First a thing about the name: I didn't pick it. I think it's hilarious, but I'd never name an award after myself, it's obnoxious... and quite funny. Which is what I think the Rocky was going for. There are quite a few closet smart-arses over there. :)
So my annual pick for best video game ran in the Rocky Mountain News today and I picked Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare as the overall winner. The game beat out The Orange Box, Bioshock, Super Mario Galaxy and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.
Here's why I decided to pick a war-time first-person shooter sequel over the splendor of a dystopian society, amazing character interaction of Uncharted and innovative design of Galaxy and Orange Box:
This solid first-person shooter for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 may not be as innovative as The Orange Box and Super Mario Galaxy. It may not deliver an awe-inspiring glimpse at an eschewed philosophy like BioShock or create the sort of sizzling character interaction found in Uncharted, but, hands down, it is the most thoroughly entertaining video game of the past year.
The single-player story is captivating, set in a present-day Middle East and parts of Russia and comes at the player in a mix of sweeping cinematic set pieces and smart pacing that can easily glue the audience to the game for the entire six- to eight-hour experience.
It's a game that has the sorts of moments usually found only in film, hiding these startling revelations in gamers' blind spots. People you come to care about die. You die, and not in the sort of plastic, ephemeral death found in video games. These deaths are permanent and, at times, evocative.
A deep, seemingly limitless online multiplayer experience also adds quite a bit of life to the title. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare may seem like more of the same, but this title is the realization of a rewarding franchise meeting its complete potential.
Hit the link to check out my winners for the rest of the categories, including a selection of "hot flashes" I managed to sneak into the awards. Feel free to bash me here for not choosing (your selection here) for best (your category here).
Ps. I didn't write the awards' intro, that's one of those smart-arses I was talking about.