It’s December 10th, 2017 and here’s what’s happening in games! Winners at The Game Awards, world premieres at the industry’s award show, and PlayStation Experience 2017 highlights. The video game industry changes every day and your time is important. Let’s get you caught up, starting right now, on Games in Time!
Winners at The Game Awards
Geoff Keighley’s celebration of the game industry – The Game Awards – honored the best and brightest for the fourth year in a row. Taking home the grand prize of Game of the Year was The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which also won Best Action/Adventure Game and Best Game Direction. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was another big winner, taking home Games for Impact, Best Audio Design, and Best Performance with Melina Juergens as Senua. Cuphead also made award stage appearances for Best Independent Game and Best Art Direction. Other award highlights included Persona 5 for Best RPG, NieR: Automata for Best Score/Soundtrack, What Remains of Edith Finch for Best Narrative, Dr. Disrespect for Trending Gamer, and The Last of Us: Part II for Most Anticipated Game.
However, it was what happened off of the main stage that got people talking the most, as A Way Out’s creative director Josef Fares went on a self-promotional, curse-filled ramble that blasted the Academy Awards, made light of EA’s recent lootbox gaffes, and tried to do everything else but make new announcements about his upcoming game. It’s certainly a moment that won’t be forgotten any time soon, so make sure you go back and watch it.
World Premieres at The Game Awards
Most viewers tuned in to see the world premieres at The Game Awards and they weren’t disappointed this year. Highlights included:
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – The Champions’ Ballad, giving Link a new motorcycle and fleshing out the story a bit more, which was available to players after the show.
- Death Stranding confused us all with a new 8-minute trailer in which Norman Reedus…ate a baby?
- Nintendo dropped another bombshell, not only revealing Bayonetta 1 & 2 coming to Switch on February 16th, 2018, but also that Bayonetta 3 is currently in development as another Switch exclusive
- From Software gave a very small tease of what a lot of people believe will be Bloodborne 2
- Bandai-Namco made us wonder “Do your souls still burn?” as they revealed Soulcalibur VI, coming in 2018
- And plenty of other game reveals filled out the show, like Campo Santo’s In the Valley of Gods, the walking simulator turned first-person shooter Witchfire, the rebirth of Media Molecule’s Dreams, and more. To top it all off, Microsoft sneaked a release date for Sea of Thieves in one of the commercial breaks – March 20th, 2018.
Overall, it was a successful year for The Game Awards. Make sure to also check out the two special orchestra medleys, if you haven’t done so yet.
PSX 2017 Highlights
Gaming’s big winter weekend didn’t stop there, as PlayStation Experience picked up where The Game Awards left off. Even though Sony tried to make it very clear that PSX’s big reveals were pushed up to Paris Games Week just over a month ago, the event still went on with a more subdued, developer-focused interview event. Announcement highlights included a free and full VR update coming to Wipeout Omega Collection in early 2018, a free VR experience for The Last Guardian on December 12th, Firewall: Zero Hour – a four-person tactical first-person shooter in VR – coming in 2018, and the return of MediEvil, with a 4K remake coming in 2018.
Capping things off was the Capcom Cup, in which the reveal of Season 3 of Street Fighter V included Sakura, Blanka, Cody, Sagat, and more – coming January 16th. In addition, the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection arrives in May 2018 and features 12 games from Street Fighter’s history before Street Fighter IV, several of which with online play, at a $39.99 MSRP in the United States. All in all, it was a down year for PSX, on the news front. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for a Nintendo Direct in January, for the next big influx of announcements.
- Okami HD comes to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on Tuesday, December 12th. You play as Amaterasu, the god of the sun in white wolf form, as you use weapons and your Celestial Brush to defeat enemies and solve puzzles in this stylized version of imperial Japanese folklore. If you have never played Okami, now is your chance, so give the best Zelda-influenced game out there a try.
- The End is Nigh comes to Nintendo Switch on Tuesday, December 12th, after its PC release in July. This Edmund McMillen game has platforming that is very reminiscent of the creator’s previous work, Super Meat Boy. And, if it’s any indication of the final product, the teaser trailer features voice acting from RedLetterMedia’s Rich Evans.
Fossils: “What are your thoughts on when sequels to games drastically differ in art style (i.e. Zelda, or a more recent example – Xenoblade)?”
For me, it’s all a case-by-case basis. When it comes to the franchises you’ve provided as examples, you have one that needs to mix things up over the many years of its legendary history, in order to not be seen as stale. Meanwhile, I see the other is trying to find itself after a sequel that struggled to sell on a dying piece of hardware. At the same time, in regards to one of my favorite franchises – Pokémon – it’s all about updating what is seen as the best style for the franchise as gaming hardware improves over time.
To be honest, I can’t really think of a time when I was angered by a drastic change in a game’s art style. It’s always been more of an “oh, that’s interesting” kind of thing for me. Of course, I’m sure that this kind of change is never taken lightly, and there are lots of factors to be considered. Directorial vision, hardware changes or restraints, keeping things fresh, trying to find critical and commercial acclaim, they all blend together to make that decision. Art style is certainly important when it comes to a game’s quality, but at the end of the day, as long as it’s a style that positively services the game’s world, tone, and feel, then I’m OK with it.
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