The 2021 Game Awards was a nearly four hour broadcast and as you may have guessed, I sat through it all. Let’s walk you through the highlights and the cringe moments — yes, there were some of those, of the awards. 

ADS… EVERYWHERE

The main point of criticism was the overabundance of ads.

This is usually normal during The Game Awards, but this year felt more excessive than ever.

I’ve noticed awards would be given out at a rapidly fast succession and speeches were extremely brief.

It is clear that the producer and host, Geoff Keighley, is mainly out to make money but when it reaches a point where Josef Fares’ speech upon winning game of the year is just as long as a Grubhub ad during the show, there is a clear problem.

It just kills the pacing of the show.

WHY IS HOLLYWOOD HERE?

Another thing about these awards that make no sense is the integration of Hollywood celebrities every year.

If there is a video game related film or demo involved I guess it’s excusable. I didn’t mind Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss showing up because they unveiled that Matrix tech demo that dropped during the show.

I didn’t mind Ben Schwartz and Jim Carey making an appearance because they unveiled the trailer to the new Sonic movie.

Where I cross the line is when celebrities that do not work in the game industry at all get to present awards.

No disrespect to these celebrities at all, but it doesn’t really matter if a famous actor like Simu Liu plays video games.

They have no business presenting these awards. This is like saying Hideo Kojima is a huge film buff, so he should present an award at the Oscars even though he’s never worked in the film industry.

Whenever these celebrities show up during The Game Awards, it gives off a “How do you do fellow kids?” vibe. 

Simu Liu at presenting at The Game Awards (The Game Awards Photo)

THE WORLD PREMIERES

One of the ways Keighley brings in the views every year are the “world premieres.” Game announcements and new trailers will drop throughout the show. 

Telltale Games unveiled adaptations to both “The Expanse” and “Star Trek.”

Even though I’m not a fan of either of these properties, it will be interesting to see if the studio can improve after going defunct back in 2018. I also wonder what’s going on with their Wolf Among Us sequel announced two years ago.

“Forspoken,” “Somerville,” “A Plague Tale: Requiem” and “Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League” all had new trailers. These titles already caught my attention in the past, but these trailers reaffirmed my hype. 

There were also some pretty good games that were announced for the first time such as “Star Wars: Eclipse,” “Wonder Woman,” “Alan Wake II” and my personal favorite reveal, “Slitherhead” from acclaimed game director Keiichiro Toyama.

“Slitherhead” from acclaimed game director Keiichiro Toyama. (Bokeh Game Studio screenshot)

THE BIG WINNERS

The award for Player’s Voice (the fan voted beame of 2021) went to “Halo: Infinite.”

This seems very odd, not just due to the fact that the single player portion released just two days before the show but also because “Halo: Infinite” did not meet the cut off date for games that qualify for being nominated.

This nomination along with “Microsoft Flight Simulator”  for best sim/strategy two years in a row just reveals the inconstancy of these awards. 

For the past few years, The Game Awards have been handing out awards to the esports and content creation community.

I usually do not care about awards in this category because I do not know any of the esports players or content creators that end up getting nominated.

Though this year I was hoping that Chris “Simp” Lehr would win so that we could get a moment similar to the “IT’S MR. MVP, SIMP” meme.

Unfortunately, the esports categories were breezed through during the pre show. 

The award for best narrative went to “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

It’s not my personal pick for this award, but this is still a pretty nice moment during the show. I did play “Guardians” recently and it surprisingly did have an awesome story. 

Best narrative winner, Guardians of the Galaxy (Square Enix Screenshot)

The award for best score/soundtrack was given to “Nier Replicant ver 1.22474487139” (one of the worst titles for any piece of media). I’ve listened to a bit of the score and it’s not bad at all.

Though I have to admit, my personal pick is “Cyberpunk 2077.” Yes, the game is clearly full of problems. However, everyone in the music department did not miss. Nearly every track from the game slaps hard. 

“Deathloop”also won a few awards including Best Game Direction and Art Direction. Huge congrats to Arkane Studios.

THE PASSIONATE MAN IS BACK

The single best moment of the show was at the very end in which “It Takes Two” won the coveted award of Game of the Year. 

Back during the 2017 awards, “It Takes Two” Director Josef Fares was promoting his new game at the time, “A Way Out.”

The man ended up giving his passionate and iconic “F–k the Oscars” speech. It ultimately gave both his games, as well as The Game Awards more notoriety. Every preceding year I watch this award show in hopes that there will be a moment that tops this. 

In the middle of this year’s show, “It Takes Two” won for best multiplayer, I noticed Keighley breezed through the award and didn’t let Fares go up on stage to give a speech.

I haven’t even played “It Takes Two,” but I really wanted Fares to get on stage to break the internet at some point during this show.

Fortunately this happened in the last few minutes when “It Takes Two” won, Fares continues to prove that he is a very charismatic man.

He immediately acknowledged his speech from 2017 and how everything has gone full circle. The most wholesome part of his speech is when he dedicated the award to his daughters.

If this speech went on for another ten minutes I wouldn’t have minded at all.

“It’s so nice to have children. I’m surprised how much I love them. If you don’t have children, go get them. I mean it is the best thing that can happen” – Josef Fares

Josef Fares accepts the e of The Year Award (© 2021 The Game Awards)

Yes, this year’s Game Awards was pretty mediocre, but that is the case nearly every year.

If Keighley just had less ads and gave everyone a bit more time to give a decent speech, it would instantly increase the quality of the show.

But with all of that said, congrats to all the big winners of the night. And also shoutout to “Psychonauts 2.” Even though the game didn’t win a single award, it is my own personal game of the year and kicks a lot of ass.

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