Belfast Telegraph

Golden Joystick Awards: Dark Souls 3 named ultimate game of the year

Action role-playing video game Dark Souls 3 has been named ultimate game of the year at the annual Golden Joystick Awards.

The open-world game was released in January to critical acclaim, and beat popular rivals Uncharted 4 and Fallout 4 to the accolade.

Multiplayer shooter Overwatch picked up five awards at the ceremony in London, including best original game, PC game of the year and best gaming moment.

Twenty one of the 25 award categories are voted for by the public.

Pokemon Go, the augmented reality mobile game that became a global phenomenon when it launched in the summer, was named innovation of the year, and also won best handheld or mobile game.

Dan Dawkins, editor-in-chief of GamesRadar+, which hosts the awards, said Dark Souls was a worthy winner of the top prize.

"On the surface, the series is most well known for its difficulty, but it's the impeccable combat, ingenious design and subtly-integrated, dense lore that binds the game to our affections," he said.

"Overwatch is, arguably, 2016's biggest breakout console hit and verges on a cultural phenomenon. Mechanically, it's superb, but it's the vibrant characters that have built an ultra-engaged community - and it's this human affection that has powered Blizzard Entertainment's game to five Golden Joystick Awards.

"Pokemon Go was unarguably a cultural phenomenon - and a deserved winner - plus it's great to see Firewatch pick up best indie game: a genuinely mature game, tackling complex human issues, but never preachy, with no guns in sight.

"As for critics' choice winner, Titanfall 2: wow. That's how you build a single-player campaign."

The star of the Tomb Raider series, Lara Croft, was announced as this year's entrant into the Golden Joystick Awards Hall of Fame. 2016 marks the gaming series' 20th anniversary.

The lifetime achievement award was presented to Eiji Aonuma, lead designer of the Legend of Zelda series, one of the most popular in video game history.

"I am glad, honoured and really humbled to be awarded the Golden Joystick's 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award," he said.

"I say I'm humbled because when I heard about this award, I had to ask myself, 'am I qualified to be accepting this myself as an individual, when the award belongs more to The Legend of Zelda series?'.

"With this understanding I accept the award with pleasure on behalf of more than 1,000 creators, artists, engineers and composers who have worked on the series for more than 30 years."

The most wanted award, presented to the game fans are most looking forward to in the coming year, went to Mass Effect Andromeda, the science-fiction, far-future sequel that is due for release in early 2017.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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