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Hosted by comedian Joel McHale and journalist Geoff Keighley, the Spike TV VGX Awards – previously known as Video Game Awards (VGA) – took place Saturday night and saw the critically acclaimed open world action-adventure game take home the biggest prize of the night, beating stiff competition from PS3 exclusive Last of Us, Tomb Raider, Bioshock: Infinite and Super Mario: 3D World.
Grand Theft Auto V launched on September 17th and became the biggest entertainment launch in history breaking $1 billion in sales just three days following its launch and earning critical acclaim worldwide for its immersive open world and engaging story. It also broke 7 Guinness World Records, beat the Last of Us on PS3 for the biggest digital release and outsold its predecessor GTA IV.
Having already scooped up Game of the Year at the Golden Joystick Awards back in October, Rockstar Game’s phenomenon was awarded with the Game of the Year and was also awarded with the Best Soundtrack Award. A live performance of their soundtrack closed out the ceremony.
Accepting the Game of the Year award, a Rockstar representative said: “We couldn’t be more honoured. Anyone who has seen the 20 page credit list for Grand Theft Auto V knows we couldn’t possibly thank those who worked on the game but I would like to thank the team at Rockstar for the hard work that went into the game over the past few years.
“It was a long and crazy journey for all of us but we got there in the end. I’d also like to congratulate the other nominees for making such amazing games. 2013 was a great year for the video game industry. And lastly, but most importantly, I’d like to thank all of our fans because you are the reason that we do this.”
Whilst GTA scooped up the main award, other games got a share of the spotlight. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was awarded the Best Action-Adventure Game beating GTA V, Last of Us and Tomb Raider. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons also beat top favourites Grand Theft Auto V and Tomb Raider for the Best Xbox Game award.
Facing stiff competition in the Best Voice Actress category from Camilla Luddington as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, Ellen Page as Jodie Holmes in Beyond: Two Souls and Courtnee Draper as Elizabeth in Bioshock: Infinite, Ashley Johnson scooped up the Best Voice Actress for her performance of 14 year old orphan Ellie in the apocalyptic survival thriller Last of Us.
Accepting her award in a pre-recorded taping, she thanked the entire crew on the critically acclaimed PS3 exclusive and highly praised Creative Director, Neil Druckmann.
She said: “I can’t even tell you guys how excited I am to receive this award. The Last of Us has been one of my favourite things that I’ve ever worked on or been apart of. I feel so lucky that I was chosen to play Ellie …. Ellie will forever be one of my favourite prides.”
With Troy Baker nominated for his performance of Joel in The Last of Us and his performance of Booker DeWitt in Bioshock: Infinite, it was no surprise that he took home the Best Voice Actor award for his role in The Last of Us despite facing competition from Steven Ogg for his chaotic performance of Trevor Phillips in Grand Theft Auto V and Willem Dafoe as Nathan Dawkins in Beyond: Two Souls.
Thanking the crew and Naughty Dog during his pre-taped acceptance speech, he said he was initially nervous that his performance would hinder the hard work of the development team.
He said: “I remember when Ashley and I first heard the pitch that Neil and Bruce gave to Sony about The Last of Us. It finished and we walked outside and our jaws just dropped and we looked at each other gobsmacked. I said: ‘you realise that if this sucks it’s because of us’ because we knew we were walking into something that would be truly exceptional and we just wanted to do our part to be as exceptional as we could so this is incredibly validating for that. We worked hard for this. We worked very, very hard for this. So, thank you.”
The Last of Us impressive debut wasn’t overlooked as it relates to its gameplay either as it was awarded with the Best PlayStation 3 game and its development studio, Naughty Dog, was presented with the Studio of the Year award.
In a pre-taped acceptance video, a Naughty Dog representative said: “We’re very honoured to be accepting this award tonight for Studio of the Year. It means so much to us because it represents everyone here at the studio working extremely hard to make everything happen.”
Gone Home was awarded as the Best Independent Game and Best PC Game whilst Injustice: Gods Among Us won for Best Fighting Game. NBA 2K14 was crowned Best Sports Game beating competition from MLB 13, Fifa 14 and NHL 14. Forza Motorsport 5 was voted as Best Driving Game and Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch was voted as the Best RPG.
Call of Duty: Ghosts lost on it’s only potential award as Best Shooter Game which instead went to Bioshock: Infinite. Bioshock’s lead characters, The Lutece Twins, won for Character of the Year. The award for Best Mobile Game went to Plants Vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time and Titanfall won for Most Anticipated Game beating the delayed Watch Dogs.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon also won for Best DLC, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds was crowned Best Handheld Game, Best Casual Game went to Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Super Mario: 3D World was voted as the Best Nintendo Game. And finally, the Best Song in a Game award went to Courtnee Draper and Troy Baker for Will The Circle Be Unbroken from Bioshock Infinite.
Aside from the dozens of awards, the ceremony also featured numerous previews and premieres for upcoming game releases including, Thief, No Man’s Sky, Tom Clancy’s The Division, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, South Park: Stick of Truth, Dying Light, Titanfall and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
A preview was also shown for Quantum Break, a brand new game from Remedy Entertainment – the developers of the critically acclaimed Max Payne series and the 2010 physiological thriller Alan Wake. Set in the North Eastern U.S. Riverport University, a time travel experiment goes wrong, which gives Jack Joyce, Beth Wilder and Paul Serene the ability to manipulate time.
Appearing in a pre-taped video, Sam Lake, writer of the Max Payne series and Alan Wake, and Creative Director at Remedy, called the game a “revolutionary entertainment experience that combines cinematic action game and a high quality live action show”.
He said: “We’ve taken everything we’ve learned of interactive storytelling from Alan Wake and stylised cinematic action game. We’ve raised the bar much higher and brought these elements together with one game, creating the ultimate Remedy experience.”
Remedy executives present at the ceremony also revealed that Remedy Entertainment has multiple projects they are currently working on. One of them was showcased at the VGX awards, Agents of Storm, is set for release in early 2014.
Several other surprise announcements were also made during the 3 hour ceremony.
First announced was a brand new Borderlands game entitled Tales From Borderlands and is set for release in 2014. It is being developed by Telltale Games and Gearbox Software.
As previously reported, Tomb Raider is coming to next generation consoles. Titled Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, the PS4 and Xbox One game will feature new enhanced environments, character detail and all the released DLC. It hits stores on January 28th.
Broken Age, a Kickstarter supported game project which has gained worldwide support, made an astounding announcement that Lord of the Rings actor Elijah Wood had joined the cast of their video game alongside Will Wheaton and Jack Black. Elijah will voice a character called Shay who lives inside an escape pod set up by his parents before their world destroyed.
Also announced, as previously reported a few weeks ago, Telltale Games have confirmed, with a teaser trailer, that a video game adaptation of Game of Thrones is currently in development. The game is still in very early stages but it was confirmed that the game won’t be based on the books by author George R.R. Martin but instead will be based on the HBO TV series.
Don Commons, CEO & Co-Founder of Telltale Games, spoke at the ceremony about the announcement. He said: “We really wanted to do it. We kept talking with HBO to figure out the right way to get it done. It makes a lot of sense, I think they saw Walking Dead and said: ‘Yeah, that makes sense for Game of Thrones’. It’s a great world. It’s a rich world. The show is interpreted very well but it’s still a big world. We’ll be taking advantage of all the fiction to make something great.”
If there’s one thing that 2013 has proven, it’s that 2013 was an amazing year for gaming and by the looks from all the amazing previews last night, 2014 looks to be even more amazing.