The 2020 Game Division Awards

The 2020 Game Division Awards
2020 is finally on the home straight. Although the pandemic has forced to modify the big events, such as E3 in Los Angeles, or the GamesCom in Cologne, it has caused slowdowns, and delays, in the development of the various productions expected for this year and, inevitably, has expanded the processes of construction in the assembly lines of the new consoles released last November, the videogame industry has not stopped, strong of the responsibility of having to entertain millions of people stuck at home. There are many productions that have been revealed during the year: new hardware, many titles and some interesting news. In this very crowded year, however, the Game Division team has awarded some commendations to those releases which, for the most diverse reasons, have proved to be truly essential ... here is our 2020 Awards.

The Last Of Us Part 2

In our review of The Last Of Us Part 2, we defined Naughty Dog's latest work as “a perfect forerunner for the new generation PlayStastion, and at the same time a symbol of which it can and must be one of the paths that the video game will have to take in the future. Telling important stories, burdened by a human and current moral weight, capable of giving players memorable and formative experiences ". The Last of Us Part 2, in fact, turned out to be one of the most important games of the just-ended generation of consoles, a title capable of breaking audiences, and critics, into two very distinct factions: those who love it and those who hate it . A production that, regardless of the unobjectionable results in a purely technical field, will continue to be talked about in the years to come for the issues addressed and, above all, for how it has staged them. In short, a game that anyone should try at least once in their videogame journey.

Animal Crossing New Horizons

The highly anticipated chapter for Nintendo Switch of the famous series of the Kyoto Colossus, arrived on the market at a time when the whole world was forced into its home by a pandemic . A coincidence that, willingly or sadly, has made Animal Crossing New Horizons a mass phenomenon and an obvious solution to the desire to "escape" of millions of people. However, the success of the title must not be limited to the current global situation, in our review we defined it as an "ode to relaxed gameplay". The naturalness with which, the new Nintendo production, manages to impose its timing, deliberately, dilated and to offer a constant number of situations designed not to bore the player with a cyclicality of activities that could prove to be redundant, manages to completely center the objective, making Animal Crossing New Horizons one of the exclusives for Nintendo Switch, to be considered essential for owners of the Kyotese flagship.

Doom Eternal

Doom Eternal is, in no uncertain terms, the shooter paradise. In our review we defined it as a new starting point for the genre and a clear candidate for the 2020 Game of the Year. Never an uncertainty, never a doubt, the game id Software and Bethesda convinces and amazes from start to finish, offering to the player dozens of hours of content, evolving the previous chapter into a practically almost perfect product, where gameplay, level design and soundtrack come together in a surprising quality combination. Doom Eternal is an authentic entertainment experience that abandons classic author stories to focus on the real beating heart: the action. Immersing ourselves in a strongly 90's style ... never, really, forgotten.

Hades

Supergiant Games' latest production is an impressive roguelike, capable of captivating any player who decides to try and be able, in a few months, to climb every ranking of appreciation, ending up in numerous lists as "papabile game of the year". A varied and “divinely” characterized cast of characters, combined with an inspired and high-quality creation, make Hades one of those surprises we wish we had every year. If you have a PC, or a Nintendo Switch, our advice is only one… play it!

Ori And The Will Of The Wisps

Ori And The Will Of The Wisps is a fairy tale, an incredible platformer, an excellent exponent of the Metrodivania genre, the closing of a circle and, of course, one of the best productions of this stormy 2020. The latest work by Moon Studios deserves much more than what has been recognized in recent months thanks to its many peculiarities. In our review we defined it as a gentle caress that will hit you where it hurts the most. A title with its own identity and its own beating heart where everything around you lives, fights… and dies. From the wonderful aesthetics, to the enchanting soundtrack, to a solid and well-structured gameplay: everything works masterfully, leaving the player speechless at every step, thanks to painstaking attention to detail. Ori and the Will of the Wisps deserves the metroidvania scepter of the generation, a touching tale that everyone should experience at least once in their life.

Paper Mario The Origami King

To define Paper Mario The Origami King would need only one word: balanced. A simple term that hides within itself one of the most complex results to be obtained in today's production. Intelligent Systems' latest work succeeds in the difficult task of making the most basic of play systems constantly interesting, through a disengaged but expertly packaged narrative that is distributed within a living game world, in continuous growth and able to give constantly to the player new stimuli every time the game action requires new solutions to avoid falling into boredom. For these important merits we have assigned our Award to one of the less "sensational" productions of this 2020. A title that, undoubtedly, has multiple flaws that will be corrected in future iterations of the series but which has the greatest feature that a video game should always propose: entertain.

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Go, Go, in the Sky Go ... we do not hide from you that countless times we hummed the famous tune of "Goofy and the glider", while we were plowing the skies in Microsoft Flight Simulator. This is because the 2020 edition of the famous Asobo simulator has proved to be the new benchmark for flight simulators and, above all, a new technical / graphic standard in videogame experiences. The new episode of the legendary "made in Microsoft" saga, has the wonderful ability to be able to intrigue newbies, thanks to its technical sector and expertly made tutorials, remaining anchored to its historical "simulation complexity" capable of enhancing fans and to offer a quality, simply stunning that leaves no room for doubt, about the work done by Asobo.

Half Life Alyx

In our review we defined Half Life Alyx, a brave video game and ambitious, which pushes the most powerful PC hardware on the market to the limit. The synthesis of over 4 years of VR evolution in the home and the best you can play today… not just wearing a headset. The future of the media presented, again, by Valve even if confined to a currently very small catchment area. Half Life Alyx is a product that anyone should try at least once, an important evolutionary step for the entire sector and able to best represent the concept of "virtual reality".

SONY Dualsense

If PlayStation 5 does not shine for "constructive cleanliness", resulting cumbersome, at times made economically and not free from small engineering smudges, the speech to be made for the new DualSense, the controller that will accompany the new generation of SONY console. A concentration of technology and intriguing ideas, a device that has the arduous goal of breaking the "sensory wall" and offering the player the opportunity to "perceive" the game action through numerous technological tricks. Astro's Playroom is undoubtedly the best gym to test the capabilities of the Dualsense in the best possible way but our desire is that its potential is exploited to the fullest by the developers who will bring their future productions to PlayStation 5. However it is not, except for the triggers adaptive technologies, with "never seen before" technologies, their union under the body of a controller, at an affordable cost, is undoubtedly to be rewarded.

Xbox Series X

Natural next step of the renewed Microsoft's vision, where the player and a continuity-based ecosystem are the focal points of the entire operation, Xbox Series X is a concentrate of technology and very high engineering skills. Compact, high-performance and with a minimalist design, designed to blend in with the home environment, Microsoft's new flagship is a console that is on the edge of the incredible and has all the credentials to establish itself in the years to come. The desire to create a "living room PC" dissociates Xbox Series X from any concept of console war, making it an alternative that does not aim to compete but to offer something different to the player. There are no traces of sensory next-gen in that of Microsoft, no renewed dashboard, no numbers to mark a progression ... only the desire to show a different future for the video game, based on the continuity between the different devices and centered on the videogame path of end user.

It is important to remember, further, that the Awards are assigned, by the Game Division team, not to the absolute best product but to the one that struck us for a particular characteristic or for the ability to tell a story unexpectedly or for the merit of entertaining in the most immediate and simple way possible. Therefore, they are not purely technical merits, just as the smudges in the latter area do not affect the achievement of the Award.



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