Predicting The Game Awards 2018 Winners

Red Dead Redemption 2 Arthur And Sadie

From Red Dead Redemption 2 to God Of War, this year's Game Awards is brimming with fierce competition.

Similar to the Oscars with movies, the Game Awards is a contentious event in which the year's very best titles are pitted against each other in a plethora of categories that range from standard to controversial. Without any of the false smiles and self-indulgent group selfies, it is a genuine show that does its best to reward thousands of people who have sacrificed so much for an industry which is often brutal and unforgiving. In preparation of this special night set to be hosted by Geoff Keighley on December 6th (7th in the UK), we have decided to predict all the winners that will undoubtedly be moaned about online. 

Game Of The Year – Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

Red Dead Redemption 2 GOTY

© Rockstar Games

Other Nominees:

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (Ubisoft Quebec/Ubisoft)

Celeste (Matt Makes Games)

God Of War (Sony Santa Monica/SIE)

Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games/SIE)

Monster Hunter: World (Capcom)

Marvel’s Spider-Man, Celeste, and God Of War are more than good enough to lift the coveted trophy, yet it’s difficult to look beyond Red Dead Redemption 2. Thanks to a gripping story, a diverse camp, and the most detailed open-world in the history of video games, exploring the wilderness of Rockstar’s latest masterpiece is an unforgettable experience that the industry will forever reminisce about.

Best Ongoing Game – Fortnite (Epic Games)

Fortnite 1

© Epic Games

Other Nominees:

Destiny 2: Forsaken (Bungie/Activision)

No Man’s Sky (Hello Games)

Overwatch (Blizzard)

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

This is a no-brainer. Regardless if you think Fortnite is an innocent romp or a dodgy night out with friends where you somehow lose all your money, Epic Games’ colourful battle royale has the largest fanbase and is one of the most financially successful titles of the year.

Best Game Direction – God Of War (Sony Santa Monica/SIE)

God Of War 1

© Sony Santa Monica

Other Nominees:

A Way Out (Hazelight Studios/EA)

Detroit: Become Human (Quantic Dream/SIE)

Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games/SIE)

Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

Detroit: Become Human and A Way Out are both titles which continuously look, play and feel like Academy nominated movies, but David Cage has his detractors and Josef Fares’ debut title is probably not popular enough. Therefore, this category is likely between Red Dead Redemption 2 and God Of War. Rockstar could justifiably be rewarded for the way in which they revolutionised the monotonous open-world genre, but Santa Monica and Cory Barlog should be championed for turning God Of War into an emotional epic beyond its ancestors’ trademark violence, boobs and sexual mini-games.

Best Narrative – Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

Red Dead Redemption 2 Gang

© Rockstar Games

Other Nominees:

Detroit: Become Human (Quantic Dream/SIE)

God Of War (Sony Santa Monica/SIE)

Life Is Strange 2: Episode 1 (Dotnod Entertainment/Square Enix)

Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games/SIE)

Spider-Man is a safe but near perfect representation of the famous webslinger, meanwhile God Of War is a mature father-son tale that makes Kratos so much more than a bloodthirsty brute who occasionally makes women moan from pleasure rather than agony. However, Arthur’s absolution and the demise of the Van Der Linde gang is the most ambitious and heart-wrenching narrative of the year, and the only way it won't win is if the voters are influenced by God Of War's parenting dynamic. 

Best Performance – Roger Clark as Arthur Morgan, Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 Arthur

© Rockstar Games

Other Nominees:

Bryan Dechart as Connor, Detroit: Become Human

Christopher Judge as Kratos, God Of War

Melissanthi Mahut as Kassandra, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

Yuri Lowenthal as Peter Parker, Marvel’s Spider-Man

While all the actors nominated for this award are worthy contenders capable of winning, Roger Clark’s performance as Arthur Morgan was arguably the most difficult to execute. Yuri Lowenthal captured the naïve innocence and do-gooder nature of Peter Parker, Christopher Judge succeeded in making Kratos a mournful father struggling with a sinful past and uncontrollable rage, and Bryan Dechart displayed subtle expressions and mannerisms which exhibited Connor’s believable progression from machine to human. Still, Clark had the most amount of range and essentially had to play two characters with Arthur Morgan changing from a brash mercenary to a doleful cowboy wanting to do good.

Best Role-Playing Game – Monster Hunter: World (Capcom)

Monter Hunter World

© Capcom

Other Nominees:

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes Of An Elusive Age (Square Enix)

Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (Level 5/BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment)

Octopath Traveller (Square Enix/Acquire/Nintendo)

Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire (Obsidian Entertainment/Versus Evil)

Although Dragon Quest XI and Ni No Kuni II both feature better gameplay and stories, Monster Hunter: World has the dedicated and vocal fanbase who are still in love with the grind.

Best Action Game – Dead Cells (Motion Twin)

Dead Cells

© Motion Twin

Other Nominees:

Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 (Treyarch/Activision)

Destiny 2: Forsaken (Bungie/Activision)

Far Cry 5 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

Megan Man 11 (Capcom)

Far Cry 5 was an excellent addition to the series despite the industry mistakenly expecting it to be a contemporary lambasting of Donald Trump and republicans, and Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 remains the juggernaut that people moan about while playing for hundreds of hours. Yet, thanks to being a critical darling which has gained a lot of popularity since being released on the Nintendo Switch, Dead Cells is an Indie David that will topple all the AAA Goliaths.

Best Family Game – Super Mario Party (NDCube/Nintendo)

Super Mario Party

© NDCube/Nintendo

Other Nominees:

Mario Tennis Aces (Camelot Software Planning/Nintendo)

Nintendo Labo (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Overcooked 2 (Ghost Town Games/Team 17)

Starlink: Battle For Atlas (Ubisoft Toronto/Ubisoft)

No surprises here. If it’s not Nintendo’s Italian icon, then it’ll surely be Overcooked 2.

Best Multiplayer Game – Fortnite

Fortnite 2

© Epic Games

Other Nominees:

Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 (Treyarch/Activision)

Destiny 2: Forsaken (Bungie/Activision)

Monster Hunter: World (Capcom)

Sea Of Thieves (Rare/Microsoft Studios)

Fortnite will be crowned the best multiplayer game for the very same reason it’ll win best ongoing: its fanbase is huge!

Best Score/Music – Celeste (Lena Raine) 

Celeste

© Matt Makes Games

Other Nominees:

God Of War (Bear McCreary)

Marvel’s Spider-Man (John Paesano)

Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (Yasunori Nishiki)

Red Dead Redemption 2 (Woody Jackson/Daniel Lanois)

Red Dead Redemption 2 has a mixture of audio and minimalistic tracks that suit the wild west, meanwhile Marvel’s Spider-Man possesses a heroic theme which wouldn’t be amiss in one of his many movies. Still, despite Rockstar and Insomniac both incorporating music that would be found in any gamer’s Spotify account, this category is a tight duel between Celeste and God Of War. The music in Celeste is superior due to being more varied and enthused with personality, while God Of War's soundtrack is a booming epic that is only more impressive at a superficial observation. 

Best Audio Design – God Of War (Sony Santa Monica/SIE)

God Of War 2

© Sony Santa Monica

Other Nominees:

Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 (Treyarch/Activison)

Forza Horizon 4 (Playground Games/Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Studios)

Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games/SIE)

Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

There’s a plethora of unnoticeable sounds that emphasise Rockstar’s obsession with realism for Red Dead Redemption 2, yet none of them are as satisfying as the noise of sheer chaos in God Of War. From pulverising enemies with your fists to stomping on their heads, the over-the-top audio is a deafening ruckus that fills you with adrenaline.

Best Art Direction – Octopath Traveler (Square Enix/Acquire/Nintendo)

Octopath Traveler

© Square Enix/Nintendo

Other Nominees:

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey (Ubisoft Quebec/Ubisoft)

God Of War (Sony Santa Monica/SIE)

Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

Return Of The Obra Dinn (3909 LLC)

It has to be Octopath Traveler. Yes, the wild west is an impressive landscape and Greece is an historically rich resort you need to visit on holiday, but Octopath Traveler is a beautiful bit of retro art which combines modern lighting with nostalgic JRPG aesthetics.

Best Independent Game – Celeste (Matt Makes Games)

Celeste 2

© Matt Makes Games

Other Nominees:

Dead Cells (Motion Twin)

Into The Breach (Subset Games)

Return Of The Obra Dinn (3909 LLC)

The Messenger (Sabotage Studio)

While Return Of The Obra Dinn is capable of causing a real upset, Celeste is the deserved favourite to win. From its topical narrative to its evocative soundtrack, Matt Thorson’s Celeste is a magnificent platformer that captured everybody’s heart.

Best Sports/Racing Game – Forza Horizon 4 (Playground Games/Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Studios)

Forza Horizon 4

© Playground Games/Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Studios

Other Nominees:

FIFA 19 (EA Vancouver/EA Sports)

Mario Tennis Aces (Camelot Software Planning/Nintendo)

NBA 2K19 (Visual Concepts/2K Sports)

Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 (PES Productions/Konami)

Despite not being a fan of racing games, it’s impossible to deny Forza Horizon 4’s status as one of the year’s best titles. Its eerily realistic visuals make every sane person momentarily lose sight of what’s real, there’s a substantial amount of things to do, and its stellar gameplay makes you feel like a suave badass by allowing you to speed around the world with all the finesse of Tom Cruise.

Best Strategy Game – Banner Saga 3 (Stoic Studio/Versus Evil)

Banner Saga 3

© Stoic Studio/Versus Evil

Other Nominees:

BATTLETECH (Harebrained Schemes/Paradox Interactive)

Frostpunk (11 bit studios)

Into The Breach (Subset Games)

Valkyria Chronicles 4 (Sega CS3/Sega)

Speaking solely as an avid fan of the Banner Saga series, it would be a tremendous sight to see Stoic Studio championed for delivering a stupendous finale to one of the best and most underrated trilogies in recent memory. Into The Breach might be more polished, and Valkyria Chronicles no doubt has the more recognisable name, but Banner Saga 3 was a more intense and rewarding experience due to having the biggest consequences.

Best Action/Adventure Game – God Of War (Sony Santa Monica/SIE)

God Of War 3

© Sony Santa Monica 

Other Nominees:

Assassin/s Creed Odyssey (Ubisoft Quebec/Ubisoft)

Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games/SIE)

Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

Shadow Of The Tomb Raider (Eidos Montreal/Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix)

Unfortunately for Spider-Man and Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, this category is again another mano-a-mano between cowboys and gods. While Red Dead Redemption 2 should take home the prize seeing as it’s the year’s best game, God Of War will likely usurp Rockstar to the crown due to being a more traditional action-adventure experience.

Best Fighting Game – Dragon Ball FighterZ (Arc System Works/BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment)

Dragon Ball FighterZ

© Arc System Works/BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment

Other Nominees:

BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle (Arc System Works)

Soul Calibur VI (Bandai Namco Studios/BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment)

Street Fighter V Arcade (Capcom)

Soul Calibur VI should win for being an approachable fighting game that is complex beyond its simple surface, and for rescuing a beloved franchise that was stagnant for so long before becoming a nearly unrecognisable slap to the face. However, seeing as it’s vibrant, quick and has a mainstream appeal, Dragon Ball FighterZ will surely be named the winner.

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The Game Awards is scheduled for 6th December at 8:30PM Eastern Time. You can watch it live on their official YouTube channel, Twitch account or website. 

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