2022 TechRaptor Awards Best Writing

2022 TechRaptor Awards - Best Writing

Published: January 9, 2023 12:00 PM

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While gameplay is how we interact with the characters and worlds we immerse ourselves in, the best games craft stories and settings to enhance every part of a game. It's pretty cool that you kill a pantheon's worth of gods as Kratos, but it's even cooler to know why he was driven to do it (and how it affected him). 2022 had no shortage of great games featuring awesome writing.

Here are the nominees for TechRaptor's Best Writing Award for outstanding storytelling, worldbuilding, and character creation.

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Check out here for our other award categories and nominees.


Readers' Choice Winner - God of War Ragnarok

Developer: Santa Monica Studio | Release Date: November 9th, 2022

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God of War Ragnarok is a near perfect AAA blockbuster, with memorable character moments, powerful emotion, and awesome action-packed sequences around every corner. Every character gets a moment to shine, and it is all punctuated by a thoughtful plot that's masterfully paced. It's no surprise to see Ragnarok resonate with our readers.

 

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Third Place - Immortality

immortality game logo

Developer: Sam Barlow | Release Date: June 19th, 2022

Written by Keenan McCall

Unlike some other entries on this list, Immortality’s writing isn’t commendable for weaving a bombastic tale of adventure or an intricate mystery. Instead, it stands out thanks to the way its writing subtly blends a tale of longing for purpose with the elements that allow us to tell stories through the medium of film. Through brief exchanges littered throughout a disordered kaleidoscope of scenes, it manages to say everything it needs to for players to piece together its strange yet impactful narrative.

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At the same time though, it doesn’t explicitly come out and say what its experience means. It requires players to sit and ponder the importance behind lines and phrases, and to fully immerse themselves in the experience in order to get the most out of it.

To be sure, it’s an unusual way to tell a story. In practice though, it elevates the final product in a way that makes it unforgettable and a standout piece of games writing from 2022.

Second Place - God of War Ragnarok

god of war ragnarok freya kratos relationship

Developer: Santa Monica Studio | Release Date: November 9th, 2022

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Written by Tyler Chancey

God of War Ragnarok's strong storytelling and superb characterization still feels like an anomaly. The follow-up to the 2018 soft reboot manages to bring nuance, trauma, and emotional catharsis to a character that started as a bloodthirsty monster. Every single scene and encounter sets up or pays off a complex web of interpersonal relationships, continues character development for its main cast, or sets the stage for devastating battles between figures of myth.

If God of War 2018 made me actually care about Kratos as a character, God of War Ragnarok made me cheer and cry for him as he continued his quest to be better. It fleshed out his son Atreus from an annoying child into an intelligent but reckless teenager. It even managed to give the Aesir gods texture and nuance, making them more than just moustache-twirling villains. Sony Santa Monica managed to do all of this and perfectly paced it across a thirty-hour campaign.

Winner - Pentiment

pentiment key art

Developer: Obsidian Entertainment | Release Date: November 15th, 2022

Written by Austin Suther

Pentiment is a narrative adventure game. It’s within the genre’s very name that we see how important writing is. And with such a focus on writing, you had better hope it’s good. Thankfully, Obsidian Entertainment exceeds expectations and produces what could be its greatest story yet.

Pentiment provides an exceedingly intriguing murder mystery spanning years and takes place within the Bavarian town of Tassing. Watch as 15th century history influences the events that take place and, more importantly, how the choices you make affect the town and the Abbey nearby. It’s a game where choices really matter, and the weight of your actions are especially potent -- and this is due to just how strong the writing is.