Geoff Keighley’s patented Game Awards show is going to be a thing this December. As such, we’re curious about the nominees for this year’s showing.
We’ve got them now; turns out these picks aren’t big surprises if you’ve kept up with your gaming. What’s really cool is that you can also pick your favourite esports host, player, team, and event. Cast your votes here.
Read on for the full list and our personal votes for some of them.
Game of the Year
Nominees: AC Odyssey, Celeste, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Monster Hunter World, Red Dead Redemption 2.
Kenn: I’m voting Marvel’s Spider-Man. A wonderful experience from start to finish, doing justice to one of our favourite comic characters in a deftly executed, brilliantly directed and crafted blockbuster of a game.
Eschewing the traditional trope of mindless and action-only superhero video games, Marvel’s Spider-Man gives a new meaning to what is required and expected of a superhero. Easily a 10/10 game if you can forgive the less-than-stellar camera work.
Jon: Tough call; these are really good picks. But my vote will have to go to God of War because of how it’s a complete package that’s rife with violence, heartfelt father-son moments, and praise for the setting and myth.
Alleef: God of War is my pick for this category because it’s one of the few games that actually deserves a 10/10 rating. I was awed by the game’s narrative and phenomenal visuals from the beginning to the very end of the game.
I struggled to even find flaws in its captivating gameplay and story. By the end of the game, I was left wanting and utterly satisfied all at the same time, which not many games can boast of. If you told me ten years ago that a God of War would make me cry, I’d say you were crazy but look at where we are now.
Best Ongoing Game
Nominees: Destiny 2- Forsaken, Fortnite, No Man’s Sky, Overwatch, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege.
Kenn: Overwatch. Longevity and an ever growing community are two pillars of what makes an ongoing game great and in Overwatch, Blizzard hit all the right notes and then some.
Equally thriving on both casual and professional (esports) scene, Overwatch hasn’t shown any sign of slowing down: in fact, with an ever-growing heroes list and upcoming second season of the Overwatch League; we may have a title that will live long into the future and win more awards such as this in years to come.
Jon: I’m defaulting to Overwatch too because Warframe isn’t on this list. To which I say to Geoff & company: for shame. For frickin’ shame.
Best Game Direction
Nominees: A Way Out, Detroit – Become Human, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Red Dead Redemption 2
Nominees: Detroit – Become Human, God of War, Life is Strange 2: Episode 1, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Red Dead Redemption 2.
Jon: Unlike my compatriots here, I haven’t finished RDR2 yet so I’ll have to go with God of War for now. There’s just something touching about a former mass murderer of all things godly trying to be human and reconnecting with his son. Also, those twists and turns in the second half of the game are handled very, very well.
Alleef: God of War for me. At the beginning of the game, we had no idea how Kratos ended up in ancient Norway with a recently-deceased wife and a young son. Sony Santa Monica managed to spin an epic Norse odyssey of sorts, as we learn of truths and revelations in our journey through Midgard. The relationship between Kratos and his son Atreus is the highlight of the game’s narrative.
Best Art Direction
Nominees: AC Odyssey, God of War, Octopath Traveler, Red Dead Redemption 2, Return of the Obra Dinn.
Jon: Octopath Traveler. The 16-bit diorama art style here is just a league of its own. To be honest, it was a close call between this, RDR2’s slick portrayal of the Wild West (frozen horse balls and all), and Return of the Obra Dinn’s monochrome magic. But Octopath gets it because I’m a sucker for new ways to showcase awesome classic sprite artwork.
Alleef: I’ll have to give this to Red Dead Redemption 2. Everything from the game’s menu to the in-game objects like shop catalogues screams of the Wild West. The folks at Rockstar Games have lovingly crafted the most realistic depiction of America’s most romanticized age in a video game.
Nominees: Celeste, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Ni no Kuni II-Revenant Kingdom, Octopath Traveler, Red Dead Redemption 2.
Jon: It’s a no-contest – Octopath Traveler gets my vote hands-down because it’s the 2018 equivalent of a classic JRPG soundtrack complete with awesome violin solos, rockin’ battle beats, and all-around mood-generating soundscape. Though to be fair, RDR2’s OST is rock solid and Celeste‘s old-school-meets-new-school hybrid composition is enchanting.
Alleef: God of War composer Bear McCreary also made the music for the iconic 2004 Battlestar Galactica series. That alone should tell you that his God of War soundtrack is one that inspires awe and heartbreak, as well as enchanting us with its ethereal symphony of seemingly otherworldly music. My favourite track is “Memories of Mother”.
Best Audio Design
Nominees: Black Ops 4, Forza Horizon 4, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Red Dead Redemption 2.
Jon: It’s a toss-up between Forza Horizon 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2. Either game seem to have the detail of their genre and trappings down pat. The former really paid attention to the different weight and framework of each car’s engine and even tire screeching.
Alleef: The sound of clipping ammo and authentic old guns sold me on Red Dead Redemption 2’s impeccable audio design, besides taking the time to stroll in its open-world and hearing a litany of sounds from nature all around me.
Nominees: Bryan Dechart as Connor (Detroit: Become Human), Christopher Judge as Kratos (God of War), Melissanthi Mahut as Kassandra (AC Odyssey), Roger Clark as Arthur Morgan (Red Dead Redemption 2), Yuri Lowenthal as Peter Parker (Marvel’s Spider-Man).
Kenn: I’m going with Yuri Lowenthal. While it was Peter who don the suit, it was us who don the Peter Parker persona and it was delivered impeccably by Yuri who did not miss a beat. Very rare does a superhero movie or video game is carried by the performance of the character not in their alter ego – and we get it in buckets in Spider-Man.
Jon: Yeah, I’m going with Yuri Lowenthal here. As fun as it is to listen to Christopher Judge’s growling and yelling out of the word “boy” copious amounts of times, Yuri is right now THE essential Spider-Man/Peter Parker voice that is on par with great Spider-Man VOs like Josh Keaton and…er.. that’s about it really.
Alleef: Is it too early to put Yuri Lowenthal’s Spider-Man on the same pedestal as Kevin Conroy’s Batman? He’s just that good. Lowenthal manages to pull off both Peter Parker and Spider-Man so effortlessly that it’s like he really does swing by rooftops in his spare time.
Games For Impact
Nominees: 11-11 Memories Retold, Celeste, Florence, Life is Strange 2 – Episode 1, The Missing – JJ Macfield and the Island of Memories.
Best Independent Game
Nominees: Celeste, Dead Cells, Into The Breach, Return of the Obra Dinn, The Messenger.
Jon: I’m voting for The Missing because of the way it reminded me of that old game Neverdead. Except in 2D and actually good.
Best Mobile Game
Nominees: Donut County, Florence, Fortnite, PUBG Mobile, Reigns: Game of Thrones.
Kenn: PUBG Mobile. It succeeds where its PC brethren fails and, in a very rare occasion for mobile version of games, surpasses its predecessor. It’s fun to play, solid when connected and from my personal experience, almost bug-free.
This makes you wonder if BlueHole and PUBG Corp should have stuck with this model from the get-go, ditch PC altogether and make the mobile battle royale scene their own personal playground. Being free to play helps a lot too!
Best VR/AR Game
Nominees: ASTRO BOT Rescue Mission, Beat Saber, Firewall Zero Hour, Moss, Tetris Effect.
Best Action Game
Nominees: Black Ops 4, Dead Cells, Destiny 2- Forsaken, Far Cry 5, Mega Man 11.
Kenn: Black Ops 4. Frenetic, high octane action regardless of mode you’re on, Black Ops 4 takes the CoD franchise back to its rightful pedestal – at the tippy top of action games. Hardly any downtime here, players are pushed to their limits in terms of reaction and response times as well as dialing the fun factor to 11.
Solid gunplay, fun modes and a fresh take on the battle royale genre; that’s my justification for my nomination for Black Ops 4.
Jon: Dead Cells gets my vote, though I’m pretty sure Black Ops will take the popular vote. Imagine taking the best aspects of a metroidvania action game and then randomizing it roguelike style, then add in well-animated rotoscope-esque aesthetics and slick controls in a 2D Dark Souls-like environment; that’s Dead Cells in a stylized nutshell.
Best Action/Adventure Game
Nominees: AC Odyssey, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Red Dead Redemption 2, Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
Nominees: Dragon Quest XI, Monster Hunter World, Ni no Kuni II, Octopath Traveler, Pillars of Eternity II.
Jon: I’m voting for Octopath Traveler because (a) the Boost system and turn-based fighting is handled pretty well despite regular fights being draggy, (b) each character’s tales are handled well though I wished it converged at the end game, and (c) the aesthetics are just godlike. It’s not perfect, but the combined might of these points make it my go-to JRPG pick for this year.
Alleef: Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is the best JRPG of the current games generation. It manages to hone almost every traditional JRPG trope to perfection, despite lacking in any real innovation. It’s the culmination of decades of growth and proves that there’s nothing wrong with sticking with the classics.
Best Fighting Game
Nominees: BlazBlue- Cross Tag Battle, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Soulcalibur VI, Street Fighter V Arcade Edition.
Jon: Dragon Ball FighterZ is going to win this one hands-down because of popularity. Me? I’ll vote for Soulcalibur VI. Why? Because it’s still going back to basics with its 3D 8-Way Run fighting mechanic but with a few new additions like Reversal Edges & Soul Charges to spice things up on a competitive level.
Best Family Game
Nominees: Mario Tennis Aces, Nintendo Labo, Overcooked 2, Starlink – Battle for Atlas, Super Mario Party.
Best Strategy Game
Nominees: The Banner Saga 3, Battletech, Frostpunk, Into The Breach, Valkyria Chronicles 4.
Best Sports/Racing Game
Nominees: FIFA 19, Forza Horizon 4, Mario Tennis Aces, NBA 2K19, Pro Evolution Soccer 2019
Best Multiplayer Game
Nominees: Black Ops 4, Destiny 2 – Forsaken, Fortnite, Monster Hunter World, Sea of Thieves.
Best Esports Game
Nominees: CSGO, Dota 2, Fortnite, League of Legends, Overwatch.
Best Esports Player
Nominees: SonicFox, Tokido, Uzi, s1mple, JJonak.
Kenn: While we have an impressive list of players here, name one who not only won the MVP title for a league spanning over half a year – which his team finished top, he also won the World Cup and the tournament MVP within the same period.
That’s Jjonak for you: a meta-defining freak of nature.
Jon: I’m going with the multi-talented SonicFox. From Injustice to Mortal Kombat to MvC to Dragon Ball FighterZ and Soulcalibur VI, this young player can juggle fighting games better than other players in the field. With top finishes and rankings as well as that carefree attitude pre-game, he’s the next big thing.
Best Esports Team
Nominees: Astralis (CSGO), Cloud9 (LoL), FNatic (LoL), London Spitfire (OWL), OG (Dota 2)
Best Esports Coach
Nominees: Reapered (Cloud9), ppasarel (OG), zonic (Astralis), Dylan Falco (Fnatic), YamatoCannon (Team Vitality), YNk (MiBR).
Best Esports Event
Nominees: ELEAGUE Major- Boston 2018, EVO 2018, LoL Worlds, Overwatch League Grand Finals, The International 2018.
Best Esports Host
Nominees: Goldenboy, Machine, Anders Blume, Sjokz, RedEye.
Best Esports Moment
Nominees: C9 Comeback Win In Triple OT vs FAZE (ELEAGUE), G2 Beating RNG (LoL Worlds), KT vs IG Base Race (LoL Worlds), OG’s Massive Upset of LGD (Dota 2 Finals), SonicFox Side Switch against Go1 in DBZ (EVO)
Content Creator of the Year
Nominees: Dr. Lupo,Myth, Ninja, Pokimane, Willyrex.