The votes have been tallied and the winners announced, and Resident Evil Village has beat out Valheim, New World, Cyberpunk 2077, and Forza Horizon 5 to claim the Game of the Year title in the 2021 Steam Awards.
Resident Evil Village is, of course, the game with Lady Dimitrescu, the vampire of great height who we hoped to see even more of in the future. We liked it quite a bit, calling it "a grimly beautiful collection of killer horror set-pieces, with some of the most memorably grotesque enemies in Resi history" in our 85% review—not quite a Game of the Year score, perhaps, but what fun would it be if these things were unanimous?
Game of the Year is the big one, but I think the other categories and winners in this year's Steam Awards are actually even more interesting. In the VR category, for instance, Sniper Elite VR, Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond 2, I Expect You to Die 2, and Blair Witch VR Edition—staple videogame fare from top to bottom—were all beaten out by Cooking Simulator VR. The surprise hit It Takes Two beat big releases including Back 4 Blood and Halo Infinite for the Better With Friends category, and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy claimed the Best Soundtrack crown with its heavily-licensed "All-Star '80s Soundtrack."
Cyberpunk 2077 also went home with some hardware: After failing to win in either of the 2021 Game Awards categories in which it was nominated, CD Projekt's much-troubled futuristic RPG was given the Outstanding Story-Rich Game award. Farming Simulator 22 took a title too, as this year's best Sit Back and Relax game.
Unlike some other congratulatory extravaganzas (including The Game Awards), the Steam Awards are nominated and awarded solely based on user votes. Neither is it necessary for nominees to be 2021 releases: Cyberpunk 2077, for instance, came out in 2020, while the entire Labor of Love category is dedicated to games that have been around for a while.
All of the 2021 Steam Award winners are now on sale in the Steam Winter Sale, which will soon be over: It wraps up at 10 am PT/1 pm ET on January 5. The full list of winners is below.
- Game of the Year: Resident Evil Village (Valheim, New World, Cyberpunk 2077, Forza Horizon 5)
- VR Game of the Year: Cooking Simulator VR (Sniper Elite VR, Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, I Expect You To Die 2, Blair Witch VR Edition)
- Labor of Love: Terraria (Dota 2, Rust, No Man's Sky, Apex Legends)
- Better With Friends: It Takes Two (Valheim, Back 4 Blood, Halo Infinite, Crab Game)
- Outstanding Visual Style: Forza Horizon 5 (Psychonauts 2, Subnautica: Below Zero, Little Nightmares 2, Bright Memory: Infinite)
- Most Innovative Gameplay: Deathloop (Inscryption, Twelve Minutes, Moncage, Loop Hero)
- Best Game You Suck At: Nioh 2 – The Complete Edition (World War Z: Aftermath, Naraka Bladepoint, Age of Empires 4, Battlefield 2042)
- Best Soundtrack: Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (Nier Replicant, Persona 5 Strikers, Guilty Gear Strive, Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles)
- Outstanding Story-Rich Game: Cyberpunk 2077 (Life is Strange: True Colors, Resident Evil Village, Days Gone, Mass Effect Legendary Edition)
- Sit Back and Relax: Farming Simulator 22 (Unpacking, Potion Craft, Townscaper, Dorf Romantik)