Geoff Keighley is a controversial figure. Is he an expert or an image man? A producer or an author? It doesn’t matter, because the Canadian former face of Spike and GameTrailers has proved capable of building, starting from the ashes of the Spike Video Game Awards, a ceremony that can now be counted among the most important events for the videogame medium market. Since 2014, The Game Awards have been the protagonists of an unstoppable crescendo, keeping hundreds of thousands of spectators glued to the screen not only interested in the crowning of the creative flair hidden behind the products, but above all thirsty for exclusive ads.
And this is how, also this year, we made ourselves comfortable in front of that curtain, thanks to an incredible number of teasers and speculations that have flourished on the web over the last few weeks, aware of the fact that the many small tastings seen in these days they would have carved out an important space on the Los Angeles stage.
The ingredients for a great show were all there, not to mention the presence of Phil Spencer representing Xbox, Shawn Layden for Playstation and Reggie Fils Aime for Nintendo, all together on the same stage, to put aside diversity once and for all. and celebrate the gaming universe as a whole. But let’s not get lost in chat, albeit pleasant: here are all the announcements and surprises of The Game Awards 2018.
Let’s start immediately with the barrels: directly from Ubisoft, Jean Sebastien Decant presented himself on time to the appointment to present a Far Cry: New Dawn that becomes almost a direct sequel to the fifth chapter, marking the entry of the series in the post apocalyptic universe. Can we unbalance ourselves? At first glance it certainly seemed to us the most interesting proposal to peep out of the Far Cry saga in recent times, since the time of Blood Dragon. Among insane vehicles, weird weapons, explosions and weird animal companions, an old acquaintance has also appeared …
If, in the last few days, you’ve smelled a strange smell of burnt bandicoot fur, well, you’ve hit the mark. Crash himself has announced the great return of CTR with Crash Team Racing Nitro Fueled , out in June 2019 with a strong online component and all the features we were used to. It is, in fact, a remastered plus version of the original Playstation title, designed to celebrate the good old days without disdaining a sortie in the multiplayer universe.
Then, all of a sudden, the stage began to shake: Obsidian’s heavyweights entered the scene to show the world a whole new universe. In The Outer Worlds we will find ourselves on the edge of the galaxy, in the midst of a space far west capable of embodying all the style of the software house; the roster of characters seemed to us to be very well characterized, and the setting seems to be perfectly suited to the structural needs of the noble studio; between mega-corporations that dominate the unclaimed lands and a general design that recalls both the western RPG experiences and the satirical potential of the developer, we could find ourselves facing the great turnaround of Obsidian.
Just when the waters seemed to have calmed down, what should have been the award ceremony for the best sports-racing title turned into a fight to the death between Raiden and Scorpion: in general disbelief, in fact, Mortal Kombat 11 exploded on the giant screen with a lot of attached release date, officially scheduled for April 23, 2019. Unfortunately, we could not see a real gameplay, but more information will be released during a community reveal set for next January 17.
Casey Hudson, general manager of Bioware, took the stage to talk a little more about Anthem, presenting a new trailer focused on the narrative sector, until now remained in the shadow of the gameplay apparatus. That’s all? Absolutely not: a mysterious teaser has left us in the company of an interesting fresco accompanied by the words The Dread Wolf Rises . But what does this mean? The greatest fans of Dragon Age will no doubt have grasped the connection between Solas’s story and the mysterious message. Is the apocalypse really approaching in the second great Bioware saga?
For a moment, when the Switch logo preceded the entrance of the unmistakable Rocket of the Guardians of the Galaxy, we experienced the illusion of being in the presence of a dedicated title. It was not so, but it does not matter: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 is the new Nintendo Switch exclusive scheduled for 2019. But it is not the only novelty from the Japanese house: Joker, directly from Persona 5, will soon join the roster of Super Smash Bros Ultimate, and will be only the first of a series consisting of five grafts from as many franchises.
This year, The Game Awards proved to be an incredible hotbed of news and announcements of all kinds, and there are tons of smaller productions that deserve a more in-depth analysis. Let’s start with the most interesting: Psychonauts 2 , directed by Tim Schafer, was shown in a long trailer between cinematic sequences and gameplay actions that seem, for once, to the height of the work of crowd funding. We also noticed the latest effort by Supergiant Games, creators of Bastion: it is Hades , an isometric action that recalls traditional dungeon crawlers by adding a soulslike note, a project already in early access on the Epic Games Store.
Speaking of soulslike, do you remember Annapurna Interactive’s Ashen ? The interesting action is also already available on the Epic Games Store, as well as coming soon for Xbox Game Pass owners. The Stanley Parable , on the other hand, faces 2019 with an Ultra Deluxe Edition full of additional content and ready to cross the border of the console market. From the creators of Abzu, we could see some excerpts of The Pathless , what looks like a title inspired by Shadow of the Colossus, set in a world in which to fight immense creatures together with a mysterious eagle.
Also to keep an eye on The Last Campfire by Hello Games, a short that looks very similar to the famous Journey. Josh Holmes presented the promising Scavengers , a cooperative and competitive survival shooter born from the creators of titles such as Halo and Battlefield. The developers of Ark: Survival Evolved, then, have shown at length Atlas , from December 13 on Steam and soon in Xbox Game Preview, a survival MMO set in a piratical fantasy empire, along the coasts of one of the most shared game worlds. great ever made.
We saw a short teaser of Journey to the Savage Planet , the title of a Typhoon Studio backed by Epic Games which, attention, is not a traditional survival but a real adventure. Patrice Desilets, the mind behind Assassin’s Creed, talked about Ancestors: A Human Kind Odissey , a single player-open world-survival title that tells, over the course of 8 million years, the entire birth of the human being.
While the “Monster Hunter-like” Dauntless was equipped with a release date, now scheduled for April, and the creators of Stranger Things announced the third instance of the video game of the same name, Fortnite expanded with the creative mode. What at first glance would seem a trivial feature, could soon prove to be the new winning arrow at the Epic Games arc: the best constructions of the users, in fact, will end up directly on the map of the official Battle Royale, taking the place of the Drive In inside. of the new area The Block.
Let’s move on to the highlight of the evening: the master of ceremony Geoff Keighley succeeded in the apparently impossible intent to bring, for a brief and fantastic moment, the image men of Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo all together on the same stage, giving life to a celebration of the unprecedented videogame. To further warm the atmosphere, then, Craig Thomas of Visual Concepts, software house behind 2K sports experiences, was awarded with the honorary Industry Icon Award to celebrate his thirty years of service in the industry.
In short, after Dead Cells’ victory in the role of best action title, Monster Hunter World won the award for best RPG. As usual, the videogame categorization is not able to propose well-defined boundaries, but the work of Capcom, a true rebirth for the Monster Hunter series, has even defeated the highly anticipated Dragon Quest XI.
Red Dead Redemption 2 opened a seemingly never-ending waltz of victories with the award for best fiction, which certainly comes as no surprise: it would probably have taken it home to any edition of The Game Awards. Shortly thereafter, Roger Clark pocketed the statuette for the best performance as Arthur Morgan, who in no time became one of the industry’s most loved characters.
Rockstar’s title didn’t seem to want to stop, even snatching the award for best soundtrack from the competition; Listening again to the medley proposed by the orchestra, it once again seemed evident to us how Woody Jackson has created one of the most beautiful soundtracks ever heard in the entire history of the medium. As if nothing had happened, a few moments later, the prize for the best sound design also ended up in the hands of the Take Two production.
Cory Barlog was the “combo breaker”, singing the praises of Santa Monica Studios in the speech following the God of War award for best game direction. But it was only a preamble to the final bomb: surprisingly, the Sony exclusive snatched the title of Game of the Year from the Rockstar blockbuster and, for our part, we can only be happy to have witnessed such a battle between titans. . Going back to last June, the decision does not seem like a surprise at all: that of 2018 proved, up to the last beats, a year full of real masterpieces.
Return of the Obra Dinn certainly could not remain empty-handed: it is his, in fact, the award for the best artistic direction. However, Celeste remains the real winner in the independent market ; the work of Matt Makes Games, in addition to conquering the scepter as the best indie title and product with the greatest impact, could also boast a nomination for the soundtrack and, even, appeared among the contenders for the title of the game of the year. Florence dominated the mobile ecosystem, while Astro Bot Rescue Mission unexpectedly bypassed Beat Saber and Firewall: Zero Hour in the fight for the best VR experience.
For the “Fortnite Streamer” category of the year (which would actually be the content creator of the year) it could only be Ninja Tyler Blevins who took the statuette home. SonicFox, on the other hand, has more than deservedly won the title of best eSports athlete, having racked up nothing but first places in almost every fighting game it has competed with. It is an explosive personality capable of achieving incredible goals, demonstrating a versatility never seen within the export scene. Basically, it is as if a footballer, after winning the Golden Ball, had also taken home the NBA MVP title.
Kratos, visibly happy for the victory.
Not even on purpose, Dragonball FighterZ was crowned best fighting game, and it is one of the titles dominated by SonicFox over the last year. The Messenger nimbly netted it as the best independent debut title, Overcooked 2 as the best family production and Into the Breach as the best strategic experience. No surprises in the sports-racing category, albeit disturbed by the presentation of Mortal Kombat: Forza Horizon 4 is the most loved work by the voting public. Fortnite, shut up, strong with its hundreds of millions of players, returns home with two statuettes: the one for the best multiplayer, and the one for the best live development.
We close with the awards strictly linked to the establishment of the esports world: Overwatch , thanks to the spectacular World League, has established itself as the best export title, while Cloud9 , for the third consecutive year, has confirmed itself as the best organization in the sector. As for the events, however, it is the League of Legends World Championship that surprises itself against DOTA’s Internationals and the Overwatch World League itself.
And so, another gaming year has come to an end. Summing up, it is one of the best vintages in the current generation, and has given birth and much more than a memorable title, as evidenced by the fullness of this edition of The Game Awards. Do you agree with the decisions made by the voting public? What do you think of the latest news from the industry? In our opinion, it is extremely rare to end such a rich year, and it is even more rare to look forward to an equally rosy future.