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Opinion

2022 The Game Awards Winners (And Snubs)

This past Thursday the world bore witness to the 2022 Game Awards. As always this year’s Award show was packed with winners (losers as well unfortunately) and big game announcements! Most gamers felt they had personal stakes in the nominees and some even felt slighted when their game of choice didn’t snag the win (Yours truly included). We’re not going to go through every single one of the categories but for sure are going to discuss the major five categories. Let’s take a look at who won and who clearly got snubbed this year.

Best Audio Design

Recognizing the best in-game audio and sound design.

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  • Elden Ring
  • God of War Ragnarok – WINNER
  • Gran Turismo 7
  • Horizon Forbidden West

Having played God Of War Ragnarok to completion I can vouch for the game’s audio design. The THUD of the Leviathan Axe returning to Kratos’ hand. The squelch of blood and guts bursting forth upon eviscerating a draugr.  The clangs and clash of metal on metal. It’s great! That said I can’t help but feel that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 got snubbed for this category. The audio technicians and sound wizards over at Infinity Ward make the best sounding weapons and machinery in the industry!

Perhaps I am a bit biased as Modern Warfare won this category back in 2019, but I truly believe it. The lengths the audio team went to in recording ambient sound around the world, the way gunfire sounds, and even the hum of helicopters is truly top notch. Check out this video where the audio director for MW2 breaks down what they did.

Best Performance

Awarded to an individual for voice-over acting, motion and/or performance capture.

  • Ashly Birch – Horizon: Forbidden West
  • Charlotte McBurney – A Plague Tale: Requiem
  • Christopher Judge – God of War: Ragnarok – WINNER
  • Manon Gage – Immortality
  • Sunny Suljic – God of War: Ragnarok

Not to take anything away from Christopher Judge, I love his portrayal of Kratos, but there were two actresses I would have preferred this award to go to, and one of them I feel was incredibly snubbed. First, Charlotte McBurney is incredible as Amicia. The way she delivers every line with attention and care shows that she is a master of her craft. She can convey a wide range of emotion in her voice from defiance to tenderness.

[Top]: Manon Gage in Immortality [Bottom]: Charlotte Mcburney voices Amicia in A Plague Tale Requiem

Manon Gage’s role as Marissa Marcel is groundbreaking. I mean the woman plays like four different characters in the game and they all feel somewhat different. There is no voice-acting or motion capture but it is full on live-action acting. Not only was I enthralled with her performances but I felt it was important for Immortality to win because it is important for gamers and the game consuming media to be exposed to other forms of games that deserve the attention. Shame, maybe next time.

Best Art Direction

For outstanding creative and/or technical achievement in artistic design and animation.

  • Elden Ring – WINNER
  • God of War: Ragnarok
  • Horizon: Forbidden West
  • Scorn
  • Stray

I don’t have any serious gripes here. I honestly think all these games deserve the nomination. The only minor offense is that Scorn is here. For the uninitiated Scorn features a lot of body horror vistas that invoke thoughts of H.R. Giger’s body of artwork and it makes me uncomfortable to view. Then again I guess art is at it’s most effective when it gets a reaction out of us.

Elden Ring has breath-taking vistas and does a phenomenal job of melding motifs of medieval Europe with accents of Asia. The majority of the architecture leaves a strong impression on you with it’s towering castle turrets, and the larger-than-life Erdtree at the center of the game is mesmerizing. The bosses are well-designed and even the battles you have with them feature visually stunning attack animations that instill you with a sense of awe. Well-deserved win for FromSoft and Bandai Namco!

Best Narrative

For outstanding storytelling and narrative development in a game.

  • A Plague Tale: Requiem
  • Elden Ring
  • God of War Ragnarok – WINNER
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • Immortality

Again, I sound like a shill for Immortality, but it 100% deserved this award. The way the story unfolds through player interaction and how you try to piece together the mystery of Marissa Marcel, it is unlike any other videogame experience. The only valid counterargument I could see for it not winning is that it reveals the plot very haphazardly. The exploration and narrative is practically random until you have invested at least three hours and then it begins to make actual sense. Ragnarok has a powerful story and amazing characters. There were at least three different moments in the game where I could feel my eyes get watery in a way that they haven’t since Kingdom Hearts 2. Congrats to Sony Santa Monica for the win! If any game had to beat Immortality I am glad it was at least that one.

Game Of The Year

Recognizing a game that delivers the absolute best experience across all creative and technical fields.

  • A Plague Tale: Requiem
  • Elden Ring – WINNER
  • God of War Ragnarok
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • Stray
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3

The coveted title of Game Of The Year went to Elden Ring this year, and it was very much deserved. Of all the nominees in this category the only one I didn’t have time for was Xenoblade Chronicles 3. Stray is an awesome 4 hour romp (I reviewed it here) but it doesn’t quite compare to the rest of the nominees in terms of scope. A Plague Tale: Requiem is fantastic but I feel that not enough people played it in time and therefore it was difficult to get the necessary amount of votes to really stand a real chance.

Horizon Forbidden West is a beautiful game with fantastic combat and gameplay, but it has always had trouble getting the attention of the gaming community. The first Horizon game got swallowed up in the shadow of The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild‘s release, and so did it happen here with Elden Ring eclipsing it a week later. I really thought Ragnarok was going to run away with the win here this year, and it would have been hard to argue against that outcome.

Closing Thoughts

Honestly I believe this year’s Game Awards show was the best in the history of the show. The pacing was perfect! The reveals were truly unexpected. And the overall presentation had very little filler and unnecessary segues. Just a solid tight show all around. What do you think of the the show and the award winners themselves? Be sure to comment down below. I would love to converse with you all. For more game coverage (especially of The Game Awards) be sure to check out my videogame centric podcast “Duosense”. There my best friend and I talk about all the biggest going news in the games industry every week, you can check it out here. As always stay geeky!

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