ZAM.com PAX Awards Results

This year we decided to cover PAX more aggressively than we have in the past and one of the by-products of that choice is our first annual PAX Awards. Check out which games won it all!

This year we decided to cover PAX more aggressively than we have in the past and one of the by-products of that choice is our first annual PAX Awards. Even though the convention focuses on tabletop, PC and console games -- MMOs were featured extensively, demonstrating that they continue to become more and more popular in the gaming world. As such, due to our MMO focus we had to be extremely selective about what kind of awards we gave out and who we gave them to. Ultimately, this was not an easy task as all of our nominations are great games. This was especially difficult when it came to selecting the winner for "Best in Show". In the end, tough decisions were made and it's time to reveal those decisions to the world. Without further ado, the Winners!


You know that feeling of exhilaration after initially seeing or playing a game that will undoubtedly consume hundreds of hours of your life? When it comes to the ZAM "Best in Show" award, that's what we based our decision on. This category is reserved for the titles that did the best job of grabbing our attention and making us want more.

Winner: Star Trek Online
Star Trek Online brings so many fresh ideas to the table we had to play it twice. The gameplay is exciting, strategic and promises to be the MMO that Star Trek fans have been waiting for. Cryptic Studios has given players the ability to embark on a journey across the cosmos as part of either the Federation or the Klingon Empire. Where STO really shines is in its innovative ideas; such as Episodic Content and Bridge Officer system.


As you can imagine, we see dozens of new games every year at conventions like E3, PAX and GamesCom. What you might not realize is that so often, we're impressed with the game, but the way it's presented can quickly de-rail our excitement. With this category we aim to honor companies that take the extra time to show us why their game is awesome. Thanks to our friends at Darth Hater, you can get a glimpse at why we decided to give this one to Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Winner: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Dallas Dickinson, Jake Neri and Blaine Christine put on a great show during the big SW:TOR presentation at PAX. In addition to the unveiling of Coruscant, attendees went crazy during the live gameplay demo of the Trooper and Bounty Hunter classes. Star Wars: The Old Republic continues to blow our mind and is definitely an MMO to watch over the next year.

Our award for Most Innovative Gameplay is reserved for titles that we've seen in action and have had the opportunity to see implementation over concept. It's easy enough to conceive a good idea, but it's another feat to put that idea to work in an MMO. All three games nominated had truly innovative ideas, but in the end it came down to deciding between Aion and Star Trek Online, which was not an easy decision.


Winner: Star Trek Online
Kirk felt that when he died, he'd die alone.  After all, what is a Captain without his crew?  Gameplay focuses around a crew of bridge officers that can level up with your main character and specialize in various roles will offer a unique twist to the MMORPG genre.  In STO, you're never really alone, be it in space or on a strange planet surface.  Kudos to Cryptic for introducing one of the coolest gameplay ideas we've seen!

MMOs were dominated for years by stereotypical swords and magic fantasy settings, but as the genre has matured, game developers have striven to compete with one another to present players with unique, immersive game worlds.  With this category we recognize the creative elements brought to MMOs by the story tellers, artists and concept designers.



Winner: The Secret World
What do you get when you mix elements of Fallout, The Matrix and a Dan Brown novel? You get an MMO full of revelations. You get The Secret World. Funcom has created one of the coolest premises we've ever seen for an MMO. Combine it with years of experience and an enhanced Age of Conan game engine and you have a conceptual force to be reckoned with.

MMOs are unique in the gaming genre for constantly pushing their own boundaries with a slew of expansion packs to keep the player base interested and loyally grinding its nights away.  With this category we aim to honor the coolest new feature added to an MMO in an expansion.


Winner: Pirates of the Burning Sea – Power and Prestige
In the first expansion to Pirates of the Burning Sea, Flying Labs is introducing "Player Governed Ports" which puts the control back into the hands of the players. Players can nominate individuals to run for Governor and, after an election process, that player effectively gains powers to affect how the port performs, economically and defensively, against other players. If nothing else, this new feature should prove to be an interesting social experiment!


That's all folks! Congratulations to all of our nominees and winners. See you next year.

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