Who or what will win at this year’s Golden Joysticks?
the team debate this month’s burning issue
BEST STORYTELLING SHOULD GO TO NAUGHTY DOG’S UNCHARTED: THE LOST LEGACY.
We should be acclimatised to Naughty Dog’s brand of Hollywood scripting by now, but The Lost Legacy offered a more subdued take on familiar banter. The two female leads bicker and squabble, laugh and sacrifice as their friendship slowly builds. For all the epic bombast and exotic visuals, the growing friendship doesn’t get overwhelmed. It’s there centre stage for us to love. It’s subtle, quiet even, compared to past Uncharteds – Frazer becomes Chloe as cold surnames make way for a believable friendship. Even the final Bechdelbaiting cameo doesn’t hold the duo back.
THERE COULDN’T BE A BROADER RANGE OF STYLES IN THE BEST VISUAL DESIGN CATEGORY THIS YEAR.
GNOG’s eye-meltingly vibrant dioramas, Horizon Zero Dawn’s 4K ‘dino-rama’, and Little Nightmares’ grotesquely realised residents of the Maw: all worthy candidates in a strongly contested category, but for me, Dishonored 2 is a clear winner. A game that is at once beautfiful, and at the same time ugly and sinister. The character styling has the same quality, with Karnaca’s inhabitants looking like they’ve been hewn from stone, with a heft to match, but at the same time graceful to watch. Played on a PS4 Pro on a 4K TV, it’s an incredibly realised world.
WHAT’S THIS YEAR’S BEST PLAYSTATION GAME? SORRY ALOY, BUT I HAVE TO GO FOR A DIFFERENT UNDERDOG.
While my head says Aloy’s fantastic robo-dino hunting exploits should win, my heart is chirping for the birdies and bright colours of Everybody’s Golf. One is an original IP that deftly crafts an original post-apocalypse world that’s a joy to explore. The other is a joyously mad golf game that is time-gobbingly addictive and has the best character creator of the year. So, yes, Horizon deserves to sweep this category, and it’s undoubtedly the better game, but smashing my first hole-in-one in Everybody’s Golf felt so good – and for that alone, it gets my vote.
IF HELLBLADE DOESN’T GET AT LEAST TWO AWARDS, I’LL BE SHOCKED.
I think Horizon Zero Dawn will take the PlayStation Game Of The Year gong and more besides. That said, another wild woman should ensure 2017 isn’t completely Aloy’s year, because Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is nominated in the Best Audio and Best Gaming Performance (Melina Juergens as Senua) categories. If those disturbing voices and that astonishing portrayal of psychosis don’t get awards, I’ll be surprised. The only possible obstacle for Juergens? She’s up against Nathan Fillion for his performance in Destiny 2. But Senua’s dealt with worse. Cayde-6, no loot for you this year.
IAN DEAN EDITOR MILFORD COPPOCK MANAGING ART EDITOR BEN TYRER GAMES EDITOR MIRIAM MCDONALD OPERATIONS EDITOR