Pressing Buttons: The top trailers revealed at the Game Awards, ranging from Blade to a nostalgic Sega binge.
In the past, the gaming industry had a set schedule where major announcements were made during the summer at the E3 event. Then, there would be a surge of new releases from September to November. After that, there would be a lull until at least March. However, with the permanent absence of E3 and the emergence of the Game Awards in December, there is now an overwhelming amount of new trailers and debuts just as people are getting ready for winter.
I was unable to view the show live this year (it began at 12:30am UK time on Saturday morning and lasted over three hours). I’m assuming most of you also did not watch it, so here are the main points: Baldur’s Gate 3 was the big winner; as usual, the awards seemed like an afterthought compared to the trailers; developers were not given much time to speak, which was disappointing; The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Spider-Man 2 were overlooked in multiple categories (Zelda won best action adventure game, while Spider-Man did not win anything).
To ensure fair coverage for games and developers, instead of rehashing the pros and cons of the Game Awards, let’s highlight some of the notable announcements.
Pony Island 2: Panda Circus
If you enjoy eerie atmospheres, ghostly tales of arcade machines with a haunting past, and having your preconceived notions turned upside down and presented as a new experience, then you should definitely check out Daniel Mullins’ games. This is a perfect opportunity to try out his previous titles, Pony Island and the unsettling and subversive Inscryption, if you haven’t already.
The Golden Idol’s Emergence
The follow-up to a highly acclaimed puzzle game from the past few years guarantees 15 scenarios of “criminal acts, mortality, and madness during the 1970s”.
I am a huge fan of the artistic style in this 3D action game created by the developers behind Tunic and some of my other beloved games. It brings to mind the aesthetics of the Spiderverse movies.
This is a highly expensive science-fiction production, similar to Destiny, featuring the popular actor Matthew McConaughey.
I was drawn to this intense and violent cartoon action game because it’s created by the same developers as Dead Cells, a game that I thoroughly enjoyed.
This game, created by the same developers of Untitled Goose Game, features a unique and entertaining puzzle experience set in Australia. Players will control surreal bird-people as they explore an abandoned and abstract island.
It seems that Sega has chosen to remake my entire youth: new versions of Jet Set Radio, Crazy Taxi, Shinobi, Golden Axe, and Streets of Rage.
Of course Hideo Kojima would use this occasion to unveil a new game with the typical array of Hollywood talent attached. It’s only a teaser, leaving us understanding next to nothing about the game (as is tradition), but it’s quite disturbing enough.
Arkane Lyon, with its unique sense of style, is the perfect choice for tackling this vampire adaptation. (Let’s not bring up their previous vampire project’s shortcomings.)
Light No Fire
Hello Games has a thing for expansive games whose titles comprise three one-syllable words. The No Man’s Sky studio has spent many years fixing and then expanding and improving its sci-fi game, but it’s clearly been busy on a similar fantasy game behind the scenes.
Monster Hunter Wilds
I am extremely excited about the release of another complete Monster Hunter game. For nearly a year, I dedicated most of my gaming time to Monster Hunter World and no other action series has been able to replicate the exhilaration of hunting in Capcom’s game.
Have your say
In our final newsletters of the year, we would like our readers to tell us their top picks for games released in 2023 and their most highly anticipated game for 2024 (perhaps Final Fantasy VII Rebirth?). Please send us your responses at [email protected].
What to play
During the Game Awards, a surprising announcement was made about the popular game God of War Ragnarok. The new DLC, called Valhalla, was released yesterday. The fierce and physically strong protagonist Kratos, along with the wise Mimir, journey through a new realm and face new challenges. Although I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, I am eager to revisit this captivating world.
Available on: PlayStation 5
Possible play duration: Uncertain.
What to read
The Entertainment Software Association has decided to end E3, which was the hub of the gaming industry for two decades. While not surprising, it is a somber occasion.
The fictional group featured in Alan Wake 2, a video game centered around a writer with the ability to manipulate reality through his writing, is inspired by an actual Finnish band. In a charming twist of events, this band has recently reached the top 10 on the albums chart after their performance at the Game Awards (highly recommended for their impressive choreography) – proving that the fiction in Alan Wake 2 has had a tangible impact on reality.
The real Florida Joker is upset that a similar-looking character is featured in the trailer for Grand Theft Auto VI. He is requesting recompense from Rockstar, but it is unlikely he will receive it as US laws safeguard parody.
For its 30th anniversary, we interviewed some of the individuals involved in the creation of the groundbreaking game Doom. John Romero shared his thoughts: “It was a fast-paced multiplayer experience of death. I was completely consumed by the idea that this could be the greatest game ever made. I believed that this multiplayer mode could be the ultimate selling point for any game, and it would only continue to improve as networking technology advanced.”
Google has lost a legal case against Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite, who objected to Google’s practice of taking a 30% share of all game sales on its app store under laws against monopolies. This ruling has major implications as it could potentially alter the earning models for all app developers, and also has significant consequences for Apple, who had previously won a separate case with Epic in 2021.
What to click
Review of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora – enter the jungle and reclaim it as your own.
Explaining all the games and controversies of Grand Theft Auto.
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Testing out five new party video games at an actual Christmas party.
The foundational elements of a fresh metaverse: The game of Lego Fortnite is a fun and enjoyable experience.
Thank you to @horrolivia on Twitter for this fantastic question.
Which famous moments in gaming would be more effective if accompanied by the song “Mr. Brightside”?
I’ve dedicated excessive amounts of time pondering and snickering at this. Can we discuss the brief ladder ascent in Metal Gear Solid 2? It would be ideal if it appeared after 30 seconds. John Marston’s final battle in Red Dead Redemption. Just picture Mordin belting out The Killers instead of Gilbert and Sullivan in Mass Effect, when he reveals his passion for singing. Destroying Megaton in Fallout 3.