The Awkward Machine Awards

Seperating the best from the rest

it's the most wonderful time of the year!

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls to the first ever Awkward Machine awards. The team has spent literally minutes hacking together a list of what they think you should think are the best games of 2016! Unlike the last Goliath this list aims to be concise, poignant, and direct for easy reading (that and it was written by just one person). Now then four sentences should be enough for an intro, so I’ll stop waffling and get on with the show!

 

CATEGORIES:

GOTY | BEST RPG | BEST HORROR | BEST ADVENTURE | BEST SPORTS | BEST RACING | BEST INDIE | MOST SURPRISING | BEST DEV | MOST DISAPPOINTING | PETER MOLYNEUX AWARD

 

 

 

 

Game Of the Year: HITMAN

hitmanreview1

 We'll admit that alarm bells were a ringing when Square Enix announced HITMAN's episodic release schedule. Like most gamers we assumed they were trying to hide another trainwreck, or at the very least buy time to get it patched up and back on the tracks, thank goodness we were wrong. HITMAN brought back everything we loved about the series, whether it's sneaking your way through a camp of heavily armed militia, drowning someone in a toilet or screwing up the perfect assassination ending in a shootout. When the stars align and everything is timed perfectly, resulting in the perfect kill. The feeling of success for all that time, planning and hard work. Each of HITMAN's levels' is fun in its own way and there is a good amount of variety between each. It's just plain fun and has huge potential for replayability. "I love it when a plan comes together".

How we voted:
John   - The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine
Adam - Final Fantasy XV
Nick   - HITMAN
Jake   - HITMAN
Mike  - Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

 

 

BEST RPG - The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine

the witcher 3 blood and wineThe final expansion to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was a brilliant adventure in it's own right and a fitting final chapter for Geralt and company. This final adventure feels more like a well deserved holiday, well a holiday full of booze and vampires (what like you've never had one of those). Bringing twenty hour quest-line and a new region to the table Blood and Wine a slightly more relaxed affair filled with a bit more humor and a dash of melancholy. It's obvious CDPR are at the top of their game, but they might have a hard time matching this one.

How we voted:
John   - The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine
Adam - Final Fantasy XV
Nick   - Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Jake   - Pokémon Sun and Moon
Mike  - The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine

 

 

Best Horror Game - Killing Floor 2

killing floor 2Ok so this one's not your traditional "horror" game, but it's fun as fuck and full of zombies so what more do you want? After being in public beta for goodness knows how long, Tripwire finally popped the cork this year throwing in a new game mode and other goodies. KF2 is a brighter, more lighthearted affair than it's predecessor and has been a staple at AM LAN parties for over a year now. Endless blood, endless bullets, endless fun!

How we voted:
John   - Killing Floor 2
Adam - Killing Floor 2
Nick   - Killing Floor 2
Jake   - Subnautica
Mike  - KF2 AIN'T HORROR, IT'S SHOOTY SHOOT!

 

 

Best Adventure Game - Obduction

obduction

Here's where things start getting tricky. The choice for best adventure had each member of the team shoot off in seemingly random directions. But in the end we settled on Obduction, Cyan promised a bold spiritual successor to their MYST series and by god did they pull it off. Obduction is a game about distorting the familiar, whether it be landscapes, sound design, or the puzzles themselves, each set piece is designed to tickle veterans and reward newcomers. It also helps that Obduction is one of the best VR titles too, being built around slow exploration and a "show don't tell narrative" it lends itself perfectly to this new tech. Now we understand adventure games aren't everyone's cup of tea, but if their's one adventure that everyone should give a go, it's this one.

How we voted:
John   - Obduction
Adam - Final Fantasy XV
Nick   - Subnautica
Jake   - Firewatch
Mike  - Uncharted 4 - A Thief's End

 

 

Best Sports Game: NBA 2K17

 NBA 2K17

Best sports game threw up another batch of... interesting results... Look we're not the most athletic folks around, but one of us is, so I'm passing the rest of this paragraph off to Mike!
NBA 2k17 builds on 2k10-2k16 solid gameplay and excellent presentation values, with a new and improved more realistic shot meter and adding the most dynamic presentation ever seen in a sports game with an abundance of real-life sports personalities to make it feel more like you are watching a real game on TV.

John   - Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge
Adam - Sports Friends (It's the GOTY sports game all years)
Nick   - Rocket League
Jake   - Evolve: 2nd Stage
Mike  - NBA 2K17

 

 

Best Racing Game: Dirt Rally

Dirt RallyOur pick for 2016's best racer is Dirt Rally, and when you think about it it couldn't have been any other game. Codemasters finally headed the call for a pure rally title, and gave us a game for the history books. Dirt Rally is a thankful departure from the previous 'brotastic' Dirt games and brings us back to the Colin McRae days. With a great selection of tracks, cars, and events and a harsh but fair learning curve Dirt Rally is a game every racer should try.

How we voted:
John   - Dirt Rally
Adam - Formula Fusion
Nick   - Dirt Rally
Jake   - Racing games are boring
Mike  - Dirt Rally

 

 

Best Indie Game: Don't Starve Together

dont starve togetherWhat could be more more fun than dying alone in the wilderness? Dying in the wilderness with friends! Klei's Don't Starve was one of those many many games crying out for a multiplayer addition, but this time the devs stepped up and gave us one hellova fun little game. Much like one our earlier winner Don't Starve Together has been in beta for quite some time, only recently has it gotten a 'proper' release. Seemingly built around 3 parts laughs to 1 part frustration Don't Starve Together is one of those titles that'll make you hate your friends... but in a good way.

How we voted:
John   - Darkest Dungeon
Adam - Swordy
Nick   - Inside
Jake   - Obduction
Mike  - Don't Starve Together

 

 

Most Surprising Game: Kentucky Route Zero - Act IV

kentucky route zero act IV

There's two kinds of surprising, surprisingly good and suOHFUCKWHATWASTHAT!!1! KRZ Act 4 is both. Dropped on us with merely a murmur from the devs, Act 4 takes a bit of a departure from the rest of the series. It's hard to describe in a single sentence, but everything seems off. Like something has happened to Conway and co since our last adventure but we weren't privy to it. Anyways KRZ Act 4 is a fantastic continuation of what is shaping up to be our favorite adventure series of all time. We're just surprised as hell that we got it!

How we voted:
John   - Devils Daggers
Adam - Astroneer
Nick   - Kentucky Route Zero: Act IV
Jake   - Obduction
Mike  - Nioh

 

 

Best Developer: CD PROJEKT RED

cd projekt red officeWhere the hell do we even start with this lot... CDPR aren't just a great studio they're goddamn gaming philanthropists. Right from the beginning they've had a heavy push against DRM, they also founded gog.com (John's home away from home) turning the abandonware scene on it's head! Their commitment to making gaming better for everyone is matched only by their drive to make some of the best games we've seen. The Witcher series had one hell of a rough start, but they pushed on giving gamers free expansions, updates, and extended support! Modern PC gaming owes allot to CDPR and we're more than happy to make them our developers of the year.

How we voted:
John   - CD PROJEKT RED
Adam - CD PROJEKT RED
Nick   - CD PROJEKT RED (Actually I wanted Tripwire, but goddamn peer pressure!)
Jake   - CD PROJEKT RED
Mike  - Naughty Dog

 

 

Most Disappointing Game: No Man's Sky

No Mans SkyYou all knew this one was coming. It's common knowledge just how badly this one crashed, NMS promised big and delivered a buggy pre-beta sandbox with about as much depth as one of those yellow puddles you find in public restrooms. The content was bland, the mechanics were broken, and the gameplay was almost nonexistent (unless you reeeeeealy like inventory management). But the worst thing about NMS was it's price, some poor bastards ended up paying $110 for this sideshow! Shame on you Hello Games, and shame on anyone who fell for this crap.

How we voted:
John   - Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Adam - Technomancer
Nick   - My life lmao (Just kidding The Walking Dead: Michonne)
Jake   - No Man's Sky
Mike  - Street Fighter V

 

 

The Peter Molyneux Award: Sean Murray

sean murrayThe winner of this year's "Peter Molyneux Award for biggest gobshite in the games industry" was a bit of a no brainier. For those of you who were (understandably) hiding under a rock for 2016, Sean strung a line of bullshit so long it made dear old Peter turn beet red. It's hard to spot where it started but at some point after the 2013 VGX awards he began spouting complete and utter arse-water. He started off by simply embellishing a few mechanics, two years down the line he was lying about entire features and guiding crowds through highly scripted trailers that would end up being nothing like the end product. He boasted of dynamically programmed worlds with intricate eco-systems, and complex inter faction rivalries that effected an ever changing galactic economy, all of this was of course bullshit. If you were they type of person to believe this trollop you'd think Hello Games were on their way to winning a goddamn Turing Award!  Maybe he was a little spooked about the sudden hype for NMS, maybe he just liked the attention, either way Sean Murray can now proudly hold his head high as one of the biggest jokes of the industry.

How we voted:
John   - Sean Murray
Adam - Sean Murray
Nick   - Sean Murray
Jake   - Sean Murray
Mike  - Sean Murray

 

Well that wraps things up for 2016, sure it might have been a shitty year, but at least we got some damn fine games out of it.

The Awkward Machine team