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Game of the Year Awards 2019

We celebrate the final year of the decade with some great games

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Introduction  |  Presentation Awards  |  Gameplay Awards  |  Genre Awards  |  GOTY

Best PC Exclusive
Best PC Game 2019 Disco Elysium winner badge Disco Elysium

"In many ways, Disco Elysium feels like the game the cRPG genre needed. It's been nice to see the genre return and while I can get tired of reading endless paragraphs and made-up history, I do love clicking through trees of dialogue, getting to know a character. The nature of this genre plays to the strengths of a detective story, allowing you to interact with the world through specific clues and conversations. And ZA/UM has taken it a step further by building a whole skill system to help explain how you interact with the world. It's a smart idea, but it'd be nothing without the wonderful characters and intriguing mystery that propels you through the game." - Josh Hinke

Honorable Mentions: Anno 1800, Total War: Three Kingdoms, Imperator: Rome

 

Best PlayStation 4 Console Exclusive
Best PS4 Console Exclusive 2019 Yakuza Judgment winner badge Judgment

"The story is one of the stronger showings, if you compare it to the back catalogue of the studio's other titles. It sets itself up like episodes of a TV show with an underlying thread - the capture of the Mole - running through. Despite being a spinoff game that reuses locations, it manages to elevate itself through great acting, gameplay, and improved mechanics. The city sandbox is as grimy and vividly realized as ever. Brutal combat, tons of side quests, and dozens of opportunities to distract yourself means you can easily waste dozens of hours in Judgment." - Peter Ingham

Honorable Mentions: MLB The Show 19, Days Gone, Death Stranding

 

Best Xbox One Console Exclusive
Best Xbox One Console Exclusive 2019 Gears 5 winner badge Gears 5

"Gears 5 offers a familiar action experience that should satisfy fans who gravitate towards its expanded multiplayer options. There's a wealth of modes and unlockables to strive for. Whether you want to play cooperatively or competitively, there's tons to do here. The game looks sharp on the Xbox One X at 1080p. The textures and visual effects offer a good amount of detail, and the framerate holds steady across all solo and multiplayer modes. Levels have a nice variety to their color palettes and lots of minute touches to bring life and authenticity to the world." - Alex V

Honorable Mentions: Uncontested

 

Best Switch Console Exclusive
Best Nintendo Switch Exclusive 2019 Astral Chain winner badge Astral Chain

"Astral Chain successfully combines great action, exploration, and puzzles together with a strong narrative. It's a yet another success for PlatinumGames, and for Nintendo as a Switch exclusive. It has great action that's not only fun to play, but also incredibly original. Equally enthralling is the narrative, despite its anime sensibilities. The RPG elements are successfully implemented as well, helping each of the Legions feel versatile and individual. Adopting a slightly cel-shaded look helps Astral Chain look quite good on the Nintendo Switch without pushing the console's technical boundaries." - Alex V

Honorable Mentions: Pokemon Sword and Shield, Luigi's Mansion 3, Tetris 99

 

Best New IP
Best New IP 2019 Control winner badge Control

"Control succeeds through dynamic combat, captivating characters, and slick pacing. The strange world inside the Oldest House has secrets, powerful items, and a broad range of enemies to fight off. Supernatural abilities, paired with a versatile service weapon, offer truly great action in environments that crumble gloriously. With tight control of the player's experience and imposing visuals, the overall quality comes within shouting distance of the Max Payne series." - Ben Thomas

Honorable Mentions: The Outer Worlds, A Plague Tale: Innocence, Astral Chain

 

Most Improved Sequel
Most Improved Sequel 2019 Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince winner badge Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince

"Developer Frozenbyte had issues with the development cycle on the third iteration, and, following the muted reception to the last entry, the future of Trine appeared to be in jeopardy. After a handful of new IPs, however, the studio decided to return to their platforming franchise. The extended four-year break may have been for the best, though. In the wake of the weak third entry, Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is a return to form for the franchise. The puzzles require creative thinking, but are far from challenging, and the level design is superb." - Eric Hall

Honorable Mentions: Gears 5, Devil May Cry 5, Need for Speed Heat

 

Best Original Gameplay Design
Best Original Gameplay Design 2019 Hunt: Showdown winner badge Hunt: Showdown

"Hunt: Showdown is an undeniably solid multiplayer experience that succeeds at feeling unique. Its fast and lethal PvP encounters might prove too much for some, and the content is on the thin side relative to the price, but what is here is fairly polished and offers a good amount of exiting action and tense standoffs. Those who enjoy the high stakes encounters of battle royale or DayZ-like games, but also like the idea of some PvE and a deep progression system to go along with them, should definitely give Hunt: Showdown a look." - Tim Reid

Honorable Mentions: Death Stranding, A Plague Tale: Innocence, They Are Billions

 

Best Singleplayer
Best singleplayer 2019 Metro Exodus winner badge Metro Exodus

"The twenty or so hour campaign is very well paced, with a solid cast of characters and a compelling narrative that ends in one of the most memorable final missions I've ever experienced. The mix of action, stealth, scavenging and set-pieces returns from previous games, and though most of it will feel fairly familiar to series veterans, everything has been improved. The biggest addition to Exodus is the inclusion of a few much larger open areas with a number of locations you can explore that aren't tied to the main story. Though the game is by no means an open world, you'll go through some levels that are far larger and more freeform than anything the series has seen previously." - Tim Reid

Honorable Mentions: A Plague Tale: Innocence, Resident Evil 2 (2019), The Outer Worlds

 

Best Multiplayer
Best Multiplayer 2019 Apex Legends winner badge Apex Legends

"Kings Canyon is a suitably large area for the 60 player (20 squad) setup and it looks great. Like other Battle Royale games, players begin in a dropship and can land anywhere they can reach via gliding. From the beginning, Apex defines itself, as one player is designated the “Jumpmaster” and has full control over where the squad lands. Movement and gunplay is also exceptional. Many of the guns are replicas of those from the Titanfall games, albeit with balance tweaks, and they offer great punch without being unwieldy. Apex Legends is free, which is fantastic. Seriously, go play it now. There is tremendous value in the base game and you'll acquire some cosmetics by levelling up at a decent pace." - Ben Thomas

Honorable Mentions: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Hunt: Showdown, Borderlands 3

 

Best Gameplay
Best gameplay 2019 Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice winner badge Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

"Sekiro's combat is a master class in game design. Enemy encounters are quick, tense, and endlessly satisfying. From Software has a firm grasp on a combat system's ideal rhythm, flow, and feel. Its small blemishes do little to taint the excellent combat and tight traversal that most of the game is composed of. Seeing it through to the end is an exercise in patience, quick reflexes, and persistence; but each defeated boss along the way provides a tremendously cathartic endcap to each of the game's astounding locales. Sekiro's relative simplicity is a departure for From Software, but the streamlined systems allow you to spend most of your time on the remarkably fun part: running around as a nimble ninja and stabbing some bad guys." - Christian Kobza

Honorable Mentions: Borderlands 3, Resident Evil 2 (2019), Control

 

Even more award winners on the next page!

 

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