Platform: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC
Nominations: Game of the Year, Best Studio/Game Direction, Best Art Direction, Best Action Game, Best Multiplayer Game
With the exception of Uncharted 4, no other game this year has dominated this year’s Video Game Award nominations list than Overwatch. And it deserves all of them. The easy to pick up, yet difficult to master, gameplay, the diverse and distinctive roster of characters and the ongoing support from the studio prove once again that Blizzard doesn’t just make games, they make absolute phenomena.
Hands down, Overwatch is going to walk away with Best Multiplayer Game. There’s just no contest. The Battlefield and Gears of War series are always good staples, and Overcooked is goofy fun, but they all pale in comparison to the fervor surrounding Overwatch. It was a game designed purely to be a smooth, addictive and endlessly rewarding multiplayer experience, and it completely delivers.
Best Art Direction is a bit of a toss-up. It will depend on what the voters value the most: quantity or quality. Overwatch definitely has the former in spades, with all of its characters varying heavily in style and aesthetic. However, when you’re competing with sheer visual beauty that is Uncharted 4? That’s going to be tough.
For both Best Action and Best Studio/Game Direction, I’d say the biggest competitors on both fronts are Doom and Battlefield 1. All of them are fun, fast-paced shooters, so any one of them could grab Best Action. Although my money is that, politically, voters will give it to the other games, trying to spread the love and not dump everything on Overwatch.
Studio/Game Direction is much more up for debate. On the one hand, DICE has a good bid with Battlefield 1, given that they successfully delivered the first triple A title set in World War 1. On the other, Bethesda deserves recognition for reviving the gonzo, balls to the wall frenzy of old school shooters with Doom. Will either of those outweigh Blizzard’s ability to perfectly blend the FPS and MOBA genres? It’s tough to tell. However, if studio relations and business model are part of the equation, Blizzard should nab this. In my book, their drip feed of free characters and maps as well as detailed developer updates make them one of the most respectable companies in modern gaming.
But let’s talk the big one: Game of the Year. Honestly, it’s a head-to-head race with Uncharted 4. Those two are the most lauded and talked about games to come out this year, and both deserve the grand prize. Uncharted 4 is the perfect, action-packed ending to one of the best series in this generation of gaming. Overwatch is the start of another monumental Blizzard franchise, and will no doubt be heavily played and talked about for years to come. It’ll be interesting to see which title people find deserving to remember 2016 most by, though my money’s on Overwatch. I’m more of a forward-thinker like that.
So keep your eye on Overwatch this year at the VGAs. It’s bound to sweep a ton of the awards faster than you can say, “Cheers love!” – Alex Suffolk