This year, despite all the hell, we’ve witnessed game developers, gamers, and esports develop, support, and play stunning artistry. For this year, more than ever, people turned to games to connect with friends and loved ones. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find good games, creators, and pros make it to The Game Awards 2020. Here’s the quick rundown:
Game of the Year (and more): The Last of Us Part 2
The Last of Us Part 2 won big this year with 6 wins and the main award: Game of the Year, Best Game Direction, Best Narrative, Best Audio Design, Innovation in Accessibility, and Best Action/Adventure Game. Also, Laura Baily who played Abby in the game won Best Performance. The stunning action-adventure survival game set in post-apocalyptic America dabbles into haunting loss and ruthless realities. If you haven’t played it, it’s something you’ll need to get into during the holidays to catch up with the hype.
Best Art Direction: Ghost of Tsushima
With everyone hoping this title would win this year, considering nominations for most categories alongside The Last of Us Part 2, Ghost of Tsushima is a jaw-dropping action-adventure set during the first Mongol invasion in Japan. You play as a samurai whose quest is to protect the island of Tsushima. This was a strong competitor for Game of the Year with its eye-gasmic open world and incomparably gorgeous gameplay.
Best RPG and Score/Music: Final Fantasy VII Remake
Are we really surprised with this one? Final Fantasy VII Remake brought the nostalgia, gameplay, and tear-jerking music into our systems and made us feel safe and okay amid the world burning down around us. No? just us? Okay. Winning both best RPG and Musical Score, Final Fantasy VII Remake outdid themselves on their release.
Best Indie Game and Best Action Game: Hades
Hades is a rogue action role-playing game developed and published by Supergiant Games. The rogue-like dungeon crawler lets you defy the god of the dead and hack and slash your way out of the Underworld. This game is fun and addictive, perfect as a holiday gift for casual players and gamers alike.
Best Multiplayer Game and Best Mobile Game: Among Us
If you’ve managed to never see 1000+ IQ games on this game from multiple top content creators across different platforms, you’re missing out. Among Us is an online multiplayer social deduction game developed and published by American game studio Innersloth. The game makes and breaks friendships but, it’s playing and catching imposters that’s got everyone hooked.
Games for Impact: Tell Me Why
Tell Me Why is an episodic narrative adventure game where you piece together memories between twins and decide whose story to believe, acting on what you think is the truth and impacting the people around you. The game dabbles into Tlingit culture and features Tlingit characters.
Best Ongoing Game: No Man’s Sky
Following last year’s winner, Fornite, No Man’s Sky’s open universe exploration-survival gameplay managed to encapsulate the curiosity and adventurous side of every gamer who came across it. With the game letting you recklessly roam planets and universes outside our homes, it let us explore without risking lives.
Best Debut Game: Phasmophobia
If you haven’t played Phasmophobia with your friends while screaming ghost names or dying, then you missed out on a lot. This indie co-op psychological horror game developed by Kinetic Games lets you explore haunted homes and investigate each spot with ghost hunting tools and ghost hunting (terrified) friends.
Best Community Support: Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
Of course, we would find this adorable platformer battle royale game in the awards. How could we not? Released in early August, Fall Guys developed by Devolver Digital took the internet by storm. The game lets you rush through obstacles and team games all while decked out in cute skins and outfits.
Best VR/AR Game: Half-Life: Alyx
And, the Half-Life 3 jokes continue. Half-Life: Alyx is a first-person shooter survival game where you get to play Alyx Vance. She and her father fight an alien empire that has conquered earth. The game takes place before the return of Gordon Freeman in Half-Life 2
Best Fighting Game: Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate
Do not play this game with minors. I say that with good reason. Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate doesn’t come from the same adorable collation of characters as last year’s winner. This instalment of Mortal Kombat ups the morbid graphics and mechanics giving players the best fighting game when needing catharsis rom a tough day.
Best Family Game: Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing: New Horizons could have very well won the Game of the Year in all our hearts as it helped millions hang out and play with their friends and loved ones earlier in lockdowns across the globe. The social simulation game kept us all sane in more ways than Nintendo could have imagined, making this one of the most memorable games of 2020
Best Sim/Strategy Game: Microsoft Flight Simulator
The Microsoft Flight Simulator is an amateur flight simulator program with the longest-running, best-known, and most comprehensive home flight simulator ever. The game lets you take off, fly, and land just like you would in real life. You’ll need to learn to navigate your way through flight controls, and across the globe to leave and arrive safely.
Best Sports/Racing Game: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is a brilliantly immersive skateboarding game that lets players do aerials, flips, and tricks. The game features trick points to let players get creative along the way. It also helps to bring the nostalgia of being able to freely skateboard outdoors without scraping your knees.
Content Creator of the Year: Valkyrae
Valkyrae is an American Youtuber and Streamer who used to work at GameStop and transitioned into streaming. She is the first female gamer and content creator of 100 Thieves and is a strong advocate for women in online gaming, esports, and gaming as a whole.
Under the esports categories, The Game Awards skimped on new talents and new esports games and communities this year but that’s doesn’t mean these talents are any less deserving of the awards they won. Here are The Game Award’s two-time winners:
Best Esports Event: League of Legends World Championship 2020
Best Esports Game: League of Legends
Best Esports Coach: Danny “Zonic” Sorensen (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive)
Best Esports Host: Eefje “Sjokz” Depoortere
Best Esports Team: G2 Esports (League of Legends)
With one new addition to the category:
Best Esports Athlete: Heo “Showmaker” Su (League of Legends)
Practically no one is playing Netflix’s games, report says
Despite being free to play
Recently, Netflix gambled big on the future of its platform. Besides cutting a plethora of titles in production, the platform introduced a gallery of mobile games for all of its subscribers. As the gaming library grew, it acquired impressive titles from the best of the mobile gaming world. However, despite Netflix’s efforts, only less than one percent of the platform’s subscribers are playing the games.
In a new app study (via CNBC), Netflix’s games average only 1.7 million users daily. Overall, the games have been downloaded 23.3 million times.
Though not an insignificant number, the figure is a tiny, tiny portion of Netflix’s main user base. For reference, Netflix currently has around 221 million subscribers. That’s less than one percent of Netflix subscribers playing their games.
Netflix’s gaming strategy is an ongoing experiment. While the company has eyed the industry for a while now, Netflix is facing deeper gravitas with making sure every endeavor succeeds. As of late, the platform has bled for subscribers, new and old.
For the first time in a while, Netflix has lost subscribers, marking the rise in popularity of other streaming platforms. It isn’t the only shark in the lake. Hulu, Disney+, and HBO Max are creating compelling cases for a switch.
That said, if you still pay for a Netflix subscribers, the gaming library comes with the price of admission. Besides inspired titles from its properties like Stranger Things, the library also comes with heavy hitters like Spiritfarer.
Razer releases giant-sized gaming mouse mats in the Philippines
The Strider Chroma and Goliathus 3XL
What’s better than a regular-sized gaming mouse pad? Giant-sized gaming mouse mats! In fact, two new ultra-sized gaming mouse mats from Razer, the Strider Chroma and Goliathus Chroma 3XL, are now both available in the Philippines.
The warp-and-water resistant Strider Chroma measures 900mm by 370mm and is 4mm thick. It is the world’s first hybrid soft/hard gaming mouse which come with 19 customizable lighting zones.
For an even larger mat that can cover an entire desk, the Goliathus Chroma 3XL measures a massive 1200mm by 550mm and is 3.5mm thick.
This soft mat is ideal for gamers who use lower DPI, or need to cover more ground while moving their mouse.
The two new accessories come with non-slip bases and are powered by Razer Chroma RGB to provide dynamic lighting effects while in-game.
Steam will support Joy-Cons soon
Plus other Nintendo controllers
For how much they cost, the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons could certainly see more use outside of console exclusivity. Thankfully, developers are finding new ways to use controllers for other applications. If you want to get more use out of your Joy-Cons, Steam is working on compatibility for the Switch controllers.
In a new Steam beta test, Valve released support for Joy-Cons and other Nintendo controllers. As you can do with a Switch, players will soon be able to use either just one Joy-Con or both as a pair. However, since it’s in beta, individual games have not announced support specifically for the Joy-Con.
If anything, connecting the Joy-Con through Steam should be relatively easy. The gaming hub already offers plug-and-play support for most controllers available in the market. Of course, better support means that developers (and fans) can tailor settings depending on controller.
With the number of third-party games on the Switch, it’s believable that there are Switch players who are making first-time transitions to PC gaming. In that case, allowing Joy-Cons into PC gaming — albeit not the best controller for such — will prove a necessary jumping point.
Besides Steam, Apple is also working on support for the Switch controllers, adding new life to the tiny pair. As for Steam, however, Joy-Con support should officially come soon after the beta test.
SEE ALSO: iOS 16 will support Nintendo Joy-Cons
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