Player 2 Versus The Game Awards 2018
The Game Awards have finally arrived, and the Geoff Keighley led event has thrown up a whole lot of surprises. Join Player 2’s own Matt Hewson and Paul James as they render their verdicts on the winners, the reveals, and everywhere in between.
Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled
Matt Hewson: Well Activision sure have stumbled on the secret to a big payday haven’t they. Actually of the three this is the remake that most appeals to me, if only because there isn’t a good kart racer on the PS4 and Xbox. I am always down for some more fun.
Paul James: I’ll be curious to see what additions are made to the game to bring it to the modern Mario Kart standard. Online multiplayer is a good start, but with so many improvements and refinements made over the generations, I worry that this game could feel incredibly old. Here’s hoping that we get something worthy of this day and age.
Far Cry: New Dawn
MH: As I was seemingly the only person that liked the ending of Far Cry 5 I am totally down with this. It appears to be something more in lines with Blood Dragon and Primal which I wanted out of the FC5 DLC (which was a bit shit to be honest) but this will do just fine. Post apocalypse Far Cry seems like something so well suited I am surprised it hasn’t happened before.
PJ: I’m super into this, but given that Far Cry 5 was a game that I started but far from finished (You have Kratos to thank for that), I’m worried about the barrier of entry to the game. I know that Joseph Seed and many other familiar faces are returning for this so I guess it’s time I dusted off my (digital) copy and cracked into it ahead of this release.
MH: Nothing to see here except confirmation that it is yonks away. I love Dragon Age but it is hard to get excited over such a small tease.
PJ: Jason Schreier told us earlier this week that the game was several years away after being recently rebooted. It does make me wonder why Bioware thought that now was the time to reveal the game, with a presumed 2-3 year development cycle still ahead of it. Perhaps they’re looking to reassure fans that their “real” games are still coming similarly to what Bethesda did at E3? Either way, I’m now jazzed for more.
MH: This however, I am down for. I can’t wait for this game and to see if EA can fix the inherent problems that Destiny and Division have come up against. That EA is putting what seems to be a firm focus on story seems to bode well in my eyes. I can’t wait.
PJ: Agreed, the story emphasis is a really positive sign, and as if a god himself was looking out for me it was minutes after this trailer aired that my phone buzzed and I was gifted access to the upcoming closed alpha. Well done Bioware, and now it’s time to dive deeper into this game!
Mortal Kombat 11
MH: The money shot. Trailer of the show. So many little details for long time MK fans, two Scorpions, a Red Raiden, which possibly indicates that he is the bad guy, the shaolin temple in ruins. Argh April is too long to wait. Honestly Netherealm do the best single player fighters on the planet and this is why I love them. They are a godsend for those that want to get their biff on but have no desire to spend hours and hours practicing. Plus the stories are always amazing B grade action masterpieces. Sign me up Mr Boon.
PJ: I’m not even a fighting game guy but holy hell did this trailer blow me away. When Ed Boon was introduced to present the best sports game I thought something was coming, what with several rumours swirling and the timing seeming right, but the way it was both delivered and then presented was near enough to perfection. Even this non-fighting game fan was psyched.
MH: Much more of the same stuff we have already seen, though a May release date was later then I expected. Happy for them to take the extra time and make it a banger though.
PJ: Yeah not too much new to see here outside of the release date. I think May 14 is the perfect release date, free of the early year madness, but also with enough distance between it and the mess that is the build towards E3. Well done Bethesda, the game is looking fantastic and after playing it at PAX I’m on board. Get in my life already!
The Outer Worlds
MH: If MK was the trailer of the show, this was a very close second. Obsidian back in the first person RPG territory bringing the dark humour and crazy concepts that they cut their teeth on with New Vegas (and even earlier as different dev studios.) I am an unabashed Obsidian fan I am so glad to see them return to this style of game.
PJ: This was the game announcement that stole the show for me. Obsidian, when backed by a big budget publisher has been able to do extraordinary things, and it seems that The Outer Worlds fits that bill. I’m intrigued by the fact that the game is available on PS4 given the recent purchase of the studio by Microsoft – there must be a pre-existing deal prior to the acquisition.
The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe
MH: Not something I see as a console experience, regardless it is great that console players will get a chance to play the best “choose your own adventure” novel ever made.
PJ: The Stanley Parable was an interesting game that like you said Matt, I’m unsure about whether it can stick the console landing. Regardless though, this is an opportunity for console folk to play an acclaimed game that was previously inaccessible, whilst for all of us, it’s a sign that we may be on the verge of getting more in the future.
Stranger Things 3: The Game
MH: No having watched the show (yeah I know, time people time) I can’t really comment much, except it looks to have a great aesthetic that is in keeping with what I know of the hit Netflix series.
PJ: I’m in love with the Stranger Things television series and now I get to experience the series via my preferred entertainment medium. The trailer doesn’t tell us very much so i’ll be interested to see how this plays out, especially given that it is just picking up with season 3, but we’re off to a positive start.
The Last Campfire
MH: Interesting to see Hello Games go back to this seemingly smaller space. It seems like the perfect palate cleanser after the mammoth effort they put into No Man’s Sky. They are a talented team so I am keen to check out what is on offer.
PJ: You might be interested to know however that it’s not the full team working on the game, in fact, it’s just two members of Hello Games responsible for the game. The game is looking excellent though, and seems full of heart, i’ll be curious to see how this one plays out.
MH: I will follow Supergiant into Hades for sure. Bastion and Pyre are brilliant and while Transistor didn’t click with me like it did for others, it was still a tour de force of style and creativity. The fact it is available now on PC is great too. The only question I have is can it take the rogue-like crown from Dead Cells.
PJ: Supergiant games haven’t yet grabbed me to the same level they have with others. Their projects always intrigue me, and I see them through to completion, but they are yet to resonate with me on the same levels that they have for many other folk. The really interesting story here is the current exclusivity on the newly announced Epic Store, this is a game changing storefront and it’s great for Supergiant that they’re getting on at the ground floor.
MH: Forget Mario, Psychonauts is my favourite 3D platformer of all time and I am so glad to see a sequel coming. Raz and co are weird, wacky and amazingly entertaining and the chance to dive into their world again has me jumping for joy. The only question left to ask is, Are you the Milkman?
PJ: It took me 10+ years to finally play and complete Psychonauts and i’m so glad I did. I’ll be very curious to see where this game goes because absolutely anything is possible given the subject matter. 2019 is a massive plus!
Summer of Arcade
MH: Great idea to bring back the Summer (Winter) of Arcade. It really puts a focus on great indie titles. The fact it is tied to Gamepass is even better, it means that people who would be unlikely to take a stab on this titles are much more likely to give them a go. Also kicking off with Ashen and Below. That’s a one-two punch of quality right there.
PJ: Yep, both of those have been on my to-play list for quite some time, and it’s great that we’re getting an indie spotlight such as Summer of Arcade once again. Here’s hoping this spurs Microsoft to continue this trend into 2019 and that it puts the fire back in the Playstation belly to bring back their PLAY initiative as well. Good guy Microsoft has done it again.
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey
MH: Call me intrigued but not sold. Could go either way this one. Ambitious yes, but ambition doesn’t make a good game.
PJ: I’ve been awaiting Patrice Desilets’ new project for many years. It has been a long, long time since Patrice left the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and Ancestors is far removed from his previous work. The concept seems interesting, but like you, i’ll need to see more before I’m convinced that this is a concept worth investing my time and money into.
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 3
MH: Probably the biggest surprise of the show and that was doubled by the fact it is a Switch exclusive and it is being developed by Team Ninja. I loved the Alliance games (and the X-men ones before that) so I am keen to see the series continue.
PJ: Never had anything to do with the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance games in the past, but I also wasn’t nearly as in to comic book based media as I am these days, so colour me intrigued.
MH: Hard to call this one with no real gameplay. I need to see it in action so I am reserving judgment.
PJ: Seconded, the lack of gameplay does make this project a little hard to properly read, though my first feel was that this apparent survival game had a AAA version of Helldivers quality about it, and if that’s the case, well consider my money on the table.
MH: Sea of thieves vibe, but in a much more traditional MMO setting. Not my sort of thing and diving into an MMO these days seems like a risky move but hey, good luck. Maybe it is just the thing to finally knock WoW from the throne. Probably not, but we live in hope
PJ: I was super into Atlas, to the point where I had even excused the fact that it came from those responsible for Ark: Survival Evolved, which just didn’t do it for me… and then it became clear that it was an MMO, and I noped on out of there. Good luck to those into the game, it’s just not for me.
MH: I wasn’t much of a fan of Abzu, it felt like a poor man’s Journey, but this seems much more interesting. The art style is fantastic and the gameplay seems to incorporate elements of platforming, speed running and exploration. I am very intrigued to see where this one goes.
PJ: Abzu is a good but not great game, The Pathless seems to be more on track to greatness. Giant Squid has some great ideas and this one seems to have a little more meat on the bone, and so i’m again interested.
MH: Another bullet-hell rogue-like. Yeah it has multiplayer but it is hard to get excited to be honest. It has been done and based on the trailer, it has been done better. I am always happy to be proven wrong but it is a pass from me.
PJ: It had some cool personality, but Survived By is probably one that will ultimately pass me by. I think there’s just too much about the game that could infuriate me for me to be keen to give this one a go.
PJ: THAT EXECUTION! I went from excited by the prospect of playing Persona 5 on the Switch to complete and utter shock that Joker was coming to Smash. Nintendo are making it clear that we should expect the unexpected, so here’s hoping that Joker’s appearance is indicative of an epic suite of challengers to come
MH: I think the winners were all pretty deserving, but really it was such a stellar year for games there were so many deserving titles. Red Dead and God of War were the big winners on the night and deservedly so, but it was still nice to see Celeste and Dead Cells win in their categories. In all no real surprises, but deserving winners nonetheless.
PJ: Spider-Man is the Horizon: Zero Dawn of 2018, a game of the year in most other years that was the victim of being released in one of the great years in video games. God of War deserved every accolade that came its way (and then some IMO), while Red Dead was bound to snap up a few. All-in-all, the winners were about on the money this year.
MH: Needed more Mick Gordan
PJ: When I need a pick-me-up I often flick back to a video from the 2012 VGAs where we got an orchestrated compliation of that years GOTY nominees and longed for Geoff to take The Game Awards in that direction again. The build was gradual but in 2018 we finally got the wonderfully orchestrated show that I’ve been begging for. This was by far and away the best presented Game Awards show to date and I can’t wait to see how Geoff attempts to up the ante further for 2019.
So that concludes our look at The Game Awards 2018, but that’s not all there is to discuss with the Kinda Funny Games Showcase now only hours away. Beginning at 5AM AEDT, Greg Miller and co are promising a massive 69 game announcements, reveals, and detailings so be sure to check that out, and we may even have a few things to say about that event as well!
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