[Best artstyle] [Best scifi] [Best character traits] [Best kittybots]
A really cool looking scifi FPS roguelite hybrid that can get a little repetitive after a while and the ending is a little abrupt. But they nail the comic book presentation so flawlessly, everyone should play this game.
The Outer Worlds
[Best Parvati] [Best scifi]
The original creators of original Fallout make a new scifi first person RPG. It's well written, pretty, and has some really good characters (and some not particularly engaging ones as well). A fun scifi romp with multiple solutions to pretty much every situation.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
[Best artstyle] [Best Marvel] [Best Ms. Marvel] [Best Spider-Gwen] [Best Gamora]
I had a blast playing through this. Combat is relatively simple, but still has just enough depth to be rewarding and some of the screenfilling ability combos are really satisfying. Story is a fun little adventure through several marvel worlds and the mashup of all these characters and their banter is really enjoyable.
[Best Jessie] [Best Zofia] [Best hand gestures] [Best nazi shooting] [Best FPS movement] [Best cutscenes] [Best first kill]
Everyone hates this game now, but I really enjoyed playing through it. Structure is not the same as the last two Wolfenstein games, the live service elements are not implemented well (or necessary), and revisiting the same locations several times can get a little repetitive. Besides that, the setting is neat, the shooting, movement and exploration are really fun and satisfying, the characters are endearing and while it's fairly light on story, there's a few terrific moments and setpieces and a particularly memorable plot twist and ensuing cutscene.
[Best gorilla] [Best artstyle] [Best sound] [Best ending]
A fascinating explosion of audiovisual overload that I didn't particularly enjoy PLAYING per se, because it's really hard and can get super frustrating at times. But I respect the hell out of the craft on display here and the ending is so fucking good it makes playing through the whole thing more than worth it.
[Best Hell] [Best dog] [Best Lola] [Best Milo] [Best music]
Maybe a little disappointing after the absolutely wonderful Oxenfree, but Afterparty is still a really funny, really compelling little walk and talk adventure game with a neat dialogue system, good writing and fun characters, and another superb soundtrack from scntfc
Baba is you
[Award is you] [Best Baba] [Best Keke] [Most puzzle]
Another game that I maybe didn't enjoy playing myself quite so much as I just love and respect for being exactly what it is and how. A brilliant puzzle game that is constantly asking you to bend its ruleset, teaching you to think outside the box, as well as playing around with structure and systems. It's also really, REALLY funny.
Knights and Bikes
[Best goose] [Best artstyle] [Best Demelza] [Best Nessa] [Best music]
A tremendously charming and heartfelt adventure, with a wonderful artstyle, endearing characters, fun bike riding and exploration, a superb Daniel Pemberton soundtrack and surprisingly emotional subject matter. I certainly cried a lot towards the end.
[Best Oldest House] [Best combat] [Best abilities] [Best artstyle] [Best location title cards] [Best Ahti] [I see you are not the yesterday's grouse's son]
Remedy has managed to create an absolutely superb action adventure with a really cool look, thick atmosphere, and great world building. The Metroid like structure and exploration is fun, combat is punchy and satisfying, all the side stuff and readables are really compelling. It's a wonderfully strange and cool action game and I wish it had stuck the ending a little better. Still. Really looking forward to what they do with the DLC in 2020
[Best scifi] [Best artstyle] [Best space]
A wonderful atmospheric scifi mystery. It's short and a bit light on gameplay, but it has a stunning look, it's drenched in mood and I actually really like the ending. It's just that there is an even more compelling space mystery adventure type game out this year and it's way down this list.
[Best artstyle] [Best animation] [Best Ajna] [Best Razmi] [Best Kushi] [Best music] [Best ending]
Lab Zero tries to combine Valkyrie Profile combat, RPG structure and Metroid platforming and exploration. It's a little bit more linear than I would have liked, and some of the maps are a chore to get through when backtracking or revisiting, even after most of your abilities. It's a shame, because the story is very enjoyable, the characters are all wonderful, well written, and brought to life with superb animation and great voiceacting.
Really, it's the platforming and story that carried this for me, as the finale - after having done all of the characters' sidequests - was absolutely worth it. And Kikuta's score is fantastic. Razmi is best girl.
A Short Hike
[Best Claire] [Best hike] [Best mountain] [Most peaceful] [Best music] [Best fishing] [Best treasure] [Best ending]
An absolutely lovely little walk through the woods with a cast of likeable characters, a serene, soothing atmosphere and a delightful warm tone. Very funny, very kind.
Sayonara Wild Hearts
[Best Queen Latifah] [Best artstyle] [Best music] [Best bikes] [Best ending] [Best A Place I Don't Know]
An interactive pop album. It's got a striking look, it's got wonderful music and a super satisfying final act. Light on gameplay but it was such a treat on all the senses I didn't mind at all.
Resident Evil 2
[Best Claire] [Best zombies] [Best map] [Best shotgun] [Best minigun]
A stunning reimagining of a survival horror classic, respecting the spirit and values of the original, while successfully revising and modernising several things. Stressful combat, exploration and puzzles, great setpieces and amazing production values. I can't fucking wait for the remake of 3 and what they can do with a game I didn't really enjoy last time through.
[Game of the Year] [Best space] [Best timeloop] [Best solar system] [Best exploration] [Best music] [Best ending]
Well here it is. I'm in love with this game. This spellbinding, imaginative, wonder of an adventure. A tiny clockwork solar system you'll explore inside out, gawking, reading, learning, yearning.
It is the kind of game where the less you know about it, the more its mystery can surprise and delight you. And boy did it surprise and delight me. For over a week, I did nothing but think about this game. What I'd seen, what I'd read, what this meant, what that meant. What I can still find in that place. How I could get in that one place. At work, all I did was think about going home and playing more. I lived in this solar system. I loved all life in it.
I was worried it might falter at the last step, but it really doesn't. The game's finale was mesmerising and the whole journey will stay with me for years to come. If you haven't played it, please don't spoil yourself. Don't watch a let's play. Don't read up solutions. Experience it. Wake up by that campfire and look at that night sky. Go up there and find everything.