The entire games industry held its breath last weekend as it watched this year’s Game Awards. It was a spectacle of an event that aimed to put a spotlight on some of gaming’s best, while showcasing some new and exciting upcoming games.
Game of the Year
The Game of the Year is the premiere award of the show. It is the most coveted award and this year, the competition was quite intense.
With games like Alan Wake II, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Resident Evil 4, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, and the highly anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, the list was an abundance of fantastic titles.
Despite that, the title was grabbed by Larian Studio’s Baldur’s Gate 3. The game was beloved since release and made a massive impact on the industry. It created debates on what games should or could be in the modern age. It is full of fantastic characters, awesome storylines, thrilling combat, and many hours of other kinds of engaging content.
Best Game Direction
Game Direction is an award that focuses on the creative vision behind a game. It celebrates game directors and the culmination of their work with their teams.
The nominees included Baldur’s Gate 3, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, and the Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
The winner was Alan Wake II. The game was the long awaited sequel to Remedy’s horror cult classic. It evokes other media such as HBO’s True Detective to explore a dark tale of psychological (and possibly cosmic?) horror. The game was scary, thrilling, and a feast for the senses. The victory is well-earned.
Video game adaptations have been making quite a lot of waves for a while now. With high quality animated adaptations like Arcane and Cyberpunk: Edgerunners setting the bar high, expectations were high for this year’s video game adaptations. Luckily, they did not disappoint.
We have a good selection of animated and live action adaptations this time around. Netflix’s Castlevania: Nocturne made waves as an exciting vampire hunting show while the Super Mario Bros’ Movie gave us Jack Black as Bowser, which was amazing. The Twisted Metal and Gran Turismo adaptation were also nominated.
However, the win went to HBO’s The Last of Us. The show starred Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie. It won our hearts and kept us on the edge of our seats as it blazed its way through the story of the first game. The show also had widespread appeal beyond the gaming community, which further helped popularize the idea that adaptations of video games can actually be enjoyable and worthwhile.
Best Independent Game
The indie game scene is one of the most exciting corners of the entire industry. It is full of interesting, innovative, unique games that seem to exist separate from the ebb and flow of the AAA market. Many genres and styles of games thought to have died have seen their resurrection in the indie sphere. This has garnered a lot of love and respect from fans over the years.
Looking at the nominees this year, we have Dave the Diver, Dredge, Viewfinder, and Cocoon. The win went to Sabotage Studio’s Sea of Stars.
Sea of Stars is a pixel art RPG that takes inspiration from classic games like Chrono Trigger. It features an expansive story, fun characters, gorgeous visuals, and entertaining gameplay. It also features music by famous composer Yasunori Mitsuda.
Games for Impact
This category was made to celebrate games that attempt to send a message about something important or have an impact on the audience. This award celebrates gaming’s capacity to touch people’s hearts and minds.
Some of the nominees include, A Space for the Unbound, Chants of Sennaar, Goodbye Volcano High, Terra Nil, and Venba. The winner in this category was Tchia by Awaceb and Kepler Interactive.
Other Notable Nominations
Aside from the aforementioned categories, we also saw many more awards be handed out. Let’s go through some of the categories and their winners.
Best Narrative - Alan Wake II (Remedy Entertainment / Epic Games Publishing)
Best Art Direction - Alan Wake II (Remedy Entertainment / Epic Games Publishing)
Best Score and Music - Final Fantasy XVI, Composer Masayoshi Soken (Square Enix)
Best Audio Design - Hi-Fi Rush (Tango Gameworks / Bethesda Softworks)
Best Performance - Neil Newbon, Baldur’s Gate 3
Innovation in Accessibility - Forza Motorsport (Turn 10 Studios / Xbox Game Studios)
Best Ongoing Game - Cyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt Red)
Best Community Support - Baldur’s Gate 3 (Larian Studios)
Best Debut Indie Game - Cocoon (Geometric Interactive / Annapurna Interactive)
Best Mobile Game - Honkai: Star Rail (HoYoverse)
Best VR/AR Game - Resident Evil Village VR Mode (Capcom)
Best Action Game - Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon (FromSoftware / Bandai Namco)
Best Action/Adventure Game - The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)
Best RPG - Baldur’s Gate 3 (Larian Studios)
Best Fighting Game - Street Fighter 6 (Capcom)
Best Family Game - Super Mario
Best Sim / Strategy Game - Pikmin 4 (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)
Best Sports / Racing Game - Forza Motorsport (Turn 10 Studios / Xbox Game Studios)
Best Multiplayer Presented by Discord - Baldur’s Gate 3 (Larian Studios)
Players’ Voice - Baldur’s Gate 3 (Larian Studios)
Most Anticipated Game - Final Fantasy VII Rebirth (Square Enix)
Content Creator of the Year - IronMouse
Best eSports Game - Valorant (Riot Games)
Best eSports Athlete - Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok (League of Legends)
Best eSports Team - JD Gaming (League of Legends)
Best eSports Coach - Christine “potter” Chi (Evil Geniuses - Valorant)
Best eSports Event - 2023 League of Legends World Championship
Last but not least, the Game Awards also showcased some exciting new trailers for upcoming games.
Let’s take a look at some notable picks:
Marvel’s Blade, developed by Arkane Studios (Dishonored, Deathloop, Redfall)
OD, developed by Kojima Productions and Xbox Game Studios
Tales of Kanzera: ZAU, developed by Surgent Studios