GameZone's Game of the Year Awards Day 1: Specialty Awards

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Another year has come and gone, and with it, some truly amazing games. It's that time of the year, when we look back at all the great games of 2011, and decide which games are the best of the best.

Today we kick off our five day GOTY announcements with Specialty Awards. These encompass things such as best story, best remake, best DLC, etc. So without further ado, here are the winners.

Make sure to check out our other awards:

Best Story: Uncharted 3

This Indiana Jones-esque trilogy comes to a high point with Uncharted 3 as it sends Nathan Drake on the search for the lost city, Iram of the Pillars. Players get to experience yet another thrilling adventure while also discovering a bit about Nathan's past. As we stated in our review, Naughty Dog sticks to story elements that keep players hooked in, regardless of its narrative cliches of a rogue protagonist and two sexy companions. Uncharted 3 will undoubtedly keep you glued to your screen and your controller from start to finish.

Runner up: Skyrim

Best Weapon: Purple Dildo Bat (Saints Row: The Third)

You have to hand it to THQ. Not only did they advertise Saints Row: The Third by relying mostly on parodying other blockbuster games this year, but it was a totally unapologetic game that didn't care if you were offended, it simply strived to provide a good time. Sure we can agree that there were some more damaging weapons in other games, but The Purple Dildo takes the cake for shock value. The sheer size of it made it quite the fearsome weapon, plus after using it, you could finally state "I beat down pedestrians with a giant dildo!" Genius? Yeah we think so.

Runner up: Johnson (Shadows of the Damned)

Best Use of a License: Batman: Arkham City

Arkham Asylum was an absolute treat for Batman enthusiasts. This time however, the threat spread, and players were no longer confined to the corridors of the Asylum, but rather free to roam an entire sectioned off city and take out the most nefarious criminals this side of Gotham. Players were also able to step into the shoes of the quick and nimble Catwoman, and whip some criminals into shape. Rocksteady definitely packed this game to the brim with fan service which secured its spot for Best Use of License.

Runner up: Star Wars the Old Republic

Best Remake/Reboot: Rayman Origins

Rayman Origins takes the disembodied hero back to his roots. It's not a party game made up of screaming rabbids, nor is it a 3D adventure, it's a full-on 2D co-operative platformer that is probably one of the best platformers made this side of Mario. Rayman is on the quest to restore his homeland back and save its inhabitants, but this time he's not alone. A friend can join in on this platforming greatness which makes an already amazing game, even better. If you love 2D sidescrollers, you owe it to yourself to buy this game immediately!

Runner up: Mortal Kombat

Best Downloadable Content: Portal 2 Peer Review

What's better than DLC that will add even more co-operative test chambers for you and a buddy to solve? The fact that it's free of course! Peer Review adds even more levels for you and a friend to scratch your head at, as you co-operatively shoot portals and use gels to solve them. This could have easily cost $5 or more, considering some games offer much less and charge money. This DLC can clock over two hours of gameplay, if not more. Thanks Valve!

Runner up: Mass Effect 2: Arrival

Best Cooperative Game: Gears of War 3

When a game's tagline states "Brothers to the end" you already know that it's going to include some co-op greatness. Now up to three buddies can join you for the entirety of the game's main campaign mode, which makes splitting guys in half with a Lancer that much more satisfying. The game's expanded Horde Mode also features some great co-operative action as you and friends take on wave after wave of increasingly harder enemies. If you feel like switching sides, the newly included Beast Mode will then pit you and your friends against  well armed COG soldiers as you embody various units of the Locust army. This game is packed to the brim with co-op, which easily secures this award.

Runner up: Saints Row: The Third

Best New Character: Wheatley

Portal 2 had players once again face the terror of GLaDOS and her test chambers...we at least for the first part of the game. If you haven't yet played Portal 2, then you might want to skip this part and just agree with us that he's quite the character.

While he's you're hilarious companion voiced by Stephen Merchant for the first moments of the game, dishing out quirky one liners as well as long humorous monologues things quickly take a turn for the worse. Wheatley eventually becomes your arch nemesis, yet he still manages to retain that same amount of wit and humor which make him continually fun to listen to.

Runner up: Vincent (Catherine)

Best Boss Fight: Wheatley

Well if you resisted to read the part above, this award will essentially ruin it for you anyway, so you might as well go back and read it. After going to the "dark side" and sending you back to the very bottom of the test chambers, Wheatley wasn't very happy to find out that you were able to best all of those test chambers as well. Needless to say, the boss fight which continued afterwards was a nice switch up from the GLaDOS fight in Portal, and ultimately had you shooting a portal to the moon. That's right...to the moon.

Runner up: Mr Freeze (Batman: Arkham City)

Best Original IP: Catherine

Catherine really took us all by surprise. Before it launched, it tantalized us with sexy scenes, talked of adultery, and showed some odd segments of block jumping. Turns out that's exactly what the game was about. The reason Catherine was so good was mainly due to its completely unique storyline and a theme that hasn't really been previously explored in a video game medium. Playing as Vincent, you had the choice of either committing to your long time girlfriend who is apparently pregnant, or have fun with an overly sexual and gorgeous blonde that wasn't exactly what she said she is. Combine that with nightmare sequences that played as an intensely hard puzzle game and you had one of the most unique experiences to date.

Check out the intro cutscene right here

Runner up: RAGE

Best Use of Atmosphere: Skyrim

I was asked "Why do I love playing Skyrim so much?" I then replied, "I don't play Skyrim, I live it."

To anyone that's played, or is currently playing Skyrim, that statement makes complete sense. The world is so amazingly crafted that you actually feel like you're a part of it. As you scour the map from one end to the other, coming across landmarks, caves with hidden treasures, castles, settlements, cities, and forests, you'll easily forget that you're playing a game, and think you're exploring a living breathing ecosystem, that thrives on its own.

Runner up: Dead Space 2

Best Competitive Multiplayer: Battlefield 3

Sorry Spike VGA awards, we don't quite agree with you. Sure the "other" game has a successful formula that gets refined with each new release, but Battlefield 3 brought something more epic to the table. Up to 64 players can battle it out simultaneously on the PC (24 on the console) on huge maps. Piloting jets, helicopters and tanks is absolutely commonplace, and players can individually level up the four separate kits (or classes) according to their own playstyle. If you like progression in your online multiplayer shooter, there is a lot to like in Battlefield 3.

Runner up: Modern Warfare 3

Join us tomorrow for Day 2 of GameZone's Game of the Year awards, where we give out our Best Technical Awards of the year. Here you'll find out which games walked away with Best Soundtrack, Best Voice Acting, Best Presentation and more!

Charmander
Mike Splechta GameZone's Editor-in-Chief, retro game enthusiast, savior of kittens. Follow me @Michael_GZ
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