Which Of These Five Games Had The Best Writing Of 2012?

Every year the Writers Guild of America awards a special Outstanding Achievement in Video Game Writing award to the team responsible for the most memorable interactive entertainment script. Which of these five titles will walk away a winner on February 19?

You know what I love about the Writers Guild of America Video Game Writing Award? It's a chance for games that weren't nominated for any other category to shine. Just look at poor Brink. Not only wasn't it nominated for any other major awards, just about everyone I know forgot it even existed. Now it stands proudly among the likes of Batman: Arkham City, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Uncharted 3, and...Mortal Kombat?

There was writing in Mortal Kombat?

And if your favourite game didn't make the cut, rest easy; to be eligible members of the writing staff must be or have applied to be members of the guild's video game Writers Caucus at the time their game was released, and who wants to deal with that hassle, other than the Mortal Kombat guys?

Check out the full list of nominees and appreciate a group of people that doesn't get the recognition they so richly deserve.


Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Story by Alexandre Amancio, Jean Guesdon, Corey May, Darby McDevitt; Multiplayer Story by Stéphane Blais, Richard Farrese, Jeffrey Yohalem; Lead Script Writer Darby McDevitt; Script Writers Richard Farrese, Nicholas Grimwood, Corey May, Jeffrey Yohalem; Greek and Turkish Ambient Dialogue Writer Vincenzo Beretta; Ubisoft

Batman: Arkham City, Lead Narrative Designer Paul Crocker; Story Written by Paul Dini, Paul Crocker and Sefton Hill; Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Brink, Lead Writer Edward "Bongoboy" Stern; Bethesda Softworks

Mortal Kombat, Story by John Vogel, Brian Chard, Dominic Cianciolo, Alexander Barrentine, Jon Greenberg; Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, Written by Amy Hennig; Sony Computer Entertainment


    Winner: The Witcher 2
    Runner Up: Deus Ex: Human Revolution
    Loser: These stupid awards things, seriously, how the hell is it the best writing of the year when it can only go to people who specifically apply to be in a club. Well my girlfriend gets best girlfriend of 2011 aware because she's the only that applied for my specific award, how prestigious. God I'm cranky of late >_>

    Also I think you meant 2011, I have to say despite how abysmal Luke and Bashcraft's articles can be, Mike takes the title for ... worst titles.

      Agree. Witcher 2 had the best storyline of the year by far, and not even mentioning Deus Ex: Human Revolution here is just insulting

      definably agreed. I'm about 3/4 the way through this atm and it's just so great.

      You know, you have to SUBMIT a script to be considered for an Emmy, right? And you have to apply to be a member of their "club?"

    Which of these five arseholes will have the worst writing of 2012?

    Crecente (wherever he is now)

      I'm going to go with Plunkett for obvious reasons, however Ashcrafts unsourced claims always make me smile. Its a tough choice.
      They really should take a leaf out of the Australian book and you know, write something interesting and back up their claims. Just saying.

        American journalism, what're you gonna do. *shrugs*

          Eh it's not american journalism that is the problem its the way they get paid.

          They get paid based on the views of their articles. Which is why Plunkett tends to publish about 40 every day.

          And why so many of the articles are nerd bait. Much like the Dragon Age 2 one that has popped up. Since it's going to quite easily cause some arguments on the KotakUS site. Which means more glorious hits.

      I reckon it would be a close fight between Plunkett and Ashcraft.

      Plunkett is actually an aussie living in the US too, which makes it worse.

      Ashcraft for sure. That guy is a pain in the arse.

    Its just depressing that Batman and Brink could be nominated for any kind of writing award. I've seen better paced, more coherent porno's.

    And no Witcher 2? Are they F'ing kidding me?

    Criminal that Deus Ex isn't nominated. Or Portal 2. Or Dragon Age 2. So give it to Uncharted 3.

      DA2's writing had some great moments... and some really bad ones.

        Agreed - DA2 had a nasty case of deus ex machina, and the pacing was atrocious.

          I kind of liked the second act though...

            I generally agree with that, but if a movie had a half hour of brilliance in the middle and a shite start and conclusion, I'd still describe it as poorly written.

              I'm not disagreeing with you, that game was broke... but there were moments where you could see how good it could have been.

    Witcher 2, Portal 2, Deus Ex, possibly Mortal Kombat because it did a lot right to honor a complex universe, but of those listed, if you take into account the rest of the universe, AC:R. But the writing isn't strong enough to stand on its own.

    Hmm, not the list I would have put together if membership wasn't a criterion.

    Ah well. Revelations was impressive in that it managed to absolutely avoid revealing anything while still drowning the player in over-produced cutscenes. :P

    Batman was impressive for its atmosphere, but ultimately it shone strongest when there was no dialogue.

    Uncharted 3 was a bit of a mess, story-wise.

    Mortal Kombat -= WINRAR :P

    I judge storylines on the ability to hold my better half's attention during my gaming. If you're not a gamer, I suppose character and plot are the only appeal games would hold? The 2011 standouts by this measure were Uncharted and Portal.

    Saints Row 3! (Especially when you have the Zombie personality!)

    Of that list though, either Batman or Uncharted.

      Zombie personality resulted in some of the most thought-provoking dialogue ever.

      "Larrgh larrgh arrgh harggh" sticks with me to this day. Sends a chill down my spine.

    I would've thought LA Noire wouldve been up there, it told a good story.
    Where's Shadows Of The Damned? That game had great writing, it was pretty much "we've taken your girl Garcia..." "F**k you!!" Boom!! Splat!! (luv that game!)

      agreed, sad to see LA Noire didn't get a mention

    Brink? Are you shitting me? There was a reason it didnt win any awards, you know.

    No Witcher 2? No Portal 2? Deus ex (Aside from the "Push a button. Recieve monolouge" ending)?

    I'm on the fence about AS:R and B:AC. AS:R was no AS:2 and Arkham did its best to justify the setting and keep you interested.

    Is this for American games only?
    Because I get the feeling Catherine really should be on this list somewhere.

      Somehow I doubt their writers are members of the Writers' Guild of America. :p

    None. Well maybe Assassins Creed.

    Deus Ex, Witcher 2 and Portal 2 need to be thrown in a ring and let them fight to the death.

      Having just gotten around to and finished revelations.

      I don't see why it would deserve an award for story telling. It follows basically the same plot as all the other games with less story.

      It felt like there should have been more interaction with Subject 16(clay)

      Other than that it was do a bunch of mostly menial tasks to find some books to find some keys. Story was easily the poorest of all of them in my mind.

      The info dump at the end was nice, but it was more of a for future reference than it was story

    Uncharted 3 was written 30 years ago, so I can't see that winning.

      I love Uncharted 3, but I laughed anyway lol. Sorry Nate..

    As much as I loved MK and as much as the story mode sets a new benchmark in fighting game stories it shouldn't be nominated for any awards for writing.

    It's hokey and self aware and plays out like a professional wrestling drama; which are all things I expect from Mortal Kombat and it certainly got the job done, but it didn't exactly rock my world.

    Portal 2. No question. Most games have to be judged as games- but the writing is actually worthy of mediums with REAL writing.

    No Portal 2? Really?

      Also, as well written as Arkham City is... it should definitely not win purely because of each and every cringe-worthy line that Catwoman put us through.

    Haven't played Uncharted 3 but the others? I enjoyed them very much so (well not Brink, that stunk in many ways) but if this is the "cream of the crop" that has been selected then there either aren't many game writers who are members of the WGA or their priorities are a bit screwy.

    from the ones in the article... has to be uncharted and batman... brink and mortal kombat?? what the hell!?

    Uncharted 3 for sure. ^ Also wondering where the writing in Brink & Mortal Kombat is.

    Portal 2 should be on this list and The Gunstringer had outstanding narration

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