IVG GOTY 2009: Best Action-Adventure Game

icon_feature1Choosing a winner for this year’s action-adventure category turned out to be an action-adventure game in itself; and a pretty tough one at that. Imagine going up to a deadly assassin or the Dark Knight himself and telling them that their respective entries, while being awesome beyond words, didn’t quite make the cut. Apart from the imminent health hazard that such a (thankfully) hypothetical situation presents, picking out a winner for this category in 2009 truly felt like a grave injustice to the other nominees.

But the fat lady has to sing, and so we must choose a winner. This year’s nominees included Rocksteady’s brilliantly crafted debut in the Batman universe. The game is not only an excellent superhero game, but would have easily topped this category had it been released in another year. In the same space, we also had inFamous, the open-world superhero (or villain) saga whose gameplay was arguably the most accessible and addictive this year. Assassin’s Creed 2 capped off the year by making an already tough choice infinitely tougher by weeding out all the issues that the original had, and brought all its elements at par or exceed what they were supposed to be – Legendary.

And while Grand Theft Auto 4 disappointed many of its fans with some questionable design choices that took some of the fun out of the game, there was nothing disappointing about Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony and the surprisingly outstanding handheld entry of the franchise, Chinatown Wars. The result of a perfect marriage of the best elements from the classic GTA and GTA4, the latter packs a heftier punch than its home console counterparts. And rounding off the nominations was the epic side-scroller Shadow Complex from… er.. Epic Games.

But the unanimous verdict declared Uncharted 2: Among Thieves as the undisputed king of the category, and one look at the games it had to beat to take the top spot is greater praise than however many words we can lavish upon it. Uncharted 2 has mastered everything that the genre has to offer, and packed it in with an unrelenting sequence of mind blowing set pieces, excellent voice acting, and out of the world character animations. To put it simply – The bar has been raised. And the gauntlet has been thrown.

IVG Staff Pick: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

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