For this week’s article, I decided to bring some slightly different content, I’ll talk about my The Game Awards (TGA) impressions, one of the most important events of the year for the gaming industry, especially in 2020, since the new coronavirus was responsible for canceling several events that would be held throughout the year.
For those who do not know, the event takes place every year, since 2013, and awards the games that were considered, by the public and critics, as the best of the year in their respective categories (action, fight, RPG, adventure, VR, etc.) and questions such as soundtrack, design, narrative, etc. Some publishers also take advantage of the event to announce projects that will be launched in the coming years and, I believe that lately, this has been the main reason that led the general public to follow the ceremony.
Before we begin, I point out that, as much as this is a text about the awards, I will try to summarize various information not to spend too much of your time, and also, I will not address all the categories, since this year they had about 30 and, in the case of some of them, I did not have access to any of the games nominated for the award, or just consider it irrelevant, as the best mobile game, for example.
The event, as expected, was entirely online, except for the two presenters, Sydnee Goodman and Geoff Keighley. It was a shame to see them alone in the studio, without the applause and shouting of that great audience that we saw every year, but, both managed to compensate for this lack of interaction with a lot of charisma and professionalism.
The event also featured some celebrities such as Brie Larson, Gal Gadot, Tom Holand, the charismatic Reggie Fils-Aimé, Keanu Reeves, and more — each of them was responsible for revealing the winners of some of the main categories. Speaking of winners, they all showed up by video call, sending their messages, and thanks to the audience.
Other than that, the ceremony maintained the already well-known standards of previous years, with promotional videos, awards, messages from developers, and musical performances. A highlight here goes to Lyn Inaizumi who performed alongside the official band of Persona 5, singing one of the best-known songs in the franchise, Last Surprise. Other musical groups also performed, such as We Are OFK, a band from a game still in development (if I got it right), which has a very similar sound to that of the indie game, Sayonara Wild Hearts.
Before we start listing the winners of the night, I would like to comment on some very disappointing things that have been happening during the event. Like last year, I see that the TGA continues to make a clear division between the categories, especially among those that can be considered less relevant, since all the winners of these were relocated during the pre-show of the event.
I do not quite understand what are the criteria of this “filtering”, since some important categories did not enter the main event, such as the best soundtrack and best action/adventure game. And, as expected, all e-sports-related awards were awarded during the pre-show. I kind of understand this separation, since the general public is not there to see this type of thing, but I still think that this is a great missed opportunity, given the impact that the scenario of these modalities has had on the entire international market.
Another addition goes to the inclusion of old games in some categories or even DLCs; I believe that the event should prioritize the complete titles, released this year, 2020. Anyway, here are the top winners of the Game Awards 2020 and some of my opinions.
Game of the Year
- Doom Eternal
- Final Fantasy VII Remake
- Ghost of Tsushima
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons
- The Last of Us Part II | Winner
An obvious choice? Certainly, even more so after the thunderous success that was the first The Last of Us. However, and this I say as a fan of the franchise that cried about 3 times playing this sequence, I do not think The Last of Us Part II deserved this award. The game was produced based on the crunch, with much exploration of the hundreds of studio employees and, in giving this award to Naughty Dog, TGA only reinforces that this type of project, made based on such a nasty work regiment, continues to be recognized and valued by the market.
- 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
- Final Fantasy VII Remake
- Ghost of Tsushima
- The Last of Us Part II | Winner
I agree, definitely The Last of Us Part II told one of the most interesting and remarkable stories of the year, I dare say that of the history of video games, bringing a series of new characters, each with its concerns and objectives, and a plot even deeper than that of the first game, addressing topics such as revenge, family and forgiveness.
- Ashley Johnson (The Last of Us Part II)
- Laura Bailey (The Last of Us Part II) | WINNER
- Daisuke Tsuji (Ghost of Tsushima)
- Logan Cunningham (Hades)
- Nadji Jeter (Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales)
Abby was definitely one of the most outstanding characters of 2020. I confess that at first, I hated her, but with the progress of the story I understood more and more the reasons that led her to do what she did, and at the end of the game I already saw myself preferring to play with her than with Ellie. I understand some of the reasons why she was also one of the most hated characters of the year, but we all have to agree that the work done by Laura Bailey was impeccable, both in the voice acting and in her interpretation of such a complex and profound character.
Best Indie Game
- FallGuys: Ultimate Knockout
- Hades | WINNER
- Spelunky 2
In this year 2020 Supergiant Games achieved a very difficult feat, to make a roguelike, even with its extreme repeatability, stand out among the big names in the industry; and I think that’s why Hades deserves to be the best indie of the year. But if you search for more justifications for your victory, I recommend that you read one of my last articles posted here on the site, where I present, detail by detail, the elements that made this one of the most awarded games of the year.
Best VR Game
- Half-Life: Alyx | WINNER
- Marvel’s Iron Man VR
- Star Wars: Squadrons
- The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners
Like almost every brazilian, I do not have a VR and do not intend to buy one for a few good years, despite this and even without having played any of these games, I believe that Half-Life: Alyx provided a great service to the entire niche industry, proving to the general public that VR can be an experience that goes beyond the simple immersion, delivering a good campaign, with beginning, middle and end, inserted in one of the most popular series of the last decade.
Best Action Game
- Doom Eternal
- Hades | WINNER
- Half-Life: Alyx
- Nioh 2
- Streets of Rage 4
As an action game, Doom Eternal has much more to offer than any of the other games in the category. In addition to a sequence with even more polished mechanics, the game represents all the good an action game has to offer, frantic combat, shots, explosions, a large arsenal, a variety of enemies and bosses, and more. You might even say I’m a Doom fanboy, and maybe you’re not wrong, but I still think that would have been the right choice. Despite this I’m still happy with Hades’ victory, it’s great to see an indie studio recognized for its good work.
Best RPG Game
- Final Fantasy VII Remake | WINNER
- Genshin Impact
- Persona 5 Royal
- Wasteland 3
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon
It was to be expected that one of the most anticipated RPGs of all time would be the winner of this category. From this announcement in mid-2015, thousands of fans were waiting for any news about this remake, and five years later, Final Fantasy VII Remake is finally released, surprising much of the critics and audiences, with the implementation of new combat mechanics, beautiful graphic and the adaptation of its history for the current public. The wait and half a decade of development really paid off.
Best Fighting Game
- Grandblue Fantasy: Versus
- Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate | WINNER
- Street Fighter V: Champion Edition
- OnePunch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows
- Under Night In-Birth EXE: Late (CL-R)
Here we see that 2020 was not a very good year for fighting games, since we have among the top five games OF THE YEAR, two expansions, Mortal Kombat Ultimate and Street Fighter Champion Edition, and one of the most uninteresting anime games ever produced by Bandai Namco. In any case, Mortal Kombat’s DLC also managed to stand out more than the other two unknown games, securing more trophies for Nether Realm Studios.
Best Strategy Game
- Crusader Kings III
- Desperados III
- Gears Tactics
- Microsoft Flight Simulator | WINNER
- XCOM: Chimera Squad
Amid a few XCOM clones and a spin-off of XCOM itself, Microsoft’s flight simulator managed to stand out and take one of the biggest genre awards of the night. What I do not understand is what this game was doing in this category, since as a game it has no element that allows its comparison with the other indicated.
Best E-sports Event
- Blast Premier: Spring 2020 European Finals
- Call of Duty League Championship 2020
- IEM KATOWICE 2020
- League of Legends World Championship 2020| WINNER
- Overwatch League Grand Finals 2020
Not even the new coronavirus prevented Riot Games from holding one of the best world championships in its history. Even though there have been several competitions of excellent quality, especially those of Counter-Strike, there are few that can compete with the level of transmission, engagement narration, studio and, especially gameplay that Riot delivers to the public every year. Award more than deserved.
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- League of Legends | WINNER
It’s a real shame that a game released in 2009 continues to win the event’s top E-sports award, especially this year when we had the launch of one of the most fun and competitive FPSs, Valorant, which is a few months has already established itself as one of the greatest e-sports of the genre, even causing great Counter-Strike athletes to rethink the course of their careers.
And as stated earlier, some categories were left out of this analysis, so you can check who were all the nominees and winners here.
Announcements and Trailers
Now let’s talk about what matters most, just kidding, the main games and expansions announced during the event
NieR: Replicant ver.1.22474487139 — The remastering of the 2010 cult classic RPG had its first gameplay released early in the ceremony. In it, we had a small glimpse of the game’s combat, which was completely reworked to better suit current standards. The game arrives in April 2021 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Century: Age of Ashes — At first glance century’s released gameplay slightly resembles the canceled Scalebound, but everything changes when you realize that this is just another multiplayer-focused free-to-play game, which doesn’t necessarily make it a lower-quality project, but its graphics and mechanics seem to have a superiority that is often wasted on games of this kind of niche. Its release is scheduled for February 2021, in an early access scheme by Steam, and the future, for the Epic Games Store.
Sepiroth in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate — One of the world’s most famous RPG antagonists, Sepiroth, is the newest character to enter the numerous hall of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The villain arrives as part of the game’s second battle pass, bringing with it lots of styles, powerful spells, and, of course, his long sword, Masamune. Sepiroth arrives at Nintendo Switch on December 17.
Back4Blood — Since Valve refuses to count to 3, Turtle Rock Studios has decided to produce itself a sequel to Left 4 Dead 2. The game, announced in 2019, will feature systems very similar to those of the famous zombie game franchise, focusing on team combat with up to four people, bringing a darker atmosphere with a wide variety of special living dead.
The Callisto Protocol — Dead Space co-creator Callisto Protocol’s new game presents itself as a special horror game, and a clear spiritual successor to the late EA franchise, drinking from the same source that made it one of the biggest sagas of the horror genre. The game is scheduled for 2022 and little has been said about its history or gameplay.
Endless Dungeon — This is one of Sega’s new bets, a special-themed tactical roguelite, where the player will control a small group of heroes lost in an old special station. The game seemed to be one of the most interesting indies released during the event and will be released in 2021 for all platforms.
Ark II — I believe that everyone was surprised by the announcement of the sequel ark, but what we least expected was the participation of Vin Diesel in the project — whose character is born in São Paulo. The publicity trailer was somewhat confusing, but you can see that the studio will continue with its focus on prehistoric theme mixed with futuristic aspects.
It Takes Two — The striking and controversial Josef Fares also made his appearance at the event, promoting his studio’s newest project, It Takes Two. The game remains in the same footsteps as the old Hazelight Studios titles, such as A Way Out and Brothers: A Tale of two Sons, valuing teamwork and, in this case, a lot of charisma. The game will tell the story of a newly divorced couple who have been magically transformed into small dolls.
To get their human form back, the two will have to cooperate in a series of challenges that have called in to check their feelings and their old relationship. The title arrives in March 2021 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.
Monster Hunter Rise — Capcom also had its little highlight, featuring a trailer for its new project, Monster Hunter Rise, which arrives as the Nintendo Switch exclusive in March 2021.
Mass Effect — The event closed with an ad teaser for the new game in the Mass Effect franchise. Very few details have been shown, but from the images, we can assume that this new work will have direct relations with commander Shepard’s trilogy, as we see an alien Asari finding a helmet of the N7. Other than that, the game has no release date, much less a title, which for me, only reinforces the lack of preparation that Bioware has been having with its games.
And unfortunately, to the sadness of many fans of From Software, especially those who were deceived by various rumors confirming the company’s presence at the event, nothing was said about their new project, Elden Ring, no image, gameplay, teaser, absolutely nothing. All fans are already beginning to think that the announcement of the game was nothing more than a collective delirium; but anyway, TGA has listed it as the most anticipated game of the next few years, so let’s wait for the next events that will take place in 2021.
Reinforcement once again that this article is just a clipping, so all the game trailers and expansions announced you check-in here.
[Some images used in this article were taken from Google or from game community profiles on Steam/PSN]