It’s awards season, and while every game released in these unusual times deserves extra praise, there’s still an opportunity for a chosen few to rise above the rest at The Game Awards 2021.
The actual ceremony takes place on 9 December, though we already know the nominees. We’ve each picked a couple of categories in order to predict their winners. What are your predictions? Let us know in the comments.
Move over Epona, there's a new favourite mount in town.
Skipping over the fact that Deathloop seems to be up for almost every award going (I was half expecting to see it crop up in “Best Family Game”), I think there’s a decent variety of titles vying for the top prizes this year.
For the Best Sim/Strategy title, I have to go for Microsoft Flight Simulator. I’d already played around with the game on PC but having it available on Xbox has been an even better experience. What I like best about it is it can be as challenging or as welcoming as you want it to be.
Personally, I enjoy the latter option. Picking up a pad and just cruising around distant (or even local) locations for 30 minutes or so has been a great way to unwind. Flying, it turns out, is surprisingly peaceful when it’s not sandwiched between hours of airport tedium.
As for Best Multiplayer, I would have liked to have seen Hell Let Loose get nominated. Yes, I know it’s been out since last year on PC but, like MS Flight Sim, technically it did come out this year for consoles. From the options available, however, I have to go with Back 4 Blood because it was pretty good with friends and had a surprisingly fun PvP mode.
Tranquillity. In plane form.
Game of the Year
Best Game Direction
As a big fan of the Resident Evil franchise in all its guises, RE Village struck an excellent balance between old and new. It’s a unique blend of classic survival horror and modern action/adventure - each of its acts almost feel like separate games, though they also coexist and complement one another.
Arkane Studios’ titles are typically some of my favourites, including the divisive Prey. It came as a nasty surprise to learn that Deathloop isn’t for me, then; I kept playing in the hopes that it’d finally click, but then the credits rolled... Considering its level of recognition, however, I half expect it to clean up at The Game Awards.
In terms of Best Game Direction, Josef Fares and Hazelight Studios’ It Takes Two would be a worthy winner. Fares’ games so far all share a common thread - that innovation and cooperation are central to the experience. It Takes Two once again achieves that objective, building upon the foundations set by Brothers and A Way Out.
Elsewhere on the list, Deathloop and Returnal already feel like outdated roguelikes by comparison to the superior design of Supermassive Games’ Hades. Psychonauts 2 and Ratchet & Clank are both excellent, though just fall short of matching the directorial prowess displayed by Hazelight.
Forget the lovely art style, it has split-screen multiplayer! That's worth an award all on its own.
What nominations would you like to see win? Let us know below or in the forums.