I suppose one could call it a huge upset, but I wouldn't know. This is a legitimate question and I'm hoping some of our readers familiar with the game can enlighten me:

Why did The Walking Dead win Game of the Year at the Spike TV Video Game Awards?

That's really all I want to know. We did not review the game here at PSXE, for which I must now greatly apologize to our readers; the voucher code came at a very busy time, and I just didn't get to it. Had I known just how great it was supposed to be, I would've moved it up the priority list. And to this day, I have yet to play the game in question.

So from what I hear, there are some similarities to one of my favorite titles of the generation, Heavy Rain . If that's the case, I'll most definitely have to download The Walking Dead , although I find it difficult to believe that the same level of depth (via player choice and storytelling) is included. Beyond that, though, what makes this downloadable title superior to the other candidates ( Journey , Assassin's Creed III , Halo 4 , Dishonored )? With the exception of Halo 4 (which I'm sure is great; we just don't cover it), that looks a lot like the Game of the Year nominee list we'll sport in a few weeks time. No big surprises, really.

I'm just a little shocked. Not only would I never have anticipated seeing The Walking Dead as a GotY nominee, I wouldn't have guessed in a million years that it would actually win. I guess my biggest question is- How many people out there agree? I suppose one could just go, "Meh, it's just the Spike TV VGAs; that's all you need to know." But that doesn't seem fair, as the list of nominees seemed pretty accurate to me. I guess I'm just more out of the loop than I had thought…

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Vitron
Vitron
8 years ago

I wouldn't know I never played it, never even heard of the game to be honest until the Spike tv VGA. I thought ACIII was gonna win this one for sure.

Temjin001
Temjin001
8 years ago

It's a total surprise to me as a winner for goty by anyone. The Walking Dead that is. Anyhow, I haven't played so I don't really know. What I do know is that it's some sort of adaption from a TV show. Perhaps some critics felt it was a strong statement at adapting TV well… not sure, just a guess.

Anyway, I've only played AC3 and Halo 4 this year so I can't really speak for Dishonored or even Journey(played the demo). Right now my pick goes to AC3… which of course comes after DOA5 and Double Dragon Neon (duh) =p

At first I was pretty mixed in feelings about a download game nabbing goty. I'm not anymore. I think of goty as something really significant in a positive way to the industry. Something that really brings a more expansive definition to what it is to game. So whether that's a small or big title I don't think it matters. It just better be something worthy of the title.

FxTales
FxTales
8 years ago

I loved watching this series mainly for Lee and Clementine as they were what made me care for it but I did find it a shock to see it was game of the year. I didn't even think it had a chance.

In saying that I'm not disappointed. If ever there was a year where it was going to be hard to predict a winner it was this one. At least for me.

Corvo
Corvo
8 years ago

Because the VGA's are rigged. Simple and clean. Personally, for this years GOTY im not sure what i would haved voted for. re6 lost me with this stupid 360 dlc thing, and then the dlc sucks anyway. But hitman is insanely addicting. I snuck it out from my girlfriends gift hiding spot just to play a little bit of it.

I have not played far cry 3 yet but from what i've seen the enviorments are gorgeous. Dishonored, i stand by what i said. It wasn't worth 60$ and it was way to short. i explore and collect as much as i can my first playthrough. Even while doing that and being stealthy the entire time i still beat it in about 6 hours.

walking dead is a great game, but i don't think it fairly rivals the nominees. I played a little bit of halo 4 at a friends and aside from it looking quite cartoony, it was not to bad. I was impressed. Borderlands 2 was cool, but i haven't played it to much. Dragons Dogma brought something i haven't seen awhile and its something 'new' Just everything about that game was so epic but it wouldn't constitute as GOTY either due to a lack of things to do.

Sure theres the 'ur-dragon' but after killing it a few times and trying each class theres nothing left to do. If they expand it with DD2 then i think it will be GOTY worthy. AC3… Not much to say about this one. I loved it but there was a few things that really bothered me.

The music lacked the style AC2, B, and R had. I liked the new characters but the desmond story was so f-ing stupid it really ruined my experience with the game. I can't believe how bad it is. Like wtf writers. MP improved but eh. I can't think of any other nominees but yeah, if anything i think borderlands 2, hitman, or dishonored should have gotten GOTY.

I know i said i didnt like dishonored but that doesnt mean its not worth buying, just wait till price drops. It was something new but more like a hybrid of several other games, much like resident evil 6. As for my previous love of re6, i noticed that there isnt much to do after awhile. The difficulty is so low in it that i have no challenge and theres just no point in playing it anymore.

I do when my girl wants to but shes been wanting to play a lot of little kart racing. whatever its called. I have a pirate ship with missles for wheels. So awesome but anyway yeah this is all my opinion and no one should take offense to it. Just adding to discussion. I can't really choose a GOTY because i haven't played far cry 3 yet, and i have this feeling it would be my GOTY. Not sure though.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

Knightzane, I'm sorry, but there is absolutely zero chance you did everything and were entirely stealthy in Dishonored, and it only took you 6 hours. That's just crap. It took me at least 15 and I didn't think I was going all that slow. For many, it was closer to 20.

6 hours is just plain bogus, my friend.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
8 years ago

Took me close to six hours just to get through the first assassination in Dishonored…

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

Dishonored took me nearly 20 hours, probably about 18 and that was even when I got too tense and rushed some missions. However I can see how people could be mistaken, just sitting down with the game and playing for 2-3 hours feels like only a half hour went by.

Corvo
Corvo
8 years ago

Well, i thought i said not to get angry at my opinion. Anyway, just because you guys took your time does not mean i did the same thing. I went through the game not stopping to stare around for 5 hours per mission. I got in explored, got my shineys, killed, moved on. SIX hours is my timer on my save file, could really care less if you disagree but the clock doesnt lie.

Also maybe i played it better than you guys did so i was able to proceed quicker? I had played a ton of bioshock and their kind of the same thing. So yeah, sorry you got so angry oh but you won't admit it but its obvious you are. Point is, i beat the game in 6 hours and 54 minutes. It was not worth MY 60$ and it was not that challenging.

MY opinion of the game. Skyrim's mage guild, thief, dark brotherhood, i beat all of them in about 3 hours. A little less or so. I dont have the save file anymore but my trophies have the time they were achieved. I beat games quickly im pretty decent at them. This was not about my personal prefernce of a game but about the GOTY. Seriously why so f-ing hostile because i don't like dishonored? Not sure if you hipsters or just one of those people who HAVE to agree with everything you say.

Not meaning to add to the hate but seriously i came back to see what peoples opinions were and i get greeted with a bunch of PMS and anger. Yeah, dishonored was over rated. MY OPIoNON MINE not yours MINE as in me, myself, you love the game terrific, fanfu-ingtastic. Does not mean i liked it. Does not mean i have to. Im glad it took you 50 hours to complete, im glad you got your moneys worth but i did not. Jesus tap dancing monkey christ

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
8 years ago

I think you're misconstruing our comments on the mere fact that you expected people to get angry; and as such have only managed to do that yourself. Admittedly, Ben's response may be a little hostile, but World and I merely offered our respective playtimes.

That being said, I've already offered in the past week that I am not nearly as enamoured with Dishonored as I had expected to be. I entirely agree that it is overrated, though that doesn't disclude the possibility of it being the GotY because well… it's far and away one of the best games of the year in terms of sheer quality and imagination.

But based on what you've said, that is not enough for you. Content is king, right? And the longer that you play and the more there is to do is what ultimately constitutes your main requisite for Game of the Year? Fine, as you say, your opinion. I don't agree, but that's the beauty of free discussion, right?

Beamboom
Beamboom
8 years ago

I think he's mainly having Bens comment in mind, Lawless. Ben has a natural talent for raising the aggression bar in discussions. 😀


Last edited by Beamboom on 12/14/2012 8:11:30 AM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

Beamboom: You need to stop looking for things that aren't there. I said 6 hours is bogus. How that's aggressive in any way is beyond me.

Knightzane: It has nothing to do with opinion. If you took 6 hours, you rushed and didn't appreciate the majority of what that game had to offer. It's not because you're some grand superior player and it's not because you have experience we don't; I've played everything you mentioned you played, as have most of us, I'm willing to bet.

Saying Dishonored is 6 hours long is extremely misleading for others who haven't played the game. That's what we're trying to get across to you.


Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 12/14/2012 11:15:05 AM

Corvo
Corvo
8 years ago

Yeah, sorry lawless and world. I wasn't trying meaning it to be the way it sounds. I just can't stand when people tell me what i have done or not done. How the hell would they know? Ben does not know me nor has he seen the save file or anything like that. For him to tell me that i did not beat it is BS. I don't complain when he gives good games bad reviews. Like MOH. I didn't encounter a single bug that he had encountered. I also did not watch him play it so i figured he must have had some bad times. Nope, i don't get that respect. Anyway im done now with this conversation hope you guys have a good christmas!! And sorry again if you ever check back and read this

Underdog15
Underdog15
8 years ago

Sorry Knight, Beam, and Lawless… don't see how Ben was all that hostile… lol… Sounds like you are all due for your pap smears. XD

Anyways, on a serious note… I've heard of people beating it in six hours… but certainly NOT the stealth route. I share in the skepticism.


Last edited by Underdog15 on 12/14/2012 5:38:21 PM

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
8 years ago

Knight, isn't the first person I've heard say that hes beaten the game with the playstyle he's saying he has. I havnt played it yet, so I have no idea. Nor do I care. I know some it's taken more time and others it's very short. My playstyle may vary and either way it's indicative of what the game offers. Different ways to play.

Saying the game is any length whether it's 6 or 20 hours long seems to be misleading at this point. If you were to tell me the game is 20 hours long and finished it in a weekend playing a few hours each day, well that would be misleading.

I've heard a 50/50 split and no in-between. Some says its 6-10 hour game others are saying 15-20. Guess it just depends on your pace.

Neo_Aeon666
Neo_Aeon666
8 years ago

Knight, just a random observation lol, I think you played too many games. You need to slow down and enjoy what you buy more 😛 At some point I did the same thing and was rushing through my games then I figured I didn't have fun anymore. So now I stop and snoop around more to enjoy all the content available. It feels like you finish your games but just kind of zoom to the end. Doesn't that end up just being a chore? And to really evaluate a game don't you have to take the time to explore it's content correctly? There is no way you can notice even 50% of the stuff going on if you play the way you describe.


Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 12/14/2012 6:19:02 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

I never said you didn't beat it. I said it isn't 6 hours long, because it isn't for the vast majority of people. It's at least three times that long. You appreciated nothing in the game and essentially ignored the main aspect: The atmosphere.

Maybe that's why you didn't like it.

Siris86
Siris86
8 years ago

I've played the first four episodes of the game and would say that it is rather engaging. If you enjoyed Heavy Rain, there is probably a lot there for you to like. While the level of polish and quality of writing isn't near Quantic Dream's latest, the idea of the "rubber band" story is somewhat present. Your actions will result in one of a variety of possibilities, effecting both your relationship with characters and the expectancy rate of the cast. Yet, if this game was titled GOTY, I find it odd that Heavy Rain was not in great contention in the past. I guess hugely popular tie-ins don't hurt. It also beat Assassin's Creed III, which is dumb…

BTNwarrior
BTNwarrior
8 years ago

Because out of all the games this year walking dead is the only one that throws you around emotionally. It has an incredible voice cast, and your choices have very extreme consequences. Plus every episode managed to leave me with the same feeling that I had at the end of mass effect 2 (well slightly less)

Gordo
Gordo
8 years ago

I am three hours into The Walking Dead on my Mac, and I am enjoying it a lot (a bit buggy though). I absolutely adore Heavy Rain and The Walking Dead is nowhere near the visual or audio quality of that, but I think story wise it is up there.

Heavy Rain for all its brilliance is overblown story wise and is a bit clunky. The Walking Dead is simpler and more focused.

I would need to play through The Walking Dead a couple more times to see if the choices actually matter but they feel more real.

Anyway, I think it is an excellent thing for "thinking" games like The Walking Dead and Journey to get some recognition. Bottom line is that if you liked Heavy Rain you will enjoy The Walking Dead.

Xombito
Xombito
8 years ago

Gordo pretty much nails it about Walking Dead. Its more focused story wise. The voice acting is excellent and the characters are engaging. I want to emphasize the decision making parts as they can have story changing consequences. In terms of character development and story, yes I personally say it deserves the award. Technically, not so much. Encountered a few glitches and scene transitions were't the smoothest.

Beamboom
Beamboom
8 years ago

The Walking Dead has a metascore up in the mid 90s, so from that perspective this award looks to be fair enough.


Last edited by Beamboom on 12/14/2012 12:59:41 AM

Temjin001
Temjin001
8 years ago

to add to that apparently the panel of judges were critics from the industry and not Spike's "own" critics.

Geobaldi
Geobaldi
8 years ago

No other game this year, or in the past for that matter, has affected me so much on an emotional level, from downright rage to sadness. That, in of itself, is a huge accomplishment for a game to produce. The storytelling is another factor that rose it to the top, as it arguably trumped every other game this year in that category with some of the best writing ever to appear in a video game. And with a playthrough time of around 10 hours or so, it's actually longer then some of the AAA titles that released. Easily my game of year winner and really looking forward to the second season of it next year. People have complained about the lack of gameplay and so on, but this is one case where it proves that gameplay isn't always needed and a limited amount of it is more then enough.

Xombito
Xombito
8 years ago

^^^This. Play it Ben.

TheAgingHipster
TheAgingHipster
8 years ago

Couldn't have said it better myself, sir. It's been a long, long time since a video game affected me the way Lee and Clem's story did.

Kiryu
Kiryu
8 years ago

Seriously I think because Sony didn't have any top AAA Exclusives this year.

Beamboom
Beamboom
8 years ago

Ah yes, of course. That is obviously the reason why The Walking Dead won over Dishonoured and Assassins Creed 3.
Makes perfect sense! Not disjointed logic at all. No no, no way. 😉

MrAnonymity
MrAnonymity
8 years ago

I'm just not into that kind of game. I tried Back to the Future, but it just didn't click for me. I must say that – in my opinion – Journey would have been a more appropriate choice due to how universal it is, but… there either must have been some magic in The Walking Dead or, like someone above pointed out, the VGAs are indeed rigged.

pavlovic
pavlovic
8 years ago

The only thing BTTF and TWD have in common is that both were developed by TellTale Games.

Pandacastro
Pandacastro
8 years ago

Because no other game has clementine?

YashaZz
YashaZz
8 years ago

It was simply an amazing experience. I thought I lived through this heart wrecking struggle with Lee and Clem, laughed with them, cheered with them, cried, raged – all with them. I was amazed to hear the game won GOTY.

It deserves the praise.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

I've had the first couple episodes cuz they were free but haven't even bothered to play it because Jurassic Park turned out not so good.

But for the love of God, if a downloadable game was going to win it would have been better for the industry if Journey took it.

Pandacastro
Pandacastro
8 years ago

How would it had been better?

TheAgingHipster
TheAgingHipster
8 years ago

The Walking Dead is *substantially* better than Jurassic Park. You should give them a whirl. Frankly, they were my favorite games released this year.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

It would have sent the message that gamers appreciate unique artistic expressions such as Journey was.

TheAgingHipster
TheAgingHipster
8 years ago

Journey was an excellent game. No argument whatsoever from me. A great experience that evokes a stronger sense of isolation than anything I've ever played before.

But I will take The Walking Dead over Journey any day of the week. The story, watching Clem and Lee's relationship develop… Damn. Seriously, World, give it a shot. It's got so much going for it that you're doing yourself a disservice by not playing it!

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

I'll get around to those first two I got at some point.

Xombito
Xombito
8 years ago

Love to hear what you think about it after you play it Ben.

TheAgingHipster
TheAgingHipster
8 years ago

Seconded.

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
8 years ago

The question here isn't why but how, when the likes of ACIII, Dishonored and ME3 are around as well.

___________
___________
8 years ago

ive gotta go because its done what no other game would dare to do!
some of the sh*t they pull off in the game, i mean how many developers would have the balls to force the player to do what they force you to do to get into that house half way through the game?
i thought that was a bit TOO far!
the writing and story was really good, but one thing that let me down was the characters.
for some reason i could not connect with the characters, and every time someone died i was like eh.
even at the end with the shock twists and endings i was meh.
i couldent care less, which is really sad considering how hard the game tries to shock you and invoke emotions it really does not work well.

i think it was the games inconsistency that did it to me.
especially the love or hate relationship between you, ducks father (yea thats how memorable the characters are i cant even remember their names!) and the old man.
the old man is constantly pouring sh*t on you, and every single time something happens ducks father blames you even though i ALWAYS sided with him!
every single time something happened i helped his family, every time!
than when i turn around and ask for his help at the end he turns around and says no you have never been there for me.
WHAT!?
i fed your son when we had so little food, i saved your family instead of others, i sided with you in arguments, and you still say i never did anything for you?
throughout the whole game its punching you in the balls for doing things you did not do.
when you catch up with that man on the radio and he lectures on everything you did in the game, half of the crap he mentions i did not do.
you let clem eat……
AH NO I DIDENT I STOPPED HER WHICH GAME HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING!!!!!???????

it just disconnects you from the story, and not giving a sh*t about anything because all the characters are jerks, and the games constantly sh*tting in your face for things you did not do.
so many times someone died and i said good he was a jerk he deserved it!
never was i said about something happening.

only character i cared about was ben, no i dident even care about clem.
you gotta feel sorry for the poor kid, hes constantly screwing things up, constantly making stupid poor decisions, but you have to admire him because he really does just want to help even if it does not seem like it.

its a shame because it really was such lofty in its ambition.
and its fallen apart simply because of the poor characters, and poor reactions.
one other thing i was disappointed by was how much the story changes depending on what you do.
its like every other game out there, it really does not.
whether x character dies, x character is left at the side of the road to be eaten, who you side with in conversations, whether you decide to leave people to guard things or leave it on its own, NOTHING matters!
no matter what you choose to do the outcome is the same, so what is the point of giving me these choices if there not going to change anything, have consequences?
whole point of the game was to put you on the spot and make you make decisions and then grill you on your decisions.
it doesent though, it makes you make decisions than really does not make you regret anything.
it makes you feel powerless, not like your part of the game but your a spectate just watching you have no power over what happens.
i think that was the final straw with my connection with the game, because you cant change anything you really do feel useless.
its like your speaking in a meeting but no one listens, so you just say whats the point ill just sit here and stare at the ceiling.

it won GOTY because it was something so very different, something we have not really seen before.
it tackled themes most developers would only dream of, and really had a stern harsh look on really everything.
there was no silver lining, there was just survival.
people are bored, they want something different so its no surprise that it won GOTY!

thats just stupid though, GOTY is suppose to be judged on how good a GAME it is!
not how different and refreshing its themes are.
sure originality helps, but if the game has boring uninteresting characters, so many bugs, lighting issues, poor graphics, and really no consequences and changing story when its suppose to, then theres no way in hell it should be winning GOTY!

Hand_of_Sorrow
Hand_of_Sorrow
8 years ago

of corse the game had good writting/story, its based on the
t.v series.

what the walking dead (the game) should have won was,
goty for the best downloadable game (if there was such an award)

Geobaldi
Geobaldi
8 years ago

Actually the game, and the TV series, are both based on the comic book, which has been ongoing since 2003.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
8 years ago

…and the graphic novels and the tv show vary and portray some scenes quite differently. I'd like to know which the game follows more closely.

Geobaldi
Geobaldi
8 years ago

The game follows neither. Glenn and Hershel make an appearance but it's before they meet up with the cast of the books. The game is a totally new, and separate storyline from the books and TV series. Only those that have read the books and seen the show will know who those two are, but that's the only reference to the well known characters you will ever encounter in the game.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
8 years ago

Good. I'd rather that be the case! Thanks.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
8 years ago

I haven't played every game this year, but I've been really, really underwhelmed by most of what I did. By all accounts, The Walking Dead is a brilliant narrative experience; one that I am curious to play, but I sincerely doubt that I will have the opportunity. Sad to say, but that's the way it goes. So what is my GotY?

Based on what I've heard, it'd probably be Journey. Based on what I've played, it's XCOM.

Temjin001
Temjin001
8 years ago

Woo hoo! for X-Com.
I haven't played it but it majorly surprises me a game of its type and origin received such high marks.

JohnnyGold
JohnnyGold
8 years ago

Let me sell it to you like this. You like JRPGs from the 90s, because they existed in an era where YOU controlled your party, and your character, and did it in an awesome fantasy world where the story is top notch.

Since then, JRPGs have turned into one long FMV.

The Walking Dead is the closest thing to a mid-90s JRPG that I have played this generation.

From the second the game loads up and you're in the back of a police car, you have to choose what kind of person you're going to be, to everyone you interact with. Leader? Follower? Ahole? Nice guy? Stay out of trouble? Rule breaker?

The fact that it is linear is what makes it work. People bash it because there is only the "illusion" of freedom. I couldn't disagree more. The walking dead is a story that starts at point A and ends at point Z, yes. However, in between the start and finish, the way that the world interacts with you is completely different for everyone.

What if Tifa hated you in FF7? What if Aeris did? What if Barret died in chapter 1? What if Aeris lived? Those are the choices you get to make in the Walking Dead…

And, the story is top freaking notch. My god.

Miister47
Miister47
8 years ago

This game made me even more emotionnal than heavy rain did. That's really something…This is an accomplishment for the story telling aspect. They included intense moments that you wouln't think possible in a video game. And for those who played other TellTale games, this one is the best thing they did at this time…I think they deserve this award!!