Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Spike Videogame Awards: Nominees list!

Posted on

Batman Arkham City

Spike’s Video Game Awards don’t exactly have the cachet of the Oscars, the Emmys, the Video Music Awards, or your town’s annual hot dog-eating contest. But videogames are an important part of our cultural landscape, and there’s a lot to appreciate in the just-released list of VGA nominations. The five games select for Game of the Year might not be “original” in the classical sense — there are two sequels, a threequel, a fivequel, and a hexakaidecaquel — but taken together, they form a rather inspiring panorama of the current videogame moment. Portal 2 is a brain-teasing puzzle, while Uncharted 3 was a better-than-Hollywood action spectacle, but both games share a sly sense of humor. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword represent two polaric spheres of the RPG genre — the former a maximalist go-anywhere romp, the latter a minimalist architectural poem. (I’m in hour 16 of Skyward Sword now — expect a review this weekend.) And Batman: Arkham City was a relentless revelation, absorbing decades of pop mythology into one vivid open-world experience.

That’s a hell of a list — I’d take two hours of those games over The King’s Speech any day. The rest of the VGA nominations are a mixed bag. There’s lots of VMA-ish overlap, since categories include Best PS3 Game, Best XBox Game, and Best Wii game. And there’s a lot of padding: I can’t believe that anyone at Spike actually played Lost in Shadow. (Heck, I can’t believe I played Lost in Shadow.)

Still, if you’re looking for some inspiration, check out the nominations for Best Independent Game and Best Downloadable Game. The retro-funky Bastion is the clear favorite to win both awards — it should probably also win Best Original Score — but with names like Minecraft, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, and The Binding of Isaac, those categories show a potentially fascinating vision of the future of videogames. Maybe the industry won’t always be making sequels. Or maybe they will. But hell, I’ll take these sequels over Transformers 4 any day.

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

Read more:

‘Modern Warfare 3’: Activision CEO talks talks record-breaking release

‘Modern Warfare 3’ videogame review: Shouldn’t it be better?

Videogame ‘Skin’: Bare Necessities?

Comments