Some thoughts on The Game Awards’ top prize; Game of the Year.
The Game Awards is less than a week away, and as great as the show has always been for worldwide game announcements and reveal trailers, it’s also about rewarding studios for their hard work. While your mileage may vary when it comes to the overall quality of 2015’s gaming output, the very best of the bunch are an eclectic group of quality titles. The big question on everyone’s mind; which of these five games will come out on top and win The Game Awards 2015’s Game of the Year award?
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When it comes to predicting awards like Game of the Year, it’s the mitigating factors you have to take into account. Games that release early in the year have the same effect on game journalist voters that January releases have on film critics; they tend to forget about them. That’s why titles like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze were brutally forgotten in 2014, left off many a deserving list.
Bloodborne, despite a March release, won’t have the same effect for The Game Awards. Its evolution of the From Software action-RPG formula brought a decidedly darker, gruesome and literally visceral take. The game’s level design is so intricate that you will be excited to suddenly discover a hidden shortcut back to the start of an area for a quicker jump back into action. With The Old Hunters expansion dropping recently, the game is reinvigorated with tons of new weapons, content, PvP options and added story depth that critics can’t help but take notice once again.
It’s hard to really quantify how long Fallout 4 has been clamored for by gaming fans and the media. The thirst for a successor to Fallout: New Vegas has been so real, people even made up websites that were so obviously fake, but were taken as legit because of just how much people wanted another title in the series. Cut to November 10th, just under a month out to The Game Awards, and you have your biggest contender for the Game of the Year title.
Yes, the dialog options have been truncated to a wheel, and there are still massive bugs out there at launch, but nobody quite builds dystopian RPG shooter worlds quite like Bethesda. The gameplay in Fallout 4 is as dynamic as ever, especially with the opportunity to build and defend settlements. There are so many quests, characters, companions and areas to explore (each providing a wonderful array of colors) that you’ll be hard to put down the controller once you start playing. The years-long hype leading up to its release will help push Fallout 4 to, perhaps, gaming’s highest honor.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
In what will likely be Kojima Productions’ swan song, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain brings the open world action stealth elements prompted in Ground Zeroes and expands the mechanics hundreds of times over. Infiltration into enemy territory, and how to approach each scenario, is open to many interpretations by the player, each playing into a tangent of Snake’s character. As your heroism improves, so does the quality of recruits you can bring back to Mother Base, expanding on Big Boss’ idea for a single, united nation.
Despite being rushed out before completion of some story threads, The Phantom Pain does as amicable a job in explaining so many of the remaining Metal Gear Solid mysteries, while embarking on a narrative journey of its own with the menacing Skull Face. A gripping tale, complete with some of the best stealth gameplay in a Metal Gear Solid game, gives Metal Gear Solid V a solid (*cough*) chance of winning Game of the Year.
Nintendo has had a down year overall, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some outstanding titles among the mix. Super Mario Maker is definitely one of them, allowing new and experienced Mario players alike the opportunity to explore their creative side. The untethered freedom offered to players allows for some dynamic genre changes to play, including the ability to create dungeon crawlers, shoot ’em ups, narrative adventure stories, and even mazes.
While not every single Mario asset or object ever created is available, and some titles need to become added download options, one can’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment with Nintendo even allowing a game like this to happen. It shows that, while they treasure the Mario IP dearly, they want players to experience the pitfalls and successes of game development, while enjoying the fruits of their fans’ labor by featuring and highlighting special courses. The effort comes off as one from a tight-knit community, and that sense of belonging Nintendo provides led to a quality Game of the Year contender.
In a year of anticipated titles, the sudden backing and longing for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt comes from wanting to see what CD Projekt RED does on the next generation of consoles in an open world setting. That setting proves massive, yet its construction and implementation of a European medieval fantasy world fits the bill for the story.
Geralt of Riveria is back, and even players who haven’t familiarized themselves with previous games get the character’s appeal immediately. He’s the kind of no-nonsense protagonist that bald space marine characters wish they could be, all the while sporting some stylish hair and impressive skills. It’s the style of action-RPG where every hit, maneuver or spell attempted carries a significance to it, not nearly as floaty as it should be. With a dense allotment of quests, items, interaction and ongoing story + free DLC content supported by the developers, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt may just take home the Game of the Year award.
Who will win The Game Awards 2015's Game of the Year?
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (44%, 75 Votes)
- Fallout 4 (28%, 48 Votes)
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (17%, 29 Votes)
- Bloodborne (7%, 12 Votes)
- Super Mario Maker (4%, 7 Votes)
Total Voters: 171