The Game Awards: A celebration of excellence in video games

The nominees for The Game Awards 2019 were recently announced, with 29 awards set to be presented this year.

The Game Awards is an annual award ceremony that honours achievements in the video game industry, with the next edition set to take place on December 12 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

In addition to the awards themselves, the yearly show is also known for featuring premieres of new games. According to The Game Awards website, nominees for most categories are chosen by an international jury of over 80 global media and influencer outlets, selected for their history of critical evaluation of video games.

Each voting outlet completes a confidential, unranked ballot based on the diverse opinion of its entire editorial staff, listing out its top five choices in each category.

Ballots are tabulated, and the five games that appear on the most ballots are put forth as nominees.

In the event of a tie, six (or more) nominees will be announced in a category. Winners are determined by a blended vote between the voting jury (90 per cent) and public fan voting (10 per cent).

One of the awards to be presented is Game of the Year, which recognises a game that delivers the absolute best experience across all creative and technical fields.

This year's nominees for the top prize are:

  • Control
  • Death Stranding 
  • Resident Evil 2
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  • Super Smash Bros Ultimate
  • The Outer Worlds

Developed by Remedy Entertainment, third-person action-adventure Control sees players take on the role of Jesse Faden, the new Director of a secret United States (US) government agency tasked with containing and studying phenomena that violate the laws of reality.

In addition to Game of the Year, Control is also nominated for:

  • Best Action/Adventure Game
  • Best Art Direction
  • Best Audio Design
  • Best Game Direction
  • Best Narrative
  • Best Performance

Meanwhile, the latest creation by renowned game director Hideo Kojima, Death Stranding, is set in the apocalyptic US and features a star-studded cast that includes Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, LeaSeydoux, Margaret Qualley, Troy Baker, Tommie Earl Jenkins and Lindsay Wagner, to name a few. Players assume the role of a courier named Sam Bridges (played by Reedus), who is tasked with delivering supplies to fractured and isolated colonies and reconnecting them.

In addition to Game of the Year, Death Stranding also has nominations for Best Action Adventure; Best Art Direction; Best Audio Design; Best Game Direction; Best Narrative; Best Performance; and Best Score & Music.

Capcom's Resident Evil 2 is a remake of the 1998 survival horror classic of the same name. Set in the fictional Raccoon City during a zombie apocalypse, the game sees players take on the roles of two protagonists - rookie police officer Leon Kennedy and college student Claire Redfield - as they attempt to escape the city.

Resident Evil 2 is also nominated for Best Audio Design and Best Game Direction.

Another Game of the Year contender is an action-adventure Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Developed by FromSoftware, Sekiro set during a fictionalised and magical version of the Sengoku Period in Japan, the game centres on Wolf, a shinobi on a quest for revenge.

The game is also nominated for Best Action/Adventure Game; Best Art Direction; Best Audio Design; and Best Game Direction.

Meanwhile, fighting game Super Smash Bros Ultimate is the fifth instalment of the ever-popular Super Smash Bros series, and sees players do battle by taking control one of a multitude of characters from a roster ranging from Nintendo mascots to characters from third-party franchises.

Ultimate also has also been nominated for Best Family Game and Best Fighting Game.

The final nominee for Game of the Year is sci-fi role-playing game The Outer Worlds.

Developed by Obsidian Entertainment, the game is set in the year 2355 in an alternate future and sees players create a character, lead a crew of companions and explore settlements, space stations and other diverse locations in the Halcyon colony.

The Outer Worlds also has nominations in the categories of Best Narrative; Best Performance; and Best Role-Playing Game.

In addition to Game of the Year, there are 28 award categories, ranging from awards that focus on achievements and excellence in various genres and aspects of video games as well as people involved with them, ranging from performers and actors to content creators, Esports teams, players and coaches.

Sharing his thoughts on this year's nominations, one local gamer, Faruq, said, "Death Stranding deserves a win hands down. I've spent over 50 hours playing the game and fell in love with the art style, storyline and game mechanics. It's a weird and wonderful masterpiece. This year's Game of the Year line up is definitely a good choice, but I personally look forward to Death Stranding taking the top prize."

Another local video game enthusiast, Hadi, also shared his thoughts on the nominations, saying, "I think Death Stranding will win something. The game looks amazing graphically and it has that Kojima magic. The game has technically birthed a new genre."

He also spoke on first-person shooter Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which is nominated for Best Action Game, Best Audio Design and Best Multi-player Game. "I think it is likely to win the award for Best Action Game. The single-player campaign is amazing and evokes something akin to watching a movie."

Adding on, he said, "I'm looking forward to the live song medley at The Game Awards. That's something to look forward to at each year's show."