As we approach the end of the year, it’s time to start taking stock of what has been a phenomenal year for gaming. While our own picks for Game of the Year will come next month, the Golden Joystick Awards have returned to dish out all sorts of accolades to the hardworking souls who bring these experiences to life for us.
What stuck out in the award winners list for you? Did it make you think about playing something you wouldn’t have considered otherwise? Let us know in our Discord.
Out of all of this year's winners and nominees, I've only played a small handful. As such, I wasn't too invested in many of the categories but it was good to see a large variety of games on show, even if a lot of them were Baldur's Gate 3.
There was some strong competition for the Still Playing Award with No Man's Sky coming out on top. It's had a lot of content pumped into it since its initial release and still stands out as being fairly unique. Of course, there are other games that revolve around space exploration but few that offer the same sense of discovery in such a huge universe.
One of those exceptions is Starfield, winner of the Xbox Game of the Year award. Despite the numerous bugs I encountered during my (considerable) play time, it quickly became one of my favourite games. Each playthrough lead to new findings and a greater appreciation for the world. Though I think Craig Sechler should have been in with a shout for Best Supporting Performer for his work as the Adoring Fan.
Most Wanted Game teased some of the titles we can look forward to in the future, like Fable and some non-Fable games which aren't Fable. The last proper Fable released all the way back in 2010 and after 12 years of not-so-patiently waiting, it feels closer than it ever has. By the time it sees the light of day, the hype which I'm trying to create will have likely faded away and I can stop banging on about it.
I’ve already mentioned my keenness to play Baldur’s Gate 3, and the record-breaking seven wins is a fairly clear sign it’s more than just hype and I should definitely get in it before the end of the year.
The benefit of awards like this is that it can bring games to your attention that you’d dismissed because they had an odd name, didn’t look like your cup of tea, or maybe you just hadn’t heard about them at all.
This year the names that stick out are both Sea of Stars and Alan Wake II. Both games have been receiving praise all over my feeds for weeks and, interestingly, both couldn’t be more tonally contrasting to each other.
Elsewhere the fact that the PlayStation Game of the Year went to Resident Evil 4 is a surprise, given that it’s a remake and we had some very strong contenders in the category, including Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.
With so many releases, it’s hard to justify revisiting ongoing titles, though, like Liam, I’m tempted to give Cyperpunk 2077 another chance after being distracted and not diving into its world first time around.
Elsewhere in the very long Most Wanted category, the title that stood out for me is Star Wars: Outlaws, even though we don’t know too much about what it’s all about just yet.