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The Steam Awards 2023 nominees sure seem weird to me

Starfield? Really?

A white man with an unnerving star and extremely yellow pointy hair - the Adoring Fan in Starfield
Image credit: Bethesda Game Studios

The nominees for the public-voted Steam Awards have been announced and they are, perhaps more than ever before, baffling to me. If I was being uncharitable, I'd say that's because the list is overrun by games with large multiplayer communities that can be encouraged to vote for them - but who would want to be uncharitable? Let's instead say that the list is certainly not boring, even if Starfield gets a nod for "most innovative gameplay".

Here's the full list of nominees:

Game Of The Year award
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Hogwarts Legacy
  • Lethal Company
  • Baldur's Gate 3
  • EA Sports FC 24
VR Game Of The Year award
  • Gorilla Tag
  • I Expect You To Die 3
  • Labyrinthine
  • F1 23
  • Ghosts Of Tabor
Labor Of Love award
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Dota 2
  • Deep Rock Galactic
  • Rust
  • Apex Legends
Best Game On Steam Deck award
  • The Outlast Trials
  • Dredge
  • Diablo 4
  • Brotato
  • Hogwarts Legacy
Better With Friends award
  • Warhammer 40K: Darktide
  • Lethal Company
  • Party Animals
  • Sunkenland
  • Sons Of The Forest
Outstanding Visual Style award
  • Atomic Heart
  • High On Life
  • Cocoon
  • Darkest Dungeon 2
  • Inward
Most Innovative Gameplay award
  • Your Only Move Is Hustle
  • Remnant 2
  • Shadows Of Doubt
  • Contraband Police
  • Starfield
Best Game You Suck At award
  • Sifu
  • Lords Of The Fallen
  • Overwatch
  • EA Sports FC 24
  • Street Fighter 6
Best soundtrack award
  • Pizza Tower
  • The Last Of Us: Part One
  • Hi-Fi Rush
  • Persona 5 Tactica
  • Chants Of Sennaar
Outstanding Story-Rich Game award
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
  • Love Is All Around
  • Baldur's Gate 3
  • Lies Of P
Sit Back And Relax award
  • Train Sim World 4
  • Coral Island
  • Dave The Diver
  • Cities Skylines 2
  • Portion Craft

Are those big, pretty battery-drainers really better on Steam Deck than, say, Dave The Diver? Is EA Sports FC 24 really the best game "you suck at", over and above any difficult platformer or roguelike or another of this year's many Soulslikes? I'm unconvinced.

You can see more of all the nominees over at the Steam Awards site. Voting opens on December 21st and coincides with the beginning of the Steam winter sale. Voting closes on January 2nd while the sale will continue until January 4th, according to its recent trailer.

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Graham Smith

Deputy Editorial Director

Rock Paper Shotgun's former editor-in-chief and current corporate dad. Also, he continues to write evening news posts for some reason.