Game8's Reviews of The Game Awards Nominees

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The Game Awards is just a few winks away, and Game8 is here to present an overview of our reviews of these games. Read on to find out how these games measured up to their awards.

The Game Awards Nominees - Overview

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The Game Awards 2023’s lineup of nominees are some of the gaming industry’s best and finest of the year. Though there were some controversial choices, many of them have proven themselves through the judgment of both critics and players alike, and some simply stand out as groundbreaking games that shook the industry.

Game8 stands to view games undeterred by the opinions of the public. Here are our takes on some of The Game Award 2023’s nominees over the year, listed by number of nominations received.

Starfield - 60/100

Total Nominations - 1
Checkmark Best RPG

Starfield is Bethesda’s latest open-world RPG set in the vast expanse of space. While the game promised to be the next big thing, it fell short of these expectations due to several issues like an unsatisfying main story, non-immersive exploration, and a middling soundtrack.

Sonic Superstars - 62/100

Total Nominations - 1
Checkmark Best Family

Sonic Superstars is a visually appealing modern take on the classic Sonic games. It features a multiplayer mode, allowing you to play with multiple people in one sitting. However, it seems like they’re designed to keep you dead in your tracks and counterproductive to the player wanting to go fast.

Remnant 2 - 80/100

Total Nominations - 1
Checkmark Best Action Game

Remnant 2 improves upon the previous game’s mechanics and doubles down on its fantastic gameplay. It has spectacular gunplay, great visuals, and an expansive pool of procedurally generated levels. It offers endless replayability and tons of fun as you play through this souls-like third-person shooter.

Pocket Bravery - 68/100

Total Nominations - 1
Checkmark Best Fighting

Pocket Bravery is a fighting game made by passionate people who are not afraid to show it. It’s a unique take on the classic fighting game mechanics and modernizing them to its current release. It has multiple single-player modes and an expansive story mode that will keep you busy. It has some misses in terms of iconic soundtracks and more captivating characters, but it is interesting enough to be a great entry point for fighting games.

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 - 84/100

Total Nominations - 1
Checkmark Best Fighting

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 improved upon the previous game and returned as a fantastic platform fighter. While it's tough to take down Smash Bros, the original and pinnacle of platform fighters, it now stands as one of the greats, alongside Brawlhalla and others in the genre, and can showcase each character’s unique traits and strengths.

Honkai Star Rail - 78/100

Total Nominations - 1
Checkmark Best Mobile Game

Honkai Star Rail has proven to be one of Mihoyo’s best in the gacha sphere, even in a landscape where Mihoyo already has a strong stranglehold. With colorful character designs, captivating stories and sequences, and great worldbuilding, it shows Mihoyo’s ability to make narrative-centric games without losing too much quality. It’s only really held back by the lower rates of pulling characters but is otherwise ready to be admitted as this year’s best mobile game.

Ghostrunner 2 - 82/100

Total Nominations - 1
Checkmark Best Action

Ghostrunner 2 is a fast-paced first-person platformer that is hellbent on testing your skill and creativity for movement and combat. Similar to Hotline Miami and Katana Zero, it's a game where everything dies in one hit. It’s challenging, for sure, but it’s a whole lot of fun, especially once things start to click for you.

Fire Emblem: Engage - 76/100

Total Nominations - 1
Checkmark Best Sim/Strategy

Fire Emblem: Engage features some of the best strategy gameplay in the franchise so far. Its unique "Engage" mechanic brings more depth to an already engaging game. It does have some issues with its lackluster story and generic characters, but it’s still a great entry point for players who want to get into the series.

Dead Space (2023) - 84/100

Total Nominations - 1
Checkmark Best Audio Design

Dead Space (2023) is a terrifying remake of the original 2008 action horror game. It enhances the game experience by modernizing the graphics, improving quality-of-life features, and providing the same thrilling gameplay we’re familiar with. It’s a truly immersive and horrifying experience that cements this game as one of the better remakes of the year.

DAVE THE DIVER - 84/100

Total Nominations - 1
Checkmark Best Indie Game

DAVE THE DIVER shows off its great gameplay with underwater exploration and restaurant management. It has incredible visuals and a vibrant soundtrack that will keep you wanting to explore the deep ocean. While the story could be a bit better, it still offers a ton of replayability that will keep you entertained.

Cities: Skylines 2 - 78/100

Total Nominations - 1
Checkmark Best Sim/Strategy

Cities: Skylines 2 builds upon its predecessor’s solid foundations and innovates and enhances them. With stunning visuals, fantastic audio, and an addicting gameplay loop, its performance is the only thing holding it back, which even lagged even on more powerful gaming setups.

Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon - 86/100

Total Nominations - 1
Checkmark Best Action

Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon is the franchise’s return after a long period of no releases.
It combines elements from previous games and amazing quality-of-life improvements to prove its identity as one of the best mecha games out there.

A Space for the Unbound - 94/100

Total Nominations - 1
Checkmark Games for Impact

A Space for the Unbound features an exceptional narrative story providing raw depictions of societal issues. Coupled with vivid visuals and great music, the game will make a lasting impression on you.

Viewfinder - 90/100

Total Nominations - 1
Checkmark Best Indie Game

Viewfinder is an amazing, mind-bending game that tests your puzzle-solving skills. With breathtaking visuals and a fantastic soundtrack, it tackles the theme of climate change and taking care of the environment in a unique way.

Pikmin 4 - 90/100

Total Nominations - 2
Checkmark Best Family
Checkmark Best Sim/Strategy

Pikmin 4 perfectly balances difficulty and accessibility with its new gameplay mechanics and familiar Pikmin gameplay. With vibrant environments, thought-provoking puzzles, and various enemies, the game promises a long and enjoyable experience that is sure to be filled with pure joy.

Party Animals - 90/100

Total Nominations - 2
Checkmark Best Family
Checkmark Best Multiplayer

Party Animals has everything you want and need from a party game. With hilariously fun gameplay, cute characters, unique locales, and excellent sound design, it promises that all parties and get-togethers are better every time. It’s a must-have for every group willing to throw down to have fun.

Mortal Kombat 1 - 74/100

Total Nominations - 2
Checkmark Best Fighting Game
Checkmark Best Innovation in Accessibility

Mortal Kombat 1 offers a fresh reboot to the historic fighting game franchise through its massive lore. It provides numerous single-player modes that will keep you entertained and brand-new gameplay mechanics that enhance its depth. With all the different unlockables and cosmetics available in the game, dropping the controller for another fighting game will take a while.

Lies of P - 84/100

Total Nominations - 2
Checkmark Innovation in Accessibility
Checkmark Best Fighting

Lies of P is the best souls-like game out there, featuring a fantastic take on Carlo Collodi’s The Adventures of Pinocchio. With spectacular gameplay as a souls-like, beautiful visuals, and excellent sound design, it offers a delightful, well-balanced experience in terms of difficulty and progression.

Forza Motorsport - 86/100

Total Nominations - 2
Checkmark Innovation in Accessibility
Checkmark Best Sports/Racing

Forza Motorsport is one of the best racing simulation games out right now. Showcasing excellent gameplay, visuals, and audio design, it provides players with an incredible experience behind the wheel. With vast customization options and numerous car choices, it’s the perfect game for car connoisseurs and those who just wanna go for a test drive.

Dredge - 96/100

Total Nominations - 2
Checkmark Best Indie Game
Checkmark Best Debut Indie Game

Dredge is a fantastic game, from its horror-mystery story, intensely addicting gameplay, immersive sound design, and atmosphere. It revolves around its addictive fishing mechanics and inventory management, where you have to manage EVERYTHING in the ship, including caught fish, discovered loot, and even passengers on the ship. It shines as a game through its unique identity and shows it off flawlessly.

Diablo 4 - 88/100

Total Nominations - 2
Checkmark Innovation in Accessibility
Checkmark Best Multiplayer

Diablo 4 is one of the franchise’s best games, with a strong plot, well-designed combat, excellent visuals, and sound direction. It offers vast and near-endless replayability with the amount of endgame content that it has.

Cocoon - 94/100

Total Nominations - 2
Checkmark Best Indie Game
Checkmark Best Debut Indie Game

Cocoon is a captivating puzzle game with breathtaking graphics and amazing sound design. It’s a unique and excellent experience that immerses you in a truly psychedelic experience.

Street Fighter 6 - 84/100

Total Nominations - 3
Checkmark Innovation in Accessibility
Checkmark Best Fighting
Checkmark Best Multiplayer

Street Fighter 6 succeeded in many ways. It exceeded its predecessor by a mile in graphics, sound design, and gameplay and even introduced more accessibility options. It’s one of the best fighting games right now, with many single-player modes and amazing connectivity in terms of online gameplay.

Resident Evil 4 Remake - 90/100

Total Nominations - 3
Checkmark Game of the Year
Checkmark Best Audio Design
Checkmark Best Action/Adventure

Resident Evil 4 Remake elevates the original release by capturing the game's original essence and updating it to modern standards. It was already known for being a great game during its time and has come back even better than before, allowing modern-day players to experience its horrors. It’s a remake that you don’t want to miss for its (mostly) faithful adaptation.

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - 88/100

Total Nominations - 3
Checkmark Best Narrative
Checkmark Best Ongoing
Checkmark Best Community Support

Cyberpunk 2077 is quite possibly one of the best comeback stories of the past few years. It redeemed itself from its disastrous initial launch in 2020 and is back to becoming the game CD Projekt Red promised. Phantom Liberty and the 2.0 update improved the gameplay by introducing a better progression and even more amazing spy-thriller narrative with the expansion.

Hi-Fi Rush - 82/100

Total Nominations - 4
Checkmark Best Art Direction
Checkmark Best Score and Music
Checkmark Best Audio Design
Checkmark Innovation in Accessibility

Hi-Fi Rush is a creative and innovative take on the hack-and-slash formula, adding rhythmic action using in-game music. With a fantastic cast of characters and graphics, it’s a must-play for fans of the genre for its unique gameplay.

Final Fantasy XVI - 88/100

Total Nominations - 5
Checkmark Best Narrative
Checkmark Best Score and Music
Checkmark Best Audio Design
Checkmark Best Performance (Ben Starr)
Checkmark Best RPG

Final Fantasy XVI is a different game for the franchise. It took elements from its predecessor and showed off its capability to create an engaging action RPG. Square Enix broke the norm by changing their formula with its latest entry, and it is sure to be something to look forward to moving forward.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - 96/100

Total Nominations - 5
Checkmark Game of the Year
Checkmark Best Game Direction
Checkmark Best Art Direction
Checkmark Best Score and Music
Checkmark Best Action/Adventure

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is an amazing follow-up to its predecessor, Breath of the Wild, and builds upon its original formula. It enhanced an already engaging and innovative gameplay, elevating it to a whole other level. Nintendo came out with many bangers this year, and this game is their number one release.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder - 88/100

Total Nominations - 5
Checkmark Game of the Year
Checkmark Best Game Direction
Checkmark Best Art Direction
Checkmark Best Family
Checkmark Best Multiplayer

Super Mario Bros. Wonder keeps the same 2D Mario formula and proves that Nintendo is one of the best, if not the best, at 2D platformers. It’s able to mix it up with new mechanics like new power-ups, minigames, and more. It’s a game that allows new players and veterans alike to have fun and enjoy the game and is, therefore, a strong nominee for Game of the Year.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 - 88/100

Total Nominations - 6
Checkmark Game of the Year
Checkmark Best Game Direction
Checkmark Best Narrative
Checkmark Best Audio Design
Checkmark Best Performance (Yuri Lowenthal)
Checkmark Best Action/Adventure

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is a spectacular sequel that builds significantly on top of its predecessors. Insomniac was able to capture the magic of being able to move as Spider-Man while being able to tell a compelling story and fast-paced gameplay. The game is one of the best superhero games this year and is a great nominee for Game of the Year.

Alan Wake 2 - 90/100

Total Nominations - 7
Checkmark Game of the Year
Checkmark Best Game Direction
Checkmark Best Narrative
Checkmark Best Art Direction
Checkmark Best Score and Music
Checkmark Best Audio Design
Checkmark Best Action/Adventure

Alan Wake 2 is an action thriller filled with psychological horrors and an immersive atmosphere. It has compelling storytelling that keeps you guessing right until the very end. Alan Wake 2 is a strong nominee as one of the best games of 2023 and solidifies itself as the gold standard of action horror games.

Baldur’s Gate 3 - 90/100

Total Nominations - 7
Checkmark Game of the Year
Checkmark Best Game Direction
Checkmark Best Narrative
Checkmark Best Score and Music
Checkmark Best Performance (Neil Newbon)
Checkmark Best Community Support
Checkmark Best RPG

Baldur’s Gate 3 is hands down the best CRPG this year and may be the best choice for Game of the Year. Mixing Dungeons and Dragons mechanics and CRPG elements has allowed players everywhere to experience a tabletop campaign as a video game. This is one for the ages and is rightfully nominated as one of the best games of 2023, with captivating storytelling, intricate gameplay, beautiful music, and more.

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