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This week on Zero Punctuation, Yahtzee goes to GDC: a special presentation of Yahtzee's Developer's Choice Awards Videos from GDC 2008.

Transcript Edit

Welcome to the 2008 Game Developer's Choice Awards. My name is Yahtzee, and I claim responsibility for The Escapist's Zero Punctuation feature when I'm not gabbing off at awards ceremonies. Having been very politely requested to not be involved in the voting and to stop throwing rocks at your cars, I've taken the opportunity to present a personal retrospective of 2007 in my trademark psychotic manner. Take it away, myself.

The Year's Best Faceless Voiceless Nameless Dork

Ever since the Doom marine first grimaced his way up Satan's arse, first-person shooters have been defined by the faceless, voiceless dorks that tread on their first-aid kits. One could almost say that each era of gaming is defined by its anonymous taciturn underdogs, if one wanted to sound like a twat. I'd like to take a moment to name 2007's best gun-toting stoic.

Honorable mention goes to old hand Gordon Freeman, sadly disqualified for having a face and a name, who reappeared this year in Half-Life 2, Episode 2 (Millwall 1) - a scientist using a magical suit of armour to fight an Orwellian regime in a ruined city controlled by another evil scientist who sometimes seems to be channeling Alec Guinness.

This is not to be confused with our runner-up, the faceless, voiceless, nameless dork from TimeShift - a scientist using a magical suit of armour to fight an Orwellian regime in a ruined city controlled by another evil scientist who sometimes seems to be channeling Mahatma Gandhi. But the TimeShift scientist is different because he can slow down time. So he's not ripping off Gordon Freeman; he's just ripping off everyone else.

But the winner of the 2007 Best Invisible Dumbfounded Prick Award is none other than the main guy from 2K's steampunk Objectivist philsophyfest BioShock. Now, there's a lot of criticism that can be leveled at him: he's a bitch, he's an alcoholic, he has some very strange ideas of how to treat small children. But all of this is countered by the fact that he has a magical hand that shoots bees. And that's why he takes the prize. Because no matter who you are, the moment you're compared to a magical hand that shoots bees you're going to fucking lose.

Realizing the Rock Star Fantasy

All games are about realizing a fantasy, whether it be the fantasy of being a courageous war hero or the fantasy of being a future space adventurer or, in the case of some Japanese games, the fantasy of possessing eight prehensile dicks. 2007 was a good year for fantasists who spend their pubescence stage-diving off their bed while jerking off a tennis racket.

The popularity of the Guitar Hero series has proved that it's possible to recreate the feeling of rock glory even when the experience is cut down to its underpants. It seems as long as we've got the music and the roar of the crowd, we're prepared to overlook the fact that we're standing in our living rooms holding molded plastic ukuleles, pressing colourful buttons like a laboratory chimp with a head full of electrodes. And the release of Rock Band allowed friends to grow closer by giving them the chance to totally humiliate themselves together. It seems these days even the most talentless, brick-headed, rhythm-deficient drool dispenser can know what it's like to be in a rock band as something other than the drummer.

Part of me wonders if, like how the invention of realistic virtual sex will wipe out the human race within one generation, simulated rocking will kill the real life music industry. Now that it's no longer necessary to actually learn how to play an instrument, show up for gigs, stay up all night snorting drugs off people's body parts and still be alert enough the following day to dodge casually thrown beer bottles, bright young fellows with rock potential will instead use up their talent learning how to press buttons in the right order. Admittedly, you don't get the benefits of constant sex or embarrassingly large amounts of cash, but you also don't have to drop dead at the age of 35 from a combination of exhaustion, drug abuse, and bullets.

2007

2007 was a significant year in gaming, which is disappointing because it's such a dorky number. I mean, 2000 you could respect, 2010, 2005 at a pinch, but 2007 just sounds like a year with red hair and huge plastic-framed spectacles who wonders why women don't seem to be impressed by his limited-edition Big Daddy figurine.

The year kicked off by the release of World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade in January, further cementing 2007 as the year of the hopeless shut-in, offering new and interesting ways for the client base to continue sabotaging their own lives. It was also a year for pretenders to the MMORPG throne, with the release of Lord of the Rings Online, Tabula Rasa, Hellgate: London, and Fury, but nothing could make a dent in WoW's monolithic market share, because if I took every opportunity to acquire World of Warcraft free trial CDs, I'd have enough to make an attractive, fashionable cape and perhaps a matching hat. Meanwhile, on the console battlefield, it was a significant year for the PS3 more than any other. At the start of the year, she'd been freshly kicked out onto the stage to nervously dance for our amusement, and it was hard to shake the feeling that she wasn't quite ready for prime time. Her shows were too expensive, and she only knew two songs. But over the last year, the girl's been exercising and eating properly, and I think it's fair to say she's become a decent rival to her peers, the Wii (who only knows 4 or 5 songs) and the Xbox 360 (who frequently comes onto stage drunk). Perhaps now there's decent competition we'll have some decent concerts in 2008, and perhaps I should stop labouring this analogy before its tits fall off.

It was also a year for mascots, with Mario as usual working off his tight, little Mediterranean arse in 10 new releases - 17, counting Virtual Console - but the significance of this year is that it marked the point in which Mario buried the hatchet with old nemesis Sonic the Hedgehog in order to compete in a friendly sporting competition (and presumably beat the living shit out of each other) this year in Smash Bros. Brawl. Personally, if it comes down to a fight between two guys who make a living jumping on people, then my money's on the one with spikes growing out of his flesh.

But what could have been a better closing moment for 2007 than the release of a new Duke Nukem Forever teaser. Yes, it seems that 3D Realms have been doing something other than giving each other piggy-back rides for the last ten years. In a stroke, all the anticipation we haven't felt since 1998 returned like a taser gun to the base of the spine. I just hope that 3D Realms understands that if this game doesn't turn out to be history's greatest contribution to human culture and a cure for at least one type of cancer, then I and every other reviewer on Earth are going to saw its bollocks off.

Fin

AddendaEdit

Sir Not Actually Appearing at These Awards: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw

ScreenshotsEdit

GDC 1

Each era of gaming is defined by its anonymous taciturn underdogs

GDC 2

If I took every opportunity to acquire World of Warcraft free trial CDs, I'd have enough to make an attractive, fashionable cape and perhaps a matching hat

GDC 3

A friendly sporting competition

External LinksEdit

Episodes
2007 - 2010
2007
Q3 The Darkness Demo · Fable: The Lost Chapters · Zero Punctuation (Episode) · Heavenly Sword and Other Stuff · Psychonauts · Console Rundown · BioShock · Tomb Raider: Anniversary · Manhunt · Peggle
Q4 Halo 3 · Tabula Rasa · The Orange Box · Super Paper Mario · Medal of Honor: Airborne · The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass · Clive Barker's Jericho · F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate · Assassin's Creed · Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock · Mass Effect
2008
Q1 Super Mario Galaxy · Silent Hill: Origins · Crysis · The Witcher · Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles · Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare · SimCity Societies · Yahtzee Goes to GDC · Uncharted: Drake's Fortune · Devil May Cry 4 · Burnout: Paradise · Turok · Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Q2 Army of Two · No More Heroes · Condemned 2: Bloodshot · Super Smash Bros. Brawl · God of War: Chains of Olympus · Mailbag Showdown · Grand Theft Auto IV · Painkiller · The World Ends With You · The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion · Haze · Metal Gear Solid 4
Q3 Webcomics · Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures · Alone in the Dark · Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures · The E3 Trailer Park · Ninja Gaiden II · Prince of Persia Retrospective · Soulcalibur IV · Braid · EVE Online · Too Human · Spore · XBLA Double Bill
Q4 Mercenaries 2: World in Flames · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed · S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky · Silent Hill: Homecoming · Saints Row 2 · Dead Space · Fable II · Fallout 3 · Guitar Hero: World Tour · Mirror's Edge · Left 4 Dead · Sonic Unleashed · The Year in Review - 2008 · Prince of Persia
2009
Q1 Awards for 2008 · Tomb Raider: Underworld · Far Cry 2 · Gears of War 2 · LittleBigPlanet · Thief: The Dark Project · Skate 2 · F.E.A.R. 2 · Spider-Man: Web of Shadows · The House of the Dead: Overkill · 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand · Resident Evil 5
Q2 X-Blades/Halo Wars · Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars · MadWorld · Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X · Siren: Blood Curse · The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena · Valkyria Chronicles · Velvet Assassin · Duke Nukem Forever · Bionic Commando · InFamous · The Second Annual E3 Hype Massacre · Prototype
Q3 The Sims 3 · Ghostbusters: The Video Game · Overlord 2 · Red Faction Guerrilla · Wii Sports Resort · Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood · The Conduit · Silent Hill 2 · 2.5-D Hoedown · Tales of Monkey Island · Wolfenstein · Batman: Arkham Asylum · Beatles Rock Band & Guitar Hero 5 · Darkest of Days
Q4 Scribblenauts · Wet · Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story · Brutal Legend · Washington D.C. · Uncharted 2: Among Thieves · Dragon Age: Origins · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 · Assassin's Creed 2 · Left 4 Dead 2 & New Super Mario Bros. Wii · Demon's Souls · Holiday 2009 · The Saboteur
2010
Q1 Awards for 2009 · Torchlight · Darksiders · Bayonetta · Dark Void · Borderlands · Mass Effect 2 · Dante's Inferno · BioShock 2 · Aliens vs Predator · Heavy Rain · Battlefield: Bad Company 2 · Final Fantasy XIII
Q2 April Fools 2010 · God of War III · Red Steel 2 · Just Cause 2 · Silent Hill: Shattered Memories · Splinter Cell: Conviction · Nier · Dead to Rights: Retribution · Monster Hunter Tri · Alan Wake · Red Dead Redemption · Alpha Protocol · Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands · E3 2010
Q3 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle · Super Mario Galaxy 2 · Singularity · Crackdown 2 · DeathSpank & Limbo · Shadow of the Colossus · Split Second: Velocity · Transformers: War for Cybertron · Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days · Mafia II · Metroid: Other M · Video Game Voters Network · Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Q4 Halo: Reach · Dead Rising 2 · Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow · Enslaved: Odyssey to the West · Fallout: New Vegas · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II · Call of Duty: Black Ops · IPhone Games · Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood · Splatterhouse · Epic Mickey · Holiday 2010
2011 - 2014
2011
Q1 Top 5 of 2010 · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm · Fable III · Minecraft · A Shadow's Tale · Dead Space 2 · DC Universe Online · MindJack · Two Worlds II · Bulletstorm · Killzone 3 · Kirby's Epic Yarn · Dragon Age II
Q2 Pokémon White · Yakuza 4 · Crysis 2 · Nintendo 3DS · Portal 2 · Castlevania: Symphony of the Night · Mortal Kombat · Brink · L.A. Noire · The Witcher 2 · Hunted: The Demon's Forge · Duke Nukem Forever (for real this time) · InFamous 2
Q3 Alice: Madness Returns · Shadows of the Damned · F.E.A.R. 3 · The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D · Call of Juarez: The Cartel · Bastion and From Dust · Catherine · Red Faction: Armageddon · Deus Ex · Deus Ex: Human Revolution · Driver: San Francisco · Dead Island · Resistance 3
Q4 Gears of War 3 · Hard Reset · Rage · Kinect · Batman: Arkham City · Battlefield 3 · Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 · The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim · Saints Row: The Third · Assassin's Creed: Revelations · The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2012
Q1 Serious Sam 3: BFE · Top 5 of 2011 · Super Mario 3D Land & Rayman Origins · Sonic Generations · Star Wars: The Old Republic · Amy · Resident Evil: Revelations · Darkness 2 · Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning · NeverDead · Syndicate · Mass Effect 3 · Twisted Metal
Q2 Yakuza: Dead Souls · Ninja Gaiden 3 · Silent Hill: Downpour · Kid Icarus: Uprising · Fez and I Am Alive · Prototype 2 · Risen 2: Dark Waters · Sniper Elite V2 · Diablo 3 · Max Payne 3 · Dragon's Dogma · E3 2012 · Lollipop Chainsaw
Q3 Quantum Conundrum · Spec Ops: The Line · Walking Dead · Inversion · The Amazing Spider-Man · Half-Life · Wreckateer and Deadlight · Steam Roundup · Sleeping Dogs · Darksiders 2 · DayZ · Guild Wars 2
Q4 Borderlands 2 · FIFA 13 · Resident Evil 6 · Dishonored · XCOM: Enemy Unknown · Medal of Honor: Warfighter & Doom 3: BFG Edition · Assassin's Creed 3 · Halo 4 · Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 · Hitman: Absolution · Far Cry 3 · ZombiU
2013
Q1 Top 5 of 2012 · Paper Mario: Sticker Star · Black Knight Sword & Hotline Miami · Anarchy Reigns · DMC: Devil May Cry · The Cave · Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch · Dead Space 3 · Aliens: Colonial Marines · Crysis 3 · Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance · Tomb Raider · SimCity
Q2 The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct · BioShock Infinite · Lego City Undercover · Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon · Injustice: Gods Among Us · Star Trek · Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon · System Shock 2 · Metro: Last Light · Next Gen Buyer's Guide · Fuse · Remember Me · E3 2013
Q3 The Last of Us · Deadpool · Animal Crossing: New Leaf · Ride to Hell: Retribution · Dark · Mario & Luigi: Dream Team · Rise of the Triad · Papers, Please & Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons · Pikmin 3 · The Bureau: XCOM Declassified · Saints Row 4 · Killer is Dead · Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Q4 Grand Theft Auto V · Lost Planet 3 · Beyond: Two Souls · The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD · Batman: Arkham Origins · Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag · Call of Duty: Ghosts · Exclusives Showdown · Ryse: Son of Rome · Dead Rising 3 · Super Mario 3D World
2014
Q1 Top 5 of 2013 · Knack · Killzone: Shadow Fall · Survival Special · Broken Age · Might & Magic X: Legacy · The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds · Dark Souls · Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII · Strider · Thief · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 · Dark Souls II
Q2 Titanfall · InFamous: Second Son · Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes · The Elder Scrolls Online · South Park: The Stick of Truth · FTL: Faster Than Light · Child of Day-Light · The Amazing Spider-Man 2 · Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure · Wolfenstein: The New Order · WATCH DOGS · E3 2014 · Murdered: Soul Suspect
Q3 Tomodachi Life · Enemy Front & Valiant Hearts: The Great War · Shovel Knight · EarthBound · Transistor · E.T. · Firefall · Sacred 3 · Risen 3: Titan Lords · Daikatana · Lichdom: Battlemage · The Sims 4 · Destiny
Q4 D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die · Hyrule Warriors · Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor · Alien Isolation · The Evil Within · Bayonetta 2 · Sunset Overdrive · Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare · Assassin's Creed: Unity · Far Cry 4 · Dragon Age: Inquisition · Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric · Top 5 Games of 2014
2015 - 2017
2015
Q1 The Talos Principle · Elite: Dangerous · Five Nights at Freddy's and This War of Mine · Lords of the Fallen · Saints Row: Gat out of Hell · Dying Light · Grim Fandango · Evolve · The Order: 1886 · The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D · Resident Evil Revelations 2 · Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number & Ori and the Blind Forest
Q2 Battlefield: Hardline · Bloodborne · Half-Life 2 Update · Axiom Verge & Stealth Inc 2 · Mortal Kombat X · Grand Theft Auto Online · Broken Age: Act 2 · Wolfenstein: The Old Blood · Cyberpunk Double · The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt · Splatoon · Hatred · E3 2015
Q3 Alone in the Dark: Illumination · Batman: Arkham Knight · Yoshi's Woolly World · Cave Story · Godzilla · Rocket League & Tembo the Badass Elephant · King's Quest: A Knight to Remember · Nom Nom Galaxy & Freedom Planet · Everybody's Gone To The Rapture · Volume · Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain · Mad Max · Gears of War Ultimate Edition · Until Dawn
Q4 Super Mario Maker · SOMA · Rock Band 4 · Assassin's Creed Syndicate · Halo 5: Guardians · Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 · Rise of the Tomb Raider · Fallout 4 · Star Wars: Battlefront · Just Cause 3 · Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
2016
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2015 · Devil's Third · Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam · Assassin's Creed Chronicles · Xenoblade Chronicles X · The Witness & Bombshell · Gravity Rush · XCOM 2 · Firewatch & Layers of Fear · Far Cry Primal · Stardew Valley & SUPERHOT · The Division · Salt and Sanctuary
Q2 Republique · Shadow Warrior · Quantum Break · Dark Souls III · Ratchet & Clank · Star Fox Zero · Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door · Uncharted 4: A Thief's End · Doom · Homefront: The Revolution · Overwatch & Battleborn · Mirror's Edge: Catalyst · E3 2016
Q3 Mighty No. 9 · Inside & Shadow of the Beast · The Technomancer · Furi & Song of the Deep · I Am Setsuna · Headlander & Quadrilateral Cowboy · Quake · No Man's Sky · Grow Up · Deus Ex: Mankind Divided · Metroid Prime: Federation Force · The Curious Expedition & Mother Russia Bleeds · ReCore
Q4 Capcom Five · Clustertruck & Lichtspeer · Paper Mario: Color Splash · Mafia III · Gears of War 4 · PlayStation VR · Battlefield 1 · Titanfall 2 vs Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare · Dishonored 2 · WATCH DOGS 2 · Final Fantasy XV · The Last Guardian
2017
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2016 · Let It Die · Dead Rising 4 · Hitman · Gravity Rush 2 · Resident Evil 7 · Yakuza 0 · Nioh · For Honor · Nintendo Switch & Breath of the Wild · Horizon Zero Dawn · Nier Automata · Ghost Recon Wildlands
Q2 Mass Effect Andromeda · Yooka-Laylee · Persona 5 · Remastered Editions · Outlast 2 · Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 · Prey · Wilson's Heart · The Surge · Injustice 2 · Vanquish · E3 2017 · Strafe
Q3 Get Even · Hollow Knight / Dead Cells

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