I'm not even supposed to be here.
Last night, for the thirteenth year in a row, everyone was able to witness that beautiful cavalcade of corporate decadence and discomfort: Geoff Keighley’s own “The Game Awards.” As per tradition, the event boasted a decent amount of “World Premieres,” and as one might want, we’ve prepared a list of all the trailers and new information that our good friend Hydrobot had to offer.
Keighley kicked off the night with an elaborate and beautiful wedding proposal to Hideo Kojima, presenting him with this year’s award for “Industry Icon.” In return, Kojima thanked Keighley in the most romantic way possible with a new trailer for the mysterious Death Stranding.
There’s not much that can be said about this trailer, but there sure is a lot to take in. The first thing that springs to mind is that it’s really amazing that Sony is giving Kojima a ton of money to make a game starring all the boys he likes, it’s pretty inspiring stuff. The other thoughts are some important questions; what kind of game is Death Stranding? Is it a stealth game? Is it an action game? Why were there snakes in that tank? Why, oh why, is Guillermo del Toro carrying a winking baby in a jar? The list goes on and honestly, my loss for words is probably what Kojima wants most.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Both Bill Trinen and Reggie Fils-Aime were on the show floor with two new videos to showcase more of the dilapidated world in Breath of the Wild. The first trailer is your classic cinematic tease, while the second features a playthrough of a previously unseen jungle area.
The second video definitely feels a lot like what we saw at E3, with Link wandering through the wilderness, fighting some baddies, and pickin’ up treasure and such. On the flipside, the cinematic trailer definitely shows a lot more of what people expect from Zelda: a small town, some wandering NPCs, puppies, and a woman wearing Link’s clothes shown from the boob down. Also there’s a bird man who plays cryptic songs to guide you around, so yeah, it’s about what you’d think.
After Bethesda revived the long dead corpse of Prey this past E3 in reboot form, people were left wondering just what kind of game it’d end up being. Sure, there was the announcement trailer, but that was pre-rendered, leaving us with questions on what to rightfully expect from the gameplay. Until now.
This gameplay reveal shows us a futuristic space station-bound first person shooter, where you’ll be able to power your way through all sorts of creepy oozy aliens. The main intrigue with this trailer are the different types of abilities shown, from a black hole that sucks in and evaporates everything in an area, to a mimicry ability that lets you turn into things like a coffee mug to roll around through coffee mug-shaped holes. These could definitely spruce up what could otherwise be a very by-the-numbers FPS, so hopefully we get a Doom, rather than a Brink.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
Rounding out the night’s big announcements was the first real gameplay oriented look at the fancy new release date-less Mass Effect: Andromeda.
There’s nothing too wild to see from this if you’ve ever seen a Mass Effect game, but there are a couple new bits here and there. The focus on exploration has been detailed a little further, showing how you’ll craft weapons and armor instead of just buying them from stores. The combat looks much more fluid than the stiffness that past entries hosted, and the ability to pick and choose abilities without being locked to a class will definitely make combat a lot more hectic and fun.
There were some smaller announcements from The Game Awards too. Shovel Knight will be getting its second free expansion this spring with The Specter of Torment, a prequel starring the speedy Specter Knight, and The Walking Dead: Season 3 will kick off its run December 20th with two new episodes right out of the gate. Phoenix Labs announced new co-op game Dauntless, Halo Wars 2 (unfortunately) still exists, and Gearbox is entering the indie scene with a little help from Video Game Choo Choo’s steadfast mascot and lifelong friend Duke Nukem.
All in all, there was a lot more to talk about this year than last, but the overall show experience was still pretty grim. We weren’t treated to the interesting respites like the Sierra presentation from years past, and my only solace was getting to see a brief wisp of Run the Jewels before that horrible razor robot came to “school me on how to protect my skin from irritation.”
Maybe one of these years they’ll get it right, maybe one year there won’t be any reasons to cringe. For now though, we’re left with this.