The Game Awards 2016 – Recap

the-game-awards

In case you didn’t know, The Game Awards were last night and I would say that the show was solid overall. Here’s a quick recap of all the night’s winners and some of the new information we received on upcoming games. If you haven’t already, check out my preview blog where I gave a bit more explanation for each of these categories.

2016 Industry Icon Award

Winner:

kojima-main.jpg

Hideo Kojima

Look, everyone knows that Kojima is a monster in the industry and after getting completely screwed by Konami last year, him receiving this last night was obvious. The problem I have here is that the delivery was terrible. Rather than actually honoring Kojima and acknowledging the impact he had on the industry, like when the award was handed out to Louis Castle and Brett Sperry last year, this was really just about Geoff Keighley wanting to pat his friend on the back for sticking through hard times. Kojima was screwed by his bosses; he wasn’t put in an internment camp and forced to work. If you’re going to give out this award, do it right and explain why he’s an icon in the industry. The whole thing felt weird and unprofessional.

Game of the Year

Doom by id Software/Bethesda
Inside by PlayDead
Overwatch by Blizzard Entertainment
Titanfall 2 by Respawn/Electronic Arts
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End by Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment

Winner:

overwatch

Overwatch

No argument here. I felt Overwatch was one of the two best games of the year and was not surprised to see that it won Game of the Year.

Best Studio/Game Direction

Blizzard Entertainment for Overwatch
DICE for Battlefield 1
id Software for Doom
Naughty Dog for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Respawn for Titanfall 2

Winner:

blizzard

Blizzard Entertainment

No surprise here. Blizzard’s handling of Overwatch has been terrific.

Best Narrative

Firewatch by Campo Santo
Inside by PlayDead
Mafia III by Hanger 13/2K
Oxenfree by Night School Studio
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End by Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment

Winner:

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Uncharted 4 was a terrific ending to the series and I found myself emotionally drained after completing the series. Easily the right winner here.

Best Art Direction

Abzu by Giant Squid/505
Firewatch
by Campo Santo
Inside
by PlayDead
Overwatch
by Blizzard Entertainment
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
by Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment

Winner:

inside.png

Inside

Not my personal choice but all of these games had great art styles and visuals. Any of these games could have won this one.

Best Music/Sound Design

Battlefield 1 by DICE/Electronic Arts
Doom
by id Software/Bethesda
Inside
by PlayDead
Rez Infinite
by Enhance Games
Thumper
by Drool

Winner:

doom

Doom

This was an easy one.

Best Performance

Alex Hernandez as Lincoln Clay, Mafia III
Cissy Jones as Delilah, Firewatch
Emily Rose as Elena, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Nolan North as Nathan Drake, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Rich Sommer as Henry, Firewatch
Troy Baker as Sam Drake, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Winner:

nolan-north

Nolan North as Nathan Drake

I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but I gave a lot of my reasoning in my preview blog. All of the performances were great and I felt Nolan North was the best of the three.

Games for Impact Award

1979 Revolution by iNK Stories
Block’Hood by Plethora Project/Devolver Digital
Orwell by Osmotic Studios/Surprise Attack
Sea Hero Quest by Glitchers
That Dragon, Cancer by Numinous Games

Winner:

that-dragon-cancer

That Dragon, Cancer

I’m not crying, you’re crying. This was maybe the most automatic winner of the night. Nobody deserved this one more and Ryan Green’s acceptance speech was heart wrenching stuff. I still haven’t played this yet because I don’t want to cry.

Best Independent Game

Firewatch by Campo Santo
Hyper Light Drifter
by Heart Machine
Inside
by PlayDead
Stardew Valley
by ConcernedApe/Chucklefish Games
The Witness
by Thelka, Inc.

Winner:

inside

Inside

I know a lot of people liked Inside so I’m sure it was plenty deserving. I just haven’t gotten around to most of the games that were nominated in this category.

Best Mobile/Handheld Game

Clash Royale by Supercell
Fire Emblem Fates
by Intelligent Systems/Nintendo
Monster Hunter Generations
by Capcom
Pokemon GO
by Niantic
Severed
by Drinkbox Studios

Winner:

pokemon-go

Pokemon GO

Layup.

Best VR Game

Batman: Arkham VR by Rocksteady Studios/WBIE
Eve Valkyrie
by CCP Games
Job Simulator
by Owlchemy Labs
Rez Infinite
by Enhance Games
Thumper
by Drool.

Winner:

rez-infinite-ps4-gametile-us-05dec15.png

Rez Infinite

I got nothing on VR.

Best Action Game

Battlefield 1 by DICE/Electronic Arts
Doom
by id Software/Bethesda
Gears of War 4
by The Coalition/Microsoft Studios
Overwatch
by Blizzard Entertainment
Titanfall 2
by Respawn Electronic Arts

Winner:

doom

Doom

I guess this wasn’t totally surprising because I know people loved Doom. I just think it’s weird that a game can win Game of the Year but not a subcategory and I felt Overwatch was easily the year’s best shooter.

Best Action/Adventure Game

Dishonored 2 by Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks
Hitman
by IO Interactive/Square-Enix
Hyper Light Drifter
by Heart Machine
Ratchet & Clank (2016)
by Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
by Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment

Winner:

Dishonored_2_cover_art.jpg

Dishonored 2

Alright, this is one that borderline offended me. Explain to me how Dishonored 2 can win best Action/Adventure game but Uncharted 4 is then nominated ahead of it in the Game of the Year category? It also blows my damn mind that Uncharted 4 just straight up didn’t win this category, because it was the best one there. They got this one wrong.

Best Roleplaying Game

Dark Souls 3 by FromSoftware/Bandai Namco Entertainment
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
by Eidos Montreal/Square-Enix
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Blood and Wine
by CD Projekt RED
World of Warcraft: Legion
by Blizzard Entertainment
Xenoblade Chronicles X
by Monolith Soft/Nintendo

Winner:

the_witcher_3_blood_and_wine_expansion_art_1.jpg

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Blood and Wine

CD Projekt RED and The Witcher continue to dominate, even post release. Look, I love this game to death but I would have picked Dark Souls 3 purely because I couldn’t bring myself to pick a DLC in this kind of category. But the fact that a post release expansion beat out every other role playing game for the year tells you just how damn good CD Projekt RED is.

Best Fighting Game

Killer Instinct Season 3 by Iron Galaxy Studios/Microsoft Studios
King of Fighters XIV by SNK/Atlus USA
Pokken Tournament by Bandai Namco/The Pokemon Co.
Street Fighter V by Capcom

Winner:

street-fighter-v

Street Fighter V

Next.

Best Family Game

Dragon Quest Builders by Square Enix
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
by TT Fusion/WBIE
Pokemon GO
by Niantic
Ratchet & Clank (2016)
by Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment
Skylanders: Imaginators
by Toy for Bob/Activison

Winner:

pokemon-go

Pokemon GO

Meh. Pokemon GO was a fun little app for a couple weeks (for most people), but a top family game? Please.

Best Strategy Game

Civilization VI by Firaxis Games/2K
Fire Emblem Fates
by Intelligent Systems/Nintendo
The Banner Saga 2
by Stoic Studio/Versus Evil
Total War: Warhammer
by Creative Assembly/Sega
XCOM 2
by Firaxis Games/2K

Winner:

Civilization_VI_cover_art.jpg

Civilization VI

Not the least bit surprised.

Best Sports/Racing Game

FIFA 17 by EA Canada/EA Sports
Forza Horizon 2
by Playground Games/Microsoft Studios
MLB The Show 16
by SCE San Diego Studio/SIE
NBA 2K17
by Visual Concepts/2K Sports
Pro Evolution Soccer 2017
by PES Productions/Konami

Winner:

Forza_Horizon_2_Cover_Art.png

Forza Horizon 2

This category is pretty much up for grabs every year. Anything not named Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 could have won this one.

Best Multiplayer Game

Battlefield 1 by DICE/Electronic Arts
Gears of War 4
by The Coalition/Microsoft Studios
Overcooked
by Ghost Town Games/Team 17
Overwatch
by Blizzard Entertainment
Rainbow Six Siege
by Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft
Titanfall 2
by Respawn/Electronic Arts

Winner:

Overcooked_cover.png

Overcooked

No brai- wait, Overcooked? Not Overwatch? Someone had to have made a mistake here, it’s the only explanation.

Best eSports Player

Faker, SK Telecom T1, League of Legends
Coldzera, SK Gaming, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Byun-Hyun Woo, Starcraft 2
Infiltration, Team Razer, Street Fighter V
Hungrybox, Team Liquid, Super Smash Bros.

Winner:

Coldzera.png

Coldzera

I didn’t even know who he was when they announced this one. Can’t believe both Infiltration and Hungrybox lost.

Best eSports Team

SK Telecom 1, League of Legends
Wings Gaming, DOTA 2
SK Gaming
Rox Tigers, League of Legends
Cloud9

Winner:

_xpMfEap.jpg

Cloud9

NA > EU.

Best eSports Game

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive by Valve
DOTA 2
by Valve
League of Legends
by Riot
Overwatch
by Blizzard Entertainment
Street Fighter V
by Capcom

Winner:

overwatch

Overwatch

Overwatch is more or less the only eSports game I watch with any regularity right now, so whoopee.

Trending Gamer

AngryJoeShow
Boogie2988
Danny O’Dwyer
JackSepticEye
Lirik

Winner:

Francis.jpg

Boogie2988

I was surprised to see that Lirik didn’t take this one in a runaway, being the biggest streamer on Twitch now. But Boogie is a deserving winner, guy is always laugh out loud funny.

Best Fan Creation

Brutal Doom 64
Enderal: The Shards of Order

Winner:

Question_Block_Art_-_New_Super_Mario_Bros.png

Apparently everyone just pretended that this category no longer existed.

Most Anticipated Game

God of War by Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment
Horizon: Zero Dawn
by Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment
Mass Effect: Andromeda
by Bioware/EA
Red Dead Redemption 2
by Rockstar Games
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
by Nintendo

Winner:

zeldaheader2.jpg

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Look, I’m excited for a new Zelda too, but there’s no way it’s the most anticipated game of 2017. Not when the long anticipated sequel to one of the all time great games of the last decade shattered the internet over a picture of Rockstar’s logo on a red background.

 

For the most part, I think the awards were pretty good. More often than not, the winners of each category were well deserved but some of them were definitely head scratchers. However, the delivery of these awards remains a problem for The Game Awards. This is an awards show, which means you should show us all of these awards at some point. Most of the announcements for these awards are done in a quick side segment off the main stage or are just mentioned in passing, if at all. I didn’t even know which games won some of these categories until I sat down to write this.

I don’t want to spend three hours watching this thing, but a little more focus on the winners would be nice. How many times do we have to cut away from the show for some cringey, not funny video skit or a fluff segment for the upcoming Assassin’s Creed movie? I’m also pretty confident when I say that we don’t need random music performances in the middle of the show either. Wipe those out and give us some more focus on the games, please. This event is about the games, so keep the focus there. I can live with the advertisements but the time wasted on unnecessary stuff is too much.

I didn’t have too much of a problem with the world premier trailers. This isn’t E3, so I wasn’t expecting live gameplay or a huge focus on upcoming games, but the trailers are nice. I still don’t know what the hell Death Stranding is, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild gave us a nice little trailer and some gameplay, Shovel Knight is getting a prequel, Bulletstorm is back with a 1.5/remaster thingamajig, Rocket League is heading to space and Mass Effect: Andromeda came in blazing with a gameplay trailer. Telltale Games also gave us a look at The Walking Dead: A New Frontier and an announcement for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, but I’m so sick of Telltale Games at this point that I really don’t care for either of them. There were some other things shown but these were definitely the biggest names of the bunch. It was a nice little night for new game information with more to come this weekend at Playstation Experience.

The Game Awards was a solid show. If I were grading it, I’d probably give it a C+ or a B-. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t the greatest thing I’ve ever seen either. I’m not a huge awards show guy, but I watch this one because I feel like it’s important to an industry that I’m passionate about. There are still things that need to be improved upon but the event itself is heading in the right direction.

 

@Sixchr

 

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