The next category in Hooked Gamers’ Game of the Year awards is for Best Action Game.
Part combat, part platformer…but full of action. Ghostrunner has players running along walls and grappling to connection points and then using a sword to take down gun-toting enemies. One ability does help though…the ability to pause time, but this feature is evened out by the single hit deaths. Dying heaps of time is imminent, but not through the fault of the flawless controls. Being a cyber ninja in a cyberpunk world has never been so much fun.
Desperados III is awash with gunslinging Wild West action – albeit in a slower methodical fashion. Using your squad of five playable characters including main character John Cooper, each with their unique skills, players will move through a series of missions. The missions enable gamers to experiment with different combinations within the squad, combatting clever AI that will investigate fallen comrades and call for backup if needed. And with 25-30 hours of Wild West action, what’s not to like?
The sequel to 2016’s reboot of DOOM builds on that title and then takes it to the next level. New weapons and new hordes of relentless enemies – but the same fast paced action we’ve come to expect from a DOOM title. Enemies range between cannon fodder and absolutely challenges, but players get little respite from either as the action is non-stop from start to finish.
We head to the underworld again with Hades. Playing as Zagreus, the misbehaving son of Hades, players shoot, slash, and crush enemies as they traverse four levels of the underworld, each more destructive than the last. Death comes often, but each death is part of the narrative, rewarding players with interesting story pieces about Zagreus. Each character you interact with has a backstory, providing Hades with well fleshed out world that is a joy to explore.
And the Winner is…
It was hard to split the two quality nominees with a distinct hellish theme – but DOOM Eternal gets the nod over Hades. The DOOM reboot was all about keeping things fast paced when fighting with the demons – but how do you make that experience better? You give our protagonist new bells and whistles. Providing more usage to the Chainsaw as a backup weapon, introducing the Flame Belcher and a shoulder mounted grenade launcher, turning him from a walking force of nature to a god. But the difficulty has been ramped up too, with hordes of enemies hell-bent on making your life, well…hell. The controls are slick, the gameplay smooth, and combined with a wonderful change of settings – at times pine trees and blues skies - and an amazing soundtrack that gives each battle an adrenaline boost, Doom Eternal is a worthy successor to DOOM. It is a game that provides the lesson that vintage and modern games can live side-by-side and when done correctly can make a legend for the ages.
Game of the Year 2020 Award categories
Best Strategy Game
Best Role Playing Game
Best Sports or Racing Game
Best Multiplayer Game
Best Platformer or Puzzle game
Best Indie Game
Best Sequel, Remake or Expansion
Overall Game of the Year (to be announced)
(Note. Cut-off for nominations was 1st December)