The Game Developers Choice Award has revealed its nominees across ten categories, with Super Mario Odyssey, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and Nier: Automata joining Breath of the Wild and Horizon Zero Dawn in contention for Game of the Year.
Illustrating how crucial good design is to the videogame experience, the Game Developers Choice Awards has put forward a like-for-like matchup in its Best Design and overall Game of the Year categories ahead of a ceremony on March 21, 2018.
Nintendo Switch title The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and PlayStation 4 release Horizon Zero Dawn will both enter awards evening on six nominations each, and joining the two open world epics in the Game of the Year category are three more of 2017's most talked-about and highest-rated debuts.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds picked up a third nomination for Innovation, having delivered an intensively refined iteration on its designer's Battle Royale concept.
A third Nier: Automata nod came in the Audio category, having been well praised for its soundtrack courtesy of composer Keiichi Okabe, his band, and guests; the fifth Game of the Year and Best Design nominee was Super Mario Odyssey.
Vintage cartoon-style action game Cuphead also accrued three nominations, though missed out on Game of the Year, becoming one of the prestige category's honourable mentions instead.
Instead, it finds itself a potential winner in both Visual Art and Audio, while development team StudioMDHR is in the running for Best Debut.
Likewise, another long-awaited 2D title Night in the Woods also received three category nominations, this time for Visual Art and Narrative as well as that studio debut trophy.
Among those receiving an honourable mention for Game of the Year was Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, at once a Viking, Celtic and fantasy-themed action game as well as a nuanced exploration of trauma and mental health disorders, and immersive 3D stereo sound cues.
See also Goroga, fellow GOTY honouree, clever puzzle game, wordless journey, and sumptuous yet contained visual experience.
Both Hellblade and Goroga were among the more popular GDCA nominees, picking up six combined nominations and honourable mentions each.
What Remains of Edith Finch and Persona 5 both garnered four, while elsewhere among the GDCA's named entrants and honourees were the likes of Divinity: Original Sin 2, Tacoma, Wolfenstein II, and Assassin's Creed Origins, among others.
Best Mobile Game welcomed swipe-based regency sim and satire Reigns: Her Majesty, observational amusement Hidden Folks, Escheresque puzzle Monument Valley 2, moving mobile companion and refugee's story Bury Me, My Love, and Jason Roberts' Gorogoa. — AFP Relaxnews