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Celebrating excellence in games

Danial Norjidi

The winners of the 2022 Canadian Game Awards (CGA) were officially unveiled on April 7, with accolades presented across 21 categories.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, live-streamed on Twitch, host Marissa Roberto highlighted that the event celebrates “another year of achievement and excellence in Canadian gaming”, and that it would highlight “the three pillars of the Canadian game industry – game developers, content creators and esports.

“Talented people work in every facet of this industry and together they create some of the best games and gaming content in the world”.

Coming away with the biggest awards haul from this year’s event was Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which won three accolades, including Best Narrative, Best Console Game and the event’s most prestigious award of Game of the Year, which “goes to the most accomplished game produced by Canadian developers in the past year”.

Developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is a third-person action adventure title where the player takes on the role of Star-Lord, leading the unpredictable Guardians of the Galaxy.

As the game’s official page describes, “Your newly-formed band of legendary misfits is set to save the universe in this fresh but faithful take on the Guardians of the Galaxy.

A screenshot of the ‘Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy’ game. PHOTO: SQUARE ENIX

Somehow, you set off a chain of catastrophic events, leading to a wild ride through mind-blowing worlds inhabited by iconic and original Marvel characters.”

Two awards went to Age of Empires IV by Relic Entertainment and Xbox Game Studios for Best Score/Soundtrack and Best PC Game.

Age of Empires IV is a real-time strategy game described as taking players “on a journey through the ages as they command influential leaders, build expansive kingdoms and fight some of the most critical battles of the Middle Ages”.

The award for Best Art Direction went to Wytchwood, “a crafting adventure game set in an expressive land of gothic fables and fairytales” by Alientrap and WhisperGames. As the old witch of the woods, the player “will explore a strange countryside, collect magical ingredients, brew sorcerous enchantments, and pass your twisted judgement upon a capricious cast of characters and creatures”.

Winning for Best Game Design was Inscryption by Daniel Mullins Games and Devolver Digital.

Inscryption is described as “an inky black card-based odyssey that blends the deckbuilding roguelike, escape-room style puzzles, and psychological horror”.

Meanwhile, for his role as Anton Castillo, the antagonist in Ubisoft Toronto’s action-adventure first-person shooter title Far Cry 6, Giancarlo Esposito won the Best Performance award.

Ubisoft Toronto also won the award for Studio of the Year.

Taking home the award for Best Audio Design was The Vale: Shadow of the Crown, an audio-based action adventure game by Falling Squirrel and Creative Bytes Studios that places the player in the worn leather boots of a blind adventurer. The game is described as being story-driven and utilising “the full potential of 3D audio and haptic controller feedback to deliver visceral gameplay that shatters the barrier between player and character.”

Lego Star Wars: Castaways won Best Mobile Game. Developed by Gameloft, this title sees players explore a mysterious new planet and meet new friends in “the first social, action-adventure Lego Star Wars game”.

Shifting the focus to virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), the award for Best VR/AR Game went to Pistol Whip: Smoke & Thunder. Pistol Whip is an action-rhythm first-person shooter developed by Cloudhead Games, and ‘Smoke & Thunder’ is the game’s second cinematic campaign, which launched in August 2021.

The award for Best Indie Game went to Echo Generation by Cococucumber. Echo Generation is described as “a turn-based adventure game about a gang of kids investigating supernatural occurrences while battling monsters and mechs to save their small town”.

Another accolade that was presented during the event was the Fans’ Choice Award, which was won by Super Animal Royale. Developed by Pixile Studios and published by Modus Games, Super Animal Royale is “a frenetic top-down 2D twist on the battle royale genre”, in which “up to 64 adorably murderous animals fight tooth, claw, and machine gun across the varied landscape of an abandoned safari park”.

The CGAs also put the spotlight on esports five award categories. Russel ‘Twistzz’ Van Dulken won Best Esports Player; Parker ‘Interro’ Mackay won Best Esports Host; Luminosity Gaming won the award for Best Esports Organisation; Red Bull Campus Clutch – Canada National Finals won Best Esports Event; and Raymond “Rambo” Lussier won Best Esports Coach.

In addition, the award for Best Content Creator/Show went to Evan Fong, while Imane ‘Pokimane’ Anys won Best Streamer and Stephanie “missharvey” Harvey won Best Personality.