Check Out Some Of The Surprising Nominees For The 2015 ‘Game Awards’

The Game Awards, the new online awards show that started last year as a replacement for the long-running Spike Video Game Awards, is coming up in three weeks, and thus has officially announced its list of nominees. The old Spike VGAs were pretty bro-tastic, and often a tad embarassing, but The Game Awards aims to be a bit more inclusive and bases its nominees and awards on the votes of well-informed games journalists and industry pros. This year’s list of nominees includes some interesting choices, which clearly weren’t chosen strictly on a “which games made the most money this year?” basis, as nominations for the old Spike show often were.

Here’s a few of the bigger/more interesting categories…

Game of the Year

Fallout 4
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Super Mario Maker
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Can’t argue with any of these nominees, as they’re all top notch games, although I’m very surprised to see Super Mario Maker on the list. I really enjoyed the title, but it definitely stands out amongst the massive RPGs and open-world games that make up the rest of the list. I’m even more surprised that neither Batman: Arkham Knight or Assassin’s Creed Syndicate made the cut.

Best Independent Game

Axiom Verge
Her Story
Ori and the Blind Forest
Rocket League

Some fine choices here. I kind of want Rocket League to win, because in the world of indie gaming, a simple, a fun for fun’s sake multiplayer game is actually the underdog outlier.

Best Narrative

Her Story
Life Is Strange
Tales From The Borderlands
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Until Dawn

Great to see Her Story, the wonderfully constructed game in which you try to piece together a mystery from snippets of a woman’s police interviews, getting a nod for writing. Also, I guess we’ve officially decided the writing in Until Dawn was intentionally dorky? Okay then.

Best Art Direction

Batman: Arkham Knight
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Ori and the Blind Forest
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Hey, they didn’t forget Batman: Arkham Knight existed after all!

Best Performance

Ashly Burch as Chloe Price
Camilla Luddington as Lara Croft
Doug Cockle as Geralt
Mark Hamill as The Joker
Viva Seifert (Her Story)

Refreshing to see that three of the five nominees in this category are women. And Nolan North’s name is nowhere to be seen! Next year, buddy. Camilla Luddington should really get the prize, as she’s been a really important, underrated part of Lara Croft’s successful reinvention.

There’s also some interesting categories showing up for the first time this year, including “eSports Player of the Year” and “Best Fan Creations.” If you want to check out the entire list of nominees, you can do that right here.

The awards show airs live at 9 p.m. ET on December 3 and can be viewed on Twitch, YouTube, Steam and all current-gen consoles.