What just happened? This year's annual Game Awards event has finally come to a close, and it was quite the spectacle. It had plenty of jaw-dropping music performances, exciting new game announcements, and, of course, the unveiling of Microsoft's next-gen Xbox Series X console. However, at its core, TGA is still an awards show intended to offer recognition to the best games and developers in the industry.
This year, there were plenty of these awards to go around, and most of them were very well-deserved. The fantastic and trippy cop RPG Disco Elysium took home four high-profile awards (more than any other game), including Best Fresh Indie Game (a title from a new studio, if you're unsure what that means), Best Independent Game, Best Roleplaying Game, and Best Narrative.
While I've played Disco quite a bit myself and feel it easily earned these accolades, it was a bit surprising to see it do so well. It's a niche title at best, and few gamers are aware of its existence; particularly compared to higher-profile experiences like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Death Stranding. Regardless, it was nice to see a smaller studio win big this year.
Speaking of Death Stranding, it managed to snag the awards for Best Game Direction, Best Performance (by Mads Mikkelsen, of Hannibal fame), and Best Score & Music, none of which come as a surprise. Given Hideo Kojima's role on the project, it was virtually a guarantee that Death Stranding would feature high-quality acting and a top-notch soundtrack.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, on the other hand, grabbed arguably the most important award of them all: Game of the Year. The action-adventure game from Dark Souls creator From Software is widely considered one of the hardest, most punishing games on the market, but also one of the most satisfying to play.
Its combat is impactful and skill-based, and its added gameplay elements – such as stealth and verticality – shook up the standard Dark Souls boss rush formula in interesting new ways. It seems these changes and additions worked out for the best in the end, as Sekiro has gone on to receive not just this year's GOTY award, but also rave reviews from critics and users alike.
Sekiro also won the award for the Best Action/Adventure game of 2019, and it had some pretty tough competition in this category: Control, Death Stranding, Borderlands 3, Resident Evil 2, and even The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening were all vying for the spot.
Obviously, there were plenty of other miscellaneous awards handed out during The Game Awards – such as best eSports team, coach, etc. – but we wanted to cover some of the most notable ones in this piece.
We look forward to seeing what 2020 brings us in the realm of gaming, but in the meantime, we'd love to hear your thoughts on this year's Game Award winners. Have you played any of the games mentioned in this article? Do you think a different title should have earned one or more of these awards? Let us know in the comments.