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PixlBit's 2011 Supplemental Awards

Just when you thought awards season was over...

Winner – Portal 2

Between games like Catherine, Dragon Age 2, Uncharted 3, and Batman: Arkham City, 2011 was a great year for excellent voice performances in games. On any other year, any of those games would be a lock for winning our Best Voice Acting award. Unfortunately for those other games, Portal 2 came out this year.

Ellen McLain reprises her role as the sociopathic computer GLaDOS and even though her character has some interesting developments through the course of the adventure, she takes a backseat to the two new personalities in Portal 2. J.K. Simmons, who is probably best known as the actor who played J. Jonah Jameson in the Spider-Man films, delivers a brusque and impatient performance as Cave Johnson, founder of Aperture Science. In truth, the character isn’t too far removed from good ol’ J.J., but it works perfectly and helps speed along a section of the game that would otherwise drag. If Cave Johnson was the only new person introduced in this game, Portal 2 would still have had one of the most memorable characters of the year.

Of course, Cave Johnson isn’t the only new character in Portal 2  The real star of this game (and, let’s face it…the reason for this award) is Wheatley, voiced by Stephen Merchant. Wheatley is similar to the personality cores seen in the first Portal game, but unlike those components and GLaDOS, Wheatley sounds like a regular human. This is key to how hilarious and relatable the character is. Merchant has an ability to instantly make this quirky robotic companion lovable and interesting, and Portal 2 is a delight to play because of it. You’ll likely want to rush through the more intense sections of the game because of the sense of urgency put upon you, but take your time in your second play-through to listen to the plethora of dialogue Wheatley has if you stay put in certain areas. Wheatley isn’t just one of the best voice-acted characters of the year; he’s one of the best voice-acted characters ever.

Honorable Mentions

   

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Comments

TripOpt55

01/19/2012 at 07:39 PM

These types of awards are always fun. Surprised Uncharted 3 didn't win best graphics (though I played BF3 on PS3). Would have picked either Rayman or Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet for art direction. I agree with a lot of these picks though.

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