The Game Awards 2017

Geoff Keighley does it again.  The Game Awards was both highly entertaining and a great way to celebrate video gaming.  If you haven’t already, check your favorite digital storefront for some excellent sales on games nominated for the awards show.  Besides celebrating the best games of 2017, The Game Awards also featured some great World Premiers and announcements.  We were also treated to Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro hugging like bros on stage.  And you can’t talk about Hideo Kojima without talking about that Death Stranding trailer!  What was going on there?  That might be another article later next week!  For now, check out who won, what was announced, and my impressions of The Game Awards.

Winners

Dr DisRespect began the show winning the trending gamer award.  I am a big fan of the doctor and I believe that his streams are some of the most entertaining on twitch.tv.  While many streams succeed because of their ability to interact with an audience, Dr DisRespect can also entertain an audience.  His unique persona and in game antics will hopefully push online streaming further and attract more viewers to online streaming as a whole.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus took home the award for best action game.  I just finished Wolfenstein: The New Order and I am so mad at myself for waiting so long to finish that game, it was incredible.  Reviews agree that Wolf II is bigger, badder, and even harder than the first game (unless you play on the easiest difficulty setting: Daddy, Can I Play).  But the game is about the story and the experience, so play on whatever difficulty is most enjoyable.  Also, check out this trailer from Bethesda which supports the ever endangered single player gamers.  #saveplayer1

Cuphead came away with multiple awards, including best independent game.  Cuphead is truly something special, and from the acceptance speech I could tell that the developers really poured their heart and soul into the game.  The big band musical soundtrack and the hand drawn graphics really set the game apart from the other nominees.  Not to mention the game’s brutal difficulty.  Nevertheless, the gameplay is top notch and something that keeps drawing me in.

Carol Shaw was awarded the Industry Icon Award.  She is notable for being one of the first female game designers in the industry and worked at both Atari and Activision during the 70’s and 80’s.  She developed Polo and River Raid for the Atari 2600.  She made some excellent remarks on the current state of the video game industry and of the importance of the classics.  She referenced that systems like the NES Classic and SNES Classic are still popular (and impossible to find).  More importantly, those systems and games are still fun to play.  Carol Shaw helped pave the way for the future of console gaming, by creating unique experiences that you could not find at the arcade.  Thank you Carol for helping build the video game industry into what it is today and for perhaps influencing some of the current game creators.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild took home the Game of the Year Award.  It was also nominated for a Golden Spoon Game of the Year Award.  This game was truly remarkable and redefined what an open world game can be.  Instead of looking at a map filled with icons and busy work, Breath of the Wild presented the player with a blank canvas.  It was up to the player to decide which path they took, where they went first, and how they spent their time.  You could defeat the final boss in a few short hours or you could spend hundreds of hours searching the fantastic fields, mountains, and deserts in search of Korok seeds and shrines.  The new downloadable content expands the game further and I will certainly be returning to this game with the release of The Champions Ballad.

World Premiers/Announcements

The first announcement of the night went to World War Z, a new game set in the book and film’s universe.  We saw a trailer for In the Valley of the Gods, from the creators of Firewatch, although that game won’t come out until 2019.  Soul Caliber VI was announced as coming in 2018 to raucous applause.  We were also treated to a cryptic looking game from From Software, perhaps a sequel to Bloodborne? And Sea of Thieves announced it’s release date: March 20, 2018!  But when will the alpha return?

Nintendo surprised the audience by announcing that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild‘s 2nd DLC, The Champions Ballad, would become available after The Game Awards!  Reggie Fils-Aime, President of Nintendo of America, came back to the stage to announce that Bayonetta 2 (which includes Bayonetta 1) would be remastered for the Nintendo Switch in February.  He wasn’t done until he announced that Bayonetta 3 is also in development exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.

Death Stranding had a new and awesome trailer.  We know nothing about the actual gameplay, but the world that Hideo Kojima is creating looks to be incredible.  Just watch the trailer.

Battle Royale style games also had a couple of announcements.  Fortnite began by announcing a new limited time 50v50 mode.  It looks like the developers envision the mode with a focus on building mechanics, but the players will certainly define the mode with something unique.  Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds announced that the new desert map will be available to play after The Game Awards and continued by announcing that version 1.0 will be releasing on December 20th, 2017.

The (Spoon) Deep Take

Geoff Keighley began the show saying “Games don’t just tell us stories, they share stories with us.”  The interactive nature of video games makes them truly unique.  No two experiences with games will ever be exactly the same, as the games share their stories the player is able to set the tone, determine the pace, and put a piece of themselves within the story they are experiencing.  I am often reminded of the opening clip from The Game Awards 2016.

Nintendo was a big winner from the night.  Besides winning multiple categories and taking home the Game of the Year Award for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Nintendo had 21 nominations across all categories during the show.  After the Wii U’s fantastic library but limited success, Nintendo has once again shown that it knows how to set the tone for the industry.  The Nintendo Switch has especially shown that innovation will be celebrated by both the industry and gamers.

Indie Games won huge at The Game Awards.  Games like Cuphead, What Remains of Edith Finch and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice won multiple awards on the same stage as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.  Student developed games were celebrated and Carol Shaw talked about developing successful games by herself during the early years of the industry.  These games were celebrated at The Game Awards because they bring a certain intimate love for the craft that sometimes gets lost in a big budget production.  We also saw numerous independent projects coming soon in 2018 and beyond.  I have recently come to love independently designed games and will continue to support and enjoy them.

Finally, it may be cliche to say, but gamers won at The Game Awards.  The award show celebrated a hobby that many of us spend way too much time on.  Many high profile individuals recounted the importance of video gaming as both an entertainment and art form.  There were also multiple remarks about the pitfalls of microtransactions and loot boxes.  Plus we had some fantastic game announcements and world premiers to look forward to in 2018.  I hope that by celebrating the best of the industry we will continue to receive better and better games that challenge the previous status quo.  The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild set the tone for the next year of gaming, innovation and player respect will be celebrated by the industry and rewarded with player’s support.

What was your favorite part of The Game Awards?  Did you miss out, were you playing video games instead?!

For a full list of all the winners and announcements click here.

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees, now we can look forward to E3!

Jake “prettyboyplaid” Fredericks

One thought on “The Game Awards 2017

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