2021 has been a great year for video games thanks to releases like Metroid Dread, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, and the indie titles that have once again shown how original and well-executed ideas can be groundbreaking and spectacular. A great example is It Takes Two from Josef Fares and Inscryption by Daniel Mullins. The Game Awards returns once again in 2021 on December 10 to celebrate video game culture and to award the best titles of the year. Winners are selected by a jury form by more than 100 media publications and influencer outlets.
The event created and hosted by journalist Geoff Keighley returns with a live in-person ceremony at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles where the best video games of the year will be the protagonists. As usual, the event will feature new announcements and trailers for world premieres of upcoming games. In fact, Keighley has promised that "there are four or five" reveals on the scale of Elden Ring. Besides announcements, there will be musical performances and celebrities and the event will be live streamed for free on the internet through social media and gaming platforms to reach fans all around the world.
Last year, The Last of Us Part II was the big winner of the night with 7 awards including the desired Game of The Year (GOTY). This year, Deathloop (9), Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (6), It Takes Two (5), and Psychonauts 2 (5) lead the nominations.
See the full list of nominees for The Game Awards 2021 for the 35 categories and the Game of the Year 2021 contenders below:
Game of the Year (GOTY)
The main category will be a tough competition once again and there are no clear favorites.
There are solid titles like Deathloop. The FPS (developed by Arkane) that create a grappling loop through great storytelling. The story takes place in the form of a puzzle with gunplay, stealth, skills and gadgets that offer players an outstanding experience.
It Takes Two is the confirmation of Josef Fares as a top-tier developer (despite A Way Out and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons were very notable works), showing how an indie title (despite being under the umbrella of EA) can contest the GOTY. Its witty and hilarious script and well-implemented original gameplay mechanics make the game feel fresh. Additionally, the game is enhanced by the use of a co-op mechanic, which is often forgotten in this industry.
Metroid Dread created by Spanish developer Mercury Steam is a perfect example of how to bring back a Metroid 2D side-scrolling game. It's done so skillfully to remind the game industry why the Metroidvania subgenre got an origin in this franchise.
Double Fine is one of those unique developer studios that deserve this kind of recognition after creating Psychonauts 2. A stylish, recognizable, and brilliantly designed unique game that came out of the mind of the master Tim Schafer. The game feels like playing a classic platform-adventure title but with a quirky style thanks to its psychic-themed world.
Talking about Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart means talking about how Insomniac Games is a studio able to develop rock-solid games. The title, one of the few PS5 exclusives during 2021, is the perfect example of how to continue a well-established franchise, but by polishing and enhancing all its elements. Visually it is one of those games where users can't stop looking at every detail and particle on the screen.
Resident Evil Village completes the podium of contenders to the GOTY 2021. The last installment on the famous zombie franchise was well received despite the fact that the developers decided to change the elements that worked so well in the two most successful recent titles of the series, Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil 2 Remake (the horror and the survival horror atmospheres). They put faith in new elements like the inclusion of werewolves and made the shift towards a more action-oriented game. Village still has great features such as the whole design of Castle Dimitrescu.
Best Game Direction
Best Debut Indie
Best Art Direction
Best Score and Music
Best Audio Design
Games for Impact
Best Community Support
Best Mobile Game, Presented by Verizon
Best Role Playing
Most Anticipated, Presented by Prime Gaming
Innovation in Accessibility, Presented by Chevrolet