It’s The Game Awards time, so that can only mean one thing: discourse. That’s right, ‘tis the season to argue with strangers online, and shill for your favourite game of 2022 to the death. Thankfully, this year’s nominations definitely delivered on that front, with few happy with the nominations for this year’s award show.
So this week, we get the ball rolling on what will probably be a whole month of arguments – what was the biggest snub at The Game Awards this year?
Sonic Frontiers, Best Score And Music
Rhiannon Bevan, News Editor
Look, Sonic Frontiers is the most 7/10 game to ever exists. I’m totally fine with it not making the Game of the Year nominations, or even a runner-up for best adventure game. But not nominating it for best score and music is a huge oversight. This is the best soundtrack in the series since Mania, and far more varied. Whether it’s the hard-hitting Vandalize, the 2000s-inspired Undefeatable, or upbeat pop songs like Sky Sanctuary, Sonic Team threw all it had into Frontiers’ soundtrack, giving us hit after hit full of energy and personality. Even up against contenders like Metal: Hellsinger and God of War Ragnarok, Sonic Frontiers could have – and should have – given them a run for their money.
We Are OFK, Best Score And Music
George Foster, Lead News Editor
There are a few different categories that We Are OFK was snubbed from that I could write about, but by far the biggest one is Best Music. There are some wonderful picks in this category don’t get me wrong, but music is such a core part of what We Are OFK does right that it’s an incredibly strange omission.
We Are OFK is primarily a story-focused game about everything that happens around music, like the individual lives of its band members that focusing on just the music almost feels like missing the point, but the songs in We Are OFK are all simply fantastic. There are only five of them, but “Follow/Unfollow” and “thanks” have been on my Spotify replay ever since the game first came out. In fact, I’m gonna go listen to them again.
Citizen Sleeper, Best Indie
James Troughton, Cross-Department Editor
There’s a bittersweet melancholy to exploring Citizen Sleeper’s vast space city, uncovering mysteries as you toil away, making just enough to survive. Finding the time to fit questing into the daily routine alongside the mundane makes picking and choosing who you help and who you abandon feel far more impactful, but it also incentivises replays where you can try to optimise your run, or walk down completely different paths. It’s an incredibly complex, well-written, and well-woven story that evokes such strong imagery with dialogue alone, that it deserves best indie at the very least.
Kirby And The Forgotten Land, Best Art Direction/Best Music
Branden Lizardi, Evergreen Editor
The Kirby franchise has always found that line between risk-taking and keeping what works. 3D shift aside, Kirby And The Forgotten Land followed this trend with arguably the most important aspect of a game’s identity: the style. It’s fun and colorful, a good time, even as the game gets weirder and more nightmarish. But now there’s a new post-apocalyptic twist, with a more modern take on the music. Whether it’s the colors, the models, or the music, Forgotten Lands finds that perfect blend of classic Kirby and a fresh coat of paint to deliver a unique yet familiar experience that doesn’t dilute. Will you see Kirby in the Best Art Direction section or the Best Score and Music list? No, it’s over at the Best Family Game table.
Gibbon: Beyond The Trees, Games For Impact
Lu-Hai Liang, News Editor
I found Gibbon: Beyond the Trees a wonderfully thoughtful experience. The iOS, PC, and Switch title beautifully realises its message through its gameplay as you become a gibbon swinging through the trees as it gets progressively harder as the rainforest begins to get cut down. The visuals, audio and music (with the sounds of the jungle), and presentation are all crafted by an indie developer based in Vienna, Austria. Broken Rules did a great job with Gibbon and deserved to get a nod.
Ghostwire: Tokyo, Anything
Stacey Henley, Editor-in-Chief
Zero nominations for one of this year’s more interesting triple-A offerings is astounding when Horizon and Stray are pulling 13 noms between them. Did it launch too early? Was it too short? Is horror too niche? Do people simply have bad taste? While not a complete revolution, it felt fresh in a way few games this year have. Even if Game of the Year was a bridge too far, which it shouldn’t have been, Best Sound Design, Best Art Direction, and Best Action/Adventure are weaker for the lack of Ghostwire. While we’re here, GOTY being just Best Action/Adventure Oh And Plague Tale while a game as original, spectacular, and critically acclaimed as Immortality sits on the bench is a damning indictment of how willingly we swallow prestige bullshit.
Next: Call Of Duty Zombies Needs To Go Standalone
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