With the striking delivery of Rockstar’s latest title Grand Theft Auto V, it’s no surprise that die-hard fans of the adult crime franchise have fallen head over heels with the new perspective the game brought to California-inspired city Los Santos, along with the engaging stories of the series’ newcomers Michael, Franklin and Trevor.
Though with its release merely over a month ago, it may come as a surprise to some that it stands as the best selling game of 2013, and has managed to sweep up Game of the Year in the 31st annual Golden Joystick Awards hosted in London this weekend.
In addition, Naughty Dog’s latest theatrical gaming experience The Last of Us, bagged two awards for Best Newcomer and the all-new accolade for Best Storytelling, along with Naughty Dog themselves claiming Studio of the Year.
Included in this year’s common accolades, the Innovation of the Year award made its first appearance with the Oculus Rift taking the limelight with its breakthrough development in immersive gaming technology. The Oculus Rift combines 3D visual technology with motion-sensitive viewport control, creating a surreal experience for the user and often blurring the line between what the player is experiencing and reality.
Moving on to the portable gaming category, the public favored 2K Games’ XCOM: Enemy Unknown for Best Mobile/Tablet Game of the Year, whilst Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed III portable edition, Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation claimed Best Handheld Game.
With the sudden rise in blockbuster game production and hardware design, the masses of consumers are awaiting the next big thing which, according to public vote, happens to be Namco Bandai’s Witcher 3: Wild Hunt with its position as Most Wanted.
Shifting the focus to the men behind the magic, the newly introduced Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to the first ever winner of this honor, Ken Levine, creator of BioShock and Irrational Games co-founder.
“In most fields, people begin their careers being inspired by others. In turn, they hopefully end up inspiring others. The great thing about the still-maturing nature of video games is you get to be inspired by the work of novices and veterans alike. We’re all figuring out day by day exactly what the medium is capable of.”
– Ken Levine receiving the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award
With the flood of votes pouring in over the past few months for the nominees, the Golden Joystick Awards gives us, as well as developers the chance to see which way the interactive entertainment world is steering itself, with many developers now priding themselves on their ability to prove a theatrical storytelling experience not to mention the occasional bulging adventure brimming with action. The majority of the consuming audience vote for their dearest franchises, but that’s not to say that each and every gamer out there is going to be happy about the direction the awards took this weekend.
So we turn to you to ask what you were expecting from this past week’s ceremony, did GTA V deserve the spot as Game of the Year? Or perhaps you think another handheld title deserved a little more appreciation?
Let us know in the comments below and share your thoughts on this year’s nominees!