The Game Awards 2023: Baldur’s Gate 3 wins biggest prize – but show criticised over short speeches and lay-offs | Science & Tech News

Fantasy epic Baldur’s Gate 3 has been crowned game of the year at the industry’s biggest awards ceremony.

Released for PC and PlayStation 5 earlier this year, and for Xbox consoles during Thursday night’s Game Awards, Baldur’s Gate 3 wowed reviewers with the sheer scope of its world and story, which allows players to impact its direction through the choices they make.

Inspired by classic tabletop board game Dungeons And Dragons, it was one of the most critically-acclaimed titles of 2023 and beat Alan Wake 2, Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom, Marvel‘s Spider-Man 2, Resident Evil 4, and Super Mario Bros Wonder to the prize.

The top honour – presented by actor Timothee Chalamet – was one of six awards won by Belgian developer Larian, including best multiplayer and role-playing game.

Main rival Alan Wake 2, from Finnish studio Remedy, won best narrative, game direction, and art direction.

Nintendo‘s latest Zelda and Mario titles took home best action/adventure game and best family game respectively, while there was also success for Xbox’s Forza Horizon racing franchise and the long-running Final Fantasy series.

But one of the most nominated games, Spider-Man 2, won none of the seven prizes it was up for.

More glorified advert than awards show?

The Game Awards is known for spending much of its runtime on trailers and adverts for new games.

This year included a first look at a collaboration between celebrated game creator Hideo Kojima, best known for the Metal Gear Solid series, and Hollywood director Jordan Peele.

Another Hollywood star, Matthew McConaughey, was revealed to be the lead in sci-fi action game Exodus.

A new Jurassic Park game, Survival, was also announced.

Jurassic Park: Survival was announced. Pic: Jurassic World/YouTube
Image:
Jurassic Park: Survival was announced. Pic: Jurassic World/YouTube

And there were trailers for new instalments in several popular game franchises, including Prince Of Persia and the Japanese fantasy series Monster Hunter.

Host Geoff Keighley, who launched the show in 2014, always looks to secure big reveals to boost excitement for the show and ensure large viewing figures.

Streamed on platforms including Twitch and YouTube, last year’s show was watched by 103 million people.

Host and organiser Geoff Keighley. Pic: Game Awards/YouTube
Image:
Host and organiser Geoff Keighley. Pic: Game Awards/YouTube

But Mr Keighley was criticised for spending too much time on trailers during the three-hour ceremony this year, especially given he failed to acknowledge the thousands of lay-offs the industry has endured.

Companies to have cut jobs include Fortnite maker Epic, The Last Of Us developer Naughty Dog, Tomb Raider’s Crystal Dynamics, and Witcher and Cyberpunk studio CD Projekt Red.

Several awards were also announced without winners being invited up on stage in Los Angeles, while those who did were given very little time for an acceptance speech.

The full list of game winners are listed below.

Game of the year
Alan Wake 2
Baldur’s Gate 3
Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
Resident Evil 4
Super Mario Bros Wonder

Best game direction
Alan Wake 2

Baldur’s Gate 3
Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
Super Mario Bros Wonder

Alan Wake II. Pic: Remedy
Image:
Alan Wake II won three awards. Pic: Remedy

Best adaptation
Castlevania: Nocturne
Gran Turismo
The Last Of Us
The Super Mario Bros Movie
Twisted Metal

Best narrative
Alan Wake 2

Baldur’s Gate 3
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
Final Fantasy XVI
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Best art direction
Alan Wake 2
Hi-Fi Rush
Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom
Lies Of P
Super Mario Bros Wonder

Best score and music
Alan Wake 2
Baldur’s Gate 3
Final Fantasy XVI
Hi-Fi Rush
Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom

Best audio design
Alan Wake 2
Dead Space
Hi-Fi Rush
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
Resident Evil 4

Hi-Fi Rush is quite the audio-visual spectacle. Pic: Bethesda
Image:
Hi-Fi Rush is quite the audio-visual spectacle. Pic: Bethesda

Best performance
Ben Starr, Final Fantasy XVI
Cameron Monaghan, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Idris Elba, Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
Melanie Liburd, Alan Wake 2
Neil Newbon, Baldur’s Gate 3
Yuri Lowenthal, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Innovation in accessibility
Diablo IV
Forza Motorsport
Hi-Fi Rush
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
Mortal Kombat 1
Street Fighter 6

Games for impact
A Space For The Unbound
Chants Of Sennaar
Goodbye Volcano High
Terra Nil
Tchia
Venba

Best ongoing game
Apex Legends
Cyberpunk 2077
Final Fantasy XIV
Fortnite
Genshin Impact

Idris Elba in Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty. Pic: CD Projekt Red/YouTube
Image:
Idris Elba in Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty. Pic: CD Projekt Red/YouTube

Best community support
Baldur’s Gate 3
Cyberpunk 2077
Destiny 2
Final Fantasy XIV
No Man’s Sky

Best independent game
Cocoon
Dave The Diver
Dredge
Sea Of Stars
Viewfinder

Best debut indie game
Cocoon
Dredge
Pizza Tower
Venba
Viewfinder

Best mobile game
Final Fantasy VII: Ever Crisis
Honkai: Star Rail
Hello Kitty Island Adventure
Monster Hunter Now
Terra Nil

Best VR/AR Game
Gran Turismo 7
Humanity
Horizon Call Of The Mountain
Resident Evil Village
Synapse

Resident Evil Village. Pic: Capcom
Image:
Resident Evil Village. Pic: Capcom

Best action game
Armored Core VI: Fires Of Rubicon
Dead Island 2
Ghostrunner 2
Hi-Fi Rush
Remnant 2

Best action/adventure game
Alan Wake 2
Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
Resident Evil 4
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Best RPG
Baldur’s Gate 3
Final Fantasy XVI
Lies of P
Sea of Stars
Starfield

Best fighting game
God of Rock
Mortal Kombat 1
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2
Pocket Bravery
Street Fighter 6

Best family game
Disney Illusion Island
Party Animals
Pikmin 4
Sonic Superstars
Super Mario Bros Wonder

The iconic plumber returns in Super Mario Bros Wonder. Pic: Nintendo
Image:
Super Mario Bros Wonder. Pic: Nintendo

Best sim/strategy game
Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp
Cities: Skylines II
Company of Heroes 3
Fire Emblem Engage
Pikmin 4

Best sports/racing
EA Sports FC 24
F1 23
Forza Motorsport
Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged
The Crew Motorfest

Best multiplayer
Baldur’s Gate 3
Diablo IV
Party Animals
Street Fighter 6
Super Mario Bros Wonder

Most anticipated game
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth
Hades II
Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth
Star Wars Outlaws
Tekken 8

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