On December 1st the gaming industry puts on their version of the Oscars when Geoff Keighley brings the annual Game Awards to your favorite streaming service. This past week, all the nominees were announced including the categories fans can go vote for. Here are just a few of the top categories as well as our picks. You can find the full list of nominees here.

Best Game:

-DOOM by id software/Bethesda 

-INSIDE by Playdead

-TITANFALL 2 by Respawn Entertainment

- Advertisement-

-UNCHARTED 4: A Thief’s End by Naughty Dog

Our Pick: Uncharted 4

09-uncharted-4-cover-story-secondary4-w1024

Strange that TitanFall made the nominee list but not Gears of War 4. Out of all the nominated games, Uncharted 4 was the standout mix of engaging gameplay and robust story. A landmark game for a system should be the game of the year. While the others were great there’s no doubt Naughty Dog’s finale to the Nathan Drake story deserves the award.

Best Studio:

-BLIZZARD for Overwatch

– DICE for Battlefield 1

-Id SOFTWARE for Doom

-NAUGHTY DOG for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

-RESPAWN for TitanFall 2

Our Pick: Blizzard

overwatch-review-screen-3-0

It would be easy to give this to Naughty Dog for Uncharted, but the award should go to a studio that did something new in gaming or at least new for them. Blizzard gave a fanbase accustomed to World of Warcraft and Diablo style games something fresh. Overwatch is this one of the year’s most played games on Twitch and one of the most enjoyable multiplayer shooters of all time. A studio that took a chance on a new IP instead of sequels and expansions they could have easily printed money from deserves to be recognized.

Best Narrative:

-FIREWATCH by Campo Santo (Sean Vanaman)

-INSIDE by Play Dead (Laurids Binderup)

-MAFIA III by Hanger 13/2k  (Wiliam Harms, Ed Fowler)

-OXENFREE by Night School Studio (Adam Hines)

-UNCHARTED 4 by Naughty Dog (Neil Druckmann, Josh Scherr)

Our pick: Uncharted 4 by Naughty Dog (Written by Neil Druckmann, Josh Scherr)

uncharted421280-1462836729038_large

Another category to which it puzzles me not to see Gears of War 4 in. While all these games are tremendous stories told through fun experiences, Naughty Dog just did something not many games actually do…they stuck the landing. There a lot of games that had good stories up until it came to the ending. The way Uncharted 4 completed Nathan Drake’s tale was satisfying. After getting emotionally invested in the journey you’re left with a feeling of things being okay and then the epilogue kicks in. You find Drake gets the ultimate happily ever after which leaves you okay with putting down the controller. I can’t imagine what the new story chapter being added to the game will be but it’s safe to say it won’t diminish what took place here. Naughty Dog has the best storytelling pedigree from former studio writer Amy Henning to writers who are telling stories on shows like Westworld, to one of the best storytellers of this generation Neil Druckmann and the studio has continually used that prowess to its full potential.

Note: I would have liked to have seen Telltale get a nod for their Batman game series but just like any awards show there’s always going to be things some see as misses. 

Fans can cast a vote for select categories including this year’s Trending Gamer, Best Esports Game, and…

Most Anticipated Game of 2017

-GOD OF WAR by Santa Monica Studio/SIE

-HORIZON: Zero Dawn by Guerilla Games/SIE

-MASS EFFECT: Andromeda by Bioware/EA

-RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2 by Rockstar Games

-LEGEND OF ZELDA: Breath of the Wild by Nintendo

Our Pick: Legend of Zelda BOTW

1606-14-the-legend-of-zelda-breath-of-the-wild-amiibo25

While I’ve never been one for Mario games, Nintendo for me was all about Legend of Zelda and Metroid. Anytime a new one is on the horizon, it’s an exciting time. All the most anticipated games certainly are ones fans have been clamoring for though it looks like Zelda has the best chance of winning simply by the others canceling out to Nintendo fandom. However, you do have to wonder why Injustice 2 isn’t on the list because, COMICS!. 

Regardless, you can watch the Game Awards to see who wins on December 1st from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles via Twitch, YouTube, and just about every digital platform you can think of including VR. Which fans will also get to see iconic visionary game design legend Hideo Kojima be honored as he should have been last year if not for legal roadblocks enforced by his former employer, Konami. Don’t forget to go to the shows official site to voice your picks for various categories.

What are your picks for Best Game? Most Anticipated? Best Studio?