Enter the masters of the winding saga. These titles take the player to far off exotic lands, where they can explore, discover and resolve mysteries, usually involving a rubber chicken. Many titles have an element of this category within them, from platformers to text-only games through to fully fledged open worlds, but only the greatest manage to harness the perfect pace of adventure through a game’s unfolding. The Best Adventure award stands out as one of the most richly awarded game accolades, only going to those titles that truly capture our imagination and hold our hands as we journey across the reaches of possibility.
The rise of the sleeping indie beast is continuing unabated, and here we celebrate some of the most creative and forward-thinking talent around, embracing new mechanics, while revitalising the old. These are games developed with a fraction of the budget of the AAA monsters, but are no less enjoyable for it. The indie devs behind them craft personable, unique games that showcase some of the greatest underground talent in the world today.
Indie devs often work their magic under considerable pressure, sometimes holding down full time jobs while ploughing any of their precious time into their own projects. The best of those projects become commercial successes and the best of those are given pride of place in our Best Indie Award category.
Every year the benchmarks for gaming get pushed further and the big hitters in the industry are now at the stage where they have to create entire worlds for a player to roam around in at their own pace. The Best Open World Award nominees are those titles that set those benchmarks.
Developers build breathing worlds for the gamer to skip merrily through, but it is only the best that allow the gamer to bounce along with a rocket launcher in hand and a complete world of possibilities resting on their trigger finger. Mastering this field means keeping the player entertained whenever they want, without railroading them into a story arch they cannot escape, while simultaneously providing them with entertaining, relevant options whenever they so wish. No easy feat, but the year’s nominees manage to walk that ground comfortably.
Sequels are all well and good but there really is nothing that gets the pulses racing than the thought of something entirely new. In the age of sequels these are becoming an increasingly rare treat, but here we celebrate some of the best original games keeping things fresh.
While these don’t have to be from new franchises they are all entirely new series, doing something radically different from what’s gone before.