Believe it or not, but 2020 is almost over! The longest year of all time is on its last legs and the sacred ritual of The Game Awards is almost upon us. Despite the horrors and chaos of the year, it has been a superb time for video-games. Frankly, for their service during the many lockdowns and quarantines, the medium deserves a Nobel Prize for humanitarian aid.

A dog meet dog world

Geoff Keighley announced the Game of the Year nominees yesterday and they are a brilliantly eclectic bunch. At odds with the action-packed line-up is Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Released around the beginning of major lockdowns this cosy island life simulator was no doubt a source of great relief this year. One of Nintendo’s biggest games on the Switch so far, this has been a smashing success for the house of Mario.

Two from Hell

Released the same day as New Horizons fellow nominee DOOM: Eternal offered a very different type of escapism. Relentless demon slaughter at a breakneck pace! In the year that hell came to Earth, it was a delight to travel to heaven and hell with the Doomslayer on his bogus journey. Rip and tear indeed.

Supergiant Games are no stranger to praise but Hades has had nothing but platitudes since its recent release. An isometric rogue-like about escaping the Greek underworld with snappy, dynamic action and a classy wit. Most importantly to its fans on Twitter, however: the entire cast is extremely hot. Surely that’s reason enough for victory here?

Cloud with a silver lining

After a ludicrous wait, the Final Fantasy VII Remake released in April. Though many were delighted with the updated gameplay and presentation the controversial story changes and episodic release plan are still being debated to this day. Regardless it’s a confident, slick re-imagining that is exciting to old fans and newcomers alike.

Sony’s Pretty Revenge Simulators

After a strangely subdued marketing campaign Ghost of Tsushima surprised players by being a very tight, beautiful looking game with an excellently paced story. Although it falls into open-world game pitfalls the presentation triumphs over these shortfalls. If 2020 needed a cure then Jin was the tonic.

Finally awards darlings Naughty Dog are nominated for The Last of Us: Part II. Arguably the most controversial game on this list, it garnered both good faith and bad faith criticism whilst also being a critical darling among professional critics. One has to wonder if a game about human depravity in the aftermath of a pandemic released at the wrong time? Either way, Naughty Dog’s attention to detail is stunning as ever, a great swansong for a console generation.

And that’s it for 2020’s nominees! What a handsome assembly. Personally, I’m rooting for Animal Crossing. I can’t think of a game that was more of a comfort to me this year and I think it would be lovely to show some love to non-violent title. Can’t see that happening though! What would you like to see win? Comment and let us know!

The Game Awards will be streamed on the 10th of December.

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About The Author

Niall Glynn has been playing video games since he first realised that Mario could go INSIDE a pyramid on the N64. In-between his day job and sleeping you can find him watching poorly dubbed kung-fu movies and/or playing weird games on his Switch. Thinks Return of the Jedi is the best Star Wars and is colour-blind.

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