The first category in Hooked Gamers’ Game of the Year awards for 2020 is for Best Strategy Game.
Set in an alternative 1920 where steampunk Mechs take to the WW1 battlefield, this Real Time Strategy has gamers taking on the role of commander of one of three factions. It does have some issues with unit pathing, but the campaign is fun, with a range of strategies which can be used throughout. The lengthy campaign is an awesome ride all the way through and has a finale that is shocking (in a good way). And steampunk mechs…who doesn’t like that.
Crusader Kings III
A Medieval strategy on a grand scale. Crusader Kings III has you fighting wars, marrying off family to create alliances, taxing your subjects and then hoping that the decisions you make throughout the course of the game will be enough to keep you on the throne for a long-lasting dynasty. The level of detail – typical of Paradox titles – is astounding, and every decision you make seems to have consequences.
XCOM: Chimera Squad
After restoring the balance to Earth, humans and their previous alien conquerors are now living side by side in co-habitation. But not everyone is happy with this union and guerrilla warfare takes place across City31. It is up to you and your Chimera squad of humans and aliens to restore peace. XCOM: Chimera Squad has smaller turn-based battles than previous XCOM titles, but the addition of the alien abilities give the battles some added flair and requires tactical nous if you want your squad to come through unscathed.
Build your deck, and journey through the underworld in an effort to stop hell from freezing over. Broken up into distinct sections, each area tasks the gamer with summoning units and slinging spells to stop waves of heavenly fighters from extinguishing a pyre. The strategy comes in the form of selecting and then improving your deck as you work your way through the underworld. Simple gameplay mechanics, but an incredible amount of depth as you experiment with different card combinations, each leading to differing styles of play.
And the Winner is…
Crusader Kings 3
Previous installments in the series have provided a legacy of grand strategy experiences, but Crusader Kings III adds a host of new rewarding mechanics to ensure a long and fruitful legacy for your royal house. The level of detail set by Paradox gives the game a sense of realism that others will aspire to. The medieval setting and all the political conventions and technological advancements of the era work remarkably well. And every decision you make throughout the course of a game, matters. Espionage, matchmaking, warfare, crusades, and taxes need to be considered if you are going to be successful and then navigating the inevitable feuds between your heirs can really test your mettle as a capable and shrewd ruler. The level of control, and the unprecedented level of outcomes and interaction it provides is too fun to ignore.
Game of the Year 2020 Award categories
Best Role Playing Game
Best Sports or Racing Game
Best Action Game
Best Multiplayer Game
Best Platformer or Puzzle Game
Best Indie (to be announced)
Best Sequel / Remake / Remaster / Expansion (to be announced)
Game of the Year (to be announced)
Note. Cut-off for nominations was 1st December 2020