Red Dead Redemption 2 tops list of Game Developers Choice nominees

Rockstar Games

Red Dead Redemption 2 leads the field of nominees for the 19th annual Game Developers Choice Awards, with seven nominations, while PlayStation exclusives God of War and Spider-Man received six each. All three are nominated for Game of the Year.

They are joined in that category by Celeste and Return of the Obra Dinn, which likewise picked up multiple nominations (three for Celeste, four for Obra Dinn). Four of the five nominees for Game of the Year are nominated for Best Narrative, where they are also joined by Florence, which was given an honorable mention for Game of the Year.

Nominees are chosen by video games developers and winners are announced during this year’s Game Developers Conference; the ceremony will be held March 20, 2019.

Additionally, Amy Hennig, creative director and writer on Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series, will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Her honor was announced back in December. Another award, The Pioneer Award, will announce its winner soon.

All five of the Game of the Year contenders were in Polygon’s top 10 games of the year for 2018, with God of War as our top game overall.

Here is the full list of nominees:

Best Audio

Best Debut

Best Design

Best Mobile Game

Innovation Award

Best Narrative

Best Technology

Best Visual Art

Best VR/AR Game

Game of the Year


Wonder how many hours it took them to vote on that.

lol it’s just the same 5 games repeated for every category, unsurprisingly

Best technology is one tough, interesting category. That should be the Game Developers Choice top award, while "game of the year" is announced via unceremonious tweet.

Cause game narratives, art, music, gameplay and all that stuff are secondary in designing a fun and involving game

Is RDR2 really that innovative? It just did the same open-world stuff, but bigger and more detailed. I haven’t finished it yet, but it doesn’t feel like there was anything "new" about it. Maybe the realistic horse balls haven’t been done before.

No game has incorporated a story about like 20 people attached to the main character so well. The camp mechanics were excellent if we exclude the excruciatingly slow speed of walking. I spent hours just sitting in the camp listening to stories some of them tell around the fire, playing poker or getting drunk and talking to everyone to see their reaction. I liked upgrading the camp even if it didn’t bring much difference beyond cosmetic. You tagging along for the companions’ side-missions or them joining into yours was done so well. Seeing the character progression of everyone as the group kept moving was excellent.
The story itself was great as well, compilation of tropes or not they were used very well. I love when a game wants me to sink 100 hours in but it feels earned and cathartic by the end of it. Giving shit to Dutch from the get-go in every interaction on my 2nd playthrough never gets old. I am a 33 year old man with a job and hobbies other than gaming, yet felt the need to dive in again a week after finishing it. It’s a landmark game.

But none of that is "innovative." They’ve done everything in the game better than anyone, but innovative should mean something new was done. The game is amazing, I’m just not sure it deserves an award for innovation.

Everything is an iteration of previous games though, none of these were built in a vacuum. Tetris was also nominated. TETRIS! Just because it’s VR doesn’t make it a whole new game.

Innovation could be about tech – which RDR2 has in abundance. Even just look at the lighting, weather and cloud engine.

Or innovation could be in storytelling, world building, or even just how a game makes you feel.

i.e. Journey was an innovative game because it somehow, even through average game mechanics, found a way to get players to emotionally engage with a stranger.

All of Bioware’s games disagree.

As much as I enjoyed all the characters in RDR2 I felt the game barely scratched the surface of exploring everyone except Arthur and Dutch. The poor pacing and disjointed patchwork structure of the narrative also hurt the development of the story and the gang members. The game felt like a series of, often compelling and interesting, vignettes rather than a cohesive story.

Every time I see a commercial for this game I hear someone talking about worrying about ‘cops’ – which is weird – since it supposedly takes place in the old west right?

According to, people started calling police officers "coppers" in the 1840s, and then started shortening it to "cops" by 1859. The game itself is set in 1899. I totally understand it seeming anachronistic, but as far as I can tell it’s not.

I wish Subnautica would’ve gotten some love. Great game with a great concept.

Hope RDR2 wins Game of the Year. Its a work of art. My only regret is that I finished it too quickly but in all honesty I rushed through the last few chapters (including the epilogue) as I had had enough of all the spoilers!

Currently playing Spider-Man and I’m really enjoying it. Web-slinging is great fun and the story is really good, much better than the last few Spider-Man films (haven’t seen Into the Spider-Verse though).

Yet to play God of War or AC: Odyssey but definitely will at some point this year.

The other games mentioned either don’t appeal or are on a different platform. I tend to prefer big AAA titles over small indie titles anyway.

My only regret is that I finished it too quickly but in all honesty I rushed through the last few chapters (including the epilogue)

Lol is it really possible to "rush" through the last few chapters? It all takes hours and hours.

Ha, compared to how much time I spent just exploring the world during the first 3-4 chapters then yeah, I definitely ‘rushed’ through the next two. It took me seven weeks to finish the complete story but it could have taken me longer.

I didnt really bother with the Legendary animals or find a single dinosaur bone or dreamcatcher or anything like that.

BTW for fans of RDR2, check out This Land is my Land. Its not as "cinematic" as RDR2, but it will have big world too and its not some copy – you play Native American warrior in a world that evolves over time.

Some details here:

Sounds very interesting. I enjoyed the segments in Red Dead with Rain Falls and Eagle Flies plus Charles is a great character.

Say whaaaat? I haven’t heard of this, looks cool though

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