Naughty Dog is still reeling in awards from all manner of the tech and animation industry thanks to Uncharted 4. The game has managed to rack up a ton of GOTY awards from various enthusiast publications, as well as bringing home awards from The Game Awards. Well, they just picked up another award this time for an overlooked feature in the game.
Gamespot is reporting that creative director Neil Druckmann took to Twitter to congratulate the team for picking up an Annie Award for the animation direction in Uncharted 4. According to Gamespot video games were only considered in the best animation category, and some of the other nominees included Titanfall 2 and The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine, along with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Legends.
I didn't even know that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Legends was a thing. I hopped on over to YouTube to see what the gameplay was like and why it would be considered among greats like The Witcher 3, Titanfall 2 and Uncharted 4, but I can't for the life of me figure out why this game was nominated for its animations. The animations are neither special nor noteworthy.
I'm absolutely baffled how the Turtles game managed to get nominated over Watch Dogs 2, where despite what you may think about the story, gameplay or characters, the animations are absolutely top notch and Marcus Holloway has some of the best parkour animations in gaming. Heck, Sitara and Wrench -- even though they were playable only very briefly -- had some awesome animations as well. That's not including the fact that the cinematics in Watch Dogs 2 were very well done. Heck, the animations in Battlefield 1's cinematics were good enough to on the big screen.
The comment section in the article also brought up a really good point: Why wasn't The Last Guardian nominated?
Again, no matter what you think about the game itself, there's no denying that Trico is the best-animated animal in all of gaming. Like, there is no other animal with the level of dynamic, organic animation depth that Trico has. That's not to mention that you can't even tell when Trico transitions from one animation to the next, it's so smooth and the tree blending is so top notch that it's almost easy to forget that he's just an animated NPC actor.
Even still, at least Uncharted 4 managed to walk away with the win here. From top to bottom the game has standout and amazing animations for all of the characters. There's a lot of emotion they managed to pull out of the expressions and performance capture that the actors poured into the game. Again, regardless of what you think about the story, gameplay or length, the technical achievements in Uncharted 4 are absolutely undeniable and the team definitely deserved props for that.
2017 is going to have a tough time reaching the same level of technical achievement that some games reached in 2016, but I wouldn't be surprised if Red Dead Redemption 2 walked away with just as many awards in 2017 as Uncharted 4 did in 2016.