So That EZA 2021 GOTY.....

  • I'll be honest for a second, my gut reaction for the past few EZA Game of the Year winners is something immature and along the lines of "the Allies only picked this because it was difficult". It's easy to marginalize and become reductive when you feel your expectations have gone awry or you think the right game didn't win. Now I'm not mad or angry and I don't even feel negative about any of EZAs winners because we know their GOTY decision is based on a collective judgment of seven amazing videogamers and their opinions of what the ultimate GOTY is.

    If you feel disgruntled the solution is to champion the game you love as it is your GOTY. I know when big outlets give a certain game GOTY that game will get plenty of publicity and a bunch of followers praising and agreeing that game deserves the honor of Game of the Year, but it doesn't matter-your GOTY matters to you so don't delve into opposing opinions too much because it can drive you mad.

    As for the Easy Allies GOTY winner this year......I think it's deserved with a slow appreciative nod. Returnal is a difficult game and was one of the riper choices to win. I felt it was going to come down to Returnal, Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker and Metroid Dread. I'll come out and say I felt like the pick would be predictable and I think I was right though I believed Endwalker would pinch it as it already nabbed several awards. Having said that, I think Returnal is really cool, the effortless speed in which Seline zips around the environments and the organic lusciousness of those environments are absolutely stunning. The fluidity is off the charts and the game really does feel great to play.

    As stated in my Gory GOTY Grievances, I feel like the lesser games on the list didn't stand much of a chance. Psychonauts 2, It Takes Two and FORZA Horizon 5 in particular felt like they had a very slim and remote chance of winning-though apparently Psychonauts 2 was in the final 3 during the deliberations and if that’s the case then that’s wonderful.

    I know EZA are picking what they truly think is the best of the best from 2021, but looking at the list of GOTYs they've given- only Half Life: Alyx and The Last Guardian came out of left field. Breath of the Wild and God of War truly defined their respective years but I think the Allies were backing the industry’s consensus. I personally felt that Super Mario Odyssey and RDR2 were the GOTY games of 2017 and 2018 but seriously go wrong anywhere with the amount of top quality games seeping out of those years.

    As for Returnal, it was a bit of a surprise to see it win out-though this is because I wholly expected Endwalker to take it. Gotta commend and give kudos to the editing in the GOTY video making us think Endwalker won and then snapping to Returnal-that’s how winner’s should be announced.

    My biggest knock on Returnal winning is despite the blazing attributes it has, it’s another serious game where you shoot aliens with guns as reductive as that is to say. Housemarque made their ahem “mark” with Resogun, and the pedigree they’ve injected into their library of games is predicated on giving you significant obstacles to overcome where you’re swarmed with screen-filling enemies who can wipe you out easily amidst a sea of fire which more often than not requires navigation to avoid such as racing through mousehole-sized gaps of hazardous balls of energy or jumping over it, then continuing to maintain fire until enemies and bosses are destroyed. Yes there’s an arcade quality to Housemarque games which gives the plenty of appeal but

    Returnal is their most ambitious project and they’ve done an impressive job, but I do yearn for something that doesn’t take itself seriously and has a sense of humor but with GOTYs not everyone will take the winner as a cause for celebration and popping champagne corks. At least for 2021 I’m not too fussed and again it’s EZA’s choice and I love and respect it.

    I do think there’s a necessity for the Allies to select their GOTY winners based on how challenging it is, but by that logic Hades would’ve won back in 2020 instead of Half Life Alyx-which made Huber nauseous apparently (I think it was Huber, one of the Allies said they felt addled after experiencing it).

    While I’m still writing I should give a shoutout to Brandon Jones who namedropped me in the Easy Allies deliberations when he was trying to think of the community member who was heavily critical of Back 4 Blood. The answer is it wasn’t me, I’ve been too busy bashing my head against Ubisoft games mainly like Riders Republic for getting down like a granddad shaking his booty in front of group of gagging teens and of course for the umpteenth bloomin time Far Cry 6 for being a thousand acres of stupid with a flake on top.

    All that’s left to say is congratulations Elden Ring for being the 2022 Game of the Year.

  • I haven't played it but it's the only game that makes me want a PS5. So I'm perfectly ok with it. I wish more indie teams were given the opportunity to fully realise their vision.