The Game Awards is one of the biggest events in gaming, and serves as the Oscar’s of video game awards. Hosted by Geoff Keighley, The Game Awards (including Summer Game Fest) has taken the place of the E3 convention of the past, showcasing game trailers from already announced games as well as world premieres. This year I was especially invested in the show as Larian Studios’ Baldur’s Gate 3 was up for several awards, including Game of the Year.
The Categories and Winners
- Best Family Game – Super Mario Bros. Wonder
- Innovation and Accessibility – Forza Motorsport
- Best Esports Player – Faker
- Best Esports Coach – Potter
- Best Esports Event – 2023 LoL World Championships
- Best Esports Game – Valorant
- Best Esports Team – JD Gaming
- Content Creator of the Year – Ironmouse
- Best Performance – Neil Newbon, Astarion in Baldur’s Gate 3
- Best Narrative – Alan Wake 2
- Best Debut Indie Game – Cocoon
- Best Action Game – Armored Core 6
- Best Art Direction – Alan Wake 2
- Best VR/AR Game – Resident Evil 7
- Best Mobile Game – Honkai: Star Rail
- Best Audio Design – Hi-Fi Rush
- Games for Impact – Tchia
- Best Score & Music – Final Fantasy 16
- Best Independent Game – Sea of Stars
- Best Community Support – Baldur’s Gate 3
- Best Fighting Game – Street Fighter 6
- Most Anticipated Game – Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth
- Best Ongoing Game – Cyberpunk 2077
- Best Adaptation – The Last of Us
- Best Action/Adventure Game – Zelda
- Best RPG – Baldur’s Gate 3
- Best Sim/Strategy – Pikmin 4
- Best Sports/Racing Game – Forza Motorsport
- Best Multiplayer – Baldur’s Gate 3
- Player’s Voice – Baldur’s Gate 3
- Best Game Direction – Alan Wake 2
- Game of the Year – Baldur’s Gate 3
Besides the awards, the rest of the show was mostly inundated with game trailers with a few musical performances – including a beautiful one by Loren Allred, singer/songwriter of “Never Enough” – sprinkled in. As always, there was new info to be had for existing games as well as the announcement of brand new titles in progress. So many games that I couldn’t possibly be interested in every single one, but there was still a bunch that piqued my interest.
Dave the Diver, a new and currently popular game, and God of War: Ragnarok, released just over a year ago, are both getting DLC additions. Moon Studios, the developers behind Ori and the Blind Forest, have announced No Rest For The Wicked, which seems to be completely different from Ori while retaining the same beautiful art design. I tried a couple times to get into Ori, but something about it couldn’t hold my interest. It seemed a well-made game with a nice story and visuals, but I tried it right after finishing Hollow Knight, and I think I was just looking for more of the same style at the time. Perhaps I’ll give Ori another try, or try out Moon Studios’ new game. Daniel Mullins of Daniel Mullins Games, creator of Inscryption, has announced a sequel to Pony Island, a suitably creepy game indicative of Daniel’s style. I had a lot of fun playing Inscryption and it helped teach me about deck builder games, with which I don’t have much experience. The story that plays out over the course of the game was a nice touch as well.
The Casting of Frank Stone was announced, an upcoming horror/multiple choice adventure game from Supermassive Games, developers of the Dark Pictures Anthology. Supermassive Games is known for games like Until Dawn, The Quarry, and the previously mentioned Dark Pictures Analogy. These games are something of a guilty pleasure for me, and I enjoy playing them with friends to help make decisions. One of the most interesting announcements from the show came from Hideo Kojima, from whose mind came Metal Gear Solid, PT, and Death Stranding. He took the stage to announce a partnership with Jordan Peele for his next project, titled OD. The short trailer shown seemed to have a horror theme and perhaps have something to do with androids. The strangeness of it was on brand for Kojima, and with him teaming up with Peele – director of Nope, Us, and Get Out – it seems this will be a very interesting project indeed.
Light No Fire will be the next game from Hello Games, developers of No Man’s Sky, and will feature open-world gameplay on one planet. While seemingly scaled down in scope in comparison to No Man’s Sky, in which players can traverse the universe, the developers described it as ambitious in scope. Those who remember the over-promising and initial under-delivering from No Man’s Sky launch in 2016 might be nervous about this new announcement. The trailer looked interesting, though, and I hope Hello Games takes their time to create an awesome game. Exodus and Stormgate are two promising new games from new studios formed from former developers of big names in the gaming industry. Exodus will be a sci-fi game that seems to be taking inspiration from Interstellar and Mass Effect. Which is fitting because the developers, Archetype Entertainment, come from backgrounds with Mass Effect and Halo, and will feature a character voiced by Matt McConaughey. Stormgate is an RTS being developed by Frost Giant Studios, former Blizzard Entertainment devs, and has gameplay that looks very similar to the Warcraft and Starcraft RTS games. Plus, Chris Metzen will be involved as a voice actor! Both games look neat, and I’ll be specifically watching Exodus closely. I’m a sucker for cool sci-fi worlds with lots of lore, and with former Mass Effect devs behind it, I hope it’s a good one.
Overall, I enjoyed The Game Awards for what it does best: video game trailers. I was excited to see Larian take home many wins, including Game of the Year, as I’ve been following the studio ever since discovering and falling in love with their Divinity: Original Sin games. I can’t wait to see what Larian does next, either with Baldur’s Gate or in their own world of Rivellon. 2023 was a good year filled with good games, and I can’t wait to see all that’s coming next.