Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
[Best Sound] [Cringiest End Credits Song] [Best Lighting] [The More Satisfying on Hard Award]
It's kind of like a walking simulator with occasional moments of combat and puzzles. What is important about it for me is an indie developer showing they can get a high quality, high production value title like this done in this day and age, and find an audience. And it's a solid experience too.
[Best Cyberpunk World] [Best Helmet] [Best Atmosphere] [Best Music] [Best Use of Susumu Hirasawa]
Really cool setting, really cool look, stunningly good soundtrack. The action is a bit too hectic and punishing so I had to drop it down from Hard to Normal, but all in all a really enjoyable and memorable action game. I'd love to see them do more in this world.
[Best Name Searching] [Best Disguised Elephant] [Best Talking Moose Head]
A lovely little point & click adventure with wonderful atmosphere and storytelling.
[Most Twin Stick] [Best Ari Pulkkinen Soundtrack] [Best Viewpoint Switching and Zooming] [Most Secret Humans]
Housemarque made their best game and probably the best twin stick shooter. Probably.
[Best-a-who] [Best Sprites] [Most Maniac Mansion] [Best Annoying In-Jokes Toggle Option]
Ron Gilbert does NOT know how to end his games in a satisfying manner. But aside from that, this is a clever, funny, well written point & click adventure with tons of delightful little details and gags.
[Cutest Game] [Most Colourful] [Best Snake] [Best Noodle] [Best Stream Game] [Best Music] [Best Murderous Hummingbird]
A delightful 3D exploration game, where the actual act of navigating the environments IS the gameplay hook and main draw. I had a blast streaming most of this game, it's bright and colourful, has a wonderful soundtrack from David Wise, and has that rare brand of slapstick that comes from gameplay instead of visual gags.
[Best Thief] [Best Teleporting] [Best Punching] [Best Broom Use]
Was totally surprised by this game and its central gameplay hook of dodging and punching. A superb little action game, with fun levels and tight controls. I want to see a sequel really bad.
[Best Multiplayer] [Best Arena Brawling] [Best Music] [Best Blossom] [Best Lucie] [Best Poloma] [Best Oldur] [Best Freya] [Best Winter Event Skins] [Best Prehistoric Event Skins]
I don't like competitive multiplayer. I've got 150 hours in this game. It's freaking great. The characters are all fun to play and well designed, the matches go by fast so even losing doesn't feel terrible, and the combat is hectic and tactical and so much fun you just lose hours and can always get better. Poloma is A++
[Best Bugs] [Best Painted Backgrounds] [Best Atmosphere] [Best Tragedy] [Best Incidental Details] [Best Music] [Best 100% Experience]
It's dark, it's sad, it's beautiful, it's fun and intense and magical and heartbreaking. Fucking play it already, it's amazing. I put 44 hours into it to 100%. Trial of Fools is a bitch. My hands hurt for days afterwards from gripping the controller so hard.
[Best Androids] [Best Existential Agony] [Best Music] [Best Platinum Game of the Year] [Best Story] [Best Endings] [Best Hidden Endings] [Most Swords] [Best Pod] [Best Fishing] [Best Hacking] [Best 2B] [Best End Credits] [Best Final Final Ending]
The only knock against the game is how you kind of have to persevere with it to see the whole thing, it doesn't NATURALLY engage you to continue playing. But once you get over that hump, good god. Get all the endings. Cry over androids. It's Yoko Taro's most hopeful game but it's still incredibly cruel and dark and overwhelmingly sad. It's smart, it's brave, it's surprising and deeply touching. An amazing experience, an unbelievable soundtrack, well worth 50 hours. You'll get more out of it if you play through the original NieR first (all four endings)
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
[Game of the Year] [Best Link] [Best Zelda] [Best Side Characters] [Best Emergent Narratives] [Best Open World] [Best Climbing] [Best Exploration] [Best Atmosphere] [Best Music] [Best Sunsets] [Best Sunrises] [Most Grass] [Best Bears] [Best Fields] [Best King of the Mountain] [Best Sidequests] [Best Koroks] [Best Desert] [Best Lynels] [Best Hanggliding] [Best Horses] [Best Scientists] [Most Fruit] [Most Swords]
A remarkable achievement and a remarkable adventure. Nintendo succesfully takes bits and pieces of modern open-world game design and perfectly integrates them with their own design philosophy and ideas, into a wonderful Legend of Zelda experience that moves the series forward, while totally nailing what the first game did so well. The final ending is maybe a little anticlimactic because of all the things you do before it, but it remains essential gaming and I wouldn't have sunk over 90 hours into it if I hadn't loved it so much.