In a very close audience vote, Halo Infinite bagged the Players’ Voice Award in The Game Awards 2021 event held on December 9th.
Although Halo Infinite netted an early lead from the vote numbers accumulated since December 2nd, the audience vote was still very tight leading in to the event itself. But after the three rounds of tallying the votes, the newest entry in the Halo franchise took home the win.
As Halo Infinite is just one of the titles recognized from the Microsoft Xbox family, the company helped celebrate the victories by sharing first-look trailers of Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II and the Paramount+ Halo TV Series. Check out the details below.
Close fight to the top
The Game Awards 2021 was hosted by Geoff Keighley for the invitation only event held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The occasion is regarded with the same prestige as the Emmy Awards for television or the Oscar Awards for movies, recognizing the most influential and grandest achievements of video games each year since its inception.
There are multiple awards to be won, including the sought after Game of the Year, but one of the newest is the Players’ Voice Award. This is pretty much the equivalent of the People’s Choice in other award-giving bodies, as it is ultimately determined by the votes received from fans. In 2020, the Players’ Voice Award went to Ghost of Tsushima.
This year, 30 games were nominated in the initial list for Players’ Voice, going through three rounds of vote tallying. These games are:
- Resident Evil Village
- Forza Horizon 5
- GTA Online
- Halo Infinite
- Hitman 3
- Neo: The World Ends With You
- Shin Megami Tensei V
- Apex Legends
- New World
- Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
- Battlefield 2042
- Monster Hunter Rise
- Little Nightmares II
- Destiny 2
- Call of Duty: Warzone
- Final Fantasy XIV
- Metroid Dread
- It Takes Two
- Psychonauts 2
- Death’s Door
- League of Legends
- Genshin Impact
- Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
- Kena: Bridge of Spirits
- Life is Strange: True Colors
The list comprised a mix of older games with some that debuted only in 2021. The third and final round had Forza Horizon 5, Metroid Dread, It Takes Two, Resident Evil Village, and Halo Infinite vying for the Players’ Voice Award. Although expectations were high that Metroid Dread would be taking the win, Halo Infinite held on to a marginal lead until the winner was declared. Meanwhile, It Takes Two won The Game of the Year title.
— The Game Awards (@thegameawards) December 9, 2021
It’s interesting to note that Halo Infinite was delayed by about a year, which is why it did not make the cut for The Game Awards last December, 2020. This was mainly due to the backlash from the player base and feedback at the lackluster gameplay when Halo Infinite was revealed.
Although fans were disappointed by that turn of events, the critical and commercial success and taking home the Players Voice Award for 2021 proves that delay for Halo Infinite was worth it in the end.
Xbox celebrates The Game Awards with first-look trailers
But Halo Infinite was not the only big winner from the Xbox library. Age of Empires IV and Forza Horizon 5 also won categories, while Psychonauts 2 and Microsoft Flight Simulator received nominations as follows:
- Best Sim/Strategy Game: Age of Empires IV
- Best Sports/Racing Game, Best Audio Design, and Innovation in Accessibility: Forza Horizon 5
- Game of the Year, Best Action/Adventure, Best Game Direction, Best Art Direction, Best Narrative: Psychonauts 2
- Best Sim/Strategy Game: Microsoft Flight Simulator
In order to help celebrate Halo Infinite’s win of the Players’ Voice Award, Xbox released news of upcoming games and updates. Included in these is the first gameplay trailer of the long in development Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, the sequel to the award-winning game by Ninja Theory:
The footage shown from developer Ninja Theory is apparently all in-game play using the engine. Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II was announced as early as 2019, but this is the first time actual gameplay has been shown. The first game from 2017 was well received, with its protagonist Senua becoming a fan-favorite. The game is going to be exclusive to Microsoft Xbox Series X/S and Windows PC.
The other bonus trailer is the upcoming Paramount+ Halo TV series this 2022. According to the official synopsis of Halo the Series:
Dramatizing an epic 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant, Halo the series will weave deeply drawn personal stories with action, adventure and a richly imagined vision of the future.
The series will star Pablo Schreiber as Master Chief/John-117, Natascha Mcelhone as Dr. Halsey, Jen Taylor as Cortana, Bokeem Woodbine as Soren-066, and Charlotte Murphy. Halo the Series will air on the Paramount+ streaming service some time in 2022.
Halo Infinite multiplayer is currently available free to play on Xbox Series X/S and Windows PC platforms.
Halo Infinite's campaign mode is also available for free with the Xbox Game Pass. It can be purchased as a stand-alone for $59.99.