Elsewhere in the winners list was Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, which grabbed Animation and Technical Achievement for its eye-popping visuals, while It Takes Two grabbed the Multiplayer and Original Property awards. Forza Horizon 5 was judged as the best British Game from the last year.
Indie darling Unpacking grabbed the award for Narrative, which was certainly appropriate for its innovative style of storytelling, as well as winning the EE Game of the Year, which was voted for by the public.
The full list of winners was as follows:
- Best Game – Returnal
- Animation – Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
- Artistic Achievement – The Artful Escape
- Audio Achievement – Returnal
- British Game – Forza Horizon 5
- Debut Game – Toem
- Evolving Game – No Man’s Sky
- Family – Chicory: A Colorful Tale
- Game Beyond Entertainment – Before Your Eyes
- Game Design – Inscryption
- Multiplayer – It Takes Two
- Music – Returnal
- Narrative – Unpacking
- Original Property – It Takes Two
- Performer in a Leading Role – Jane Perry (Returnal)
- Performer in a Supporting Role – Kimberly Brooks (Psychonauts 2)
- Technical Achievement – Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
- EE Game of the Year – Unpacking
Returnal was perhaps a surprise winner, but an example where the countless delays to video games in 2021 gave space for games like Returnal to shine. Housemarque took a step outside of their arcade shooter comfort zone with a bigger budget shooter that adapted the roguelike form.
The game was recently updated to version 3.0, adding a new Tower of Sisyphus game mode that challenges players with a tower of increasingly challenging levels to overcome, features new special weapons and a new boss to conquer.
Looking back on our Returnal review on PS5, we scored the game a masterful 9/10:
“It feels immensely satisfying to be sat here in 2021, eons after playing Super Stardust HD on PS3, and see just how far Housemarque has come. Offering a visual bullet hell spectacle, a showcase for the DualSense controller and a rewarding sci-fi narrative woven around the roguelike loop, we can say with unflinching confidence that Returnal is the PS5’s best game to date.”
Returnal guides & more from TheSixthAxis
- Returnal Review
- Watch us play 45 minutes of Returnal from the start of the game
- Returnal Items Guide – Parasites, Artefacts & Consumables, what do they do?
- Returnal – Phrike boss battle guide
- Returnal – Ixion boss battle guide
- Returnal – Nemesis boss battle guide
- How Returnal and Deathloop are evolving the roguelike genre