ACTION & ADVENTURE
Call of Duty 4, which I finished in two sittings last week; it was overall one of the best put-together games I’ve ever experienced, complete with a couple of moments of genius and unfortunately a few of intense frustration. As a game I’d probably give it a 95%, which means it ranks about the same as a movie I’d give a 60% rating to.

Other nominees include Fable II and Grand Theft Auto IV, both of which I found too abysmal to play more than an hour.

ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENT
Assassin’s Creed

BEST GAME
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

I’m tempted to say Rock Band, though I’ve never played it. I just love the idea of Rock Band.

CASUAL
Wii Fit narrowly steals this one from the excellent Boom Blox, due to its superior replayability (not to mention a theme dear to my heart).

GAMEPLAY
Mario Kart Wii was my game addiction of 2008, with Call of Duty 4 in close second.

MULTIPLAYER
Of the nominees, I’ve only played Left 4 Dead and Mario Kart Wii in multiplayer mode so I won’t choose, but I’m surprised EA Montreal’s Army of Two didn’t make the cut. It was one of the best co-op experiences I’ve had in the past year. Most frustrating co-op game: Fable II. Just lots of broken gameplay overall IMO.

ORIGINAL SCORE
This isn’t really “original score”, but I have to give Fallout 3 a big shout-out for its awesome 1940s soundtrack.

STORY AND CHARACTER
I’ve played several of the nominees, including the story-driven Mass Effect, but I wouldn’t really vote for any of them as having an “awardably” compelling story or profound character development.

TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT
Assassin’s Creed. Although it wasn’t a great success in terms of gameplay, Assassins brought the medium some breakthroughs in terms of animation and artificial intelligence.

USE OF AUDIO
Call of Duty 4: the one game where I actually noticed the quality and immersiveness of the audio.

GAME Award of 2008
Call of Duty 4

My honourable mentions: Mario Kart Wii, Boom Blox, Army of Two