Turn Back All Video Games That Enter Here, Lest Ye Be Judged
The Game Awards were a pleasant surprise last year in how well the show was run and how much respect was paid to the industry. These awards have been trying to find their footing for the past couple of years in between their VGA and VGX awkward tween years but last year they seemed to really get it. I was impressed, much more so than I thought I would be and I now feel like I can talk about The Game Awards without secretly cringing inside. With that said, here’s how I feel the nominees will shake out
Best Fan Creation
Who I Want To Win: Greg Miller
Who I Think Will Win: Total Biscuit
I respect PewDiePie a lot. Even if I’m not a big fan of his content, he is undisputedly the most successful person on this list but I doubt he gets the popular vote. Greg Miller has a shot because of his built in audience from his days at IGN but I’m looking at Total Buscuit to retain his title…because I guess this award means something right?
E-Sports Game of the Year
Want To Win: Heroes of the Storm
Think Will Win: League of Legends
Yeah yeah, HotS is not nominated which is a f*cking travesty because its Heroes of the Dorm tournament got it on ESPN which confused the hell out of people around the country, much to my delight. But of the choices here, it’s hard to pick against the most popular video game in world for the popular vote.
E-Sports Team of the Year
Want To Win: SK Telecom T1
Think Will Win: It Doesn’t Really Matter
The fact that Team Solo Mid, which combusted in the League of Legends World Championships, is in here is sort of funny so the whole category is easy to write off. SKT’s dominance in the their run to the title was sort of breathtaking so I pick them but chances are by the time the show comes around I’ll forget this category exists.
E-Sports Player of the Year
Want To Win/Think Will Win: Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok
Faker was the best player on the best LoL team and he is thought by many to be the best LoL player in the world playing the most popular video game in the world. The math here seems pretty simple but it is rarely ever that way in practice.
Most Anticipated Game
Want To Win: Horizon Zero Dawn
Think Will Win: No Man’s Sky
Dark Horse: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Now we’re getting somewhere. Horizon made an incredible showing at E3 and was my personal Game of Show so that makes it a really strong pick. No Man’s Sky has a ton of momentum but it’s starting to reach the point of over-saturation by how much it’s been shown off and how little has truly been revealed. I think everybody is just ready for it to come out to just to find out what that game actually is more than anything else. Uncharted could sneak in here because of how curious I am as to what kind of product a 2016 Naughty Dog produces after its mass exodus.
Want To Win: Rocket League
Think Will Win: Destiny: The Taken King
Rocket League is some of the most fun I’ve had with any game this year. Its tight controls, great look, incredibly high skill cap, and fantastic gameplay make it the most fun multiplayer experience of I’ve had this side of Heroes of the Storm. Speaking of which, the fact HotS is not on here is robbery. With that said, I think Destiny will take this as it has shaped up and redeemed itself in the eyes of many, including me, and will probably grab this as a token reward for finally becoming what it should’ve been at launch.
Best Sports/Racing Game
Want To Win: NBA 2K16
Think Will Win: Rocket League
2K16 is hands down the best sports game here, as well as the best sports game of all time. No other game on this list is in it’s stratosphere when it comes to the breadth of modes, attention to detail, and overall craft. It’s a true Game of the Year contender in my eyes and I say this directly after salivating all over Rocket League. The fact it probably won’t win this category due to the simple it fact it lost this award to Mario Kart last year is a crying f*cking shame but if any game were to undeservedly upend it, I would want Rocket League to be that game.
Best Family Game
Want To Win: Disney Infinity 3.0
Think Will Win: Super Mario Maker
Dark Horse: Splatoon
I like Disney Infinity a lot. There is a lot of good aspects in the game that really pique my interest. Its collaboration of Star Wars, Marvel, and Disney licenses into its toy box really make it the ideal family game. But Mario is the most recognizable icon in all of gaming so I can certainly see that being winner based on name recognition alone. Lord knows it’s not a family game based on some of the hellscape levels that have been created. Either way, Mario should take this handily. Then again, you’re a kid, then you’re a squid, then you’re a kid, then you’re a squid…
Best Fighting Game
Want To Win: Dengki Bunko: Fighting Climax
Think Will Win: Guilty Gear Xrd
I don’t really play fighting games but I can confidently say that Dengki Bunko is hype as f*ck. But seeing as that it’s not on this list, I’m told that Guilty Gear is the best game of choice here which admittedly looks pretty interesting.
Best Role-Playing Game
Think Will Win/Want to Win: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Dark Horse: Bloodborne
Undertale has been getting a lot of buzz. Interesting buzz, but just buzz. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it but Witcher is just a monolith in this category. It’s the second best game I’ve played this year and should handily win. Then again, Bloodborne will hang around even though I don’t understand why people love that dumb, sh*tty, bullsh*t, unfair piece of sh*t f*cking unfair f*ck sh*t game but I heard it’s alright.
Best Action/Adventure Game
Want To Win/Think Will Win: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Metal Gear is the best game of the generation this side of Bayonetta 2. Games like that do not get made nowadays with the fear of AAA games not being blockbusting hits and the budget constraints of creating said kind of game. Kojima don’t care. Kojima does what he wants (to an extent). He’s crafted a masterpiece. A masterpiece that has something of a half finished story and weird micro-transactions that seem to prop up it’s bewildering multiplayer, but a masterpiece none the less. Any game other than this winning this category is indefensible.
Want To Win/Think Will Win: Destiny: The Taken King
The changes in The Taken King has finally made Destiny a viable game to spend time with rather than a pain in the ass and I think these changes will be favorable enough to take the award. Halo 5 is no slouch and its warzone mode is fantastic but I didn’t much care for the campaign and I’m not sure I’m in the minority in that one. I hear glowing things about Splatoon, BLOPS3 is more CoD, and Battlefront is solid but I think Destiny squeaks by. It’s a good category.
Games for Change
Want To Win/Think Will Win: Her Story
Undertale might be the popular pick here but I don’t think it has a shot. Her Story just seems too different to not choose here. Basically an FMV game where you trying to solve the mystery of a police case is something I’ve never seen before. That certainly seems like the most innovative in this category.
Want To Win: Geralt
Think Will Win: Lara Croft
Dark Horse: Viva Seifert
I’ve heard very good things about Life is Strange, even if my first impression of the game soured me in a really bad way. Mark Hamill was consistently excellent as the Joker but he was just playing more of the Joker which I’ve had my fill of after four games, even if he didn’t voice the Joker in Arkham Origins. I love Geralt’s deadpan demeanor in Witcher, but I think Croft will take it just because of how they were able to grow Lara’s character even more in Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Want To Win: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Think Will Win: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Dark Horse: Ori and the Blind Forest
Fallout’s soundtrack is good but it sounds unsettlingly similar to Fallout 3’s, recycled music and all. The Halo soundtracks blend together at to the point you could play the score from any game and I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Personally, my pick is Witcher, which had the most atmospheric and immersive songs that did an outstanding job of setting the tone for that game. Metal Gear far and away has the best song of the year in Sins of the Father but I don’t think its overall score can compare.
Best Art Direction
Want To Win: Ori and the Blind Forest
Think Will Win: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Dark Horse: Bloodborne
Metal Gear may be the best looking video game I’ve ever seen on a technical level. It simply looks stunning. But this category is about artistic design, not technical graphics, and nothing was more artistic graphically then Ori and the Blind Forest. I still see Metal Gear winning the day simply on being a tour-de-force graphically. I wouldn’t rule out Bloodborne though, as much as that bullsh*t game is f*cking garbage, it did have a really interesting take on Victorian architecture that was very appealing to the eye.
I’m not qualified to choose a winner in this category considering I haven’t finished all of these games so I’m not going to act like I am. This is probably the best category in the show where any game that wins this would be well deserved. Her Story is beyond interesting, I intend to finish Life is Strange before the year is out simply because of the glowing things I’ve heard about it, and Tales from the Borderlands is a really interesting take on the franchise. The Witcher, the only game in this category that I’ve finished, was well told, and Until Dawn took the formula that was introduced in Heavy Rain and possibly perfected it. Any choice here is a good choice.
Best Mobile/Handheld Game
Want To Win: Pac-Man 256
Think Will Win: Lara Croft GO
Dark Horse: Fallout Shelter
Fallout Shelter was a phenomenon. A shallow phenomenon but still. I, like millions of others, played a fair bit of the game from word go after Bethesda’s E3 conference and it was definitely an interesting twist on the world of Fallout. But you see the gameplay loop real quick and just doesn’t have enough depth besides opening the game every few hours and tapping all the boxes. People really like Monster Hunter. Those people are weird. Personally I loved the endless-runner fun of getting chased by a kill screen in Pac-Man but I can see Tomb Raider taking this as the formula of Hitman GO fit nicely onto Lara Croft.
Best Independent Game
Developer of the Year
Want To Win/Think Will Win: Kojima Productions
Dark Horse: CD Projekt Red
The fact that Kojima was even able to make a functioning product considering the internal strife of Konami and the way that professional relationship ended in a trainwreck is a feat until itself, much less the delivering a Game-of-the-Generation type of experience. CD Projekt Red has been fantastic in its support of Witcher by patching up holes and making the game smoother along with its fantastic expansion Heart of Stone, and it would be a worthy alternative choice. But I judge a developer based on the quality of the product it put out and Kojima put out the best product. If this category was quantity over quality then Telltale should win.
Game of the Year
Think Will Win/Want To Win: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Dark Horse: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
I’ve talked enough about Metal Gear. It’s the best game of the year. If Witcher wins, it will be the incorrect choice but I wouldn’t be too mad about it.