So Valve Released their Steam Awards for 2016. They’re dumb. But everybody probably knows this just by looking at the categories. I’m going to go through each category 1-by-1, give my thoughts on the winner, whether they deserved it or not, and probably compare it to the other nominees. Also note that Video Game Awards are completely pointless. You can like a game without feeling the need to validate it through some arbitrary award.
Keep in mind that these awards are COMMUNITY VOTED (whichmeansthey’reapopularitycontestandnotindicitiveofwhowouldactuallywin) But remember, much like my opinions on these awards, that fact is completely pointless. These awards are written to draw out the “rawr so random and dark XD” crowd and it showed. Anyways, onto the opinions.
AWARD #1: Villain Most in Need of A Hug
Winner: Portal 2
Portal 2 is a fairly strong choice. I know of the villains in Farcry 3 and 4 and they don’t need a hug. They’re just coo-coo crazy. Borderlands 2’s antagonist would also be fitting, due to him being ostracized by his friends and you kind of killing his wife, but a hug for Wheatley in Portal 2 would be fitting. Dude’s got like no friends and nobody thinks he’s cool. I think you’re cool, Wheatley. I see a lot of myself in Wheatley. Round, eager to help, blue core powering my bodily functions, fat as fu-
AWARD #2: The “I thought this was cool before it got an award…(put in waif hipster bullshit) award:
Winner: Euro Truck Simulator
I am not German. I have never visited Germany, and I have no family roots there. This lack of German blood within me is why I am indifferent to Euro Truck Simulator 2. I can understand why this game won this award. Stardew Valley got attention from a lot of reviewers singing the praises of it, myself included, moreso than the let’s playing community. Unturned got a lot of attention because of its superficial resemblance to Minecraft, and it was released when Minecraft was hot with mostly adults and not children. Paladins is a game that exists. Starbound is similar to Terraria, and while I haven’t played it myself, it has a very dedicated developer and a very strong base game in there. But I believe Euro Truck Simulator 2 deserves this award because it was always slightly popular, but not to an extreme end. But, with word of mouth and a very dedicated fanbase, Euro Truck Simulator 2 game was able to sell 3.5 million copies on Steam. I mean, when I heard that people liked the game, I thought they were just being ironic. I assumed that you had GTA to excercise the fantasy of not driving properly, so why would people want a game that’s just like an everyday job? I hate transit, I wouldn’t want to play Bus Simulator 2017. Who would want to play a Bus Simulator? My favourite part about Bus Simulator, is the construction workers with beer who walk in the front of the bus without paying and the bus driver goes “ah hey dude: and slightly raises his hand and then just decides “ah you know what I don’t get paid enough”…doesn’t that sound entertaining? But as I saw more YouTubers discuss this and talk about how great of a game it is, and how much an accurate simulation it is, I sort of understood a bit more. Driving terrifies me in real life. I get really worried when somebody hits the breaks hard or i’m close to a car. Driving just makes me uncomfortable, and it probably does that for others as well. So I understand if people want to zone out and simulate what truck deliveries are like. I applaud this game for taking an innocuous task and transforming it into a game that, hey, all of Germany loves, so who am I to judge? Germany is an amazing nation when it comes to football. Where does Canada Rank? Oh no. Ooooh nooo that’s, uh, a-anyways well done Euro Truck Simulator!
(play footage of Euro Truck Simulator. Show image for when each game comes up.)
Award #3: Test of Time
*drink from water bottle* Alright, let’s get into this. Skyrim is the worst possible winner out of these three. Remember when I said earlier that community voting is essentially a popularity vote? That shows very heavily with this entry. But, let me compare Skyrim to the other candidates and maybe you’ll see why I hold so much disdain. Team Fortress 2 was released in 2007 and still has an incredibly large and dedicated fanbase on Steam. The game regularly has at least 45000 people playing it, and despite Valve’s lack of care for this game, it has a community that will always be around. Being free also helps. Skyrim was released in 2011. Using some hardcore calculations, Skyrim has been around for 4 less years than TF2 with a much smaller playerbase. Keep in mind, the Skyrim remaster also released a few months ago, so buzz for this game is very fresh. In fact, during the Winter Sale, clicking on this version of Skyrim linked to the Remaster, and not the original. Take that for what you will. I’m not insinuating that this is a conspiracy, because I doubt Bethesda needs advertisement for one of the best-selling video games ever, and I seriously doubt they need the Meme Awards to boost sales. I would also argue that Skyrim, without mods, is still a good game, but one that is definitely dated. The combat in Skyrim is weightless and flimsy, and every quest feels very boring. Everything in the game is a fetch quest where you fight the same enemies in the same caves, and then a Nord comes up to you and goes “MHEET ME IN HIGH HHHROTHGAR WEETH THA OOLFRIC STORMCLOKE”, and I don’t want to do that. The visuals get uglier every year with its, paper mache rocks, its playdoh faces, and its two-dimensional grass and fire. But at least the water looks nice! Skyrim, to use a metaphor that makes me sound much deeper than I actually am, is an inch-deep ocean, if you know what I mean. I understand that it is a Single-player game, and obviously a multiplayer game like TF2 will have more players. But, 4 years in the games industry is an incredibly long time. For TF2 to still be relevant for almost 10 years now is amazing to me. Furthermore, I believe that the core game to the other 4 games are much stronger than Skyrim’s. Civilization 5 has one of the most dedicated and loyal communities for any game. Civilization 5 came out in 2010, which is a full year before Skyrim. And like Skyrim, it is a heavily moddable, single-player only game that, according to Steam stats, has a consistently higher playbase than Skyrim’s. Civ 5 remains not only because of a strong modding community, but because the game is so in-depth that people’s play times can EASILY reach 1000 hours with them still seeing new outcomes. The mods for Civ mean that the potential of the game is endless, and therefore, a much stronger test of time than Skyrim. Terraria, too, I think, is a game with a lot of depth and fun to be had. Despite it being in my Steam library for 4 years, i can still return to it. I can play with friends, and a procedurally generated world and constant updates from the developer means that there is always something new to see in a new world. The content is limitless. However, Age of Empires 2, is a game that released – okay are you ready for this – in 1999. That was before the new millennium. That game STILL has thousands of players to this day. It is regarded as one of the best PC games ever created, up there with Fallout 1 and 2 and Planescape: Torment. This EASILY should have crushed Skyrim, but again, this is a popularity contest. *deep breath* okay, rant is over. Onto the next award.
(black screen at beginning. Roll skyrim footage. TF2 footage. Terraria Footage. Footage for all games as they get mentioned. When bringing up Steam stats, show images of that.
Award #4: Just 5 More Minutes
Winner: Counter Strike: Global Offensive
ALRIGHT, NEVERMIND, LET THE RANTS CONTINUE. If this award were to be taken literally, then it should have been renamed to 45 more minutes because CS:GO matches last a century. I have 25 hours on that game and I don’t feel like I’ve even played much of it. I personally don’t think it is very addictive and I think the other candidates are more worthy. It feels like Valve created these awards just specifically for certain games. I know this title just means “Most addictive game”, but still, CS:GO does not fit this description. This award was made pretty much for Civilization to win it. The “just one more turn” mentality has never been more prevalent for a game than in Civilization. It is so easy to lose hours getting sucked into every turn, because something is ALWAYS happening in that game. I would even put Fallout 4 before CS:GO. Fallout 4, although not my favourite game, is built around addiction. The player is always getting new guns or loot, always making some sort of progress, always getting stronger into some sort of demigod. The player is always progressing. Because of that, awards are small, but incredibly gratifying and frequent. I would still put it below Civ 6, but I would put it above CS:GO. Terraria is crack, man. This game is so addictive, and it is a harmful drug. I’m honestly surprised one of the Clicker Heroes games didn’t make it on this list. Terraria is a game that is so easy to lose your mind in and have 5 hours of your day sapped away. Just, 5 hours, gone, like that. Precious time lost to mining. And mining. And mining. And hating yourse-. Rocket League I wouldn’t reeeaallly call addictive. I know matches are literally 5 minutes long, but I get why people get sucked in. It is a fun game, even if it was made by sentient gods to pit us foolish humans against one another to find out which is the most intelligent and superior. Seriously, if you’re good at Rocket League, then you have ascended mankind. But yeah, CS:GO? Not a strong winner.
(show gameplay of cs:go. show images of other games. show text for text in quotes.)
Award #5: Whooooaaa, Dude!
Winner: GTA V
This award title is very vague. It refers to a game that “blew you away” and it could be for a myriad of reasons. I think GTA V is a game that encompasses many different qualities such as excellent presentation, gameplay, and activities. I get why it won. It probably has to do with the level of polish for each part of its massive open world. Buuuuut if that’s the case, I personally would have put Witcher 3 there instead. Witcher 3’s world is full of beautiful imagery that’s prettier than real life, and even throwaway side quests have minutes worth of world and story-building cutscenes. But looking at the other candidates, it appears presentation and graphical fidelity are what people favoured for this award. But, as it is, I think this is a good call by the Steam community. The award is vague, but if I were to play GTA V, I think I might say “woah, this is certainly overwhelming, fellow male homosapien”
(show gameplay of gta v, then witcher cutscnee when it pops up. text for quotations.)
Award #6: Game Within a Game
Winner: GTA V
Alright calm down GTA V, let’s not take all of these awards. Personally, I feel that GTA V is sliiiightly cheating. I know these awards are arbitrary, but GTA V is full of multiple mini-games, and the description calls for the best SINGULAR mini-game in a game. In which, out of all of these, I would probably give to The Witcher 3’s gwent, which was good enough to get its own standalone game. Tabletop simulator is a bunch of card games within a video game, so, that would be a good candidate too. But, can that even qualify? Because without its mini-games, then what is it? Tabletop Simulator NEEDS those mini-games to function as a whole game, seeing the forest for the trees and all that. And, same with Garry’s mod. Garry’s mod is a toolkit, not a game, really. It is a form of expression and creativity. I guess for Stanley Parable they are referring to the red button mini-game within it which is a solid “rawr XD so teh random” pick, but could it be referring to its metanarrative? Stanley Parable has a story that is concerned with talking about the illusion of choice within games, so instead of that meme game, could it be referring to its artistic vision and purpose? Could Stanley Parable’s inclusion be more than just a meme, for these meme-baiting awards? Could the Stanley Parable community be that strong to overpower memes? Nah, probably not. Other than The Witcher 3, these picks are kind of odd. But, ah well, GTA V won another award. The tsunami that is GTA V steals another award even 3 years after it came out.
(show gta v footage. Show awkward gwent game picture when it pops up. Then Stanley Parable. Zoom in on it during.)
Award #7: I’m Not Crying, There’s Something in my Eye
Winner: The Walking Dead Season #1
Prepare to see my masculinity break down. I feel that this is a very solid pick. The first Walking Dead season was a game that understood how to do emotional storytelling very well. It knew how to have hope within a hopeless world, and not be incredibly drab all the time. That’s why when serious character deaths do occur, they hit very hard. The writing for The Walking Dead was very well done and believable as well, and the game captivated a lot of people’s attention in 2012, which was admittedly a pretty weak year for video games. It’s why Life is Strange’s heavy hitting moments didn’t really work as well for me. I wasn’t able to really relate to the characters or their drama, because of its awkward and unrealistic dialogue, so it didn’t put a tear in my eye. I never played This War of Mine but it has “da ludonarrative dissonance”. Undertale is also up there in terms of really emotionally powerful moments. Honestly, for me, these are all REALLY strong candidates. Undertale had sad moments strewn throughout, but nothing that really made me cry. To the Moon is a very short and very powerful game, but I never finished it. So between Undertale and The Walking Dead, it’s hard, but I think I will give it to The Walking Dead. For a game that put Telltale on the map as the “storytelling game company”, this is a very strong game that has a great emotional core. If you somehow haven’t had Undertale or The Walking Dead spoiled for you, they have my strong recommendation. Because my recommendation totally matters, look how authoritative I am. In fact, if you like great stories in games, I would highly recommend all 5 of these games. These are all phenomenal in their own right, but they strike that raw emotional chord harder than most. If you’re up for smiles and tears, then these will all resonate with you strongly. They did for me.
(gameplay of the walking dead. zoom in my subscriber count and scroll down rankings of top-rated Youtube channels)
Award #8: Best Use of a Farm Animal
Winner: Goat Simulator
*slow zoom on footage for 10 seconds of Goat Simulator* ecks dee. Ecks dee, everyone, Ecks dee.
Award #9: Boom Boom
The dude bro category. Again, all of these games are strong candidates, but I would judge them on these three explosion factors: Size of the explosion, Amount of explosions, and visuals of the explosion. With these three categories, let’s rank these games using this criteria. Oh Yeah, we’re doing a list within a list about a list of game awards. Confused yet? Good.
5th Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Amount of Explosions: 1/5
Visuals of Explosion 1/5
Size of Explosion 5/5
*read this all in pegasus voice*
Total amount of explosions here are lacking. I suppose it is good to do one thing really well rather than a bunch of small things poorly. The big boom if you cannot defuse the bomb is indeed an explosion…but there are just too few to truly win the highly coveted “Boom Boom” award.
4th: Kerbal Space Program
Amount of Explosions: 3/5
Visuals of Explosion 3/5
Size of Explosion 2/5
The explosions are a consequence, or an intentional result, of the player being stupid. The player can blow up their spacecraft if it is constructed poorly, Thus, these categories are all up to the player. This is truly grand choice in video game design, and example of the power of narrative through video games. The player themselves, constructs their story using the tools provided by the developer. Ah! High Art!
3rd: Just Cause 3
Amount of Explosions: 3/5
Visuals of Explosion 5/5
Size of Explosion 3/5
Just Cause 3 is a pretty game with lots of big booms. The big booms, are, again, indicitive of the player’s consequences. “Shoot the rocket launcher, or not?” The choices are endless.
(show text for that one)
Amount of Explosions: 5/5
Visuals of Explosion 2/5
Size of Explosion 5/5
Although pixelated, this game is absolutely ridiculous. The amount of explosions, and how large they are, despite their consistent amount is absolutely staggering. Me and my “brothers” are sure to “force” our way to completion
(show footage of an IGN review popping in as I make terrible puns)
Amount of Explosions: 4/5
Visuals of Explosion 5/5
Size of Explosion 4/5
Ah… a worthy choice from a worthy community. DOOM marks a lot of things for the game’s industry. It shows that single player first-person shooters can still be strong, and it shows just how amazing explosions of guts and bombs and truly be. It is an expression of the art that is the videographic gaming medium.
(show gameplay for each game. Over this, make footage black and white. And play the orchestra song.)
Award #10: Love/Hate Relationship
Winner: Dark Souls 3
I think as soon as the Dark Souls community saw this option, they all banded together with their incredibly vague praise and xenophobic vitriol to nominate Dark Souls as the winner. And it worked. I mean, the only other game I feel meets this level of Love/Hate is Super Meat Boy. I get incredibly frustrated with my hundreds of death’s per level in Meat Boy, but I always come back. Since respawns are instant in that game, dying only really sends you back 10 seconds, as opposed to the minutes of Progress in Dark Souls 3. Plus, In any Souls game, if I lose my souls because I die, and there were like 5 levels worth of experience in there, I get so mad and put the game down for a few hours and get it back in like 3 minutes since it’s not that hard to farm. While I personally feel Meat Boy fits this category more, I can definitely understand why Dark Souls 3 won this award. The other games i’m indifferent towards. I hear Dota 2 has a steep learning curve, but I hate MOBA’s and 100 hour long matches, so I will abstain from providing my verdict. Either way, award made for Dark Souls and its scary fanbase.
(gameplay of Dark Souls 3, and pictures of the other game. Text clarifying what I mean by that praise, saying like “stuff like: I can’t tell you what’s in it, you have to play to find out” And then say although, the Undertale community does that as well, and that’s one of my favourite games ever)
Award # 11: Sit Back and Relax
Winner: Euro Truck Simulator 2
2 Euro Trucks, 2 awards. Was there even ever a Euro Truck Simulator 1? I get why this game won the award. Take away the risk of property damage, death, serious damage to physical and mental state, the rammifications of taking another person’s life in a car crash, and gas money, and you’ve got a really relaxing game. You drive over landscapes of real places and deliver packages. That’s the whole game. If you have a stressful day and need to forget your worries, I get why this game won.
Award # 12: Better With Friends
Winner: Left 4 Dead 2
The last award, the last of the highly coveted Steam Awards. And it is a fitting pick. Though, what in the world is “Golf with Your Friends”? Who thought that title was good? Do you think like, during the months of development for that game, the creators didn’t at once think about the name? Left 4 Dead is called that because there are 4 players to play as. And this game is definitely one that benefits from the inclusion of multiple people. Left 4 Dead 2 on your own is a frustrating slog. The AI is terrible, let’s be honest. So playing with friends is essential. I feel like Left 4 Dead is the essential pick-up-and play game. Like, without any tutorial or explanation, you can figure it out. You have a gun, and you shoot it. I feel it’s a great co-op game because of this. Shoot the zombies and don’t get hit because when you do, staples are injected into your feet and you can’t move anymore.
So there are all of the Steam Awards. Were they pointless? Yeah. Were they rigged by Valve to sell even more copies of Left 4 Dead for the last award? Probably not because everybody and their mother owns Left 4 Dead 2. Did I go too hard on Skyrim? Probably. But hey, my opinions are completely pointless like these awards, so, have a great day everybody and please subscribe if you enjoyed. I really appreciate it.