The Game Awards Picks: The Main Event

Mama, we made it! Here we are, at the biggest awards in the show. Here are our picks for The Main Event:

Best Performance

Nominees: Bryan Dechart as Connor (Detroit: Become Human), Christopher Judge as Kratos (God of War), Melissanthi Mahut as Kassandra (Assassin’s Creed Odyssey), Roger Clark as Arthur Morgan (Red Dead Redemption 2), Yuri Lowenthal as Peter Parker (Marvel’s Spider-Man)

Tyler: Wooooow. All great. But I got to throw it to my boy (Get it?) Christopher Judge.

Ashton: Again, I might be shot here, but Melissanthi as Kassandra brought a life to the character that I have not felt since Ezio in AC 2. She made that game what it was.

John: Bryan Dechart made me think of that kid who plays The Good Doctor, while Roger Clark is a great grumbler. That being said, there’s a reason BOY is 2018’s most popular name for a male (I’m pretty sure).

Best Audio Design

Nominees: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Forza Horizon 4, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Red Dead Redemption 2

Tyler: Red Dead Redemption 2. It’s absolute perfection for this category. You can hear things in the distance and then approach them, and the sound never feels inappropriately loud or quiet. Spider-Man is number 2 though.

Ashton: Same. The sound of gunshots echoing across the empty plains, Arthur’s piss hitting the side of a saloon after a drunken revelry, it all just ties the game together.

John: Forza for me. It’s hard to get a car right, especially when you’re dealing with tons of cars, and each have a unique sound. Not to mention metal-wrenching collisions, and nailing that as well.

Best Score/Music

Nominees: Celeste, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, Octopath Traveler, Red Dead Redemption 2

Tyler: Based on what I’ve played, I like Spider-Man here. Red Dead 2 is damn close. It has that moment late in the game and it’s unforgettable, but the moment to moment musical notes of Spider-Man, as it ramps up as you fall and then catch yourself… it’s really magical.

Ashton: Red Dead Redemption 2 takes it again for me. The score had me hooked from the first moments in the mountains.

John: Celeste had a beautiful score that tugged at your emotions, especially considering its context littered throughout.

Best Art Direction

Nominees: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, God of War, Octopath Traveler, Red Dead Redemption 2, Return of the Obra Dinn

Tyler: It’s so easy to give it to Octopath or Obra Dinn, because they’re super stylized and all… but Red Dead 2’s got that BDE and make everything look perfect.

Ashton: Nominating Wilson Fisk for his work staring at Rabbit in a Snowstorm.

John: Octopath is the shit, and does the whole 2.5D thing really well.

Best Narrative

Nominees: Detroit: Become Human, God of War, Life is Strange 2: Episode 1, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Red Dead Redemption 2

Tyler: Not sure why Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee isn’t on here, but since it isn’t… God of War. It never gets silly  (like Detroit). It’s super focused (unlike RDR2). It’s superb when it comes to the emotions (unlike Spider-Man). It’s complete (Unlike a single episode of Life is Strange 2).

Ashton: Let’s nominate it, Pokemon Let’s GO, greatest story of all time. Change my mind. Or Red Dead Redemption 2.

John: I really enjoyed God of War being a quasi-linear experience. Here’s this story, and you can branch off the beaten path if you want, but there isn’t a TON there for you. Not to mention, the beat to beat feel of the game is unparalleled.

Best Game Direction

Nominees: A Way Out, Detroit: Become Human, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Red Dead Redemption 2

Ashton: Christopher Nolan is going to have to take this one for me. Really enjoyed his work on the Dark Knight.

Tyler: Ashton’s snark aside, this comes down to RDR and God of War for me. I’m going to go with RDR though. They made deliberate decisions that would ultimately prove unpopular with some folks,and they really commit to it. I admire that kind of dedication.

Ashton: My snark aside, Red Dead 2 has to take this one again for me. The little moments in this game really bring it together, and I think a lot of that credit goes to the game’s direction.

John: I really REALLY want to give the nod to A Way Out (and I hope Josef wins this to get back on stage for a repeat performance of last year), but I can’t. Not when the sheer breadth of Red Dead Redemption is on the table. Despite some extremely bizarre decisions (like the skip mechanic apparently shorting out 60% through what you should be able to skip in poker – do I really need to watch the same doofus facial animation as the winner gathers their chips? No, skip directly to the next hand. It’s not like the system needs time to run the RNG calculator in the background to shuffle the deck), there’s just so much to do in this game, and very little of it feels like a chore. The game taught me how to play dominoes, the finer points of tracking, and what happens if a moronic NPC decides to kill himself in a tragic suicide-by-horse (spoiler alert, the entire town wants you dead for murder). Where was I? Eh, don’t worry about it, Red Dead wins.

Game of the Year

Nominees: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Celeste, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Monster Hunter: World, Red Dead Redemption 2

Tyler: The top dog. And I’d rank them like this: Red Dead Redemption 2, Spider-Man, God of War, Assassin’s Creed, then Celeste (sorry baby).

Ashton: Left field here, I know I’ve nominated Red Dead Redemption 2 for a lot of categories, but it’s not the game I’ve had the most fun with. Once again, I’m going to have to give this to Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. It’s my second favorite game in the series, just behind Black Flag. Exploration feels meaningful, the world is packed with interesting events and locations to visit, and the story is one of the best the series has done. Not to mention, spartan kicking assholes off of cliffs is one of the best features they’ve ever added. All that being said, Red Dead Redemption 2 is going to take this one.

Tyler: That’s a lot of words to be wrong.

John: I wouldn’t bet against the Warriors this year either. It’ll be fun to watch the rest of the show, but this isn’t even close. Red Dead Redemption 2.

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