Who or what will win at this year’s Golden Joy­sticks?

the team de­bate this month’s burn­ing is­sue

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - THE BIG 10 -

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

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