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Game Awards – Predictions & Picks

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There are a million awards handed out across every corner of the internet when it comes to games–Home Button will be putting together its own as well–but The Game Awards have become the big ticket show when it comes to gaming awards.

I love both predicting and sharing my picks for these categories each year, and seeing how close I get to predicting correctly. To be very clear, these are not necessarily my picks for these categories, but my picks from the ones nominated. I will be running my own awards, and may just be bringing in a panel to help me do it. Without further ado, let us get into it.


 

Game of the Year

Nominees: God of War / Red Dead Redemption 2 / Celeste / Assassin’s Creed Odyssey / Marvel’s Spider-Man / Monster Hunter World

  • My Pick: God of War
  • My Prediction: God of War

Every single game that is up for this category are fantastic games, but I would have to go with God of War every time. The game is just so incredibly special and is a technical achievement to boot. You can read me rant about how wonderful God of War is here or even read a spoiler filled discussion here, but ultimately it is both my pick and prediction.

Best Ongoing Game

Nominees – Destiny 2 / Fortnite / No Man’s Sky / Overwatch / Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege

  • My Pick: Fortnite
  • My Prediction: Fortnite

This will be surprising to many given my rabid love of everything Overwatch, but when we talk about best ongoing game we are talking about the game that is the best at continuing to keep its user base engaged. While Overwatch has certainly added awesome new characters and I always enjoy their events, Fortnite is simply on another level when it comes to ongoing celebrations. Each new season, even for those that don’t play the game, seems to be a new big deal with game sweeping ramifications that alter the entire map–and that isn’t even mentioning the events that take place in real time across the entire world.

Best Game Direction

Nominees – A Way Out / Detroit Become Human / God of War / Marvel’s Spider Man / Red Dead Redemption 2

  • My Pick: God of War
  • My Prediction: Red Dead Redemption 2

The mastery of the direction of God of War is evident from the opening scene to the shocking conclusion, but even though Red Dead Redemption 2 didn’t click for me I still can recognize the mastery in the direction of that game as well as the technical achievements it manages. Although my pick is God of War I’m pretty sure the judges will go with Red Dead 2, and I can’t really fault them.

Best Narrative

Nominees – Detroit Become Human / God of War / Life is Strange 2: Ep 1 / Marvel’s Spider-Man / Red Dead Redemption 2

  • My Pick: God of War
  • My Prediction: God of War

Again, all of these games are absolute bangers when it comes to narrative (aside from Life is Strange, which as a single episode I don’t know how you could judge it as a complete story). That being said, God of War is the very clear winner for me. It took a character that a lot of people hated and instead of rebooting the narrative–as many would have done–it redeems him and sees him grow as a father character.

Best Art Direction

Nominees – Assassin’s Creed Odyssey / God of War / Octopath Traveler / Red Dead Redemption 2 / Return of Obra Din

  • My Pick: Red Dead Redemption 2
  • My Prediction: Red Dead Redemption 2

I honestly never thought I would see another game prettier than the open world we saw in Horizon Zero Dawn, but my goodness Red Dead Redemption 2 delivers in spades. Every time I crested a hill there was a new screenshot I wanted to take. Whether it is the majesty of a storm across the plains, the way the sunlight filters through the trees, or the billion little touches that makes the world feel alive, all of it creates a world that is jaw droppingly gorgeous.

Best Score/Music

Nominees – Celeste / God of War / Marvel’s Spider-Man / Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom / Octopath Traveler / Red Dead Redemption 2

  • My Pick: God of War
  • My Prediction: Red Dead Redemption 2

Another category that is incredibly hard to decide upon, and one I would have added and awarded to another nominee not listed, but I have to give it to God of War once again. The music was epic, haunting, and always kicked in at the perfect moment. While Red Dead Redemption 2 has such an amazing soundtrack that I could feel the difference in every locale, I have to give it to God of War.

Best Audio Design

Nominees – Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 / Forza Horizon 4 / God of War / Marvel’s Spider-Man / Red Dead Redemption 2

  • My Pick: Marvel’s Spider-Man
  • My Prediction: Red Dead Redemption 2

Though I loved the audio design of God of War (I can practically still hear the delicious thump of the Leviathan Axe returning to Kratos’ hand), I have to give the nod to Spider-Man. Not only was the voice acting amazing coming from our lead (we will cover that here soon), but the way the music changed and swelled as you crested buildings, or the way the characters voice track changed depending on whether you were standing still or swinging really made this experience sing.

Best Performance

Nominees – Bryan Dechart (Conner Detroit, Become Human) / Christopher Judge (Kratos, God of War) / Melissanthi Mahut (Kassandra, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey) / Roger Clark (Arthur Morgan, Red Dead Redemption 2) / Yuri Lowenthal (Peter Parker, Spider-Man)

  • My Pick: Yuri Lowenthal as Peter Parker
  • My Prediction: Yuri Lowenthal

Christopher Judge did such a fantastic job of bringing depth to the character of Kratos that I feel almost heart broken having to give the nod to anyone else, but Yuri Lowenthal was just simply a perfect embodiment of Peter Parker, and thus Spider-Man. The performance he turns in is nothing short of amazing, and he truly owned the role in my opinion.

Games for Impact

Nominees – 11-11 Memories Retold / Celeste / Florence / Life is Strange 2: Ep 1 / The Missing: JJ Macfield and the Island of Memories

  • My Pick: Celeste
  • My Prediction: Celeste

Celeste is an incredibly important game to me, and one I was thrilled to see nominated for Game of the Year. If it hadn’t released in the year of God of War I would have awarded that honor to Celeste. I suffer from anxiety and depression, and the story that a the game tells to address those mental illnesses is heartwarming and uplifting. To do that in a 2D platformer is impressive enough, but to do so while using fantastic gameplay to underline that message takes it to a new level.

Best Indie Game

Nominees – Celeste / Dead Cells / Into the Breach / Return of the Obra Dinn / The Messenger

  • My Pick: Celeste
  • My Prediction: Celeste

The Messenger was a very good game, but Celeste wins for all of the reasons I stated above. If you want to know all the ways I truly love Celeste you can check out my review here, but suffice to say I adore it.

Best Mobile Game

Nominees – Donut County / Florence / Fortnite / PUBG Mobile / Reigns: Game of Thrones

  • My Pick: Fortnite
  • My Prediction: Fortnite

I’ll be honest, I didn’t play a good deal of these, but it is nearly impossible to find a mobile game that has had such an impact in gaming as the one Fortnite has. I downloaded it to check it out, and the way the experience translates to a mobile device feels like sheer magic, especially considering I can continue from my game that I played on my Xbox at home.

Best AR/VR Game

Nominees – Astro Bot Rescue Mission / Beat Saber / Firewall Zero Hour / Moss / Tetris Effect

  • My Pick: Moss
  • My Prediction: Astro Bot Rescue Mission

This category is strange, as I don’t currently own my own VR set and so have experienced these games at events in chunks of time around 15-20 minutes. That being said none transported me to another world or made me feel like I wanted to play through hours and hours in VR like Moss did. While I don’t think VR is necessary for this title, I do think that it enhances a game I would normally want to play anyway in a fantastic way.

Best Action Game

Nominees – Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 / Dead Cells / Destiny 2: Forsaken / Far Cry 5 / Mega Man 11

  • My Pick: Dead Cells
  • My Prediction: Call of Duty Black Ops 4

I usually do not enjoy Rogue like experiences, but I found myself addicted to the gameplay loop of Dead Cells in a way that I seldom am. I never minded starting over and constantly testing myself to reach just a little further in the game.

Best Action / Adventure Game

Nominees – Assassin’s Creed Odyssey / God of War / Marvel’s Spider-Man / Red Dead Redemption 2 / Shadow of the Tomb Raider

  • My Pick: God of War
  • My Prediction: Red Dead Redemption 2

While I really feel there is no way God of War shouldn’t win (as I’ve made abundantly clear so far), I think that Red Dead Redemption 2 and God of War are going to sweep the awards for the most part. It almost isn’t fair to once again pit these against each other, but if they give GOTY to God of War, I can easily see Red Dead Redemption 2 taking this award home.

Best Role-Playing Game

Nominees – Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age / Monster Hunter World / Ni No Kuni 2 / Octopath Traveler / Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

  • My Pick: Octopath Traveler
  • My Prediction: Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age

I didn’t get to play Dragon Quest XI, which I’ve heard is an amazingly old school JRPG, so I’m going to have to go with the finest call back to the JRPGs of yesteryear, Octopath Traveler. I’ve not finished Octopath, but its gameplay even in the early hours of the game speaks for itself. Regardless of how I feel about the story, it perfectly encapsulates what I loved about games like Final Fantasy 6 and Chrono Trigger.

Best Fighting Game

Nominees – BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle / Dragon Ball FighterZ / Soulcalibur 6 / Street Fighter 5 Arcade

  • My Pick: Dragon Ball Fighter Z
  • My Prediction: Dragon Ball Fighter Z

I don’t play fighting games extensively, but I’ve played enough of the nominees to know that Dragon Ball FighterZ is the clear winner here. Not only is it exactly like playing an episode of the anime, but it absolutely blew up in the competitive scene. Even though I don’t really follow eSports I kept hearing about it through the grapevine, and that is always a good sign.

Best Family Game

Nominees – Mario Tennis Aces / Nintendo Labo / Overcooked 2 / Starlink: Battle for Atlas / Super Mario Party

  • My Pick: Super Mario Party
  • My Prediction: Super Mario Party

Although me and my family had a tremendous time building these Labo sets, when it came to the games themselves they felt woefully short of holding any attention. Super Mario Party on the other hand has become a nearly daily fixture in our household since its release, and has already brought us a ton of cool family memories. The other titles in this category frankly don’t stand a chance.

Best Strategy Game

Nominees – Battletech / Frostpunk / Into the Breach / The Banner Saga 3 / Valkyria Chronicles 4

  • My Pick: Into the Breach
  • My Prediction: Valkyria Chronicles 4

I’ve only played mere moments of Into the Breach on a friend’s Switch, but that was enough for me to know it was one of the finest tactical games I’ve played in a very long time. It came out during a time packed with releases however, and I really think it fell under the radar, so I think Valkyria will get the nod as the more recognizable candidate.

Best Sports/Racing Game

Nominees – FIFA 19 / Forza Horizon 4 / Mario Tennis Aces / Pro Evolution Soccer 2019

  • My Pick: Forza Horizon 4
  • My Prediction: Forza Horizon 4

If we were talking about the game on this list that will sell the most than FIFA would have it on lock, but the best game on this list is hands down Forza Horizon 4. I’m simply not a racing fan, but Forza Horizon is a series that I adore. The game is visually stunning, with a gorgeous and full realized world you just happen to explore as a car. There really is no competition here, this game deserves the win.

Best MP Game

Nominees – Monster Hunter World / Fortnite / Sea of Thieves / Destiny 2: Forsaken / Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

  • My Pick: Monster Hunter World
  • My Prediction: Fortnite

There is no way that Fortnite isn’t winning this category. For my pick though as much as I’d love to give Sea of Thieves something the game dropped off hard for me after an array of baffling design choices. Monster Hunter World came at the perfect release time, and held me and my brother’s attention for months.

Best Debut Indie Game

Nominees – Donut County / Florence / Moss / The Messenger / Yoku’s Island Express

  • My Pick: The Messenger
  • My Prediction: Florence

I really love the Messenger, as is obvious in my sterling review here. That being said people won’t stop talking about Florence and as it is a shorter game that also happens to be on phones it easily has the most exposure and will likely win.


There you have it. I didn’t vote on the eSports entries or the Student Game as I just had no idea on any of it and felt it best to abstain in those cases. Let me know your picks in the comments below, and what game out of the lot you really hope wins something.

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