Have you placed your nominations for this year's Steam Awards, fellow gamers? Whether you have or not, here I will share my nominees for 2018!
The first thing I should mention about the award nominations this year is that they reduced the number of overall awards and made the categories less crazy. Keep it simple, Valve. Keep it simple.
Second, the nominations are happening at the same time, and the voting will take place during the December sale, but they apparently aren't announcing the winners until February -- leading me to believe the Winter sale will take place in early February instead of January in 2019. Alternatively, they may simply have a separate sale to feature the winners. Who knows?
That said, I'll get on with listing my nominees!
If you recall, I blogged about Doki Doki Literature Club earlier in the year. It's free, but it's phenomenal and really sticks with you. I think I coughed up plenty of spoilery things in THIS ENTRY, so I won't divulge anything here. If you haven't played it yet, download it now!
Admittedly, I did not play the VR version of Scanner Sombre, but it's the only game I have played this year that has a VR version. If you read my MARATHON RECAP, you know that the unique graphics in this game did a number on my eyes. I don't know if that would be better or worse playing a VR version, but the exploratory nature of the game and the way you reveal the terrain makes it an obvious nominee for the VR category.
By now you really should know that the game I play the most is The Lord of the Rings Online. If you know this and still haven't tried it, then I don't know what's wrong with you. The game has been going for 11 years now, and is still getting new quest areas, new cosmetics, new storylines, new gameplay. It has become a massive world, and I absolutely love it. Despite its age, it also has absolutely gorgeous landscapes that are obviously crafted by people who really care about it. You can see some great examples by visiting Middle Earth by Joego which showcases fantastic screenshots as well as running giveaways for the super nerdy Tolkien fans.
If you don't know who Obsidian Entertainment is, then you probably don't play games much or you're very young and simply don't pay attention to such things just yet. Let me list off some of their titles for you: Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II; Neverwinter Nights 2; Fallout: New Vegas; South Park: The Stick of Truth; Pillars of Eternity; Tyranny; Pathfinder Adventures; and the reason I'm nominating them: Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. I haven't played all of those games, but I am a HUGE fan of the Pillars of Eternity games. The stories are phenomenal, and your choices really (I mean, REALLY) affect how the game goes for your character. The amount of created lore alone is great -- I even purchased the beautifully crafted and lore-packed Guidebook (NOT a strategy guide!). Downside? They've been acquired by Microsoft -- so RIP, Obsidian. You deserve this award.
I acquired AER: Memories of Old from a Humble Monthly pack, and I was sold the moment I read I could FLY around between floating islands in the world to discover and unravel the mysterious story. Because of this, the game world is both beautiful and challenging to navigate. Realism isn't the goal in the graphics, but the stylization used is breathtaking all the same. (The best part was when a lamb fell in love with me and wanted to follow me around. TOO ADORABLE!)
Yes, Town of Salem is another game from the Marathon, and I have been playing it as much as I play LOTRO! What could improve my experience of the game? If I had friends to play it with me. I've convinced one former Extra Life teammate to try it, but imagine if I could have a whole in-game town of my friends playing together? It would be hilarious and amazing! (If you decide to pick up this game, feel free to put me down as your referral: snarkqueen.)
Alright, to be fair, I haven't been playing Assassin's Creed: Odyssey on my PC, I play it on the PS4. But the game exists on PC, too, so... that's good enough for me! And while it doesn't necessarily portray an alternate history, the whole bit with the animus and going back into the past lives of ancestors is close enough for me. And have you seen this game at all? This is the kind of game that addictive personalities lose their jobs and relationships for. It's beautiful, well-made, and the fighting doesn't feel tedious like it sometimes does in earlier Assassin's Creed games. Plus, I get to redeem up to 12 codes from Totino's products for free in-game goodies. I like being rewarded for eating pizza rolls, like any good gamer.
No, I haven't been playing NieR: Automata on PC either. But it's the only game I've played this year that has obvious robots in it -- and is worth mentioning. I'm sure a contender for this award will be Warframe. People suddenly realized, after a few years of it being out, that it's actually a viable game. The sheeple astound me sometimes. Anyway, NieR has a fantastic storyline -- even if it's absolutely cray-cray. The guy at GameStop who told my husband and I to look up YouTube videos to catch up on the backstory insisted we'd be hooked. Instead, we watched THIS VIDEO from start to finish, and when it was over we removed our headphones, slowly looked at each other, and simultaneously muttered, "what?!" So yeah, the story has been pretty cray-cray leading up to this point in the overall story, and... well, I maybe read a spoiler about the ending of NieR -- but I won't spoil it for you! The info makes me want to play it to see how it plays out to get to that point and how the characters respond.
So there are all my nominees! And if you did the above tasks like I did you'll have earned this year's Nomination Committee Badge. Now all that's left to do is see who the finalists are in December and vote for the best!
Like last year's entry about the Steam Awards, today is Giving Tuesday. I'd like to remind my readers that I am still fundraising until the end of December. There are kids who didn't get to see family or be at home last week for Thanksgiving and who will be spending the rest of the holidays in the hospital for various treatments. If you're looking for a worthwhile charity to support today, please consider the kids at Children's National and click on the image below to make a donation on my Extra Life page.