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Last Updated: Friday, 17 December, 2004, 09:03 GMT
Half Life 2 dominates game awards
Screenshot of Half-Life 2
Half-Life 2 is many critics' game of the year
PC game Half Life 2 has won three awards handed out by the influential video games magazine Edge.

The ground-breaking sequel won awards for best game, best visual design and a prize for innovation.

Margaret Robertson, games editor of Edge magazine, said the awards followed a year of exceptional achievement.

Other winners included Nintendo (best publisher), Grand Theft Auto creators Rockstar North (best developer), and Xbox title Halo 2 (best online).

'Constantly surprised'

Ms Robertson said: "We've been constantly surprised by the quality of games and the level of innovation in 2004.

Screenshot from Halo 2
Halo 2 is popular online via Xbox Live
"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."

The Edge award winners in full

Halo 2 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas have been enormous sellers in the last month, selling more than eight million copies world-wide between them.

Half-Life 2, developed by Valve software, was one of the most anticipated video games of all time.

The game impressed critics with its detailed graphics and animation, real-word physics system and strong storyline.

The player experiences the world through the eyes of Gordon Freeman, the bespectacled scientist who starred in the original 1998 Half-Life.

Freeman is transported to the sinister City 17, where he battles an oppressive police state and joins a resistance movement.

Halo 2 has proved a hit for Microsoft's Xbox with, on average, more than 300,000 people a day battling each other online.

Ms Robertson said 2005 promised to be as exciting as the last 12 months.

She said: "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. "

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The awards in full (winners in bold plus shortlisted titles):

Best Game
Half-Life 2 (PC)
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventure (GameCube)
Halo 2 (Xbox)

Award for Innovation
Half-Life 2 (PC)
Katamari Damacy (PS2)
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventure (GameCube)

Best Visual Design
Half-Life 2 (PC)
Far Cry (PC)
Katamari Damacy (PS2)

Best Audio Design
Thief: Deadly Shadows (PC)
Katamari Damacy (PS2)
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)

Best Online Experience
Halo 2 (Xbox)
Monster Hunter (PS2)
Final Fantasy XI (PS2/PC)

Best Developer
Rockstar North
The Creative Assembly
Sony London

Best Publisher

Best Hardware
Nintendo DS
Mawaru: Made in Wario (Game Boy Advance)

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