The Game Awards 2019 finally has a full list of nominees for all 29 categories that the show is looking to offer rewards for the best games of 2019. However, while plenty of great games found themselves nominated, a few major gaming snubs have caught the attention of many disgruntled fans.
One of the most notable games to be left out of the the list of nominees is clearly Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, a recent game that many argue should be a contender for Game of the Year. This comes with one of the most divisive games of 2019 earning a nomination while only coming out one week earlier.
Before getting into the "why" and "how" of Fallen Order finding itself out of The Game Awards this year, it's important to focus on what did make it and where there might have been room for improvement. A few of the more notable ones include Sekiro, Death Stranding, and the Resident Evil 2 remake. Clearly, the team that chose these games nominated them for a reason, but some fans are fairly torn about a few of these decisions.
Sekiro was the center of a huge controversy back in March 2019 that sparked a longtime argument for games developed by FromSoftware to offer harder and easier settings in the company's notoriously difficult titles. This argument even led to some PC fans creating an Easy Mode mod for Sekiro, along with a flurry of memes based on a tweet about not cheating. However, the astounding review scores that Sekiro received on release make its inclusion as a Game of the Year nominee less of a surprise.
On the note of making an Easy Mode, though, Fallen Order tackled the ordeal of making a hardcore action title with varying degrees of difficulty and succeeded with flying colors in that aspect. The way that Fallen Order approaches difficulty is so much more than simply sliding enemy health and damage. By altering enemy aggression, deflection timing, and incoming damage, Fallen Order is able to change the difficulty of a game without it feeling like enemies are artificially buffed or debuffed in a cheep way.
The Resident Evil 2 remake also holds its share of controversy as a nominee for Game of the Year, although in this case not because of the quality of the game. It would be hard to name a horror game from 2019 that's better than this latest remake, but the issue is that this isn't a new title with a new story. This makes the lack of representation for Fallen Order even stranger, considering that it would make more sense to include a new game as opposed to a remake.
Finally, on the list of games that could have moved out of the way for Fallen Order is Death Stranding. This is one of the more interesting inclusions due to how divisive Death Stranding has been since it released, with reviews ranging from masterpiece to walking simulator. While Fallen Order had some of its own negative reviews for technical issues, it has been otherwise embraced as the best game within the Star Wars franchise for nearly this entire console generation.
Pitting Death Stranding against Fallen Order also brings up the question of timing. It's easy to say that Fallen Order came out slightly too late for it to make the cut for The Game Awards, but with it releasing only a week after Death Stranding, that hardly seems like a reasonable excuse. While there are some critics and fans ready to die on the hill that Death Stranding deserves to be Game of the Year, the knee jerk reactions seem to indicate that Fallen Order has more numerous support all-together.
Furthermore, in the case of timing, another game (or games) to be snubbed like Fallen Order would be the brand new Pokemon games, Sword and Shield. The Pokemon games released at the same time as Fallen Order, but both were also left out of The Game Awards. In the case of Sword and Shield, these games may have never been in the running for Game of the Year, but they could have easily fit into categories such as Art Direction or Family Game.
The lack of the Pokemon titles does provide evidence as to the "why" of Fallen Order not making the cut in 2019's Game Awards being nothing more than simple timing. While Death Stranding may have only barely made it into the show, the final decision on what made it into The Gaming Awards may have been made just before Fallen Order released. This could mean that the game could make it to The Game Awards 2020, although with an entire year between release and reward, it would likely be difficult for the title to gain the acclaim that many fans believe it deserves.
There are a number of games that made it into The Game Awards that could have easily made way for a title with the quality of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. However, the decision has been made and it would seem that Fallen Order will have to wait to earn its accolades, and no matter what The Game Awards decide, every gamer has likely already chosen their own winners. In addition, the community can try making that a reality by voting no their favorite games on The Game Awards website.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One
The Game Awards will air on December 12, 2019