The Game Awards are finally upon us, offering up a night of entertainment, trailers, and most importantly, acknowledging the incredible achievements of those in the industry. Though we won’t find out who has actually won one of the coveted The Game Awards trophies, we made a few predictions of who we think will come out on top for each category. So without further ado, here are our predictions for The Game Awards 2016.
GotY- Uncharted 4
Uncharted 4 had it all as it wrapped up our adventures with Nathan Drake. Combining fantastic narrative and the familiar Uncharted gameplay we’ve come to know and love from the series, it was just the ending Nathan Drake deserved. Top it off with some of the best visuals we’ve seen this generation, and superb voice acting throughout and Uncharted 4 is the definitive gaming experience of 2016.
Best Game Direction – Naughty Dog
From the onset, Uncharted 4 feels like a polished experience with production levels that resemble that of a movie. From the dust particles that float on by, to the fully-realized relationships of the characters, Naughty Dog has created an unforgettable world in Uncharted 4.
Best Narrative – Uncharted 4
Uncharted 4 managed to deliver a believable, yet thrilling story within its fully-realized cast of interesting characters. Each had their motives for their actions, and in one way or another, fed into the bigger picture, offering trials and tribulations for the player to overcome on the journey. It wasn’t an easy journey, but it was certainly a bittersweet end to our adventures with Nathan Drake.
Best Art Direction – Firewatch
Firewatch doesn’t go for hyper-realistic graphics but instead opts for a pastel color palette that brings the Wyoming wilderness to life. This combination leads to many countless breathtaking views on your journey with Henry, more than any other game to have released this year.
Best Music/ Sound Design – Thumper
Thumper’s dark soundtrack is at the heart of the experience to be had, and it never fails to miss a beat (even if you do). Thumper manages to make the sounds of your navigating its complex courses come together into a sinister soundtrack that will linger in your head long after the experience is over.
Best Performance – Nolan North
Nolan’s performance in Uncharted 4 was second to none. He delivered the charismatic tones of Nathan Drake as if the character was simply an extension of himself. Nailing the emotional moments with Elena, and the classic Nathan Drake humor, North deserves this not just for his performance in Uncharted 4, but for delivering one of the most memorable performances for a character ever.
Games for Impact Award
That Dragon, Cancer was one of the toughest games to play through. Not because it was bad, but because it so clearly illustrated the position that these two parents found themselves in with their terminally-ill son, Joel. Through an emotional couple of hours, That Dragon, Cancer handles its tough to swallow themes in a delicate, yet brutally to-the-point manner. Upon completion, you’ll forever be that bit more thankful for those you have around you.
The Witness’ openness is pure genius. Through its first few puzzles, players learn the basics and then are simply thrown into an open-world filled with puzzles and left to their own devices to work each one out. You’ll scrawl notes, feel like a quantum physicist, and still get it wrong a couple hundred times, but with each eventual solution and victory over the game, you fall deeper down the puzzle-filled rabbit hole. And you’ll never have been more content.
Best Mobile/ Handheld Game
Fire Emblem Fates is the perfect game for newcomers and veterans of the series alike. With a fantastic balance of challenge and accessibility in its tactical gameplay, and a wonderfully written story driving the whole thing forward, Fire Emblem Fates offers a console-esque experience to take wherever you go.
Thumper is the kind of game that seems incredibly simple when you first start playing, but soon becomes this incredibly challenging rhythm-based nightmare world that you, for some reason, just don’t want to leave. Its use of VR may not be as in-your-face as the other nominees, but Thumper is a sensory overload that will fully immerse you in its creepy, dark world.
Best Action Game
Since it released Overwatch has gone from strength to strength, delivering one of the most balanced and satisfying team-based shooters to have ever graced video games. With 20 million monthly players, it’s impossible to overlook its immense popularity and with extra content having dropped via free updates, you have no reason to want to stop playing.
An adventure game should… well… take you on an adventure, and there’s nothing else in this lineup that quite managed to do it on the same scope as Uncharted 4. Having us quite literally travel around the world, uncovering ancient treasures, solving environmental and traversal puzzles, and of course, delivering fantastic set pieces, Uncharted 4 is exactly what this category is about- an action-packed adventure.
Despite only being an expansion, Blood and Wine manages to deliver more content in its entirety than many other full games do. With an excellent main quest storyline, a further fleshing out of our very own Geralt, more in-depth character customization and progression systems in the form of the mutations system, and more side content than you could shake a stick at, Blood and Wine is an unforgettable ending to your adventures with Geralt the Witcher.
Best Fighting Game
Street Fighter V is the best technical fighter in years. It may have had a troubled launch with a lack of content, but in the months that followed, Street Fighter V became a complete experience. In terms of fighting mechanics, Street Fighter V stands above and beyond its competition.
Best Strategy Game
Civilization VI offers you a level of detail into your civilization that keeps on going long after its competition would stop. Though there’s a good chance you’ll never get around to fully utilizing them, their presence act as a mere reminder of just how deep down the rabbit hole you could fall. Yet, simply taking the game by face value offers just as a rewarding experience. It has a learning curve, sure, but once you’re in, other strategic games pale in comparison.
Best Family Game
Nothing quite took the world by storm like Pokemon GO did since… well, Pokemon in the 90s. Though simple in premise, and a little bit broken when it first released, Pokemon GO saw the masses heading outside and catching the adorable creatures together. Kids and adults alike would be sprinting down the street for that elusive Charizard, and if that isn’t a great family game, we don’t know what is.
Best Sports/ Racing
Few open world racers combine an interesting world, with a huge roster of cars, a ton of races and challenges to complete, customization options, and a solid multiplayer mode into one, but Forza Horizon 3 does that seamlessly and with a superior level of presentation to every other racer on the market. The sheer amount of content, combined with how satisfying it feels to sit behind the wheel of each lovingly modeled vehicle makes for an unparalleled racing experience.
Overwatch is the game that keeps on giving. At launch, the content that was on offer was more than enough to keep fans entertained for years to come. Since, we’ve seen a number of free updates bringing more maps, a competitive mode, new characters, balance tweaks, festive events, and much more. With a roster of balanced characters and an ever-expanding amount of content, fans will be playing Overwatch for years to come, and it’s not hard to see why.
Every time that Rockstar releases a new title, it’s a pretty big deal. And when it’s the developer’s first time releasing on a new system, fans are desperate to see just how they’ve utilized this additional power to further perfect their open world formula. With Red Dead Redemption 2, however, there’s an air of mystery shrouding the game. We currently don’t know very much at all about the game, and though fans have only seen a one-minute teaser trailer, that’s all they needed hop aboard the hype train to next Fall.
Danny O’Dwyer’s work at GameSpot brought millions of gamers around the world countless hours of entertainment, yet, it’s since he left GameSpot that Danny’s influence as a gamer has really come into its own. Setting up Noclip, Danny’s work now focuses on documenting the stories of the industry that have never been told. Beginning with that of Rocket League and moving onto Bethesda and Doom, Danny O’Dwyer is quite literally giving gamers an insight into the industry like never before.
Best Fan Creation
Brutal Doom 64 is a prime example of fan passion put into play. It isn’t just a port of Doom for the N64, but a reimagining of sorts, bringing new levels, textures, sprites, enemies, and a new plot that follows on from the events of Doom 2. Rather than simply port Doom 64 over to PC which is an accomplishment in and of itself, Brutal Doom 64 aims to improve the game in every conceivable way, and even comes with a 64-player online multiplayer, co-op, and survival co-op modes.
Best Esports Player
ByuN quite literally came out of nowhere and started tearing some of the best players in the world apart without anyone by his side. He didn’t live in a team house, have practice sessions or a coach to help him, this was a one-man mission. Pair that up with the fact he used what most people consider to be the most underpowered race in StarCraft 2, the Terran, and ByuN’s skills and achievements cannot be overlooked.
Best Esports Team
SK Telecom T1 are the League of Legends team that you kind of never expect to beat, and seldom ever will. Having won three of the last four League of Legends World Championships, the most recent two being back-to-back, as well as winning countless other tournaments throughout the year and SK Telecom T1 are arguably the most decorated team in League of Legends Esports history.
Best Esports Game
Dota 2 has long been one of the titans of the esport world, and this year was no different. At the 2016 International Championships, TI6: Wings walked away with $9.1 million for winning the competition, from an overall prize pool valued at $20 million making it the biggest in esports history. While the other nominees on the list may offer intense matches, Dota 2 continues to deliver some of the most tactical gameplay, and can see huge upsets just as we did at this year’s International Championships.
And there you have all of our predictions for the winners of The Game Awards 2016. Who do you think will come away with the awards?