|Robbery Victim Ashly Burch|
The Good Stuff, naturally, does not include the awards themselves. Cuphead winning best Art Direction over Horizon, Gravity Rush or heck even Darkest Dungeon's Crimson Court DLC, is bullshit. It's good - it is good! - but it's not that good. Its presentation is immaculate. Its art direction is intentionally, successfully derivative.
Likewise, it comes as no shock to see game journalists violently jerking off Nintendo, but that doesn't mean Zelda actually deserves to win best Action-Adventure or Game of the Year. In my opinion, Zelda is a great game - but it also just takes what a lot of open-world games have been doing for years, puts Zelda in it, and fails to deliver on a lot of the joys of open-world games (random encounters, robust AI) while failing to deliver some of the expected joys of Zelda (dungeons, a wide variety of tools providing access to an ever-expanding world).
It's still a great game, but it has failings that my pick does not.
Similarly, Melina Juergens did a good job in Hellblade - and her genuine glee at being handed a Game Award from legendary mocap actor and pioneer Andy Serkis was nothing less than uplifting - but I don't think her performance is actually better or more impressive than Ashly Burch's starmaking turn in Horizon: Zero Dawn. It's over-the-top melodrama.
Ashly Burch was fucking robbed, and as much as I imagine she's happy for Juergens and supportive of a fellow artist, this was her year and it's bullshit that Hellblade - a deeply mediocre game from a developer who's done far better in terms of narrative, presentation, gameplay and structure - took home so many trophies.
The fact that Horizon didn't win a single. Fucking. Thing it was nominated in is an affront. It is one of the best open-world games ever made, making huge leaps in presentation and combat mechanics. Burch in particular gave so much life to a character who frankly didn't have the best dialogue. She had spun straw into gold with Aloy, and failing to recognize that is... well, it's immoral.
Thank goodness we don't watch The Game Awards for the awards - we watch it for the trailers and new game reveals and hooooooo dawgies we got some big ones, man.
From Software teased their next game.
So there's some sort of... device. Mechanical. And it's soaked in blood. And part of it is made of bone.
Naturally my first reaction was "if this isn't Bloodborne 2 I will pitch a fucking fit." Mechanical weapon, blood, body parts - they all scream Bloodborne, to me. The text, though - "Shadows die twice" - brings to mind a few of From Software's other properties.
The calligraphy you see behind the device, the phrase "Shadows die twice" and the music sting all suggest a new Tenchu title - series co-protagonist Rikimaru has always referred to himself as a Shadow, and the final boss from Tenchu 3 almost word-for-word says "Shadows can die twice." Worth noting as well, From Software owns the Tenchu IP.
Finally, it may also be worth knowing that From Software released a game in 1998 called Shadow Tower, which bore a lot of similarities to King's Field - the spiritual predecessor of the Souls series.
Mysterious! From Software have said that we'll learn more "in the next twelve months," but I'm crossing my fingers we'll get a reveal at PSX tomorrow.
Bayonetta 2 will launch on the Nintendo Switch on February 16th, and it comes with a download copy of Bayonetta. Day. Fucking. One. Alsooo...
Bayonetta 3 is on its way, exclusive to the Switch.
Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding got an eight-minute trailer that feels a lot longer.
Probably my favorite trailer of the evening is this - for Witchfire.
Ohohoh clever twist, right? Yeah, I'm down for Hexen HD.
Annnd that's about it. Soul Calibur VI was announced, along with the next thing from the Firewatch crew, which actually looks pretty cool.
So the short version? From Software. Bayonetta. Awesome.