Team action game Overwatch, already a huge success in commercial terms, has been recognised for its achievements in the craft with three accolades and a Game of the Year title at The Game Awards.
Held on the evening of Dec 1, The Game Awards blended previews and trailers for upcoming games with an award ceremony acknowledging some of the best releases over the previous 12 months.
Launched in May 2016 on Windows PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Overwatch emerged from what had originally been planned as a sci-fi MMO before transforming, after seven years of development, into its current form.
Blizzard Entertainment, built on the successes of its tentpole Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo franchises, then spent two years adding layers of polish to create a competitive, team-based shooter that would reach across unnecessary generational and gender divides.
For its efforts and excellence, Blizzard received the Best Studio or Best Game Direction award, while Overwatch itself was named Game of the Year after clinching both Best Multiplayer Game and Best eSports Game.
Those four wins gave it a comfortable margin over fellow multi-award winners Doom, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Inside and Pokémon Go.
In fact, while Overwatch was nominated for six awards, the only two it didn't win went to Doom and Inside.
Fourth in its series and melding tradition with innovation, Doom won Best Action Game as well as Best Music/Sound Design; small team Playdead received Best Art Direction and Best Independent Game for the unsettling single-player adventure Inside.
PlayStation exclusive Uncharted 4 won Best Narrative while lead actor Nolan North won Best Performance, and mid-year mobile sensation "Pokémon Go" took the Best Mobile/Handheld and Best Family Game categories.
And sci-fi shooter Titanfall 2 should not be overlooked. Though its initial commercial reception might not have met expectations, despite critical praise, it was the fifth nominee for Game of the Year, alongside Overwatch, Doom, Inside and Uncharted 4.
Other winners on the night included That Dragon, Cancer (Games for Impact Award,) Rez Infinite (Virtual Reality), Dishonored 2 (Action-Adventure), The Witcher 3 expansion Blood and Wine (Role-Playing Game), Street Fighter 5 (Fighting), Civilization VI (Strategy) and Forza Horizon 3 (Sports/Racing).
Most anticipated was March 2017's Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and also fans voted Marcelo David (Coldzera) of SK Gaming as Best eSports Player, Cloud 9 as Best eSports Team, and YouTube host Steven Williams (Boogie2988) as Trending Gamer.
Best Fan Creation remained unannounced after Nintendo issued post-nomination takedowns against Pokémon Uranium and Metroid homage Project A2MR, leaving only Brutal Doom 64 and Skyrim mod Endereal the remaining candidates. — AFP Relaxnews
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