The Game Awards for 2016 were announced earlier today, so it's time to take a look at the winners in a few of the categories I'm particularly interested in. I'm going to just focus on those specific ones, but you can check out the full list here.
The big one, Game of the Year, went to Overwatch. Cool, I suppose. Haven't played a single second of it nor am I planning to do so, thus I can't really comment on the game itself (and also can't use the throwaway joke of it being Over-rated. Er, wait...) Instead, looking at the list of other nominees, I think it was sort of a weak field Over-all (that's better.) From among those that did get a nod, I would've chosen DOOM. However, this will be covered more fully when Syntax Error returns in the coming season and we list off our own picks for top games of 2016.
Overwatch also took Best Game Direction, which is like winning best picture and best director, so no real surprise there either. My personal pick from the games in that field would be Uncharted 4, although again I think a few other games are woefully absent from the list. Speaking of though, Uncharted 4 did take Best Narrative, but the trend continues, as excepting Firewatch, there wasn't much competition in the category.
DOOM did manage to secure a nice double kill by taking both Best Action Game and Best Sound/Music, and deservedly so. Shooting demons from hell is indeed made all the better for having a hardcore metal-ish soundscape to accompany the slaughter, and that my friends is action which goes to 11. Good choice, VGAs.
Next up is Best Performance, where Uncharted 4 returns as perennial fan favorite Nolan North gets the win for his swansong role voicing Nathan Drake. Fine again, sure, he's always solidly reliable, but there were also two other actors from U4 up for this one, as well as two from Firewatch. Although to be fair, there were only two actual characters in that game. Still, my choice would've been Cissy Jones for her subtle but charming portrayal of Delilah in it.
Best Independent Game is always a good one, and probably has the strongest field of picks within. While I do think Hyper Light Drifter should've gotten it easily, I can also see why Inside actually did, and judge it to be mostly acceptable.
The final two categories of interest to me are Best Action/Adventure and Best RPG. I've always found it a bit odd that 'action' and 'action/adventure' are separate, but I'll roll with it, since a game which I greatly enjoyed takes top spot: Dishonored 2. Definitely worthy. Hyper Light Drifter gets, I won't say snubbed, because I don't think it was better than D2, just that I would've liked to see it win one of the things it was up for.
Finally, Best RPG went to Blood & Wine, the final DLC from The Witcher 3. A bit strange for a DLC from this year that was for a game from last year to a) be nominated as its own game apparently, and b) win while being attached to the original game which itself already won a host of 2015 awards, including Game of the Year. Some Geralt-style Axii magic going on it seems. To be clear, I did also vote W3 best game last year, and Blood & Wine was fantastic, but here is where I'll call snubbery, as Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was in the running for this one and should've absolutely gotten it instead. Maybe without the above mentioned weird loophole, it would've.
Anyway, there you have my pretentious take on (some of) the official awards for 2016. As I mentioned at the start, stay tuned for season 3 of Syntax Error where we'll kickoff by doing our own list. In the meantime, you can check our 2015 choices, and may all your bullets/arrows/knives/magic missiles find a rival head to rest in.