2016 has gone by pretty quickly. It seems like just yesterday that Fire Emblem Fates and Street Fighter V showed up on my doorstep to kick off the year in gaming.
Now we’re at the end of the year and The Game Awards starts tonight at 9PM ET. Just for fun, I thought I’d take a look at the nominations and give my thoughts on which titles I think will win and what my picks are for each category. Enjoy folks!
GAME OF THE YEAR
- Doom (id software/Bethesda Softworks)
- Inside (Playdead)
- Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)
- Titanfall 2 (Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts)
- Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
Predicted Winner: Overwatch
Personal Pick: Doom
I’m not naive. With how much of a juggernaut in gaming culture Overwatch has been this whole year, it would be a shock to me if it were to lose to any of the competitors.
That being said…
Out of all the games nominated, Doom is my personal favorite. It’s a glorious, gory, frenetic, and technologically impressive throwback to old school shooters. No complicated story, no need to appeal to every type of gamer with marketing tie-ins and/or strong multiplayer focus, no dramatic story about heroics in war; Doom is just a game that knows what it is and revels in it. What other game this year allows you to dual wield two rocket launchers while head banging to the metal riffs blaring behind you as you take out demon after demon in your way? It’s not anything industry changing, but Doom is a prime example of taking a simple formula and buffing it up to 110 and making it work every minute of your play through.
BEST GAME DIRECTION
- Blizzard Entertainment (For Overwatch)
- EA DICE (for Battlefield 1)
- id Software (for Doom)
- Naughty Dog (for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End)
- Respawn Entertainment (for Titanfall 2)
Predicted Winner: Blizzard Entertainment
Personal Winner: id
Blizzard has this locked up. For the amount of great gameplay and personality Overwatch has as an overall package, there’s no way I see Blizzard losing this award. Even though my personal pick is id for the same amount of personality shown in every minute of Doom, I have no qualm with Blizzard going home with this trophy. They’ve earned it for bringing bright and colorful personality to the shooter genre this year.
- Firewatch (Campo Santo)
- Inside (Playdead)
- Mafia 3 (Hangar 13/2K Games)
- Oxenfree (Night School Studio)
- Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive
Predicted Winner: Inside
Personal Pick: Firewatch
Man… this year’s games’ stories were weak in my opinion. All the games nominated above are fine, but none personally grabbed my attention like Wolfenstein: The New Order, Fire Emblem: Awakening, Bioshock Infinite, or Shovel Knight, to name a few. The problem with every game above is they just couldn’t stick the landing. The endings were either underwhelming, as in Uncharted 4‘s case, or didn’t wrap up everything their stories had properly set up, like in the case of Inside. That’s not to say Inside’s story was bad — it was pretty brilliant at times. I just wish it could have been brilliant the whole way through.
I give my personal pick to Firewatch only because the game did grab my interest from beginning to end, even with the “Oh, you’ve gotta be kidding me!” character moments at the very end.