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Now we get into the meat of the awards. Day three finds our intrepid heroes, Michael, Mike, John, and Niall, all ready to duke it out. If you’re wondering how or why we came to these decisions, or just would rather listen to it in real-time, then check out our GOTY podcasts above! Otherwise, read on to see the big winners from Day Three!
Today we take care of “Best Moment, Scene, or Level”, “Best Writing”, “Best Character”, and “Most Annoying Character”.
Best Moment, Scene, or Level: Bloody Baron Quest (Witcher 3)
Runners Up: Mettaton Boss Fight (Undertale), Finger-gun Battle (Tales from the Borderlands, Ep. 4)
Complicated and morally ambiguous, Witcher 3 is filled with characters who aren’t entirely good or evil. Characters whose inner demons scream haunt their every action. The Bloody Baron and his efforts to search for his daughter and wife best encapsulates how intertwined and dark these story lines and characters can get. The Baron is a violent drunk who has scared off his family with his terrible behavior but he’s trying to his best to make up for his terrible, inexcusable actions. As his family rejects him and you see the lengths they’re willing to go to reject him you begin to really feel for the Baron. This is the first big quest you undertake in Witcher 3 and it really showed off just how great this game would be.
Best Writing: Witcher 3
Runners Up: Her Story, Tales from the Borderlands
Often times, open-world games struggle to make themselves feel in any way alive. Sure these games might be otherwise fine experiences, but failure to create a living, breathing world is often part of their downfall – it’s an issue that’s cropped up this year in the likes of Metal Gear Solid V and Just Cause 3, but it’s something that Witcher 3 excels at. Good writing should do more than simply further a plot – it should build a world, imbue characters with a sense of realism and relatability, drive home that something is at stake, and WItcher 3 does this throughout. No matter how small a side-plot, Witcher presents it carefully, thoughtfully, and with sharp writing. It sets a new precedent for open-world games, one that should give other developers pause in future. There’s a new bar for writing in video games, and it’s a high one.
Best Character: Loader Bot (Tales from the Borderlands)
Runners Up: Inspector Jenks (Contradiction), Sans (Undertale)
Mario, Sonic, Cloud, Solid Snake, Samus Aran, Lara Croft – gaming has a long history of forging memorable, charismatic characters who have gone on to be the torchbearers for their respective series and developers. Now, in 2015, we have a new entry to the list – Loader Bot. Telltale did a wonderful job reinventing the Borderlands universe from top to bottom, but who would’ve thought that a previously cannon-fodder robot would rise to become the true hero of Tales from the Borderlands? Loader Bot is everything a true hero should be – honorable, charming, self-sacrificing, and totally off his rocker. Rhys and Fiona are great characters, but Loader Bot is the true heart and soul of Tales, and that’s why we all love him.
Most Annoying Character: Warren Graham (Life is Strange)
Runners Up: Quiet (Metal Gear Solid V), Alphys (Undertale)
Look. Sometimes, you come across a character so terrible, so utterly repulsive, that it feels like the easy way out to crown them the worst of the year. Maybe it is, but seriously, fuck Warren. This kid is a creep in every possible respect, his constant, usually unreplied-to texting, his anointing himself as Max’s “white knight”, his self-absorbed displays of faux-chivalry, the whole nice-guy facade, Warren is the most annoying, unlikable character of 2015, and it isn’t even close. Not only that, dude’s a total stalker too, and personally, the most rewarding part of Life is Strange was showing Captain Creepy absolutely no affection at the end. Warren makes my skin crawl. Get fucking bopped, son.