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The WellPlayed Game Awards 2023 Winners

The most illustrious gaming awards are here

2023 – what a year it was for gaming. Quite frankly, it’s a year that will go down in history not only for the astonishingly high output of quality, award-worthy titles, but also for the devastating number of job losses that occurred. How the two can co-exist in the same 12-month period is beyond comprehension. But we certainly cannot celebrate the good without saying thank you to those affected who contributed to the gaming industry in 2023. We hope that all of you have, or will, land on your feet.

When it comes to celebrating games, the WellPlayd Game Awards are up there with the best (or so we like to think), and using a foolproof 3-2-1 weighted voting system that continues to baffle the WellPlayed team, we’ve settled on winners in 11 different categories. Strap in, there are no world premieres or Muppet segments here, just winners coming at you hard and fast.

If you would like to hear us discuss the 2023 WellPlayed Game Awards, you can check out the WellPlayed DLC Podcast episode where all the action unfolds below:

Game Of The Year: Baldur’s Gate 3

Review Score: 10  //  Publisher: Larian Studios  //  Developer: Larian Studios  //  Platforms: PS5 / Xbox Series X|S / PC

Our review said:

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Larian’s mastery of RPGs is in full swing with Baldur’s Gate 3 and at no point does the game pull its punches. This game is nothing short of a masterpiece.

Self-Published Indie Of The Year: Baldur’s Gate 3

Review Score: 10  //  Publisher: Larian Studios  //  Developer: Larian Studios  //  Platforms: PS5 / Xbox Series X|S / PC

Our review said:

Larian Studios is a developer that has a very deep understanding of the genre, and its most recent release in Baldur’s Gate 3 is nothing short of a masterful demonstration of the team’s proficiency in developing RPGs.

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Third-Party Published Indie Of The Year: Dredge

Review Score: 9  //  Publisher: Team17  //  Developer: Black Salt Games  //  Platforms: PS5 / PS4 / Xbox Series X|S / Xbox One / Switch / PC / Mac / Linux

Our review said:

Dredge blends cosmic horror and local fishing economies into a robust but expertly paced adventure that rewards your investment with a strange tale, engaging mechanics and a unique, wonderful vibe.

Best Multiplayer Game: Diablo IV

Review Score: 8.5  //  Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment  //  Developer: Blizzard Entertainment //  Platforms: PS5 / PS4 / Xbox Series X|S / Xbox One / PC

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Our review said:

Diablo IV is a must-play for fans of the series and newcomers alike. It invites you to lose yourself in a world of darkness and embark on a thrilling journey filled with relentless battles, captivating storytelling, and a hauntingly beautiful audio-visual symphony.

Narrative Of The Year: Alan Wake II

Review Score: 9.5  //  Publisher: Epic Games Publishing  //  Developer: Remedy Entertainment  //  Platforms: PS5 / Xbox Series X|S / PC

Our review said:

Blending together Saga and Alan’s actions, the overall story is part True Detective, part Twin Peak, and in the same breath, completely its own. Filled with twists and revelations at every juncture, the surreal happenings and horrific nightmares are offset by campy conversations, oddball characters and entire sequences that had me slack-jawed in surprise.

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Best Art Style: Alan Wake II

Review Score: 9.5  //  Publisher: Epic Games Publishing  //  Developer: Remedy Entertainment  //  Platforms: PS5 / Xbox Series X|S / PC

Our review said:

While often horrific, the visuals are insanely beautiful, whether you’re using the fidelity or performance options. The warm tones reflecting on the water in Bright Falls, the colourful neon signs that glisten through the fog in the Dark Place, and the sheer graphical fidelity consistently blew me away.

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Best Game Design: Baldur’s Gate 3

Review Score: 10  //  Publisher: Larian Studios  //  Developer: Larian Studios  //  Platforms: PS5 / Xbox Series X|S / PC

Our review said:

The freedom of choice and the ability to face the various consequences of those actions is absolutely phenomenal and truly captures the role-playing part of a role-playing game.

Best Aussie-Made Game: Gubbins

Review Score: N/A  //  Publisher: Studio Folly  //  Developer: Studio Folly  //  Platforms: Android / iOS

We said:

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It’s a great little title that can easily eat up more time than you intended to give it because of how charming, gorgeous and addictive it is.

Best Sound Design: Alan Wake II

Review Score: 9.5  //  Publisher: Epic Games Publishing  //  Developer: Remedy Entertainment  //  Platforms: PS5 / Xbox Series X|S / PC

Our review said:

Elevating the atmosphere to a pulse-pounding high is the audio design. The forest surrounding Bright Falls creaks and cracks in the darkness, the wind blowing menacingly through the limbs of the trees. Floorboards ache as you step through dilapidated buildings, diegetic music distorts in uncomfortable ways within the Dark Place, while the walking shadows whisper Alan’s name.

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Best Soundtrack: Alan Wake II (Composed by: Petri Alanko)

Review Score: 9.5  //  Publisher: Epic Games Publishing  //  Developer: Remedy Entertainment  //  Platforms: PS5 / Xbox Series X|S / PC

Our review said:

Musical interludes composed for the game bookend each chapter, cleverly alluding to future events. Combined with a certain setpiece that I refuse to spoil, Alan Wake II’s soundtrack is one that I’ll be listening to long after I hit the credits.

Best Performance: Neil Newbon (Astarion, Baldur’s Gate 3)

Review Score: 10  //  Publisher: Larian Studios  //  Developer: Larian Studios  //  Platforms: PS5 / Xbox Series X|S / PC

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Our review said:

The narration from Amelia Tyler, Jennifer English’s performance as Shadowheart, Neil Newbon’s performance as Astarion, and even smaller appearances of big names like Matthew Mercer and J.K Simmons bring such life to the world and those who inhabit it.

Well, there you go – another awards domination by Baldur’s Gate 3 and Alan Wake II, two very deserving games.

What were your favourite games of 2023? How did we fare with our winners? Let us know in the comments or on social media.

Written By WellPlayed

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