Best Story Most Original

Best Dialogue

South Park: The Fractured but Whole

Best Dialogue
Second Place
Third Place


Let's be real for a second. Writing punchy dialogue is a difficult task, especially in the comedy genre. There's always the fear of jokes falling flat or the dreaded awkward dead silence. I won't lie — I have always loved the parody work in South Park because every so often Trey Parker and Matt Stone will take something so ordinary and flip it on its head. In this case, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, whose title alone shows how witty the dialogue can be, picks on the superhero genre, poking fun at the many nuances and quirks of both super heroes and villains.

The reason The Fractured But Whole takes top marks in best dialogue is because the writing is downright hilarious and often perfectly cringeworthy. The writers know how to play with players' emotions in a way that is both comedic and uncomfortable. There's something about the cast members in their disguises and playing their personas so straight that makes for an entertaining romp around town. From Butters demanding to being taken seriously as Professor Chaos to Token's Tupperware powers, the game's writing just takes all this insanity and adds piles upon piles of absurdity in the text. Beautiful Bootay and her butt smashing, and Classi with her insane need to yell "Awwwww hell no!" just keep the player entertained from start to finish. While Fractured But Whole may only appeal to South Park fans, RPGamers and superhero worshippers will have a lot to enjoy, if they can get into the crude humour that is the crux of this game.

One of the areas Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is arguably stronger than its beloved predecessor is in its character interactions. The cast is superb and provides memorable dialogue which engages players throughout. Whether it be Rex's positivity, Pandoria undermining Zeke's attempts to be cool, Poppi deservedly putting Tora in his place, or Nia's general awesomeness, the writing really gives the game and world its character. Aiding this is some excellent voice acting throughout, providing further depth and empathy to all the cast, and making Nia even more awesome. Thanks to its dialogue, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is easily amongst the most charming titles of the year.

Do you want to see someone with a degree roll their eyes into next week? Show them some Japanese pop-culture talking about post-enlightenment philosophy. Once in a while an auteur designer can nail it without grinding the action of the game to a halt to sound like an edgy freshman who took the Nietzsche elective, and Yoko Taro is that designer. NieR: Automata uses all of its moving parts to show off some genuine depth, and part of that is what gets said, who says it, and when. It's got character and depth in spades, and both develop apace over the course of each playthrough. #becomeasgods

by Sam Wachter, Alex Fuller, Scott Wachter


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