My Picks For The Game Awards 2019

Dec. is arriving shortly, which means The Game Awards are upon us. Geoff Keighley’s award show will celebrate many of the biggest hits in gaming this year, along with revealing new titles in the style of E3. Some people will take home a fancy trophy that night, but here, they will get a mention on a mediocre blogger from a 23-year-old they don’t know or care about.

Before getting started, I will say that I will not be doing every category. I know nothing about things like esports, so expect a few to go missing. I will hit up the major awards that the majority of people will most likely be keeping an eye on.

GAME OF THE YEAR NOMINEES:

Control (Remedy/505 Games)
Death Stranding (Kojima Productions/SIE)
Resident Evil 2 (Capcom)
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (FromSoftware/Activision)
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Sora/Bandai Namco/Nintendo)
The Outer Worlds (Obsidian/Private Division)

WINNER: Control (Remedy/505 Games)

Control has that artsy weirdness from an indie title while having the scale of a AAA title that you would expect. Remedy delivered a mind-boggling shooter that will test your brainpower and shooting skills. It has everything I could want from a story-driven title that goes outside the box.

Control Screenshot 2019.08.27 - 17.33.52.41
Image via Remedy Entertainment/505 Games

ACTION GAME NOMINEES:

Apex Legends (Respawn Entertainment/EA)
Astral Chain (Platinum Games/Nintendo)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (Infinity Ward/Activision)
Devil May Cry 5 (Capcom)
Gears 5 (The Coalition/Xbox Game Studios)
Metro: Exodus (4A Games/Deep Silver)

WINNER: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (Infinity Ward/Activision)

I cannot believe I am letting a Call of Duty game reign supreme in any category. Infinity Ward took this game into the roots of the good old days with its simplicity while boosting up the game’s support without paid DLC. This is the experience I remember from middle school, and it somehow goes above and beyond those nostalgic memories.

call-of-duty-modern-warfare
Image via Infinity Ward/Activision

ACTION/ADVENTURE GAME NOMINEES:

Borderlands 3 (Gearbox/2K)
Control (Remedy/505 Games)
Death Stranding (Kojima Productions/SIE)
Resident Evil 2 (Capcom)
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Grezzo/Nintendo)
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (FromSoftware/Activision)

WINNER: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (FromSoftware/Activision)

This category is all about the balance of combat, traversal, and puzzle-solving. Control and Resident Evil 2 nail all of that, but FromSoftware surprised me with how well Sekiro has all of those elements.

Usually, the Japanese developer gets the combat and brain obstacles right with their cryptic storytelling and world design, but now we got a game that feels great to move around. Sekiro’s running, jumping, and grappling satisfies every minute when playing.

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Image via FromSoftware/Activision

ART DIRECTION NOMINEES:

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Grezzo/Nintendo)
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (FromSoftware/Activision)
Control (Remedy/505 Games)
Death Stranding (Kojima Productions/SIE)
Gris (Nomada Studios/Devolver Digital)
Sayonara Wild Hearts (Simogo/Annapurna)

WINNER: Gris (Nomada Studios/Devolver Digital)

Gris is a stunning indie title that has beautiful watercolors and mesmerizing designs. It is raising the bar for what it means for a video game to be an art form.

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Image via Nomada Studios/Devolver Digital

AUDIO DESIGN NOMINEES:

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (FromSoftware/Activision)
Control (Remedy/505 Games)
Death Stranding (Kojima Productions/SIE)
Resident Evil 2 (Capcom)
Gears 5 (The Coalition/Xbox Game Studios)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (Infinity Ward/Activision)

WINNER: Resident Evil 2 (Capcom)

Horror games need great audio design, or a lot of the atmosphere, and emotions tied to it will fall apart. Capcom went above and beyond, making this remake more than simply upgrading the graphics. It stands on its own two feet away from the original.

resident-evil-2-remake-faq-5
Image via Capcom

COMMUNITY SUPPORT:

Apex Legends (Respawn Entertainment/EA)
Destiny 2 (Bungie)
Final Fantasy XIV (Square Enix)
Fortnite (Epic Games)
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

WINNER: Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

To maintain a game since 2015, you need a good relationship with your player base. Siege does not do everything perfectly, but the last few seasons have shown that Ubisoft is dedicated to making this the best game possible for its community. I have had so many wonders and hopes that have been delivered because the fans are being listened to.

This is a game I have put over 500 hours, close to 600, and I cannot get tired of it, especially with consistent new content that comes out every few months. I cannot wait for the next season.

rainbowsixsiege-bg
Image via Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft

FAMILY GAME NOMINEES: 

Luigi’s Mansion 3 (Next Level Games/Nintendo)
Ring Fit Adventure (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
Super Mario Maker 2 (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Sora/Bandai Namco/Nintendo)
Yoshi’s Crafted World (Good-Feel/Nintendo)

WINNER: Super Mario Maker 2 (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

It is hard to beat Mario here. Being able to create a level in the style of new age or old school of the iconic franchise is the perfect thing for a family. Whether it is the hardcore player looking for a crushing difficulty or fun run through for a kid to beat, Super Mario Maker 2 really is for everyone.

super-mario-maker-2---button-v2-1550784835813.jpg
Image via Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

FIGHTING GAME NOMINEES:

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Sora/Bandai Namco/Nintendo)
Dead or Alive 6 (Team Ninja/Koei Tecmo)
Jump Force (Spike Chunsoft/Bandai Namco)
Mortal Kombat 11 (NetherRealm Studios/WBIE)
Samurai Shodown (SNK/Athlon)

WINNER: Mortal Kombat 11 (NetherRealm Studios)

It is hard for NetherRealm to disappoint when it comes to fighting games. The past few Mortal Kombat games have been stellar, and the latest entry is no different. This is easily the best fighting game of the year and easily will make it into my top 10 of the year too.

mortal-kombat-11-mk-11-trailer-suggests-time-travelling-redemption-15.jpg
Image via NetherRealm Studios

FRESH INDIE GAME NOMINEES:

Disco Elysium (ZA/UM)
Gris (Nomada Studio)
My Friend Pedro (Deadtoast Entertainment)
Outer Wilds (Mobius Digital)
Slay the Spire (Mega Grit)
Untitled Goose Game (House House)

WINNER: My Friend Pedro (Deadtoast Entertainment)

My Friend Pedro is a standout hit that caught me by surprise. After seeing it at E3, I just had to get my hands on this stylish, side-scrolling shooter. Its bumpin’ music and superb feel to both of its combat and traversal make this irresistibly fun. This award is meant for a studio’s first release, and Deadtoast Entertainment set the bar so high for themselves, I cannot wait for what comes next.

my-friend-pedro-key-art
Image via Deadtoast Entertainment/Devolver Digital)

GAME DIRECTION NOMINEES:

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (FromSoftware/Activision)
Control (Remedy/505 Games)
Death Stranding (Kojima Productions/SIE)
Resident Evil 2 (Capcom)
Outer Wilds (Mobius Digital/Annapurna)

WINNER: Outer Wilds (Mobius Digital/Annapurna)

22 minutes before having to reset sounds tedious, but Outer Wilds caught the gaming community and industry by surprise with its execution. This innovation and creativity will hopefully catch on. Be on the lookout for Mobius Digital’s future titles now.

Diesel_product_Outerwilds_Gallery_Outerwilds_Moon_Gallery_2580x1450-2580x1450-d30956aefed5c1a96f5571eae56636a2cea8b66a
Image via Mobius Digital/Annapurna

INDEPENDENT GAME NOMINEES:

Untitled Goose Game (House House)
Disco Elysium (ZA/UM)
Outer Wilds (Mobius Digital/Annapurna)
Baba is You (Hempuli)
Katana Zero (Askiisoft/Devolver Digital)

WINNER: Untitled Goose Game (House House)

The seemingly innocent Untitled Goose Game is as indie as you can get in its scale, art direction, and premise. This game exploded on social media, and it deserves every ounce of love. I never knew I needed to be a goose that terrorizes everyone in my path, yet I have this urge to be an evil bird.

image.png
Image via House House

MULTIPLAYER GAME NOMINEES:

Borderlands 3 (Gearbox/2K)
Apex Legends (Respawn Entertainment/EA)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (Infinity Ward/Activision)
Tetris 99 (Arika/Nintendo)
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 (Massive Entertainment/Ubisoft)

WINNER: Borderlands 3 (Gearbox/2K)

Nothing beats playing with friends, especially through a chaotically hilarious world like Borderlands. The third title in the series enhances things that were missing from the previous titles while ramping up all of the iconic elements that make these looter shooters stand out from the rest.

Borderlands 3 Screenshot 2019.09.14 - 10.00.00.95
Image via Gearbox/2K

NARRATIVE NOMINEES:

A Plague Tale: Innocence (Asobo/Focus Home)
Control (Remedy Entertainment/505 Games)
Death Stranding (Kojima Productions/SIE)
Disco Elysium (ZA/UM)
The Outer Worlds (Obsidian/Private Division)

WINNER: Control (Remedy Entertainment/505 Games)

Control delivers a unique story that is told in an unusual, fully realized universe. It feels confusing, but it manages to explain without feeling like a poor expedition of what is happening. Combined with excellent characters, this is the narrative that needs to be consumed by as many gamers as possible.

Control Screenshot 2019.08.27 - 18.05.55.56
Image via Remedy Entertainment/505 Games

ONGOING GAME NOMINEES:

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
Apex Legends (Respawn Entertainment/EA)
Destiny 2 (Bungie)
Fortnite (Epic Games)
Final Fantasy XIV (Square Enix)

Winner: Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

Ubisoft has been killing it when supporting Rainbow Six Siege. The last few seasons have delivered excellent, unique new operators, brand new maps and redesigns of classic levels, and find new seasonal game modes to give the players a refreshing experience during events. Nobody has to wait long for any of this new content, it is that consistent.

rainbowsixsiege-bg
Image via Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

PERFORMANCE NOMINEES:

Ashly Burch as Parvati Holcomb (The Outer Worlds)
Courtney Hope as Jesse Faden (Control)
Matthew Porretta as Dr. Casper Darling (Control)
Laura Bailey as Kait Diaz (Gears 5)
Mads Mikkelsen as Cliff (Death Stranding)
Norman Reedus as Sam Porter Bridges (Death Stranding)

WINNER: Courtney Hope as Jesse Faden (Control)

Hope gave an impressive performance in Control. The stellar writing crafted the mold for a powerful, gripping heroine, and she made Jesse come to life. Now she is one of my favorite actresses in gaming and her leading role as one of the best characters in recent years.

Control Screenshot 2019.08.27 - 15.19.10.03
Image via Remedy Entertainment/505 Games)

ROLE-PLAYING GAME NOMINEES:

Disco Elysium (ZA/UM)
Final Fantasy XIV (Square Enix)
The Outer Worlds (Obsidian/Private Division)
Kingdom Hearts III (Square Enix)
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne (Capcom)

WINNER: The Outer Worlds (Obsidian/Private Division)

Experience in the genre really helps, especially when you have a developer who worked on Fallout: New Vegas. Obsidian leans into those elements while making something that stands away from Bethesda’s wildly popular franchise. I love the choices in The Outer Worlds, I really get to be the character I want, as in a fearful force that is a menace to everyone in sight.

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Image via Obsidian/Private Division

I know I skipped some categories, but a lot of which I don’t have an opinion on or should not comment on. What about your thoughts? Let me know which titles you want to win in this year’s VGAs.

The Game Awards premier Dec. 13. You can check out all of the information here.

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Image via The Game Awards

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