Pulling off a major upset, Sony’s God of War took the big prize for Game of the Year at The Game Awards.

The award was well-deserved, but it was a surprise nevertheless because God of War came out early in 2018, and it was easy to forget about as big titles like Marvel’s Spider-Man and Red Dead Redemption 2 came out later in the year and were fresh in the minds of voters.

Above: God of War wins GOTY

Image Credit: GamesBeat

“Every single game that was nominated up here was an absolute frickin’ masterpiece,” said Cory Barlog, designer of the game. Barlog is famous in part for tearing up on a live video stream when he saw the first critical reaction to the game.

Above: God of War wins!

Image Credit: Danielle Takahashi

Red Dead Redemption 2 from Rockstar Games took several awards, but it appeared to lose momentum when Sony’s God of War won for best game direction as well.

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God of War was not my favorite title of the year, as I’ll note in a future column. But I won’t begrudge it this victory, as I thought it was a brilliant reboot of a beloved series. The story of Kratos, the God of War, and his son Atreus is so touching. It transformed the game from a hack-‘n’-slash title to a narrative about a father and son, and that made all the difference.