TYF’s The Game Awards Picks 2016


It’s hard to believe we’re already seeing the third year of this revitalization of an annual The Game Awards, but here we are. It’s easy to say that there are a number of quality blockbuster game titles that have proven themselves even better than 2016’s blockbuster films, in addition to quality indie games throughout the year that challenge the industry’s artistic value and systematic gameplay designs. In this collaborative piece, our members of the TYF staff who reviewed games this year go over the nominated categories and analyze why the games they scored this year are deserving, or undeserving, of the awards they’re in the running for.

This is but a fraction of the nominated games, of course, so feel free to look at the list of contenders yourself, and cast your own vote for the public chosen awards of Trending Gamer, Best Fan Creation, Most Anticipated Game, Best Esports Game, Esports Team and Esports Player this year.

Enjoy the list, and if you haven’t played any of these games yourselves, check them out on the various platforms including the PlayStation Store, Xbox Live Store, Steam and the Apple App Store.

And be sure to watch The Game Awards with us tomorrow night (Thurs Dec. 1st) which will be streaming on almost any online platform (and in VR too!) imaginable thegameawards.com/watch/ and join us for live tweeting through the awards night with our handle @TYFOfficial 

– Evan Griffin, TYF Gaming Editor

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End


Developer: Naughty Dog

Rated T

Platform: PlayStation 4

Nominations: Game of the Year, Best Studio/Game Direction, Best Narrative, Best Art Direction, Best Performance (Emily Rose & Nolan North,) Best Action/Adventure Game
Some would argue that the Uncharted series didn’t technically need a fourth installment. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception wrapped up Nathan’s story quite well and threw in a superb amount of action, drama, and twists to end the series as a whole on a high note. However, Naughty Dog wasn’t quite done with Nathan Drake’s tale, and decided to give him an actual final chapter with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. After playing the game, however, it’s easy to spot why this game was created. It managed to be an even bigger step forward in terms of Drake’s backstory, the mix of rocky and heartwarming moments in his marriage with Elena Fischer, and a surprisingly effective addition with Troy Baker as Nathan’s brother Sam. Wrapping up an already fantastic series with an even grander narrative, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End deserves to sweep all its award nominations away from any other game that dares to compete. – Donald Strohman
Read Donald’s full review of Uncharted 4


Developer: ID Software, Bethesda 
Rated M
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Nominations: Game of the Year, Best Studio/Game Direction, Best Music/Sound Design, Best Action Game
Doom was probably one of the biggest surprise hits this year. Reboots may have become a dime a dozen in the modern day, and many of those reboots in both movies and games are mediocre at best, but Doom stands apart as a picture perfect example of how a retro series can thrive in a new era, while still holding on to its roots. Doom redefined the violence in video games back in the 90s’, so it only seems appropriate Id Software would once again bring the blood and guts, and boy did this game deliver on that front. Never taking itself too seriously, instead opting to pour out wave after wave of monsters to murder and hack to your heart’s content, Doom is one of the bloodiest good times 2016 had to offer. It could easily win the “Best Action Game of the Year” award, and much much more. – Donald Strohman
Read Donald’s full review of DOOM

That Dragon, Cancer
Developer: Numinous Games
Platform: PC, Mac, Ouya, iOS
Nomination: Games for Impact Award
Honestly, That Dragon, Cancer deserves far more nominations than just one. Being a powerful tribute to the game creators’ son who had died from cancer at a young age, That Dragon, Cancer weaves a heartbreaking tale of Ryan and Amy Green’s perspective of trying to raise a terminally ill son before he eventually succamb to the disease four years later after he was diagnosed at twelve months old. This isn’t just a video game you can pop in and play for a half hour of fun, this is an experience that’ll never leave your memory just from the depressing, but heartfelt, narrative alone. Back all this up with a unique and colorful art direction, and captivating soundtrack that’ll send shivers up your spine, That Dragon, Cancer easily deserves to win a Games for Impact Award.  -Donald Strohman
Read Donald’s full review of That Dragon, Cancer,
and read Evan’s full interview with developer Ryan Green

Battlefield 1


Developer: EA, DICE 

Rated M

Platform: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC

Nominations: Studio/Direction, Sound design, Best action game, Best multiplayer

Battlefield 1 deserves that Best Action Game award. The competition is pretty fierce in the other categories, but quite frankly Battlefield 1 fits the Action award better than the other nominees. From War Stories to Operations, the grime and grit of World War I is front and center. So much so that the game even buckles under the weight of it. That weight is the real reason Battlefield 1 needs to win. In a pool of strong FPS titles, Battlefield 1 is the only one bold enough to give the subject at hand consideration past “Hey, wouldn’t this be cool to do?” Not every game should need to do that, but after years of homogenized brown and grey war shooters, a game willing to try to mean something more deserves recognition. Other awards in other entertainment mediums often reward the willingness to take difficult subjects head on. If The Game Awards want to start becoming more like those, it should choose to hold up Battlefield 1. If it does, the path will be opened up for even stronger contenders in the future. – Travis Hymas

Read Travis’ full review of Battlefield 1


Developer: Blizzard

Rated T

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

Read Alex’s full review of Overwatch

The Witness

Developer: Thekla Inc.

Rated E

Platform: PS4, PC

Nominations: Best Independent Game

It’s a real shame that not many people knew about The Witness or respected what it set out to do. While a lot of games feel as though they were designed to be interactive movies, The Witness feels like an interactive painting, yes even more so than Braid if you can believe it. Sure, on the outset, one could walk by it, observe the pretty picture and walk away, but there’s so much more to the experience if you’re willing to engage with it and peel back the many layers. There’s so much to unpack in this game, whether it be all of the hidden puzzles scattered throughout the island, or what the game has to say about the difficulties and joys of the human ability to learn.

I’ll be first to admit that the fight for this award will be tough. People usually flock to indie games for either their ability to recapture the feel of games that have fallen out of fashion, their ability to hone in and refine one particular style of gameplay, or their ability to focus on a narrative in a more intimate setting. All of those features are represented in the nominees with Hyper Light Drifter, Inside and Firewatch, respectively. But I’d argue that what makes an indie game great is its ability to deliver something you can’t get in the triple a scene. And considering The Witness is truly a one of a kind experience, I’d say that qualifies it as most deserving of Best Independent Game. – Alex Suffolk

Read Alex’s full review of The Witness

Titanfall 2

Developer: EA, Respawn Entertainment 

Rated M

Platform: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC

Nominations: Game of the Year, Studio/Direction, Best Action Game, Best Multiplayer

Giant robots fighting, large scale battles, a crazy adventure. No, this isn’t a Michael Bay film; it’s Titanfall 2 and it’s nominated for Game of the Year! Titanfall 2 appeared this fall and blew the minds of game lovers everywhere. The original game from Respawn back in 2014 intrigued gamers by taking the first person shooter genre and adding some much needed improvements to the gameplay. The addition of wall running, jetpacks, and the badass Titans make this series very addicting and fun for all. This sequel took the one thing that we all desperately wanted from the original and made it amazing, a single player story mode! Getting to fight beside and in your Titan while cultivating a bond with it is an experience that I think everyone can appreciate. Although this game was kind of overshadowed by being released in between a new Call of Duty and Battlefield game, I think it held its own. I’m not sure about you, but the FPS genre has begun to get kind of stale with the endless waves of war games. I not only hope that Titanfall 2 wins Game of the Year, I hope that this is the beginning of a new era of gaming.

Read Tyler’s full review of Titanfall 2


Developer: DrinkBox Studios

Rated T

Platform: iOS, PS Vita, Wii U, 3DS

Nominations: Best Mobile Game

With the smartphone industry at an all time high, mobile games have become much bigger than they ever were. A good mobile game should take advantage of the touch screen platform while trying to give a full gaming experience. This year Drinkbox Studios released their newest game Severed, and it has made an impact on the mobile gaming genre. With a unique art style and a very interesting story, Severed takes the player on a journey of self-discovery and revenge. I had never played a game that looked or felt like this and I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had. As you progress through the game the enemies you face become increasingly more unique and colorful.

Making the player’s finger the character’s sword is a very empowering feeling. Games like Fruit Ninja can also feel empowering, but lack the soul and emotions that this game provided. With all the running and jumping games that fill the app stores today, Severed proved to be the king of the mobile game platform this year.

Read Tyler’s full review of Severed


Exit mobile version