Brian's TGA Thoughts and Predictions

I’m a sucker for award shows. Always have been, always will be.

The Game Awards are as close to “video game Oscars” as we’re gonna get, and I think that’s just fine. Back in the days of the Spike VGAs and…ugh…the VGX, the awards felt like kind of a long joke with a lot of cool announcements in there for good measure. Last year though, Geoff Keighley really brought it in to make something I think is worth talking about, so let’s talk about it. Here’s what I see going down tonight. 

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John "TotalBiscuit" Bain - Portrait

Who I Want to Win: Greg Miller

Who I Think Will Win: Totalbiscuit

If you read Mike’s predictions article, you’ll find that I’m actually completely in line with him on this one. Greg Miller has come a long way since IGN. He started Kinda Funny, found great success on Patreon and became his own man. That said, I think he’ll lose out to Totalbiscuit. The Cynical Brit’s got a big fanbase, and after certain events that transpired this year I think that fanbase will come out in droves to support him.

Any of the Esports Categories

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Want to Win: ?!?!?!

Think Will Win: ???!!!???

Look, I respect Esports, I really do. I think it’s great that competitive gaming is breaking into the mainstream, and I think it’s awesome that I can go to ESPN and see Dota 2 and Heroes of the Storm playing every once in a while. That said…when it comes to actually following Esports, I’ve got nothing. I don’t know the teams, I don’t know the players, and the only MOBA I can say I’ve ever truly enjoyed is Heroes of the Storm, which isn’t even nominated. So I won’t even pretend to know what I’m talking about here. I know why these categories are here, I respect that they are, but I can’t comment in good faith.

 

Most Anticipated Game

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Want to Win: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Think Will Win: No Man’s Sky

I just got through playing the Nathan Drake collection, and now I’m ready to get into a new adventure. We’re long overdue for a new Uncharted. When I talked to Nolan North last year, he said there was some incredible stuff going on in that game, and I’m inclined to believe him. (I’ll have more thoughts on this when I play the multiplayer demo at PlayStation Expo this weekend.) For me, Horizon: Zero Dawn is up there too, but I love Uncharted too damn much. Now, I think No Man’s Sky will take the win in the end because the hype machine behind that game is just too strong.

Best Multiplayer

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Want to Win: Splatoon

Think Will Win: Destiny: The Taken King

I had way too much fun with Splatoon. Nintendo took the idea of a third person shooter and turned it on its head. Add to that the fact that Nintendo has been supporting the shit out of it with new modes, weapons, and features. That said, of all the games on this list, I think Destiny has the best shot at winning. Last year, it was a middling game that just wasn’t a lot of fun to me. Now, with The Taken King, it’s become a legitimate game that people can be proud to play, instead of feeling like they have to say “Yeah I still play Destiny, and I have no idea why.”

Best Sports/Racing Game

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Want to Win: ???

Think Will Win: Rocket League

Look, I’m not gonna Bullshit you guys, I’ve got nothing on this category. I’ve never been a big fan of sports games, and this has been a kind of weak year for racing games. Normally, I’d personally give the award to the best racing game on the list, except I didn’t think Forza 6 was all that great. I mean, it was great for what it was, but didn’t really do anything Forza 5 didn’t. But, of the games on here, Rocket League is far and away the most interesting. It’s built up a stable competitive following in a way other games on this list just haven’t.

Best Family Game

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Want to Win: Splatoon

Think Will Win: Super Mario Maker

I’ve already talked about how much I enjoyed Splatoon once here, so I won’t delve too much into it again. So far as the games on this list go, Splatoon was the one I had the most fun with by far. I also like Lego Dimensions a lot (the stuff it does with cross property play is pretty incredible sometimes. Driving the DeLorean from Back to the Future around the Portal facility is pretty crazy.) but Splatoon is the better game. All that said, I think Mario Maker has the best shot at winning because that game has become an honest-to-god phenomenon. People have been going crazy making Mario, and some truly incredible stuff has come out of the game. Seeing that leads me to believe this game will take it all in the end.

Best Fighting Game

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Want to Win: Rise of the Incarnates

Think Will Win: Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign-

Rise of the Incarnates should win just because it would be hilarious. The game came out in July this year, and it’s shutting down later this month. Just think of it: “Congratulations! Your game is the best fighting game of the year! Too bad no one will ever play it again!” Or, for the guy that never heard of it going: “Gee! Best fighting game of the year, where do I sign up?” only to find out it no longer exists. Hilarious. In all seriousness though, Guilty Gear will probably win because it’s the best fighting game on this list.

Best Role Playing Game

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Want to Win: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Think Will Win: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

We’ll get into this later, but The Witcher 3 is probably the best game that came out this year altogether. So I think it’s a pretty good bet that it will win this category. That said, Fallout 4 and Undertale will put up a good fight. Some would say Bloodborne too, but I’m not one of those people.

 

Best Action/Adventure Game

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Want to Win: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Think Will Win: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

I have my issues with this game, but it really is something incredible. There’s an attention to detail here that just isn’t there in other games. There are other good games on this list: I had fun with Assassin’s Creed and I’ve heard nothing but great things about Rise of the Tomb Raider. That said, nothing else on here is on Metal Gear’s level.

Best Shooter

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Want to Win: Splatoon

Think Will Win: Destiny: The Taken King

Splatoon, great fun, good times, yada yada yada. You know the drill. I would love for Splatoon to get the recognition here, but I think Destiny will take it in the end for basically the same reasons it will in best multiplayer. Bungie turned a mediocre online-only shooter into something that’s legitimately fun to play. I think it’ll take it in the end, because The Taken King became what Destiny couldn’t: a great shooter.

Games for Impact

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Want to Win: Undertale

Think Will Win: Undertale

Undertale is a legitimate phenomenon. For a retro-inspired 8-bit RPG, it’s much more than it shows on the surface. This is a game that tackles some very complex emotions in a way few other games could ever manage to do.

Best Performance

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Want to Win: Doug Cockle as Geralt of Rivia

Think Will Win: Doug Cockle as Geralt of Rivia

There are some quality names on this list, for sure. Mark Hamill is always great as the joker, I’ve heard great things about both Her Story and Tomb Raider’s acting. All that said, I think Cockle turned in an A+ performance as Geralt. He was a pretty incredible character, and Cockle really breathed life into him with his performance.

Best Score/Soundtrack

Want to Win: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Think Will Win: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Being a big fan of old-timey music, I always love the soundtracks in Fallout games…but as much as I like it, there were just too many recycled tracks from Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas. Metal Gear has a great soundtrack (what with all of my 80’s jams)…but in the end I don’t think it serves the game quite as well as The Witcher’s did. The soundtrack was bombastic, subtle, and atmospheric in all of the places it needed to be. On top of that, it kept perfectly in line with the game’s Polish folklore lineage, and that’s to be respected.

Best Art Direction

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Want to Win: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Think Will Win: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Metal Gear is a technical powerhouse, but purely based on art direction I don’t think it stands up to games like The Witcher and Ori and the Blind Forest. In the end though, I think The Witcher edges out Ori because of the sheer amount of detail put into its environments. Between the cities, the forests, the ruins, the monsters and the characters, all of the visuals came together perfectly.

Best Narrative

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Want to Win: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Think Will Win: ???

Cards on the table: I’ve only played two of these games all the way through: Until Dawn and Witcher 3. As far as a linear narrative is concerned, The Witcher has some of the best storylines I’ve seen in a game in a long time. It almost feels like every single one of the side quests in that game feels like it’s own individual entirely fleshed out storyline. And Until Dawn does some other incredible things with narrative in its own right. Even minor decisions early on lead to really big things when shit hits the fan. In that regard, it’s innovation vs mastery. But, like I said, I haven’t played the others so they could be equally deserving as well. We’ll see.

Best Mobile/Handheld Game

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Want to Win: Lara Croft GO

Think Will Win: Monster Hunter 4: Ultimate

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: I just don’t understand the appeal of the Monster Hunter series. I’ve tried a hundred times, and I bet you I’ll try a hundred more, but I just can’t get into it. That said, I understand that a lot of people really DO like it a lot. On top of that, I understand that it looks great, has great art design and people tell me it plays great, even if I don’t believe them. I want Lara Croft GO to win because I just think it’s a really cool game. I certainly wouldn’t have thought to apply the Hitman GO formula to the Tomb Raider franchise, but I’m sure glad somebody did. It’s got a great aesthetic to it, it plays like one of the best puzzle games of the year, and generally makes itself worth the $5 entry fee. It’s my clear winner out of the games in this category.

 

Best Indie Game

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Want to Win: Undertale

Think Will Win: Undertale

I’ve talked at length about Undertale already, but I think its public and critical acclaim will get it far in this category.

Developer of the Year

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Want to Win: CD Projekt Red

Think Will Win: CD Projekt Red

CDPR is an incredible developer. They made this truly special game in The Witcher, and then proceeded to follow it up by supporting the ever loving shit out of it. Fans complained about how character movement worked in the game? They looked at their suggestions and fixed it. Tired of paid DLC? Give out TONS AND TONS of free DLC. They even left a note in their game thanking fans and letting them know they care. They gave away the game’s (kickass) soundtrack in every copy of the game without any “Day One Edition,” or pre order, or any other bullshit. If that isn’t developer of the year, well then I just don’t know who is. (Also, they made a really fun Witcher board game this year.)

Game of the Year:

I rest my case.
I rest my case.

Want to Win: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Think Will Win: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

 

I’ve said a lot of things about how much I love The Witcher 3 here. The music, the art, the narrative, it all comes together perfectly. And, to be fair, there are some incredible games on this list this year. As far as what I enjoyed playing, I think Fallout 4 is my personal favorite. And Metal Gear is…well, Metal Gear. It plays great, looks great and has attention to detail like I’ve never seen. But they’re not the best game this year, in my opinion. And I’m pretty sure The Game Awards’ editorial board will agree with me.

 

 

One comment

  1. Nice list, definitely going to have the game awards on at least in the background tonight!

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