2020 TechRaptor Awards - Best Writing Award

Published: January 11, 2021 1:00 PM /


2020 TechRaptor Awards Best Writing

Gaming has some great advantages when it comes to storytelling when compared to other mediums, and its growth in recent years has been a delight to see. The worlds we get to explore and experience have reached new heights, with 2020 having some of the best so far. I'm sure we all found a world we loved to get lost in or a new favorite character in 2020.

Here's all the nominees for our Best Writing Award (and check this link for all of our awards):

So here's the winner of TechRaptor's Best Writing Award 2020 for outstanding storytelling, worldbuilding, and character creation.

Readers' Choice - The Last of Us Part II

Developer: Naughty Dog | Release Date: June 19th, 2020

The Last of Us is the closest gaming has to a prestige drama, and Part II definitely delivers. Its releae sparked intense debate and a ton of discussion about the game's characters. Part II explores humanity and all of its facets, both good and bad. Often, the game forces you to confront some of our base emotions that drive many of our actions. Obviously, the situations characters like Ellie find themselves in are far more extraordinary than our day to day, but there's no surprise why Part II resonated so much with our readers.

Third Place - Cyberpunk 2077

Developer: CD Projekt Red | Release Date: December 10th, 2020

cyberpunk 2077 writing panam

By Austin Suther

The controversial release of Cyberpunk 2077 was unfortunate. On one hand, the game was buggy as an Early Access title and just didn’t live up to the expectations that CD Projekt RED set forth. On the other hand, it’s unfortunate that the writing didn’t get as much attention as it deserved.

Although set in the already established Cyberpunk tabletop universe, I was unaware of what the whole world of this game was all about. The developers did an excellent job of immersing players into Night City without feeling lost or unaware of what is going on. The main quest, involving the notorious Johnny Silverhand and the corrupt corporation that is Arasaka, is at the heart of this story. I was engrossed in both who Silverhand was and what led him down the path to becoming a cyberghost in your head, as well as why Arasaka deserved such hatred from Keanu Reeves’ character. 

It’s not a particularly long main story, but if you’re itching for more fantastic tales, check out Panam, Judy, and other characters’ arcs to see just how much passion went into this game’s writing. 

Second Place - The Last of Us Part II

Developer: Naughty Dog | Release Date: June 19th, 2020

last of us part 2 writing

By Andrew Otton

The fact that The Last of Us Part II sparked so much debate is a good indication of how well this game and its predecessor were written. People really cared about the characters. That is not an insignificant feat, and Naughty Dog continued its excellence in character and character development in Part II.

Naughty Dog made some bold choices in Part II's structure and pacing, and it mostly pays off. There are certainly some stumbles, and much more up to debate, but Part II does a fantastic job of telling a deeply personal and character-focused story. The roots of most characters' motivation are primal, and Part II layers what that means and forces you to face that throughout the geame.  At the same time, the various locales and peoples you spend time with help flesh out the world and the post-apocalyptic state and explores how different parts of humanity react, both good and bad.

All in all, The Last of Us Part II is engaging, risky for AAA, and well worth your time.

Winner - Hades

Developer: Supergiant Games | Release Date: September 17th, 2020

hades writing

By Tyler Chancey

Before Hades, the idea of a roguelike having rich character development or in-depth storytelling seemed impossible. The very core of the genre is mostly evaluated by its primary gameplay loop of getting better at beating randomly generated enemy encounters by constant repetitive trial and error. Supergiant Games' response to this was to have the very narrative itself reflect this perpetual struggle and write and produce multiple lines of dialogue for their characters that emotional arcs and narrative intrigue progresses from run to run.

Zagreus' multiple attempts to escape the Underworld in defiance of his father is a fantastic answer to these genre constraints. The sense of hopelessness and despair that comes from having to trudge through the pits of Tartarus again. The bonds that Zagreus slowly forms with Olympian gods and fallen Greek heroes that help him flee his father's domain. The multiple side stories that effortlessly play out as characters grow and learn from Zagreus' exploits. Every element doesn't work in spite of it being a roguelike experience, it works because it is a roguelike experience.