Its that time of year…
Lets get to it!
Lets get the big one out of the way…
Every year, there is a huge debate among the gaming community around who should win Game of the Year, and this year will be no different. While I do agree that this year’s nominations are a bit underwhelming, there were some truly incredible games released in 2021. For me this was a pretty easy choice, but I seem to be alone among the writers with my choice.
ThisRandomDad (Me) – Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
BrainxCandy, RavenCromwell, & Spazz Bhabie – Resident Evil Village
I chose Ratchet & Clank for one major reason. Not only was it an incredible game, but it is also still the best example of what we can expect from PS5 games moving forward. It’s graphically stunning, has very few performance issues, and has been a great example of how the Dualsense controller can be used to really make you feel like you are part of the game. It also happens to be a VERY fun game. In a year of delays and underwhelming releases, this was a great release!
My Wildcard Choice – Eastward – This was by far my favorite game of the year and should be getting more recognition in my opinion. If you haven’t seen or heard of this game, PLEASE check it out!
This was an interesting one for me. Normally action games are what I am drawn to, but this year I didn’t get to play any of the nominees after they launched. I played a bit of the Back 4 Blood beta, but otherwise I haven’t been able to pick them up. That said, I did watch most of them and again, this was a relatively easy choice for me.
ThisRandomDad (Me) – Returnal
BrainxCandy – Chivalry 2
Spazz Bhabie & RavenCromwell – Back 4 Blood
For me, Returnal was the clear choice. House Marquee is known for their top down “bullet hell” style games, but for this they took a formula that they were already very good at and flipped it into a third person shooter. Returnal still has all of the fast-paced action that they are known for, but it’s done in a way that feels new and exciting. They absolutely knocked it out of the park with Returnal.
Tying into the Best Action category, the Best Action/ Adventure game category brings us another great selection of games to choose from.
ThisRandomDad (Me) – Metroid Dread
BrainxCandy, RavenCromwell & Spazz Bhabie – Resident Evil Village
Metroid Dread came out of nowhere for me. I have been looking forward to Metroid Prime 4 for a while, but this one came out of left field and was exactly what we needed from the Metroid series.
Overall, this was a STRONG year for RPG games, including CyberPunk 2077. There were some absolute gems that were released this year, both from estalished and new franchises.
ThisRandomDad (Me) – Shin Megami Tensei V
BrainxCandy, RavenCromwell, & Spazz Bhabie – Cyberpunk 2077
Shin Megami Tensei V takes the crown for me, but I can definitely understand giving Cyberpunk the nod. I recently played through Cyberpunk on PS4 for the first time, and while the game still has some serious issues it is at least playable. The story is strong and the game is enjoyable when it works.
This is always an interesting category. Every year you have games like Fortnite and Apex Legends listed, but this year we have started to see a resurgence in MMO style games that has carried over into Best Ongoing.
ThisRandomDad (Me), & RavenCromwell – Final Fantasy XIV Online
BrainxCandy – Genshin Impact
Spazz Bhabie – Fortnite
“I chose Fortnite to win this category for several reasons. For starters, Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite make more money than Apex. I really enjoy the fact that Fortnite has more players. I feel that Fortnite is a better selection due to the competitiveness of their Battle Royales. Whenever you are battling to win a Battle Royale, it is just you and your opponents, and you are allowed to build to help you win and get out of tough situations a lot easier. Apex makes the game feel more fast-paced while playing, and more difficult to gather supplies in the game, and you can’t surround yourself with anything to protect yourself. I feel not as much under pressure while battling in Fortnite. I like the idea that you can gather your supplies through damaging houses, cars, and anything redeemable that is breakable through the game. As the graphics are very much different in nature on Fortnite compared to Apex. I really like the fact that Fortnite allows a special type of currency, called V-Bucks to purchase in-game items compared to Apex. Also, you get the option to purchase daily updated items as well. Fortnite even goes to the extreme to allow artists and streamers to have themselves added as characters in-game with the benefits of additional purchasable items, as well as concerts.”
This is another category that gets me excited every year. I feel like one thing that gets overlooked in gaming a lot is the writing that goes into our favorite games, so having a category dedicated to the narrative aspects of these games is empowering to me.
ThisRandomDad (Me), BrainxCandy, & RavenCromwell – Life is Strange: True Colors
Spazz Bhabie – It Takes Two
For us, the consensus was Life is Strange. Let’s face it, there hasn’t really been a bad Life is Strange game. They may feel a bit lacking on gameplay, or even a little like they are trying to be hip at times, but the story is almost always fantastic. I also love the art style of these games, and this one is no exception. Overall, this was a strong year for storytelling in games, and Life is Strange is deserving of the win here.
This brings us to our final category of for current games, and it’s another that I think is very underrated. We have had some truly special games in the past that have either won or been nominated in this category, from Cuphead beating out Horizon Zero Dawn and Breath of the Wild in 2017, to Control beating out the favorites to win (Gris & Death Stranding) in 2019. This year, largely due to the new consoles coming out allowing studios to truly focus on graphical power in 2021, has some truly special nominees.
ThisRandomDad (Me) – Kena: Bridge of Spirits
BrainxCandy – The Artful Escape
Spazz Bhabie & RavenCromwell – Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
This is one that I really struggled with, as I feel like every nominee could win this year. For me, Kena is just a step above everything else that is nominated this year as it looks like a Pixar movie in video game form. Hats off to all of these teams though for providing some truly stunning games this year!
As we wrap up The Game Awards for 2021, we look ahead to the games that have been announced for next year and beyond.
ThisRandomDad (Me) & Spazz Bhabie – God of War Ragnarok
BrainxCandy – Starfield
RavenCromwell – The Sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
All of the games listed are going to be special, but for myself God of War (PS4) was one of the best games that I have ever played. Not because of the tight gameplay, but the story that it told was truly masterful. I can’t wait to see where they take the series in Ragnarok!