Another Gamescom has come and (almost) gone, and it’s time to call the winners of our traditional DualShockers’ Awards.
As usual, do keep in mind that no award is ever completely objective. These honors represent the games that we loved at the show, and in case of our top award, the Readers’ Choice Game of the Show, the one that you collectively voted. So it’s fine to disagree. Ultimately our awards exist to honor the hard work of many developers around the world.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Readers’ Choice Game of the Show: Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
After over a decade of absence from the spotlight, the mainline Ace Combat series makes a comeback in style. Apparently, many have been waiting for a long time, and are liking what they see. The playable build at Gamescom was awesome, and the new trailer hit all the right vibes.
Game of the Show: Devil May Cry 5
Also Best PC Game.
Like Ace Combat, Devil May Cry is also back, and with a vengeance. The demo playable at Gamescom 2018 was a ton of fun and it proved to be really promising for a return to form for the franchise, which is absolutely glorious.
Best PS4 Game: Marvel’s Spider-Man
Also Best First-Party Game.
Marvel’s Spider-man is an extremely promising game. I already played the first two hours at an event, and every new trailer released is just as impressive. Insomniac Games may have a masterpiece in their hands.
Best Xbox One Game: Forza Horizon 4
Also Best Racing Game.
Playground Games never falters with it successive iterations of the Forza Horizon franchise, but this year they went above and beyond the call of duty. The presence of seasons is a game-changer and turns an already fantastic game into a potential masterpiece.
Best Switch Game: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a giant game, packed to the brim with content that sings a love song to fans of many Nintendo franchise. It’ll probably keep Switch owners busy for a long, long time.
Best Handheld/Mobile Game: Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight and Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight
The Persona Dancing games are a true homage to the popular JRPGs’ charming soundtrack, showing their characters in a new light that will make many wish for remakes of the games themselves with the same visual quality.
Best Action-Adventure: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice could be considered a spiritual successor of the Souls games, but it really isn’t the same thing. While it does come with similar elements, it brings many new features into the formula. The swordplay is absolutely exhilarating.
Best Role-Playing Game: Cyberpunk 2077
While CD Projekt continues to keep the game under wraps, showing it only to press behind closed doors, it’s absolutely gorgeous. Night City is one of the most interesting urban environments ever created in gaming, and the RPG gameplay seems really solid. Hopefully, you won’t have to trust our word on this much longer.
Best Sports Game: Windjammers 2
Windjammers was a breath of fresh air for many, and its sequel, which comes after so many years, promises to be as packed with fun as ever. The hand-drawn 2D visuals also look really charming. This is definitely a game to keep an eye on.
Best Fighting Game: Dead or Alive 6
Also Best Competitive Game.
Dead or Alive 6 is starting to look really promising as new (and returning) characters are created and new elements are unveiled. Its dynamic stages are especially awesome, and Team Ninja certainly seems to be upping the competitive ante.
Best Shooter Game: Left Alive
Left Alive literally ripped the Best Shooter title from the jaws of the usual suspects. It brings to the table a completely different pace, an interesting gameplay loop based on survival and rescuing civilians in a war-torn city, and spectacular mecha battles. The character design by Yoji Shinkawa is a crowning jewel on what appears to be a great experience.
Best Puzzle/Platformer: Spyro Reignited Trilogy
Spyro‘s return is a colorful experience that has the potential to charm fans of the genre and breathes new life into the veteran franchise. Played between a few matches of Call of Duty multiplayer and several deaths in Sekiro, it was an absolutely relaxing romp into a world of simpler, but no less valid, fun.
Best Strategy Game: Total War: Three Kingdoms
While the Total War: Warhammer series used fantasy elements to shake up the franchise’s formula (which had become a little worn-out), Three Kingdoms shows that even the historical branch of the franchise can elaborate on what made it awesome while introducing plenty of fresh elements.
Best AR/VR Game: World of Tanks
Virtual reality is especially suitable to reproduce vehicle gameplay, and tanks are just perfect for that. You can blow stuff up with giant guns and renewed immersion. What else do you need?
Best Independent game: Ashes of Creation
Also Best Online Game.
When Ashes of Creation was first announced, many expected such a small team not to be able to turn its extremely ambitious project into reality. Yet, they have done it. The MMORPG genre has lost a bit of its luster after so many anticipated AAA titles impacted violently against a changing industry and gradually died, so it’s delightful to see something new with this much potential.
Best Expansion or DLC: For Honor – Marching Fire.
When For Honor launched, its impact was not as powerful as some expected, but the development team and Ubisoft persevered with continuous updates and a lot of content. Marching Fire appears to be the crowning moment of a voyage that gradually turned a good game into an awesome experience.
Biggest Shocker! Special Award: The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan
The folks at Supermassive games are masters of horror, and Man of Medan brings back the ghost ship theme with a modern spin. It was quite possibly one of the most pleasant surprises of the show, and a game we can’t wait to play with the lights off.