The Game Awards 2020 Highlights

The iconic game award trophy, a polygonal winged victory, stands in front of a red sky and orange sun

Well this year’s Game Awards have come and gone. Like hosts Geoff and Sydnee were eager to remind us, the Awards looked a little different thanks to the pandemic. After a barren year for gaming, it’s no surprise that the event was less action-packed than years past. Still, the stream was full of memorable moments, exciting reveals, and of course, awards. Let’s dive in.

And the Game Award goes to…

…mostly The Last of Us: Part II (2020), unsurprisingly. Naughty Dog’s blockbuster title cleaned up, taking home Best Game Direction, Narrative, Audio Design, Performance, Action/Adventure, Innovation in Accessibility, and of course, Game of the Year.  Surprisingly, the only other repeat winners were Supergiant’s Hades (2020) and InnerSloth’s Among Us (2018). The former picked up Best Indie and Action and the latter took home Best Mobile and Multiplayer. In my humble but accurate opinion, Hades was snubbed but it’s fine. I’m not bitter. One-time-winners include Ghost of Tsushima (2020) for Art Direction, Animal Crossing: New Horizon (2020) for Family, and Half Life: Alyx (2020) for VR. But let’s be honest, we don’t watch the Game Awards for the awards. The real star of the show is the world premieres.

Introducing, for the First Time Ever…

With the pandemic raging and development halted or slowed, the ceremony didn’t boast as many reveals as years past. Still there was a lot to be shown, some of it quite exciting! BioWare had a strong showing, announcing new entries for both Dragon Age and Mass Effect. Not much was actually revealed about either. But both series have been on hiatus for a while so fans will be excited to see their return. The latest DLC character for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018) was revealed to be Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII (1997). Sephiroth is the second Final Fantasy representative in Smash, and promises to be a fun addition. Sakurai will reveal more about him on Thursday, December 17th. Other notable reveals include a new Perfect Dark title, a spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead, and new content for Among Us (2018) and Fall Guys (2020).

Of course the games I’m most looking forward to (especially given the DEARTH OF ZELDA NEWS) are the tearjerkers. Scavenger Studios’ Season looks gorgeous and profound. The game will see a young woman trying to record dying civilizations before their twilight. Road 96 and Open Roads will feature two very different road trip experiences. The former sees a young person trying to flee their country via hitch-hiking down a desert highway. The latter features a mother and daughter unraveling their dead mother/grandmother’s mysterious past. It Takes Two promises a lighthearted—and hopefully better executed—take on the co-op gameplay of Hazelight’s A Way Out (2018). And Tchia looks like a mix of Breath of the Wild (2017) and Mario Odyssey (2017) which seems almost too good to be true. Plus it’s for sure gonna make me cry.

A Much Needed Break

The digital format didn’t allow for as many fun moments of spontaneity as years prior. Still the event was still a delight. From the joy of seeing Reggie Fils-Amie in literally any context, to the baffling, uncanny valley Vin Diesel in the trailer for Ark II, to the genuine joy on Sydnee Goodman’s face every time she announced a “Wooper Watch” in Pokémon GO (2016), the entire event was a joyful celebration of Gaming.

Even if we didn’t get one LOUSY ZELDA TRAILER.

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Written by Mac Riga

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