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Gaming highlights recognised by the Edge Awards 2004

Future’s flagship games magazine gives Half-Life 2 top accolades for innovation, visual design and best game

17/12/04 - EDGE, Future Publishing's internationally respected multi-format videogame magazine has revealed its favourite games and hardware for 2004 in its annual Edge Awards.

As the only videogames magazine with a remit that reflects the full scope of gaming's present, past and future, Edge is uniquely placed to address its widening cultural impact. In the decade since it was founded, Edge has become considered as required reading for consumers and games developers alike. For this year's eight awards, Edge has selected games and hardware that have redefined the horizons of videogaming over the past twelve months.

Valve's Half-Life 2 led the field, winning three Edge Awards. The game won The 2004 Edge Award for Best Game in recognition of the far-reaching excellence of its design and execution. The game also received The 2004 Edge Award for Visual Design, reflecting its technical and aesthetic achievements and acknowledging Valve's success in making these accessible to gamers with less powerful PCs.

The game was also accorded The 2004 Edge Award for Innovation, recognising the skilful way in which its powerful physics engine influences the game's combat, problem solving and atmosphere. It was this rare combination of excellence that led to Half-Life 2 receiving an Edge 10 - an accolade only awarded on four other occasions since the magazine was founded in 1993.

In other awards, Nintendo was recognised as 'Best Publisher', following a year of innovative titles which included the excellent The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventure and the twisted ingenuity of Mawaru: Made In Wario - a Game Boy Advance game controlled entirely through motion sensors. Nintendo also received The 2004 Edge Award for Best Hardware for its new DS console, which has already delivered on its ambitious promise to bring new gaming experiences to new types of gamers. Bungie's Halo 2 for Xbox was applauded for offering the 'Best Online Experience', resulting from its unparalleled combination of flexible, well-balanced gameplay and lavish internet support.

Margaret Robertson is Games Editor of Edge magazine:

"We've been constantly surprised by the quality of games and the level of innovation in 2004. Most notable has been Half-Life 2, which we awarded our first 10 rating for more than three years. It's hard to remember a time where the strongest sales have coincided so closely with the quality of the strongest games. It's been fantastic to see games of the calibre of GTA: San Andreas and Halo 2 dominating the charts. The overall quality this year has been unusually high - current console technology has been mastered and the PC technology is pointing the way ahead for a new standard of game experiences.

There's every reason to hope that 2005 will be just as dynamic a year for videogame innovation. The UK will see the launch of both the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS, and both of these handheld consoles have the capacity to revolutionise the range of people who play games and the nature of the games they play. Wireless multiplayer, new input devices and a closer integration of games, movies and music all introduce possibilities the full potential of which we're only beginning to understand."

The 2004 Edge Awards feature in Edge 145, on sale 23/12/04 - with a cover price of £4.

ENDS

The 2004 Edge Awards

(Winner listed first, runners up in no particular order)

The 2004 Edge Award for Best Game

Half-Life 2 (PC)

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventure (Gamecube)

Halo 2 (Xbox)

The 2004 Edge Award for Innovation

Half-Life 2 (PC)

Katamari Damacy (PS2)

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventure (Gamecube)

The 2004 Edge Award for Best Visual Design

Half-Life 2 (PC)

Far Cry (PC)

Katamari Damacy (PS2)

The 2004 Edge Award for Best Audio Design

Thief: Deadly Shadows (PC)

Katamari Damacy (PS2)

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)

The 2004 Edge Award for Best Online Experience

Halo 2 (Xbox)

Monster Hunter (PS2)

Final Fantasy XI (PS2/PC)

The 2004 Edge Award for Best Developer

Rockstar North

The Creative Assembly

Sony London

The 2004 Edge Award for Best Publisher

Nintendo

Rockstar

Ubisoft

The 2004 Edge Award for Best Hardware

Nintendo DS

Gametrak

Mawaru: Made in Wario (Game Boy Advance)

About Future Publishing

Future Publishing is part of The Future Network Plc, which was founded in the UK in 1985. Today, The Future Network publishes over 90 special-interest consumer magazines worldwide, is the world's leading publisher of video games magazines and is the fifth largest magazine publisher in the UK. Future employs around 1,000 people in offices in the UK, US, Italy and France. Almost 100 international editions of Future's magazines are also published in 30 other countries across the world. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange (symbol FNET).

For more information please contact:

Will Guyatt, Communications, on 01225 822 517

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