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The Game Awards – Our predictions and wishful thinking

Last Tuesday November 13th, the nominees for the 2018 Game Awards ceremony were announced. We’ll admit that there’s a lot in this list that we haven’t played, but the impact some of these games have had is so widespread, that it isn’t even necessary to have played them to understand how relevant they are.

When deciding how to predict who’d win in each category, David and I realized that the game that we’d like to win isn’t always the one that will most likely win, so we’ve approached this to cover both scenarios. Each category will list the games that are nominated, and we will share which game we think will win (Prediction), and which one we wish will win (Wishful thinking). In many cases, there will be some overlap, but let’s see what the results were.

[NOTE: This list has been borrowed from PC Gamer. The original article can be found by clicking this link]

Official Game Awards nominees announcement video

Game of the year:

  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (Ubisoft Quebec / Ubisoft)
  • Celeste (Matt Makes Games)
  • God of War (Sony Santa Monica / SIE)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games / SIE)
  • Monster Hunter: World (Capcom)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

Prediction: Red Dead Redemption 2
Wishful thinking: God of War
Even though we are both huge God of War fans (the whole series), it feels like Red Dead Redemption 2 would take the win due to the sheer impact it has had on the industry, even during the short period it has been out. It also helps that it is multi-platform, with God of War being a PlayStation 4 exclusive.  

Best Ongoing Game:

  • Destiny 2 (Bungie / Activision)
  • Fortnite (Epic Games)
  • No Man’s Sky (Hello Games)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard)
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (Ubisoft Montreal / Ubisoft)

Prediction: Fortnite
Wishful thinking: Overwatch
Very similar to the Best Game category, we both truly enjoy Overwatch (if you haven’t seen our 101 series, you should check it out!), but it seems that Fortnite will take the cake. Few games have managed to reach such a widespread audience. Their deal with the NFL is a good example of that. Plus, it’s on almost every platform. AND…IT’s FREE!

Best Game Direction:

  • A Way Out (Hazelight Studios / EA)
  • Detroit: Become Human (Quantic Dream / SIE)
  • God of War (Sony Santa Monica / SIE)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games / SIE)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

Prediction: Red Dead Redemption 2
Wishful thinking: God of War
We were torn this one. Both games took serious risks. God of War completely re-imagined what a game in the series could be, bringing it back from a slow and long decline. Red Dead Redemption 2, however, challenges gaming conventions, taking huge risks that it didn’t need to, to begin with. It was always going to sell well, but the fact that it did anyway makes us think it will win.

Best Narrative:

  • Detroit: Become Human (Quantic Dream / SIE)
  • God of War (Sony Santa Monica / SIE)
  • Life is Strange 2: Episode 1 (Dontnod Entertainment / Square Enix)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games / SIE)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

Prediction: Red Dead Redemption 2
Wishful thinking: Life is Strange 2: Episode 1
If we were looking at Life is Strange 2 as a whole (all episodes), I think it would make sense to consider it as a potential candidate, but it’s hard to compare it with games like Detroit (our runner-up) and Red Dead Redemption 2. Again, we expect Rockstar’s title to take this one as well due to its popularity.

Best Art Direction:

  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (Ubisoft Quebec / Ubisoft)
  • God of War (Sony Santa Monica / SIE)
  • Octopath Traveler (Square Enix / Acquire / Nintendo)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)
  • Return of Obra Din (3909 LLC)

Prediction: Octopath Traveler
Wishful thinking: God of War
As you may have gathered by now, we really like God of War. Red Dead Redemption 2 is also a gorgeous game (our runner-up for prediction – shrinking horse testicles anyone?), but Octopath Traveler has a unique and instantly recognizable art style that sets it apart from the rest, and we believe voters will see that.

Best Score/Music Presented by Spotify:

  • Celeste (Lena Raine)
  • God of War (Bear McCreary)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (John Paesano)
  • Ni No Kuni II (Joe Hisaishi)
  • Octopath Traveler (Yasunori Nishiki)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Woody Jackson)

Prediction: Red Dead Redemption 2
Wishful thinking: God of War
When I attended E3 last year, I had the chance to hear a string quartet and a singer perform songs from the God of War soundtrack. I found it truly mesmerizing and I feel it captures the essence and gravity of the game perfectly. However,one of the many things that Rockstar does well is music, and we think fans will also recognize that in their vote.

Best Audio Design Presented by Dolby:

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (Treyarch Studios / Activision)
  • Forza Horizon 4 (Playground Games / Turn 10 Studios / Microsoft Studios)
  • God of War (Sony Santa Monica / SIE)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games / SIE)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

Prediction: Red Dead Redemption 2
Wishful thinking: Forza Horizon 4
Score and soundtrack is one thing. But audio design is what makes a videogame world come to life, and Forza Horizon 4 should have a good chance of coming ahead here. When I tested it at E3, the sound of the engines, drifting through the mud and blasting that turbo really added momentum and weight to each race. However, being an XBOX One exclusive, it’s unlikely it will receive the votes it needs to win, so we’ll go with RDR2.

Best Performance:

  • Bryan Dechart as Connor, Detroit: Become Human
  • Christopher Judge as Kratos, God of War
  • Melissanthi Mahut as Kassandra, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  • Roger Clark as Arthur Morgan, Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Yuri Lowenthal as Peter Parker, Marvel’s Spider-Man

Prediction: God of War
Wishful thinking: God of War
BOY! Were we divided here. Rockstar games are known for great voice acting, but Arthur’s character isn’t as recognizable and doesn’t have the mass appeal that Kratos does. Cristopher Judge did an amazing job at portraying a more mature and wise Kratos, one that is a believable father figure. We believe he deserves the win, and has a very good chance of doing so.

Games for Impact:

  • 11-11 Memories Retold (Digixart / Aardman Animations / BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment)
  • Celeste (Matt Makes Games)
  • Florence (Mountains / Annapurna Interactive)
  • Life is Strange 2: Episode 1 (Dontnod Entertainment / Square Enix)
  • The Missing: JJ Macfield and the Island of Memories (White Owls / Arc System Works)

Prediction: Celeste
Wishful thinking: Life is Strange 2: Episode 1
We’re big fans of Life is Strange. Few game stories have captivated and impacted us as much as this series has. However, Celeste has won fans all over the world, and the fact that it’s part of the Game of the Year category BECAUSE of its impact, it will probably win this category.

Best Independent Game:

  • Celeste (Matt Makes Games)
  • Dead Cells (Motion Twin)
  • Into the Breach (Subset Games)
  • Return of the Obra Dinn (3909 LLC)
  • The Messenger (Sabotage Studio)

Prediction: Celeste
Wishful thinking: Celeste
One of the few cases where we think we may be right about the game we are rooting for. Celeste is a very challenging platformer, with an engrossing story, and has become the game of the year for many gamers. We expect Dead Cells to be a close second. 

Best Mobile:

  • Donut County (Ben Esposito / Annapurna Interactive)
  • Florence (Mountains / Annapurna Interactive)
  • Fortnite (Epic Games)
  • PUBG MOBILE (Lightspeed & Quantum / Tencent Games)
  • Reigns: Game of Thrones (Nerial / Developer Digital)

Prediction: Fortnite
Wishful thinking: Fortnite
It’s Fortnite. IN. YOUR. PHONE. Just when we thought this game couldn’t get any bigger, Epic goes and releases a mobile version. Granted,the controls aren’t as responsive on a phone’s touchscreen, but the fact that you can cross play with almost any other platform and still have a blast, from a phone is no small feat. It’s a testament to this game’s deep impact on the industry.

Best VR/AR Game:

  • ASTRO BOT Rescue Mission (SIE Japan Studio / SIE)
  • Beat Saber (Beat Games)
  • Firewall Zero Hour (First Contact Entertainment / SIE)
  • Moss (Polyarc Games)
  • Tetris Effect (Resonair / Enhance, Inc)

Prediction: ASTRO BOT Rescue Mission
Wishful thinking: Tetris Effect
Granted, we haven’t played much VR (I’ve stayed away since last the Pax East, where I got a really bad case of motion sickness). It’s well known that VR has struggled to have games that truly showcase what the technology can do. We’ve heard in more than one occasion that ASTRO BOT is finally the game that shows what VR could do for games, many calling it the Super Mario 64 of VR. Because of its relevance and mass appeal, we believe it will win.

Best Action Game:

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (Treyarch / Activision)
  • Dead Cells (Motion Twin)
  • Destiny 2: Forsaken (Bungie / Activision)
  • Far Cry 5 (Ubisoft Montreal / Ubisoft)
  • Mega Man 11 (Capcom)

Prediction: Destiny 2
Wishful thinking: Far Cry 5
We both like the Far Cry series, and we believe Far Cry 5 should have a chance to win this. However, the numerous updates to Destiny 2, and the addition of the Forsaken expansion have completely changed how the game is played, bringing it back to the spotlight, delivering the game it was always meant to be. We’re not 100% sure it will win due to its rocky start, but we think gamers will be able to make a judgment based on the current state of the game.

Best Action/Adventure Game:

  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (Ubisoft Quebec / Ubisoft)
  • God of War (Sony Santa Monica / SIE)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games / SIE)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider (Eidos Montreal / Crystal Dynamics / Square Enix)

Prediction: God of War
Wishful thinking: God of War
God of War is first and foremost an action game. True, the narrative has taken a more important role in this iteration, but the combat is what truly defines the God of War series. Santa Monica Studios took a risk in re-mapping some of the buttons in combat, but in doing so, they’ve made each action more intentional and impactful. RDR2 also has a very good chance of winning, but as far action goes, God of War should and probably WILL win.

Best Roleplaying Game:

  • Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age (Square Enix / Square Enix)
  • Monster Hunter: World (Capcom)
  • Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (Level 5 / BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment)
  • Octopath Traveler (Square Enix / Acquire / Nintendo)
  • Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire (Obsidian Entertainment / Versus Evil)

Prediction: Monster Hunter: World
Wishful thinking: Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
There’s no denying that Monster Hunter: World is HUGE, both in terms of its size and its popularity. The refined combat, deep story and amazing monsters will probably win over most of the votes, with Ni no Kuni II and Octopath Traveler following close.

Best Fighting Game:

  • BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle (Arc System Works)
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ (Arc System Works / BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment)
  • Soul Calibur VI (Bandai Namco Studios / BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment)
  • Street Fighter V Arcade (Dimps / Capcom)

Prediction: Dragon Ball FighterZ
Wishful thinking: Dragon Ball FighterZ
Dragon Ball has seen many, many, MANY games in the past, but FighterZ feels like it’s a game made for the fans, by fans. Every aspect of the game shows deference to the source material. The animations, the character models, the unmistakable sounds from the show, and the ability to replicate scenes from the most iconic battle in the series helped this fighter make a huge splash in the industry this year.

Best Family Game:

  • Mario Tennis Aces (Camelot Software Planning / Nintendo)
  • Nintendo Labo (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)
  • Overcooked 2 (Ghost Town Games / Team 17)
  • Starlink: Battle for Atlas (Ubisoft Toronto / Ubisoft)
  • Super Mario Party (NDCube / Nintendo)

Prediction: Super Mario Party
Wishful thinking: Super Mario Party
Even though Labo is an innovative concept that changed the industry’s perception of what videogames actually means (thanks again, Nintendo), we feel like the people who will be voting on this aren’t necessarily the audience for Labo. Out of the other 4 games, Super Mario Party is the one that has enjoyed the best reception, with many calling it a return to form in the series. We’ve played with most of these, and no other game is easier to pick up and play. Most of our non-gamer friends have really enjoyed playing this, which is what you’d expect from a family game.

Best Strategy Game:

  • Battletech (Harebrained Schemes / Paradox Interactive
  • Frostpunk (11 bit studios)
  • Into the Breach (Subset Games)
  • The Banner Saga 3 (Stoic Studio / Versus Evil)
  • Valkyria Chronicles 4 (Sega CS3 / Sega)

Prediction: Valkyria Chronicles 4
Wishful thinking: Into the Breach 
Valkyria Chronicles has now become a staple of the strategy genre. I have to admit I’m a bit biased, because I used to work with folks who worked in the first entries in the series, but nevertheless, we feel no other strategy game has been more on the spotlight than Valkyria Chronicles, which means it will probably be the one to take the most votes.

Best Sports/Racing:

  • FIFA 19 (EA Vancouver / EA Sports)
  • Forza Horizon 4 (Playground Games / Turn 10 Studios / Microsoft Studios)
  • Mario Tennis Aces (Camelot Software Planning / Nintendo)
  • NBA 2K19 (Visual Concepts / 2K Sports)
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 (PES Productions / Konami)

Prediction: NBA 2K19
Wishful thinking: Forza Horizon 4
I’m not much of a racing game fan, but Forza Horizon 4 won me over in little over 10 minutes at E3. The graphics, the sound, and the adrenaline of racing through the English countryside in all 4 season were enough to sell the game to me. However, being an XBOX One exclusive will likely hurt this game. On the other hand, NBA 2K19 has enjoyed massive success, being at the top of many sales charts over the last few months. Its popularity can’t be understated, and will probably earn it the win in this category.

Best Multiplayer Game:

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (Treyarch / Activision)
  • Destiny 2: Forsaken (Bungie / Activision)
  • Fortnite (Epic Games)
  • Monster Hunter: World (Capcom)
  • Sea of Thieves (Rare / Microsoft Studios)

Prediction: Fortnite
Wishful thinking: Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves is our pick for this category. Its unique gameplay and style set it apart from the rest. But in reality, we’ve come to term with the fact that it’s very unlikely to beat the behemoth that is Fortnite. Enough said.

Best Student Game:

  • Combat 2018 (Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences – Norway)
  • Dash Quasar (UC Santa Cruz)
  • JERA (Digipen Bilbao, Spain)
  • LIFF (ISTART Digital – France)
  • RE: Charge (MIT)

Prediction: Re:Charge
Wishful thinking: Pla
David being Spanish, and me having lived in Spain, we can’t help but root for the Spanish game JERA, but we think chances are, RE:Charge is more likely to win. It isn’t all bad, though, we both lived in Boston (I still do), so it’s still kind of a win, hehe!

Best Debut Indie Game:

  • Donut County (Ben Esposito / Annapurna Interactive)
  • Florence (Mountains / Annapurna Interactive)
  • Moss (Polyarc Games)
  • The Messenger (Sabotage Studio)
  • Yoku’s Island Express (Villa Gorilla)

Prediction: Moss
Wishful thinking: Donut Country
Being totally honest, we haven’t played any of these games. But from what we’ve heard so far, Moss has had a huge impact in the community, with an overall positive reception, so we think it’s the most likely candidate in this category.

Well, there you have it! What do you think of our predictions? Do you agree? Check back in about a month to see how badly we did! Thanks for reading!

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eduv77 View All

I've been a gamer since the SNES days and Donkey Kong Country was the first game I ever owned.
I currently work as a management consultant, and my console of choice is the Nintendo Switch, which I carry with me during my travels.

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