There are plenty of awards ceremonies for gaming, but few are as respected and prestigious as the annual DICE Awards, tied into the developer conference in Las Vegas. This year’s event featured the first VR and AR games to be recognized.
While console and PC juggernauts like Blizzard’s Overwatch walked away with most of the standard categories, new sets of nominations were included this year to recognize games appearing on VR headsets. First up was the Immersive Reality Technical Achievement, celebrating VR design, an important aspect of development in the tech’s early stages. It was Ubisoft’s first-person multiplayer flight game, Eagle Flight [Review: 7.5/10], that won the award, beating out stiff competition from the likes of Superhot VR [Review: 9/10], I Expect You To Die [Review: 7.5/10], Job Simulator [Review: 8/10], and even Tilt Brush.
The more hotly contested category, though, was Immersive Reality Game of the Year. This time is was Superhot’s turn for well-deserved glory, triumphing over a similar list of games including Eagle Flight, I Expect You to Die, Job Simulator, and Valve’s The Lab [Review: 9/10].
But it wasn’t just these categories in which reality-altering games prevailed. Mobile Game of the Year went to Niantic’s Pokemon Go, the hugely successful AR smartphone app that took the world by storm in 2016 as players headed out of their homes and into the world to capture virtual pocket monsters. Other VR compatible games like Thumper [Review: 9/10] and Driveclub VR [Review: 7/10] had been nominated in a range of categories, though didn’t quite make the final cut.
It’s a solid list of winners, representing the good start VR software had in 2016. In the year ahead we’ll be looking to titles like Epic Games’ Robo Recall and Bethesda’s VR port of Fallout 4 to up the ante even more and make next year’s awards an even more competitive and exciting event.