 360-Only Game

 

Halo: Reach

 
With the launch of the Kinect drawing much of Microsoft's focus this year, it felt like the third-parties had much more to offer Xbox 360 owners in 2010. But Bungie still made a huge impact by leaving its final mark on the first-person shooter it created, Halo. Halo: Reach combines some of the best that Halo has to offer, including a quality campaign, terrific competitive multiplayer and the best cooperative play that we saw all year.
 
Reach also stands out for its interesting story, which fills in a key time in the Halo universe that, up until the release of Reach, had only been addressed in book form. Reach's story is great, and even though you know how it will ultimately end--the battle of Reach certainly ain't pretty for our side--the game makes the whole thing interesting by letting you see it through the eyes of the Noble Team, a great group of characters that are strong enough to make you forget about that " Master Chief" dude.

With its stellar suite of options and high quality throughout, Halo: Reach stands tall as the best thing that you can only get on an Xbox 360 this year. 

Runners-up: Limbo, Dance Central
 
  
Staff
Edited by Grissefar

 Giant Bomb pumping out content.

Edited by Beauty

Drew likes Limbo Jeff

Posted by Mijati

Where's best Download-Only game?

Edited by Korolev

Yep. Can't complain about any of these really. Surprised about Kirby getting the "best look" award. Then again, this year was less about the development raw graphical power and more about the use of existing graphical power.   
 
These videos must take a hell of a toll on the staff - they're all dead eyed. I thank them for putting our entertainment over their emotional wellbeing. Well done!

Posted by ShadowKnight508

I have not played the Minerva's Den DLC for Bioshock 2, but I might look into it since the braintrust at Giant Bomb picked it as the best of 2010 DLC-wise.

Edited by pavakah
@Beauty said:

" Drew likes Limbo Jeff "

Have you ever noticed that Jeff and Limbo Jeff are never in the same room together?  Hmm...
Posted by Dany
@DarkDude said:
" Where's best Download-Only game? "
Doubt they are going to have one considering they had Limbo on the list
Posted by EuanDewar

Really happy they chose Halo over Limbo. You can talk about its atmosphere and puzzle solving all you want but a 2 hour downloadable game that sags near the end should NEVER beat a game with a good well thought out single player and a multi player that will be played for years to come.
Posted by Dany

Uh, you had Pacman as best downloadable game, its not in the recap

Posted by Video_Game_King

I love how there weren't even runner-ups for Best Looking Game, like 2010 looked like shit except for Epic Yarn.

Posted by buckybit
@Grissefar said:
"  Giant Bomb pumping out content. "
overload!
Edited by CptBedlam

Man crap, I should've skipped the talk about Shadow Broker to avoid the spoiler.
 
From now on I'll probably just skip any talk about story-heavy games that I want to play in the near future.

Posted by HT101

I am surprised Mass Effect 2 wasn't their best 360 Only Game but I guess since it came out on PC as well it makes sense.  Overall, agree with the winners today and am listening to the podcast right now.

Posted by OneKillWonder_

I'm very surprised that not only was The Secret Armory of General Knoxx not the winner of the best DLC award, but it wasn't even a nomination. What the hell? Minerva's Den is awesome, though.

Posted by Gonmog

Great work. :D 

Posted by CptBedlam

@Brad: You're wrong, you definitely can shoot the last Sasquatch in Undead Nightmare.

Edited by phrosnite

Xbox360 ONLY game? OMFG! The best game of 2010--Mass Effect 2-- didn't get nominated due to BS rules! Giant Bomb I'm disappoint!!!!

Posted by Garadon

Surprised Minerva's Den won over Undead Nightmare. Was Vietnam released too late to consider it? (BC2)

Posted by Vigil80
@Video_Game_King said:
" I love how there weren't even runner-ups for Best Looking Game, like 2010 looked like shit except for Epic Yarn. "
Epic Yarn is a head-scratcher for that category. I guess they're trying to recognize originality.
Posted by mrcartoon

To those confused about Mass Effect 2 not winning for best 360 title - it's no longer exclusive to 360. It arrives on PS3 in January...
Posted by buckybit

btw, MUST SEE VIDEO!  
 
this is soo funny - Halo Reach needs an official Bungie Giantbomb DVD Edition

Posted by dangeRUSS04

meat boy is so much better than pacman its not even funny

Posted by FizzleNizzleBear
@phrosnite said:
" Xbox360 ONLY game? OMFG! The best game of 2010--Mass Effect 2-- didn't get nominated due to BS rules! Giant Bomb I'm disappoint!!!! "
I know you have been told this before,. ME2 is on pc making it multiplatform
Posted by mracoon

My picks:
 
Best DLC
ME2 - Lair of the Shadow Broker
 
Best Co-op
COD: Black Ops
 
Best Download-only Game
Super Meat Boy 
 
Don't have picks for the other two.

Moderator
Posted by wsowen02

While I certainly appreciate the artistry in Epic Yarn (and Limbo), I am surprised God of War III did not at least get an honorable mention.  I know the staff aren't exactly fans but GOW's visuals are unmatched.

Posted by MattyFTM

I love that Epic Yarn won best looking game. It is a beautiful game, and it emphasizes how art style is far more important than raw horsepower when it comes to graphics.

Moderator
Posted by pavakah
@mrcartoon said:
" To those confused about Mass Effect 2 not winning for best 360 title - it's no longer exclusive to 360. It arrives on PS3 in January... "
It was also on the pc this year.
Posted by zombie2011
@mrcartoon said:
" To those confused about Mass Effect 2 not winning for best 360 title - it's no longer exclusive to 360. It arrives on PS3 in January... "
No, it's because it came out on the PC. 
Posted by MikeW1980UK

Dragons Age was also multi-platform, but that got best PC game last year.

Posted by phrosnite
@FizzleNizzleBear: 
What did I say? You didn't understand my post?
Posted by ShinAli
@mracoon said: 
Best Co-op
COD: Black Ops 
That doesn't have any co-op, except for that zombie thing which other games did much better.
Edited by OldGuy
@MikeW1980UK said:

" Dragons Age was also multi-platform, but that got best PC game last year. "

1) The category was "Best PC Game" (note the omission of only in there)... and...
 
2) DA:O is an almost completely different game on PC vs. the console... and...
 
@ phrosnite - it's not a BS rule. It says ONLY in the title that means only. You might not think a PC is a thing that plays games but you'd be wrong. So deal.
Posted by NickLott

Brad was talking about the launch Xbox 360 videos, I got my first 360 about a year after launch, anyone remember a James Cameron video talking about Titanic in HD? I vaguely remember that, was he talking about HDDVD or 3D?

Posted by Aetheldod

Pac man shouldnt be there .... thats just Bomb's staff nostalgia , Limbo shouldve won period >:(

Posted by Pezen

Curious to listen to this one, some odd choices and the 360 only category is just.. weird.

Posted by StepwiseDuchess

I think there was lots of bias around Pac Man. Where's Monday Night Combat!?

Posted by Supertom11

You guys convinced me to finally get the ME2 DLC.  And thankfully, for today only, all three Add-ons are only 200 points each!!  

Posted by Coolarman

I would really liked to have seen Zombies from Black ops for co op but i realize that i am in the vast minority when it comes to people who like that mode

Posted by mracoon
@ShinAli said:
" @mracoon said: 
Best Co-op
COD: Black Ops 
That doesn't have any co-op, except for that zombie thing which other games did much better. "
It's the only co-op game I played so it's the only one I can put. I'm also counting split-screen multiplayer as co-op and I've had a ton of fun with that.
Moderator
Posted by tracerace11

Jeff is totally right about Brad not being in the correct light about Brad's love for Minerva's Den.  Brad..... come on man.... ADD ON!!!!!!!

Posted by LackLuster

Alan Wake is better than reach in my books

Posted by Rolyatkcinmai

Alan Wake > Halo

Posted by TvsFranksWildYears

I would've picked Undead Nightmare as Best Downloadable Add-on, but then again, I like the whole B-movie feel of it.  Other people might be turned off by it. 

Posted by Enigma777

Lair of the Shadow Broker should have won this...

Posted by big_jon

I am pretty happy with these winners, great job guys.
Online
Posted by solidwolf52

I really wanted to punch Brad in the face during the add-on debate.  For me the term "add-on" implies that that the content actually adds on to the overall package of the game, Shadow Broker does this and expands the universe, while Minerva's Den is a self contained package that does not connect to the game's overall story.

Posted by Turbo_Toaster

As awesome as Pac Man is I'm surprised it topped SMB

Posted by Master

You guys sold me on Bioshock 2 and Minerva's Den.

Posted by BIGMEXN

How did  Lair of the Shadow Broker not win? this suck im out