Last night marked the fourth annual Game Awards. You can find all the winners here.
I feel like each year the awards show edges closer and closer to the image Geoff Keighley seems to be aiming to project (including the addition of the Game Awards Orchestra), however I wish a few changes could be implemented to carry the weight of the achievements being presented.
I feel like a sense of continuity is important and not always present. Some awards aren’t even presented onstage, and thus aren’t given the same weight at the stage-presented awards. It feels far too casual to have a slew of awards and winners announced from a platform in the audience. I sincerely wish a podium was present on the sage and that each award was given its due. I think it would also behoove them to show a montage of clips from each game nominated as they read out the nominees. They did this for some awards and not others, and I wish there had been that continuity.
I love the addition of the official Game Awards Orchestra, however they were used relatively sparingly. I would have loved to have seen gameplay from they games they were playing selections of as they were playing. Again, they did that at some points, but not others.
I also feel they could benefit from rehearsals and instructions to the nominees. Several times, it looked like the winners had no idea where to go once they were onstage, and sometimes people went back to the audience, sometimes offstage. This seems like a simple fix. Just let your presenters know the protocol, then have them escort the winners the appropriate direction.
I am so grateful The Game Awards exist, I just wish they could find a cohesive way to present this event. Presentation matters. I get the impression Geoff Keighley wants these to be taken seriously, and for that to happen, there needs to be a more refined presentation. All that being said, I believe this year’s show was by far the best, so improvements are being made.
The game of the year winner was what I expected (Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild), but there were several awards I was ever so pleased by.
Carol Shaw receiving the industry icon award was a wonderful moment. I felt the retrospective on her was educational and I thought she was awfully sweet in her acceptance speech.
I love that there is now a category for best student game. I think this opens up so much.
The award I’m often most interested in is the games for impact award. I’m entirely pleased Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice won. For many reasons. Not only did the game address mental illness, but it was self-published and created as a more compact AAA experience. I feel like this opens the door for so many developers who want to create a AAA experience, but don’t have the staff or resources to do so on the same scale as the bigger publishers.
Another category I’m always keen on is the best performance award. This year, the award went to Melina Juergens of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. As she accepted the award, she explained that she wasn’t an actress but was a video editor for the game studio responsible for the game. I think it’s wonderful that for her first foray into acting, she brought such a complex character to life.
This has been one of the most amazing years for games and gaming in memory, and it can’t have been easy to choose the winners in any category.
What moments of the show stood out for you?
Also, what will you be playing this weekend?
I will be heading to PSX tonight, so while I won’t be gaming, I will definitely be surrounded by news of it! Cheers, friends, and please be safe out there.