2020 Dream of Waking Video Game Awards

Hey 2020, what a fucking brutal year. Rather than focus on the bad, I’ve made no anti-awards this year, and I’m not restricting anything to releases from the current year. I played a lot of video games, but didn’t finish a lot of video games. I watched a ton of movies and TV shows. I read, but not a lot of current stuff. Like everyone else, I’m just trying to get by. Let’s celebrate some good stuff.

Edit: fuck, my WordPress site is busted so no images. Sorry. Maybe I’ll fix it in 2021? Or maybe I’ll call it quits.

2020 Game of the Year

Death Stranding

If someone had told me last year that Death Stranding was going to be my favorite game this year, I’d have been extremely skeptical, but here we are. Death Stranding is a game where you deliver packages for likes, and I collected a lot of likes. It’s a wholly unique game that takes walking simulator in a direction that only Hideo Kojima can. I thought this game would be up its own ass by the way people talked about it last year, and it’s sort of up its own ass, but I loved it from beginning to end. Doom Eternal loses points to Death Stranding because it doesn’t have the same cool, self-assured tone as Doom 2016. It’s trying too hard.

Runner Up: Doom Eternal

2020’s 2019 Game of the Year

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

When Halo 4 finally came to the Master Chief Collection on PC, I dropped everything to play it for a second time. Over the course of this year, I’ve re-played all of the Halo games, except Halo 2, which I just re-played last year. The MCC is just an incredible collection of great FPS games. STRAFE takes runner up as I finished a run for the first time, and it was in no small part thanks to a shortened run length patch.

Runner Up: STRAFE

The Most Pleasant Surprise Award

Doom 64

It’s ugly but it’s still Doom. I’m glad I didn’t play it on a Nintendo 64, and I’m glad it exists. It got a great PC port. Runner up goes to The Solitaire Conspiracy for being a super fun, super polished solitaire that I played for more than three hours.

Runner Up: The Solitaire Conspiracy

The “I’m Never Going to Finish This” Award

Forza Horizon 4

I get a wild urge to play a racing game and this year I played a lot of Forza Horizon 4. It’s got a huge beautiful open world, an impossible number of cars, and an unreal variety of races and things to do with them. There’s so much in here that I’ll never get to the bottom of, but I love coming back to it. Hades is my runner up here, because it’s beautiful and fun and amazing, but it’s run-based and I’ll be lucky to finish one run, much less multiple runs.

Runner Up: Hades

Other Awards

Movie of the YearBatman: Mask of the Phantasm
Runner Up: The Lighthouse

Album of the YearRTJ4 by Run the Jewels
Runner Up: Inlet by HUM

Book of the YearThe Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Runner Up: Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir