CGM Game of the Year 2021: Nominees

CGM Game of the Year 2021: Nominees & Voting 1

This far into a pandemic, gaming has become more popular than ever, with people from all walks of life coming together with one common hobby: video games. Whether you want a good firefight like in Call of Duty: Vanguard or Halo Infinite, a relaxing, gorgeous journey like in Chicory: A Colorful Tale, or plan to make it to the big leagues in eSports titles like MLB The Show 21, this year has brought something to the table for you.

Ongoing games like Fortnite and Apex Legends might not be brand-new titles, but they have launched plenty of new content, keeping players active all year long. Horror games have been booming with titles like Inscryption, Resident Evil Village and Alan Wake Remastered. Indie titles are thriving like never before with the likes of Garden Story, Alchemic Cutie or the darker Death’s Door. There is something to celebrate in every corner of the industry, and we plan to crown the best game in each category this month. But today, we are here to launch our new plans for Game of the Year.

Our Game of the Year nominees come to you today, not because they got the highest scores of the year—though some of them did. CGM hand-picked each title based on what it brought to the table in 2021. Some brought stellar graphics, like Forza Horizon 5. Some shared a story that resonated with players long after they put down the controller, like Life is Strange: True Colors. Chicory: A Colorful Tale wowed players with vibrant scenery and connection, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart showcased the PlayStation 5 in ways gamers had yet to see. Whatever the reason, each game has a rightful place on this list. 

CGMagazine wants you to get involved in Game of the Year 2021. The gaming industry has brought us at CGM together as journalists, but we all started out first and foremost as fans. It is important to us that you, as readers, have a say in the gaming industry’s biggest award of the year. Video games aren’t a one-size-fits-all medium, so we want to know what you think!

This year, we are going to give you our top ten nominees, and give our readers two weeks to vote. We will leave the CGM Game of the Year voting open from today, January 1st, until January 15th. Your votes will be paired with the staff at CGMagazine to choose the final 2021 winner on January 19th.

Monster Hunter Rise

Cgm Game Of The Year 2021: Nominees &Amp; Voting

Score: 9.5
Release Date: 26/03/2021
Played on: Nintendo Switch
Reviewed by: Cole Watson

“Capcom has decided to return back to their portable roots with their latest entry in the fifth-generation games, Monster Hunter Rise. Built from the ground up to utilize every bit of power the Nintendo Switch has to muster, Rise manages to strike the perfect balance of keeping the quality of life mechanics and insanely in-depth arsenal of weapons World prided itself on, while catering to series veterans with gameplay systems reminiscent of the previous generation titles. Yet, even with this remixed core Rise is built upon, Capcom still finds new ways to innovate this nearly 18-year-old franchise further with the introduction of their latest gameplay enhancing gimmick, the wirebug.”

Final Thoughts: Monster Hunter Rise is shaping up to be my favourite Monster Hunter to date. Capcom has outdone themselves with their latest entry in the franchise yet again.

Here is CGMs review of Monster Hunter Rise.

Resident Evil Village

Cgm Game Of The Year 2021: Nominees &Amp; Voting

Score: 9/10
Release Date: 07/05/2021
Played on: PC
Reviewed by: Clement Goh

“After playing through the 10-hour campaign from start to finish, I noticed a particular talent in how Capcom can make a Resident Evil game in almost any setting without losing the core magic. Resident Evil Village boldly continues what the team started in 2017, by going back to a no-nonsense brand of survival horror. What made the previous VII Biohazard work so well was how it managed to make players feel more vulnerable than ever in the face of grotesquely unapproachable beings. The change to a first person view gave the series a whole new way to look at its strange world, with players facing death head-on.”

Final Thoughts: Resident Evil Village is a worthy sequel that takes full advantage of its gothic setting, with Capcom delivering an absolute masterclass in survival horror thrills.

Here is CGMs review of Resident Evil Village.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale

Cgm Game Of The Year 2021: Nominees &Amp; Voting

Score: 10/10
Release Date: 10/06/2021
Played on: PC
Reviewed by: Jordan Biordi

“What is most enjoyable about Chicory: A Colorful Tale is its gameplay. The game is essentially a digital colouring book wrapped in a top-down adventure. While players will go from land to land—engaging with the locals, using the brush to solve various puzzles, and even fight off boss monsters—where the real enjoyment lies in the simple act of colouring everything. I easily spent an extra 10 minutes in every new part of the map intricately colouring in every space. What’s more, the way you colour the world persists throughout the game, so not only do you feel incredibly connected to the world, but there’s also a genuine sense of fulfillment in slowly seeing the black-and-white world become filled with colour—quite literally, like filling in a colouring book.”

Final Thoughts: Chicory: A Colorful Tale is an absolute delight—fun, engrossing, and bursting with creativity!

Here is CGMs review of Chicory: A Colorful Tale.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Cgm Game Of The Year 2021: Nominees &Amp; Voting

Score: 9/10
Release Date: 11/06/2021
Played on: PS5
Reviewed by: Zubi Khan

“One aspect of the game that genuinely surprised me during my playthrough was how smooth Rift Apart felt during gameplay, even at 30FPS. I was initially disappointed that the promised 60FPS performance mode would only become available closer to the day-one patch; However, after playing the game for myself, I personally prefer it over the performance RT mode. The game looks absolutely stunning on my OLED display, without compromising its responsiveness and fluidity outside rare instances during late-game encounters, but nothing debilitating to gameplay.”

Final Thoughts: Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart still manages to feel fresh and exciting, taking full advantage of the PlayStation 5 by delivering a definitive next-gen feeling game for the still-budding platform.

Here is CGMs review of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.

Life is Strange: True Colors

Cgm Game Of The Year 2021: Nominees &Amp; Voting

Score: 9.5/10
Release Date: 10/09/2021
Played on: PC
Reviewed by: Hayes Madsen

“There’s a lot to unpack about True Colors, and fans will likely be debating the game’s big twists and decisions for a long time to come. On a core level, however, the game strikes a human chord with its story and characters that is rare to find. It’s starkly anti-capitalist and steadfastly diverse, and I have to admire a game that truly tries to say something about its subject matter. Alex Chen is also a remarkable protagonist and her story of finding a place to belong is one that, so many can identify with. This isn’t a game about saving the world, it’s a game about finding a reason to live with those around you.”

Final Thoughts: Life Is Strange: True Colors is an unforgettable journey with some meaningful messages.

Here is CGMs review of Life is Strange: True Colors.

Metroid Dread

Cgm Game Of The Year 2021: Nominees &Amp; Voting

Score: 9/10
Release Date: 08/10/2021
Played on: Nintendo Switch
Reviewed by: Joe Findlay

“For a side-scrolling game, the environments in Metroid Dread are rich with depth. Every pixel on the screen comes to life, and you can feel the multiple dimensions in a way that is very uncommon for a game of this type. The map reminds you of the Metroid games of old, but the environments that you navigate are diverse and challenging. Try not to get lost while you try to avoid being caught or killed.”

Final Thoughts: Metroid Dread is a wonderful, modern take on a classic game from childhood. It looks as beautiful as any of today’s games, but has the feel of the games of old.

Here is CGMs review of Metroid Dread.

Age of Empires IV

Cgm Game Of The Year 2021: Nominees &Amp; Voting

Score: 10/10
Release Date: 28/10/2021
Played on: PC
Reviewed by: Hayes Madsen

“After spending over 30 hours with Age of Empires IV, I’m left blown away by the consistent quality across the board. Relic had a vision of what a new entry in this series could be, and I’m glad they ran full force with that vision instead of trying to play things close to the chest. I honestly can’t think of anything more I’d want from a new Age of Empires game, but I’m looking forward to whatever the developers plan to add on later.”

Final Thoughts: Age of Empires IV is a bold and ambitious evolution of the series, and, quite likely, one of the best RTS games ever made.

Here is CGMs review of Age of Empires IV.

Shin Megami Tensei V

Cgm Game Of The Year 2021: Nominees &Amp; Voting

Score: 9/10
Release Date: 11/11/2021
Played on: Nintendo Switch
Reviewed by: Zubi Khan

“In terms of atmosphere and overall mood, Shin Megami Tensei V feels closer to the third entry in the series, Nocturne, with the added narrative chops found in the Persona series. Ultimately, Shin Megami Tensei V masterfully bolsters both a strong emphasis on characters and the setting, giving both a fleshed-out world to explore and cutscenes that feel fully realized and engaging.”

Final Thoughts: Shin Megami Tensei V is an excellent Switch exclusive worthy of its name, offering fans a must-play experience.

Here is CGMs review of Shin Megami Tensei V.

Forza Horizon 5

Cgm Game Of The Year 2021: Nominees

Score: 8.5/10
Release Date: 09/11/2021
Played on: Xbox One
Reviewed by: Philip Watson

“For a ‘racing’ game, Forza Horizon 5 knocks it out of the park, but it is unfair to call it just that. This is an exploration sandbox title that takes place in cars, with a faithful representation of Mexico with racing side quests. The attention to detail shows the level of care the developers put into the game, and it is just genuinely a blast to play.”

Final Thoughts: Forza Horizon 5 truly has it all for a racing title, depth of gameplay, customization, good online presence, fun activities. I consider this a must-play for all gamers, racing fans or not.

Here is CGMs review of Forza Horizon 5.

Halo Infinite Campaign 

Cgm Game Of The Year 2021: Nominees

Score: 9/10
Release Date: 08/12/2021
Played on: Xbox Series X
Reviewed by: Khari Taylor

“343i needs to be commended not just for finally managing to recreate the Bungie sandbox ‘secret sauce’ that helped make the original Master Chief trilogy so beloved among fans from a gameplay perspective. But then, also doubling down on and surpassing it, building a large, visually gorgeous open-world composed of various Halo CE-inspired sandboxes ranging from big, small, and everything in-between. These are seamlessly fused together to form the heavily damaged ringworld that is Zeta Halo.”

Final Thoughts: Halo Infinite brings new gameplay mechanics that will no doubt become a permanent part of its design, making it an experience no shooter fan can afford to miss.

Here is CGM’s review of Halo Infinite Campaign.

Come back here on January 19th when we crown

CGMagazine’s Game of the Year 2021!

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