The 24th annual DICE Awards is due to take place on April 8th, 2021, and ahead of the (virtual) event, the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences has announced the finalists for their 23 categories, including "Game of the Year", "Outstanding Achievement for an Independent Game", and "Adventure Game of the Year".
The Game of the Year category has only two games playable on the Nintendo Switch: Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Hades. The other three games nominated are the Final Fantasy VII Remake, Ghost of Tsushima, and The Last of Us Part II.
It's a great GOTY haul for Sony and Nintendo, who both have platform exclusives in the top five, but less good for Microsoft - although Microsoft Flight Simulator is up for both Simulation Game of the Year and Outstanding Technical Achievement, and Xbox Game Studios' Ori and the Will of the Wisps has five nominations in total.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons takes home three nominations, including Family Game of the Year and Online Game of the Year.
Hades has the third most nominations (behind The Last Of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima), with eight overall, including Outstanding Achievement in Story, Action Game of the Year, and Outstanding Achievement for an Independent Game.
Mario Kart Live, the AR-enhanced game that lets you drive Mario around your own home, has been nominated for Outstanding Technical Achievement, Racing Game of the Year, and Immersive Reality Technical Achievement.
One-off nominations include Spiritfarer, up for Outstanding Achievement in Animation; Carrion, up for Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition, and If Found... and Coffee Talk, both nominated for Outstanding Achievement for an Independent Game.
In a sad twist of fate, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 bagged a nomination for Sports Game of the Year, just days after developer Vicarious Visions was merged into Blizzard.
You can check out the full list of nominations here. It's a pretty mixed bag of indies and huge, big-budget games like Call of Duty and Half-Life: Alyx, so it'll be interesting to see who wins.
Nintendo often dominates "Best Family Game" and "Portable Game of the Year", but the awards seem to have done away with the latter category, and the family game nominations for this year are largely PlayStation exclusives. Past GOTY winners have included The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, The Sims, and Untitled Goose Game (which also won "Outstanding Character Performance" for The Goose in the same year).
What are your predictions for GOTY and the other categories? Drop your thoughts below.
My favourite fact in this article is that The Goose from Untitled Goose Game won "Outstanding Achievement in Character" over Jesse Faden from Control, Cliff and Sam from Death Stranding, and Greez from Jedi: Fallen Order.
Imagine voicing a character with that many lines and you lose to a goose that honks and steals things?
I love it
@KateGray I don't know if I should laugh or feel bad for everyone else that was nominated
I bet House House was probably dying of laughter
@Doofenshmirtz feel bad. What a joke!
I’m honestly surprised that I’ve spent so many more hours on Hades than Animal Crossing. I played loads of New Leaf but only about 10 hours of New Horizons. Hades on the other hand, I’ve played over 700 hours although that’s including alpha and betas.
@nessisonett I have 300 hours in ACNH, and 150 hours in Hades (and counting). I think I'll probably hit at least 200 in Hades before I'm done!
700 hours is IMPRESSIVE, though. You must be really good by now... please teach me your ways
@KateGray I own it on PC, I play my laptop way more than my Switch! I’ve seen the end screen so many times before they even added the ending that I kinda miss the beta messages 😂
I dont understand all the love for Hades. Its not the worst game in the world, no, but to me at least its not amazing either.
Animal Crossing is a fine game, but game of the year? I'm not sure it's quite that good, it doesn't really... do anything special. Of course, I would be remissed not to mention how its certainly helped people mentally, but surely that argument can be applied to any game? Maybe I'm missing something - not looking to start a fight, just unsure what qualifies it as GOTY
Kinda pointless year for awards. The kinds of folk who run these things have such an overwhelming bias towards games like TLOU that it's just a foregone conclusion.
It's like the Oscars would never give best picture to an Avengers film, even if they actually thought it was the best picture. Well awards like this are not gonna give Animal Crossing GOTY.
Makes sense. The goose stole their trophy and everyone just went along afterwards.
It's lame that a handful games basically clog up the awards by being nominated across 8+ categories at the same time.
No game is that good. Give other games recognition they deserve.
I would drape myself in Hades, were it socially acceptable.
Ori is average at best with brilliant art. I wish it would stop getting considered for gameplay awards.
Hades fully deserves every accolade it gets, in any catagory.
@TheAwesomeBowser I kept thinking "why isn't Among Us nominated?" but, of course, it's been out for a while. I think it would have been in there otherwise, which is weird - should a game be limited by the year it came out, even if its impact happened in this year?
@Dr_Lugae I always find the indie game awards, like the IGFs, far more interesting for this reason. The big awards shows just make obvious choices, because of COURSE the big-budget AAA games were good. The indie games are always more experimental, and don't go on for 80 hours
@Dezzy yeah, I agree with you. "Massive game with millions of dollars is good" is not as interesting as "hey, check out this hidden gem!"
After the weird Game Awards this year, this is a refreshing win for indies.
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