All nominees for Best Game Direction at the Game Awards
Quite the contest.
The 2022 Game Awards have an array of different categories for the year’s best games to duke it out over, showcasing the highlights of big budget multiplayer games, the indie scene, and much more. One such coveted award is for Best Game Direction, described on the official site as being awarded “for outstanding creative vision and innovation in game direction and design.”
It’ll be a hard-fought category, with only five nominees, so take a look at who’s on the ballot and shed a tear that Trombone Champ wasn’t considered.
Related: When are the 2022 Game Awards? Air date and schedule
It came out all the way back in February, but Elden Ring is still very much on people’s minds. The latest addition to FromSoftware’s Souls series took the brutal combat and esoteric lore into a much more open world, encouraging players to explore to their heart’s content and spend dozens of hours roaming the Lands Between. While it hewed close to the traditional Dark Souls formula in many ways, there were significant changes too which helped to shape a beautiful and tormented world in which players were more than happy to get lost. In fact, the game has already been earning awards this year, putting it in a solid position for the Game Awards.
God of War Ragnarok
Sony Santa Monica’s sequel to the much-vaunted 2018 reboot of God of War was released just in time for consideration for the Game Awards, and a good thing too. By many accounts, God of War Ragnarok is a worthy follow-up that sees Kratos and Atreus continuing their journeys in a beautiful frozen land. Between some spectacular visuals and some serious narrative heft, Ragnarok could well be a contender even without taking recency bias into account.
Horizon Forbidden West
When it comes to wrecking futuristic robot-dinosaurs, they don’t come much more solid than the Horizon games. Despite having the misfortune to launch within a week of the juggernaut that is Elden Ring, Horizon Forbidden West still found a robust and loyal following of players. Auburn-haired hero Aloy makes her way across a wild and overgrown post-apocalyptic landscape, taking down enemies with enjoyable combat and helping survivors. The gorgeous visuals and impressive animation put this one in a good spot for Best Game Direction — with any luck it’ll perform better than the original did in 2017, when it was up against Breath of the Wild. Talk about bad luck.
A bit of a dark horse in the Best Game Direction category, Immortality is a modern point-and-click mystery adventure. The game sees players poring over film clips to discover clues and further pieces of video evidence, all in the name of untangling the question of what happened to one of the central characters. It’s hard to deny that a game so focused on film and narrative is in a very strong spot for Best Game Direction, but it remains to be seen if it can hold its own against the triple-A titans in the running.
Sick of the absolute indignity of being continually forced to play as a human in so many games, Stray instead puts you in the adorable toebeans of a ginger cat exploring a futuristic dystopia. Despite the mute nature of the feline protagonist, the team behind Stray nevertheless managed to make a delightfully expressive hero, and your journey to reunite with your family is likely to bring a tear to the eye of even the most stone-hearted gamer.