The Game Awards of 2018!

So, the Game Awards have finally come and gone for 2018, and there’s quite a lot to discuss! Overall, I found the show to be a rather exciting celebration of video games- it was full of lovely tributes to our favorite medium of entertainment. I personally found it extremely heartwarming to see Shawn Layden, Phil Spencer, and Reggie Fils-Aime join each other on stage to promote unity and the joy of games. No console wars, no favoritism- just love for games. It was a fantastic way to begin the night.

Another fantastic way to begin the night- that orchestra was phenomenal! Every time they came on stage, I was impressed by their musicality and their stage show. It was exciting and uplifting, and did a phenomenal show getting the audience excited for whatever Geoff Keighley had coming next.

Now, on to some of the big, new game announcements.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3

This one really came out of left field, I thought. I honestly did not expect to ever see a sequel to this series, and for fans of the Marvel universe, this should be packed full of fan service. It’s releasing some time next year, and it will be a Switch exclusive.

Far Cry New Dawn

While its existence was teased a couple days before the event began, it still came as a bit of a surprise. A spin-off in the same vein as Far Cry Primal or Blood Dragon, it will be set in rural America following the nuclear apocalypse. Looks to be a fantastic time set in a more colorful Mad Max-esque universe- color is often sorely lacking in post-apocalyptic games, so I am into this! I personally think the biggest surprise is just how soon it’s releasing: February 15, 2019, on all major consoles.

Hades

Hades is the new game developed by Supergiant, the creators of the outstanding Bastion and Transistor. It looks to be a top down action game set in the world of Greek mythology, possibly with roguelike elements if I read the trailer correctly, which would be a bit of a twist for Supergiant! Personally, I thought the most interesting aspect of this game was the incredible and unique designs of the gods themselves. I’ve never quite seen Greek Gods depicted in that way, they looked fantastic and I am excited to see more! It’s out now in early access on the new Epic Games Store, and presumably it will come to consoles when it leaves early access.

Crash Team Racing

I know we’ve got some by Crash fans in the server, and I’m sure you folks are hyped to see this announcement! People have been asking for this for a while, and I was personally pretty convinced that it wouldn’t happen… I’m happy to have been proven wrong because it looks fantastic! For anyone unfamiliar with the game, this is a remake of an older PS1 racing game with Crash Bandicoot characters featuring Mario Kart-esque gameplay. It was a great time with friends, and I’m sure the remake will not disappoint. CTR releases on June 21, 2019, on all major consoles.

The Outer Worlds

Alright, this was the big one for me. I absolutely adore Obsidian- Fallout New Vegas is by far my favourite Fallout, and these guys have continued to make fantastic, deep RPGs for years now. Finally, after a while of releasing top-down computer RPGs, it looks like they’re back to having the high budget needed to create a large scale 3D first-person RPG again in the vein of Fallout. This one is set in what looks to my eyes like a Western set in space, with tons of comedy thrown in for good measure. They immediately make it clear that player choice is an important factor in the progression of this game, and since Obsidian does player choice better than almost anyone else, I could not be more excited to see how this game turns out. I can’t wait to see more when it releases next year on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

The Last Campfire

A bit of a surprise coming from Hello Games, the creators of No Man’s Sky. I would have imagined that they’d still have some time to go before moving on to a new project, given how committed they’ve been to updating NMS. I’m sure they’ll continue to do so, but they’ll also be releasing this smaller scale title in the meantime. It looks like it was probably made by a tiny, passionate team within Hello Games, rather than being another full-scale release. It looks to be a puzzle adventure game based on the trailer, but we really don’t know much about it at all. No release date was given.

Atlas

A new MMO survival game from the creators of Ark: Survival Evolved. This game definitely looks interesting, the premise in particular seems rather unique. It seems to be set in a pirate world with mythological elements such as dragons. We really don’t know too much more than that at the moment, but I’m sure that Ark fans will be excited to have a new, larger scale survival game from the same developer. It should release next year on Xbox.

Dragon Age 4

BioWare brought a new story trailer for Anthem tonight, but also a short teaser of the next installment of the Dragon Age series. It’s good to know that BioWare are not only focusing on their take on Destiny, but also continuing to commit to the classic franchise that many RPG fans adore. Now… this being said, aside from some Easter eggs that hardcore Dragon Age fans may have picked up on, no real concrete information was given on the game besides the fact that it exists. We don’t have a release window, and with next gen consoles possibly being around the corner in the next one to three years, it’s entirely possible that it will launch early in the new generation much like Inquisition did.

Stranger Things 3

The third season of the hit television show is getting a game adaptation next year. It looks to be a 16-bit style co-op action game where you will get to play as some of the classic characters of the show and travel through some familiar locations. It should release next year on all major consoles.

Mortal Kombat 11

My other big moment of the night. I’m a long time fan of the Mortal Kombat Games, and I could not be more excited for another new installment. Interestingly enough, this trailer showed Scorpion fighting Raiden (who appears to be evil this time, red lightning and all), rather than the classic Scorpion vs. Sub-Zero fight. I’m definitely interested to see what they’re doing with the story this time, but I think the more interesting element was just how… brutal and creative Raiden’s fatality was on Scorpion. There was also elements of character degradation when Scorpion has his face plate smashed, and plenty of wicked violent combos shown along the way. If that’s a sign of what is to come, I know I personally will adore the game. I can’t wait to see more of it, and thankfully, the wait won’t be too long. It will release on April 23, 2019 on all major consoles.

That about does it for new game announcements, so now on to the awards themselves! I have decided to take it game by game, not award by award, so as to compile all of my thoughts on each game rather than spreading them out. Not every winner will be here, only the larger ones.

Dragon Ball FighterZ: Best Fighting Game

This is easily my favorite fighting game since Tekken 7, I personally adored every minute of this game. Perhaps the best part of the gameplay was the accessibility, while sacrificing no depth at all- you didn’t have to memorize hundreds of combos (although they were there), you didn’t have to learn strategies (although you could), you didn’t have to practice for hundreds of hours to get a single win. Anyone can jump in and have a blast playing as their favorite Dragon Ball characters, pulling off beautiful combos and watching the absolute visual feast that this game exhibits. However, the depth was there for hardcore fans, meaning that the endless replayability you expect from a solid fighting game is still there in spades. Overall, just a blast of a game. It didn’t change the genre, it won’t change your life, but if you want a fun anime fighting game… this is the one.

Monster Hunter World: Best RPG

I know we’ve got a ton of Monster Hunter fans around here, and I’m sure you were excited to see it win this award! Monster Hunter World provides everything you could want from an RPG: immersive, exotic locales. Giant beasts to slay. Endless quests to go on, alone or with friends. Deep character customization. An endless grind for better and better gear. It’s packed full of more content than I personally knew what to do with, which is a good thing! I never finished it, although I most definitely will one day, but man… it’s a great game. Much like FighterZ, it’s also rather accessible for newcomers, providing a cinematic story with cutscenes and action set pieces to pull you in, but also that endless grind for the hardcore fans. Great game for all types of players, and this is well deserved.

Celeste: Best Indie Game, Games for Impact

Celeste is an old school, side scrolling, pixel art platformer with deep gameplay and an even deeper story about mental health. It’s hard as nails- you will die, and you will die often, but respawning is quick and easy, alleviating some of that frustration. Like all of the best difficult games, it’s exhilarating to finally get past an area that was causing you trouble. Celeste is a challenging, emotional, must play work of art. It definitely deserved to take home these awards tonight.

Fortnite: Best Multiplayer Game, Best Ongoing Game

Fortnite is a controversial game, for many reasons. It’s new and it’s fresh, and it appeals to kids in a crazy way. It’s more or less taken over popular culture entirely for the past year, so it makes sense to see it winning at least some awards here tonight. But, of course, it also receives a lot of hate for many valid reasons. I’m not here to critique the game, so I will say this: people who love Fortnite really love it, and Epic have done an amazing job at supporting and extending this game’s life over the past year. They constantly add new content, changing the map, telling new stories within it, adding skins, challenges, weapons and modes all the time. Epic’s dedication definitely earned them the “Best Ongoing Game” award, and the fans of the game are, I’m sure, happy to hear that it has won “Best Multiplayer Game” as well. It definitely has a larger than life fan base to deserve earning that award.

Red Dead Redemption 2: Best Performance, Best Narrative, Best Audio Design, Best Soundtrack

Red Dead Redemption 2 took home the most awards tonight, and it is not difficult to see why. Roger Clark put on an unbelievable performance as Arthur Morgan, portraying Arthur’s emotional, impactful journey through the Wild West. Frankly, it’s difficult to discuss what makes RDR2’s narrative so wonderful without spoiling it, however, trust the jury when they say that it told the best story of the year. And of course, it sounds incredible. Woody Jackson’s score ranges from heart-pounding to calm and ethereal, and it always fits the mood flawlessly whether you’re killing hundreds of rival gang members or just quietly fishing. That score, combined with the incredible soundscapes of the wilderness, creates one of the most immersive games I’ve ever played. Red Dead definitely deserves all of the recognition it received, and I could not be happier with Rockstar for taking home so many awards tonight.

God of War: Game of the Year, Best Game Direction, Best Action-Adventure

God of War won the big one this year. Game of the Year. God of War is one of the most technically impressive games I have ever played. It features utterly amazing graphics. It’s polished to perfection, with close to no technical flaws. The actors deliver their performances perfectly, always with the right emotions and the right reactions to whatever crazy events they experience along the way. And the direction… that’s the big one for me, the game direction is utterly astounding. I have absolutely no clue how they were able to pull off the consistent single-take throughout the game- the sheer amount of organization and planning that must have taken to be successful is so impressive to me. For many people, this is one of the best games on the console, and for that reason, these awards are definitely well deserved.

A huge congratulations to God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2, Fortnite, Celeste, and all other award winners tonight. Geoff Keighley organized a terrific show, and I personally can not wait to see what happens in gaming in the next year.

Author: Midnightapalooza

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