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Game Awards 2015

The Game Awards 2015 – Nominees Revealed and Rated

Stephen Welsh

Stephen Welsh

Stephen (or Steve(or Tojeka Steve)) is a kind young man who cares more about games, fiction, sleep and chicken than is probably healthy.
Stephen Welsh

Geoff Keighley’s show The Game Awards 2015 has revealed its list of nominees for the games of the past year. December 3rd will see the jury of international games media recognise what they decided were the best games across sixteen categories. There are also six award categories voted for by fans. Since I’m not on the panel and it’s not an awards show that’s open to public voting, I’m gonna throw my thoughts in here for the hell of it. So for each category I’ll be listing my favorites with number 1 being the winner for each. Don’t be afraid to tell me how shit my opinions are too. So let’s break this list down a little.

The Game Awards 2015

Game of the Year

The big one every show must have. Last year’s show saw Dragon Age: Inquisition take the prize, despite only having been released two weeks prior to the ceremony. Considering Shadow of MordorBayonetta 2Hearthstone, and Dark Souls II were competing against it, it was surprising and almost baffling that Bioware’s RPG was the winner.

This year’s category consists of BloodborneFallout 4Super Mario MakerMetal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and The Witcher 3. If The Golden Joystick Awards two weeks ago are any indication, then The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the frontrunner. Bloodborne impressed the Dark Souls fanbase with some familiarity, while Mario Maker, MGSV, and Fallout 4 all have their share of flaws; though I reckon the hype might filter out the issues with Fallout 4 when it comes to how the judges see it.

  1. Bloodborne
  2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  3. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  4. Super Mario Maker
  5. Fallout 4
The Game Awards 2015
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Developer of the Year

Last year this was awarded to Nintendo, with their 2014 line-up including Mario Kart 8Super Smash Bros, and Bayonetta 2. This year they’ve brought us new IP Splatoon, while shaking up their existing franchises in the case of Super Mario Maker. Facing off against them is Fallout 4 and Fallout Shelter makers Bethesda Game Studios, The Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt RED, Souls and Bloodborne studio From Software, and regrettably disbanded Metal Gear Solid V team Kojima Productions.

Bethesda’s inclusion will raise plenty of eyebrows, what with their traditional glitch-filled open worlds and the “sweet little lies” of Mr Todd Howard. From Software made a beast of a PS4 exclusive in the form of Bloodborne, but it struggles to separate itself from the Souls formula. Nintendo have had a quieter year compared to before, but Splatoon is an utter delight of originality and outright multiplayer fun. Kojima Productions gets the sympathy vote due to Konami’s behavior over the last year; in particular the cancellation of Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro’s Silent HillsThe Phantom Pain was certainly an ambitious, impressive attempt to create an open-world stealth action game, but questionable design decisions and a lack of a proper conclusion made it a bittersweet departure for the game first revealed at the 2012 Spike VGAs. CD Projekt RED put in a hell of an effort for the final part of their European fantasy trilogy, with one of the biggest, most engrossing RPG adventures in years. There’ll be a lot of anticipation on the day they release Cyberpunk 2077, whenever the hell that may be.

  1. CD Projekt RED
  2. Nintendo
  3. Kojima Productions
  4. From Software
  5. Bethesda Game Studios
The Game Awards 2015

Best Independent Game

Last year, retro platforming love letter Shovel Knight scored this prize. Leading the pack in 2015 is RPG Undertale (which Jake Wilson awarded 10/10). Alongside it is the football with cars hit Rocket League, gorgeous 2D adventure Ori and the Blind Forest, FMV mystery Her Story, and Metroidvania Axiom Verge.

Her Story is the arthouse crowd’s favorite this year, with its focus on narrative and not really wanting to be a videogame. Undertale meanwhile has taken the gaming community by storm, with its humor, storytelling and distinct characters making it one of the most popular indie RPGs in years. Rocket League continues to be a multiplayer favorite for many, while Ori is still being recognised for its art and soundtrack. Axiom Verge has sadly been largely forgotten about already. Out of all of these, Undertale is the one that’s affected the most people, and is sure to be remembered as the most iconic indie release of 2015.

  1. Undertale
  2. Rocket League
  3. Ori and the Blind Forest
  4. Her Story
  5. Axiom Verge
The Game Awards 2015
Mortal Kombat X

Best Fighting Game

Last year this award went to Super Smash Bros for Wii U, which is interesting considering the attitude of some players that Smash Bros isn’t a “real fighting game.” This year the category only has 4 nominees. Arc System Works gorgeous fake-2D fighter Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- delighted fans and is getting a second version called -REVELATOR- adding more insane anime characters. Mortal Kombat X brought plenty of blood and guts as well as guest appearances by Jason Voorhees and The Predator, making for the most popular fighter of the year. Rising Thunder is only in an open-alpha state, but the robot battle game is free to play right now. The black sheep of the group is Rise of Incarnates, a free-to-play title which is more like a co-op arena game than a fighter. Aside from divisive critical reception, the game’s being shut down next month, less than two weeks after The Game Awards ceremony.

While the inclusion of Guilty Gear is cool, I can’t help but feel this category wasn’t nominated by players too familiar with this rather niche genre. The PlayStation 3 saw some kickass anime fighting action this year with Under Night In-Birth, and Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax. Manga battle royale J-Stars Victory VS+ might also have been worth a nomination. I know Mortal Kombat X is going to win here, but it just rubs me the wrong way to see no 5th nominee, and a slot given to dying F2P game Rise of Incarnates.

  1. Mortal Kombat X
  2. Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-
  3. Rising Thunder
  4. Rise of Incarnates
The Game Awards 2015
Life is Strange


Other categories

I’ve not got much to say about the rest of the categories except for some quick comments on a few. Why the hell is Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number not up for Best Soundtrack? Furthermore, I can’t help but laugh that Tale of Tales’ notorious bomb Sunset is being called a “Game for Change” considering it killed the developers’ game making career.

Best Narrative

  1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  2. Life is Strange
  3. Until Dawn
  4. Her Story
  5. Tales From the Borderlands

Best Score/Soundtrack

  1. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  2. Fallout 4
  3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  4. Ori and the Blind Forest
  5. Halo 5: Guardians

Best Performance

  1. Mark Hamill as The Joker – Batman: Arkham Knight
  2. Doug Cockle as Geralt – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  3. Viva Seifert – Her Story
  4. Ashley Burch as Chloe Price – Life Is Strange
  5. Camilla Luddington as Lara Croft – Rise of the Tomb Raider
The Game Awards 2015

Games For Change

  1. Undertale
  2. Life is Strange
  3. Her Story
  4. Cibele
  5. Sunset

Best Shooter

  1. Splatoon
  2. Destiny: The Taken King
  3. Star Wars: Battlefront
  4. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
  5. Halo 5: Guardians

Best Action/Adventure

  1. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  2. Batman: Arkham Knight
  3. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
  4. Ori and the Blind Forest
  5. Rise of the Tomb Raider

Best Role-Playing Game

  1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  2. Bloodborne
  3. Undertale
  4. Pillars of Eternity
  5. Fallout 4
The Game Awards 2015

Best Family Game

  1. Splatoon
  2. Super Mario Maker
  3. LEGO Dimension
  4. Disney Infinity 3.0
  5. Skylanders: Superchargers

Best Sports/Racing Game

  1. Rocket League
  2. Forza Motorsport 6
  3. FIFA 16
  4. NBA 2K16
  5. Pro Evolution Soccer 2016

Best Multiplayer

  1. Splatoon
  2. Rocket League
  3. Destiny: The Taken King
  4. Halo 5: Guardians
  5. Call of Duty: Black Ops III

Best Art Direction

  1. Bloodborne
  2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  3. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  4. Ori and the Blind Forest
  5. Batman: Arkham Knight


Fan’s Choice

The Game Awards 2015
No Man’s Sky

Most Anticipated Game

For games we know are going to come out in 2016 (except The Last Guardian, c’mon, you serious?) the line-up of anticipated titles is quite a surprise. Uncharted 4 is of course a highly anticipated sequel by fans, but it’s interesting we have three original titles on this list. Horizon: Zero Dawn came as an interesting and unexpected concept, with its tribal huntress in a post-apocalyptic age of robotic dinosaurs making for one of the most stand-out exclusives coming to the PlayStation 4 in the future. Meanwhile on the Xbox side, gamers are still waiting on time-bending drama Quantum Break as one of Microsoft’s biggest exclusives. Speaking of waiting, The Last Guardian finally came back into the public eye, with the game being re-announced for the PlayStation 4. But No Man’s Sky is still leaving gamers with a thirst for intergalactic adventure, and the confirmation of a release date is a sweet relief for those desperate to dive into this enormous open universe.

  1. No Man’s Sky
  2. The Last Guardian
  3. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  4. Horizon: Zero Dawn
  5. Quantum Break

eSports Game of the Year

  1. Hearthstone
  2. League of Legends
  3. DOTA 2
  4. Counter Strike: Global Offensive
  5. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Best Fan Creation

  • GTA V – Targets
  • Portal Stories: Mel
  • Real GTA
  • Twitch Plays Dark Souls

Trending Gamer

  • TotalBiscuit
  • Pewdiepie
  • Markiplier
  • Christopher “Montecristo” Mykles
  • Greg Miller

eSports Team of the Year

  • Evil Geniuses
  • Fnatic
  • Optic Gaming
  • SK Telecom T1
  • Team Solomid

eSports Player of the Year

  • Kenny “Kennys” Schrub
  • Lee “Faker” Sang-Hyeok
  • Olof “Olofmeister” Kajbjer
  • Peter “PPD” Dager
  • Syed Sumail “Suma1l” Hassan

About Stephen Welsh

Stephen (or Steve(or Tojeka Steve)) is a kind young man who cares more about games, fiction, sleep and chicken than is probably healthy.

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  • ArsCortica

    Man, they really like Her Story, huh?

    • mbits

      Indicates that it was presumably created by a close friend of gaming journalists. Perhaps even a former gaming journalist.

      The whole list is pretty shit. Even the “GOTY” list – mostly because . . . really, that’s it? Those five?

      Anyway, we know what’s mostly going to win outside of that. It’s going to be all the most hipsterish, indie shit. I mean, look at the “GAMES FOR CHANGE” category (why the fuck are those games even listed in that? What the hell kind of change does Life Is Strange support? It’s a point and click adventure game about time travel that copies and pastes all of its story from a mix of 8mm, donnie darko, and butterfly effect….

  • mbits

    What the fuck is up with that “trending gamer” bullshit?

    Total Biscuit, pewdiepie (seriously?!), and three other random dudes I’ve never heard of?! This is retarded.

    I dig Keighly’s attempt at doing something good for gaming with this show. I just don’t see it escaping the traps of your typical award show… or the douches that it ccaters to (which is the gaming journalists; not gamers or anyone else).

    Also.. there seems to be no way to vote unless you have Facebook or Twitter. In other words, a self-selecting group of idiot “voters”.

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