The Digital Fix Gaming’s Generation Awards: Best Gaming Moment, Technical Innovation, and StudioPlatforms: All
Best Gaming Moment
This was the most varied category of the awards by far with 87 different nominations, a testament to just how many memorable moments were made in this last generation.
Madeline reaches the top of the Mountain (Celeste)
The touching conclusion to Celeste sees Madeline and her mirror self reach the summit of the mountain called Celeste, a treacherous journey that tested every part of Madeline. Now, with it all being over, Madeline and her mirror self reflect on how the journey has changed them and how the two must reconcile with each other if they are going to be who they are supposed to be. This is a poignant moment of self-realisation, which the creator has recently clarified represented Madeline’s acceptance that they are trans. It is a beautiful moment of storytelling and a vital message of love in a world that sorely needs more of it.
Keanu Reeves appears at E3 2019 (Cyberpunk 2077)
After an intense cinematic trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 ended with the reveal that Keanu Reeves would be playing a supporting character, CD Projekt Red’a E3 presentation moved up a gear with the arrival of the real Keanu! The crowd went wild, grown men screamed that he was breathtaking, and Keanu took that energy and gave it right back like the living angel that he is. It’s easy to see why this is one of the most memorable moments in E3 history and one of the most popular moments of gaming this generation.
Many incredible moments await you in 2018’s God of War but one that made the strongest impression was that first fateful encounter with The Stranger.
From the unmistakable nervy energy of Jeremy Davies to the unbelievable execution of God of War’s groundbreaking one-take aesthetic, everything about this scene firmly cemented God of War as an instant classic. No other game looked like this, no other game felt like this, it was a singular moment in gaming. A simple fistfight that felt epic and urgent in ways many final boss battles could never hope to match.
It set the tone for the experience to come and while the game would get bigger and the fights would get more dynamic and brutal, first impressions count for a lot and this scene left the best impression possible because everyone who played this scene was now in for the long haul, there was no turning back.
Best Technical Innovation
VR is one of those things in gaming, that until you try it out, it’s hard to sell to someone, chiefly due to the cost. The first time that I played Resident Evil 7 on PSVR I was genuinely blown away, and while it’s normally Nintendo who get the praise for innovation (coming up later in this category) Sony were the only company in the console market to bring gamers VR, to take the plunge and give us their first attempt at virtual reality on a console. And they deserve praise for that, and with more games like the recent Star Wars: Squadrons built for a device like the PSVR, it’ll be interesting to see where VR is in five years time.
Xbox Game Pass
From an expensive addition to your gaming hardware to something that anyone can access, it’s the service that’s done for gaming, what Netflix did for streaming: Xbox Game Pass.
Game Pass has always been great value, with a bunch of great first and third-party games on the service, but Microsoft have continued to make the service even better. Game Pass for PC has continued to expand, while the recent additions of EA Play titles and Bethesda, along with all first-party games confirmed to come to Game Pass from day-one, mean it’s only going to get better. Great value for gamers, one of the reasons that the new Xbox Series X/S will launch with a ton of fantastic games to play, Game Pass isn’t going anywhere for a while.
Appearing halfway through the generation, and on the back of the financially disappointing Wii-U, Nintendo pulled a rabbit out of their hat with the Nintendo Switch. Underpowered compared to its rivals, who released a few years earlier, but with the ability to play on a TV or in a handheld mode, the Switch turned gaming from a couch pursuit to something you can do anywhere.
In 2015 when The Witcher 3 came out, no-one was asking if they could play the game on the train, or maybe on the loo, but the Switch made that possible. Nintendo showed that power isn’t everything, and instead of trying to catch up with Sony and Microsoft forged their own path, a path many gamers continue to go down with them in 2020.
CD Projekt Red
CD Projekt Red have got a massive game up their sleeves with Cyberpunk 2077 but, this generation, they released the best RPG in The Witcher 3. A studio that continues to improve and get better and better, I am sure their future hit will earn many accolades of its own.
Santa Monica Studios
While only releasing one game this generation, what a game it was. The reboot of the God of War series struck awe in a lot of developers by what you can achieve when rebooting a series the right way! God of War is a masterpiece and by far, in my opinion, the best game of the generation!
Naughty Dog has produced some absolutely stunning games. Along with its fantastic storytelling, their collection of releases this gen have been nothing short of spectacular and a must-have in any PlayStation owners collection.
Their latest release in The Last of Us: Part II struck up plenty of controversies and even forced Metacritic to change how user scores are submitted. But that aside, it was a masterpiece, a phenomenal piece of art and narration. Opening the eyes to fans of what this post-apocalyptic world is really like and, I would say, on the beloved characters of Joel & Ellie.
With three of the four titles scoring in the early to mid 90's on Metacritic and numerous Game of the Year awards, it makes absolute sense that Naughty Dog has been voted best Studio of the Generation.