The Student News Site of Columbia Heights High School

The Heights Herald

The Student News Site of Columbia Heights High School

The Heights Herald

The Student News Site of Columbia Heights High School

The Heights Herald

RPG fantasy sequel wins Game of the Year ’23

You+can+visit+thegameawards.com%2Fnominees%2Fgame-of-the-year+to+see+more+of+the+nominees+and+winners%21
Emarie Kusler
You can visit thegameawards.com/nominees/game-of-the-year to see more of the nominees and winners!

The Game Awards is one of the biggest gaming events worldwide. It awards game developers for their hard work in the past year while still bringing excitement for new titles in the next year. With “Baldur’s Gate 3” winning Game of the Year 2023 at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles, California last December, it’s time to celebrate a year’s worth of gaming!

“Baldur’s Gate 3” also won Best RPG, Best Multiplayer Game, Best Community Support, and the Player’s Choice category in addition to Game of the Year, where gamers worldwide vote for their favorite nominated titles. After crashing a ship in Faerûn and becoming infected with mind-controlling parasites, the player joins other survivors to find a cure in this popular game. When common methods fail to remove them, the party travels through treacherous terrain, getting caught up in fights between druids and goblins to reach a cultist stronghold said to hold the secret to their salvation. The news that “Baldur’s Gate 3” won initially sparked outrage across social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, causing a divisive conversation across forums and news pages. 

“I enjoyed ‘Baldur’s Gate 3’, but I understand that it is not for everyone,” Tenzinla Rapten (11) said. “I believe that it’s justified for winning its award mostly due to the amount of detail packed into the game and the amount of sheer replayability it contains. It can be said that ‘BG3’ is this decade’s ‘Skyrim’ with the amount of effort and love that was put into it by Larian Studios.” 

“Alan Wake II”, developed by Remedy Entertainment, won Best Game Direction, Best Narrative, and Best Art Direction for its attention to detail, lighting, and overall aesthetics. The sequel to the original “Alan Wake” (2010), this survival horror video game follows its eponymous best-selling novelist, who has been trapped in an alternate dimension for 13 years. His desperate escape attempt involves writing a horror story featuring FBI special agent Saga Anderson. The game seamlessly shifts between psychological terror and frantic survival-horror action, immersing players in gorgeously rendered environments and striking live-action cutscenes.

“The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom”, the highly anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed “Breath of the Wild” (2017) developed by Eiji Aonuma at Nintendo, won the Best Action/Adventure Game award. The fantasy game builds upon the original’s beloved open-world gameplay, expanding the vast and immersive world of Hyrule. With the addition of new areas such as the sky, filled with floating islands, the Depths, an extensive underground region beneath Hyrule as well as new mechanics and abilities like weapon-fusing virtually every item in the game, going through ceilings, and building various constructions, “Tears of the Kingdom” stood out as the pinnacle in the action-adventure genre. Its ambition and attention to detail made it the clear choice for Best Action/Adventure Game this year.

“I love ‘Tears of the Kingdom’ because of the world-building and mechanics,” Ray Muhm (10) said. “As you progress through the game, the world changes and the way you interact with characters which is really neat. The mechanics of the game make it very interesting and challenge you to think of different ways to approach a puzzle — there isn’t one way to do something usually, and that’s amazing.”

Similarly kid-friendly and retro, “Super Mario Bros. Wonder” took home the Best Family Game award thanks to its universal appeal to gamers of all ages while the “Resident Evil 4” remake, developed by Capcom, sadly didn’t win an award but was nominated for Game of the Year, Best Audio Design and Best Action/Adventure Game. The game is a re-imagination of its 2005 predecessor, with astonishing graphics and quality-of-life improvements and changes. The story follows special agent Leon Kennedy as he is sent to rural Spain to rescue the U.S. President’s daughter, Ashley Graham, who has been kidnapped by a religious cult called Los Iluminados.

The Game Awards 2023 highlighted some of the most ambitious and technically impressive titles, from the intricate world-building and freedom of exploration in games like Baldur’s Gate 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom to the psychological thrills of Alan Wake II, This year’s awards honored games that pushed the boundaries of interactive storytelling and gameplay innovation. After a year of groundbreaking releases, the future of gaming looks brighter than ever!

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About the Contributor
Emarie Kusler
Emarie Kusler, Co-Editor-In-Chief
Co-Editor-in-Chief Emarie Kusler is a senior who is returning for her last of four years writing for The Heights Herald. She is often found participating in her school's speech team and loves to engage in debates while pushing her knowledge of the world to the best of her ability. Outside of her efforts in school and extracurriculars, she absolutely loves caring for her pet dog and squirrel, sketching the beauty in the world, reading academic literature and creating her own world of words through poetry. Some of the artists she listens to the most are The Weeknd, Lauryn Hill, and Celine Dion. When she isn't singing along to her favorite music, you can find her re-watching shows like "The Queen's Gambit" and "Bojack Horseman".