Giant Bomb News

173 Comments

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.
 
 

No Caption Provided
 Runners-Up: Borderlands, Shadow Complex 

  

Best Co-Op


Modern Warfare 2


No Caption Provided
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
 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


No Caption Provided
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.
 

No Caption Provided
 Runners-Up: Borderlands - The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, Plants vs. Zombies  
 
 

Best Graphics


Uncharted 2: Among Thieves


No Caption Provided
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.  
 
 
 

No Caption Provided
Runners-up: Batman: Arkham Asylum, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time

 

Best Ending


Silent Hill: Shattered Memories


No Caption Provided
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.
 

No Caption Provided
Runners-up: Assassin's Creed II, 'Splosion Man 

173 Comments

Avatar image for brad
Brad

6205

Forum Posts

9574

Wiki Points

175502

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 4

Edited By Brad  Staff • 

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.
 
 

No Caption Provided
 Runners-Up: Borderlands, Shadow Complex 

  

Best Co-Op


Modern Warfare 2


No Caption Provided
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
 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


No Caption Provided
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.
 

No Caption Provided
 Runners-Up: Borderlands - The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, Plants vs. Zombies  
 
 

Best Graphics


Uncharted 2: Among Thieves


No Caption Provided
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.  
 
 
 

No Caption Provided
Runners-up: Batman: Arkham Asylum, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time

 

Best Ending


Silent Hill: Shattered Memories


No Caption Provided
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.
 

No Caption Provided
Runners-up: Assassin's Creed II, 'Splosion Man 
Avatar image for monster9999
monster9999

420

Forum Posts

243

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

Edited By monster9999 • 

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

Avatar image for hailinel
Hailinel

25785

Forum Posts

219681

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 10

User Lists: 28

Edited By Hailinel • 

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

Avatar image for misterwaingro
MisterWaingro

89

Forum Posts

258

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 6

Edited 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.

Avatar image for mattjam3000
mattjam3000

509

Forum Posts

2351

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 6

Edited By mattjam3000 • 

I agree with most of these for sure.

Avatar image for imayellowfellow
imayellowfellow

629

Forum Posts

797

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

Edited By imayellowfellow • 

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

Avatar image for syphonfilter0
SyphonFilter0

14

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By SyphonFilter0 • 

nice ,uncharted 2 and infamous ftw!

Avatar image for the_philosopher
The_Philosopher

634

Forum Posts

111

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 8

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.

Avatar image for venatio
Venatio

4742

Forum Posts

288

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 6

Edited By Venatio • 

Nice awards 

Avatar image for mushir
Mushir

2630

Forum Posts

3328

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 2

Edited By Mushir • 

Lol at the I'm Callin It award XD

Avatar image for gingertastic_10
gingertastic_10

4314

Forum Posts

23302

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 35

User Lists: 16

Edited 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.

Avatar image for druminator
Druminator

1808

Forum Posts

10130

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Avatar image for spiritof
Spiritof

2409

Forum Posts

28754

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 25

User Lists: 27

Edited 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.

Avatar image for cstrang
cstrang

2380

Forum Posts

2212

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 9

Edited By cstrang • 

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

Avatar image for evilsbane
Evilsbane

5618

Forum Posts

315

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 0

Avatar image for dietmango
dietmango

1795

Forum Posts

35751

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: -4

User Lists: 13

Edited By dietmango • 

 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.

Avatar image for sociald1077
sociald1077

283

Forum Posts

59

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 3

Edited 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.
Avatar image for danieljw
DanielJW

4933

Forum Posts

8618

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 8

Edited 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. :)

Avatar image for johno10
Johno10

8

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By Johno10 • 

Killzone 2 not even a runner up for best graphics?
Avatar image for nemesis
Nemesis

330

Forum Posts

569

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 1

Edited By Nemesis • 

Agree with all of these. Good job Giantbomb! 

Avatar image for nicklott
NickLott

833

Forum Posts

244

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 12

Edited 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"

Avatar image for lincoin
LincoIn

284

Forum Posts

3

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

Edited 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!

Avatar image for lordofultima
lordofultima

6590

Forum Posts

25215

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 9

Edited By lordofultima • 

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

Avatar image for willy105
Willy105

4935

Forum Posts

14729

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 5

User Lists: 1

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.
Avatar image for benderunit22
benderunit22

1948

Forum Posts

9567

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 6

User Lists: 1

Edited By benderunit22 • 

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

Avatar image for alienguy18
AlienGuy18

2

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By AlienGuy18 • 

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

Avatar image for sjschmidt93
SJSchmidt93

5012

Forum Posts

3236

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 37

User Lists: 20

Edited By SJSchmidt93 • 

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

Avatar image for joeltgm
JoelTGM

5784

Forum Posts

1760

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 1

Edited By JoelTGM • 

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

Avatar image for jjor64
JJOR64

19693

Forum Posts

417

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 5

Edited By JJOR64 • 

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

Avatar image for rhaknar
Rhaknar

6300

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 12

Edited 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

Avatar image for supersecretagenda
SuperSecretAgenda

689

Forum Posts

172

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Avatar image for dezvous
dezvous

660

Forum Posts

3

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 13

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.

Avatar image for mushroomsamba
MushroomSamba

183

Forum Posts

191

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 8

Edited By MushroomSamba • 

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

Avatar image for theyear20xx
TheYear20XX

445

Forum Posts

5

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 7

Edited 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.
Avatar image for jedted
Jedted

2954

Forum Posts

1293

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 8

User Lists: 16

Edited 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. 
Avatar image for globox82
Globox82

201

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

Avatar image for ant610
ANt610

22

Forum Posts

41

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: -1

User Lists: 0

Edited By ANt610 • 

What about Killzone 2 for best graphics runner-up??
Avatar image for twoonefive
TwoOneFive

9791

Forum Posts

203

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

Edited By TwoOneFive • 

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

Avatar image for cazamalos
Cazamalos

991

Forum Posts

11

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 3

Edited 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 :)

Avatar image for skippyscissors
skippyscissors

395

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

Avatar image for twillfast
twillfast

597

Forum Posts

20

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 5

Edited 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.
Avatar image for tbone81889
tbone81889

177

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

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?

Avatar image for addictedtopinescent
addictedtopinescent

3634

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

Avatar image for rhcpfan24
RHCPfan24

8663

Forum Posts

22301

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 16

User Lists: 8

Edited By RHCPfan24 • 

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

Avatar image for vinny_says
Vinny_Says

5914

Forum Posts

3345

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 14

Edited 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. 

Avatar image for rhaknar
Rhaknar

6300

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 12

Edited 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
Avatar image for johnrabbit
JohnRabbit

127

Forum Posts

638

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 2

Edited 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.

Avatar image for anxioustube
AnxiousTube

245

Forum Posts

27

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 2

Edited By AnxiousTube • 

Great picks Guys these are all awesome games.
Avatar image for altdimension
AltDimension

291

Forum Posts

1875

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 16

Edited 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.

Avatar image for fallen189
Fallen189

5453

Forum Posts

10463

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 4

Edited By Fallen189 • 

These awards seem somewhat rushed.