The world is starting to heal off the back of the last few COVID decimated years. For gamers, that healing is now super clear as Geoff Keighley’s The Game Awards has returned to an in-person event. It’s one of the biggest gaming days of the year, so join Player 2 editors Paul, and Matt, as they break down each and every announcement, while also looking at the Award Winners and all the other fascinating aspects of the show. Enjoy the fun!
Player 2 Vs The Game Awards: The Main Show
Hellblade II: Senua's Saga
Paul: This is how you start the show! Hellblade is one of my favourite games of last-gen, and the sequel is amping things up in about every possible way! AND IT WAS ALL GAMEPLAY! WHAT?!
Matt: Stunning is an understatement. Also, the voices, whispers in Senua’s head immediately brought me back to the first title. I am so very keen on this and I can’t wait till it is finally released.
Star Wars: Eclipse
Paul: My Game of the Show. Matt, I know you’re not a fan of Quantic Dream titles, and we’re both united in our distaste for how studio head David Cage conducts himself, but I’m hopeful that the influence of Disney and LucasFilm will sort that cultural problem out, and also will bring the likes of yourself over to my way of thinking re: their games. Regardless of the Quantic Dream factor, the trailer is exceptional and I’m keen to explore the High Republic era further.
Matt: My biggest wet fart of the show. Yay new Star Wars! Is it Kotor? Is it Fallen Order 2? Oh crap, it is David Cage. A detestable man with terrible writing skills is going to ruin the first High Republic game. Not to mention the mixed messaging of being announced just after Geoff Keighly came out saying that devs should be supported and protected from those that employ them. So much disappointment wrapped into the last 5 seconds of that trailer.
Paul: Struggling to get a good read on what Lost Ark really is? There are action RPG, and MMO streaks here, and it’s obviously leaning on a heavy fantasy-based world, but it doesn’t really have any sense of identity. I’m not inspired
Matt: Another attempt to combine Diablo with an MMO. I’m not sure it is for me but I think there is a market out there. This one needs more of an individual identity before it can grab the masses.
Paul: This is cool! We didn’t see a lot of the game, the trailer was a tone piece more than anything else, but it’s fantastic to see the support coming for DC IP, and Wonder Woman is an excellent one to pursue. It’s also good to have some clarity regarding what Monolith is up to.
Matt: Not a trailer so much as an announcement. Wonder Woman is coming and seems like the perfect hero to base a game on. I can imagine lots of whip based movement and close-quarters combat. Should be fun, but there is no way we are playing this before holiday 2023.
Alan Wake II
Paul: Holy shit! I had a feeling that this would be coming at some point given the remaster treatment that the original received, but with Crossfire X (more on that soon), and Control, I thought it might be further down the road. In the end, we’re looking at 2023 and the game is pure survival horror. I can’t wait!
Matt: I lept, I cheered, I hooted, I hollered. Alan is back and this mega-fan of the first game couldn’t be happier.
Horizon: Forbidden West
Paul: Every time we see Forbidden West it looks even better. Some of the new mechanical monstrosities look pretty potent, and the epic sweeping score adds so much scale to everything. Aloy’s newest adventure is one of my most anticipated for 2022, and I’m ready to devour everything Guerrilla has for us. Give me more!
Matt: More robot dinosaur porn for us all. Stunning is an understatement. Probably the second-best looking game on show in the graphics department. I am sure this one is going to be a winner.
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
Paul: The long-held PlayStation exclusivity is over! It’s not yet coming to other consoles, but as per the recent Nvidia leak, FFVIIR is finally on the way to PC. Glad to see others finally get their hands on one of 2020’s finest. Now… Part 2?
Matt: So I still haven’t finished it on the Playstation…
Destiny 2: The Witch Queen
Paul: I’m still so behind on all things Destiny 2. The work required to get up to speed is simply too much for me in my current situation, but it does look great. Excited for the Destiny faithful.
Matt: Once more into the breach for the faithful. I will probably dive in, play too many hours of the game in too few days and burn myself out on it until the next expansion. This is the circle of Destiny.
Paul: One of the many times Silent Hill was referenced or even teased, Slitterhead has a shocking name but looks kinda neat despite looking a bit budget. More time in the oven is needed for this one regardless of who it’s connected to.
Matt: They had to reference a good game and hope people would look past how dodgy this looks to generate hype. Needs way more time and polish.
Paul: Aaryn Flynn had finally revealed what he, and his new team, are up to post BioWare, and Nightingale looks fantastic. This is the new IP that has rocketed up my anticipated list more than almost any other game from the show!
Matt: This looks both fantastic and worrying. The whole 1800s Victorian Steampunk thing is wonderful and a look games haven’t gone for since The Order bombed worse than Kanye at the Grammys. The worrying thing is it seems there are Survival elements, like building and resource gathering which is something I just can’t get behind anymore, it has just been done to death. I am ready to be convinced though and willing to give this every benefit of the doubt.
Beat Saber: Lady Gaga
Paul: I love Beat Saber, but meh
Matt: Do I get to slice up Bradly Cooper?
Lord Of The Rings: Gollum
Paul: Matt, explain this to me please, I need help understanding. When you have the benchmark set by Andy Serkis for how Gollum needs to look, how do you as a studio produce a Gollum that looks more like Tommy Pickles? I want to like this game but in the absence of gameplay and with Gollum looking like he does… I’m concerned
Matt: Well you are a bit young Paul, but this Gollum looks more like the creature from the old Animated LOTR and Hobbit adaptations so there is a reference. I am just not sure how a Gollum game could be fun but I am happy to be proven wrong.
Paul: Somerville is still showing so incredibly well. This is one of those epic indies that is primed to steal the show whenever it releases. If it can just do that nice and soon we’d all be super appreciative.
Matt: Very keen on this and I get the feeling that people are going to be mentioning Somerville in the same breath as titles like Inside and Journey once it is released.
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course
Paul: No game presented itself better than Cuphead: The DLC. From the performance to the puppetry, and of course the game itself, Studio MDHR hit every note perfectly.
Matt: Cuphead is pure joy. Well, joy if you like to hurl your controller in rage every 10 seconds. I kid, more Cuphead is good Cuphead.
Paul: I’ve never been a Sonic fan but the promise of this could be what finally gets me in. I’m still cautious though, we’ve seen this sort of promise from the Sonic IP in the past only for things to fall flat. I’m just sayin’
Matt: Open-world Sonic? Call me intrigued and slightly scared. This could be the greatest thing ever or a bomb the size of Sonic the Warewolf.
Paul: Tchia, for as wonderfully wholesome as it looks, still hasn’t won me over yet. I’m still not sure what the actual point of all this possession is. I have to assume there’s a heartfelt story in there, but until we get some juicy details, I’m just looking at an adorable, quirky game, that for some reason just can’t get its hooks in.
Matt: More Zelda inspiration here. In fact, if the trailer didn’t show the power to possess objects and animals I could have believed it was a mod for Breath of the Wild. You know what they say, if you are going to imitate greatness, you had better nail it. Here’s hoping this charming looking title does exactly that.
Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League
Paul: I refuse to believe this is coming out in 2022. Yes, the new footage looks pretty cool, and I’m keen to see how it’ll work with friends, but with Gotham Knights clearly being the first to roll off the conveyor belt (or so it seems), I can’t see Suicide Squad coming out in the same year, cutting its lunch. Enjoy this one in 2023!
Matt: Excited to see this one in action finally. It has been a long wait, but the wait seems worth it. I was worried it would just copy the successful Arkham formula but this looks more like a souped-up version of something like Agents of Mayhem. Very keen to get my hands on Rocksteady’s latest towards the end of 2022
Paul: Square-Enix cannot put a toe out of line with Forspoken. Every time I see it, it looks even better. The writing talent on it is elite, the gameplay looks sensational, and visually it’s just jaw-dropping
Matt: Well this game is rapidly climbing my most anticipated title for 2022 list. It looks amazing and I think it has the potential to hit in a big way. Could be the breakout hit of the year.
Warhammer 40K: SpaceMarine 2
Paul: Never played the original SpaceMarine, and I’m not a Warhammer fan, but this one is looking pretty cool isn’t it? I’m digging the tone
Matt: A surprise sequel to a cult title from the 360/PS3 era. SpaceMarine is the game that comes up the most when asked “what are the good Warhammer games?” So it is nice to see a new one is coming. The first one was a bit of a B grade blast though and I am not sure that will hold up in this day and age. It should be fun finding out though.
Paul: I think this trailer may have changed a few perspectives on the whole Saints Row thing. The internet had gotten quite vocal about how the game looked, but I feel like that may have subsided with this trailer. Here’s hoping.
Matt: Anyone that thinks this doesn’t look like a Saint’s Row game either hasn’t played a Saint’s Row game since the second title or needs their eyes checked. It looks batty, it looks over-the-top and most of all, it looks like a blast. I am super excited to check in with this next generation of Third Street Saints in August.
Dune: Spice Wars
Paul: There’s no cache here for me, though I do have a grasp on the history of the games, I don’t personally have a history with them. Great news for the right audience though.
Matt: Considering Dune 2 is one of the granddaddy’s of the RTS genre I find it interesting that this is going to be 4X. Hopefully, it is of a high standard regardless of gameplay type because Dune fans deserve it.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands
Paul: Tiny Tina’s Borderlands 2 DLC was very nearly the best part of the game, so I give this one every chance to be something special. Can’t wait for the release
Matt: I am actually starting to think that the best Borderlands game will not even be set in the Borderlands. I am down for it and I can’t wait to see Tina’s take on D&D.
Paul: Spiders titles are rarely stellar, but Greedfall was an interesting and notable exception. Maybe this game can take the next step into the upper echelon of titles released in 2022?
Matt: It is an intriguing setting and idea but that is usually the case with Spiders games. The problem is always the execution and while each game is getting progressively better (Greedfall was a decent bit of old school RPGing) they need to show a lot more to get me excited.
Paul: There’s a lot to like, especially if you’re an old school DOOM/Quake person, but the proof will be in the pudding. We’ve seen it a few times and I’ve been impressed each time, but how does it all come together in the final product?
Matt: Cool concept, cool graphics, cool music. The trick will be maintaining the rage for the length of a full game. If they can do that, sign me up.
Paul: Yeah this one didn’t really jive with me. Fortnite aesthetic and tone? Check. So check me out!
Matt: I got crazy PowerStone vibes from the trailer. So hopefully it is some sort of MMO version of that classic gameplay. I would be down for that.
A Plague Tale: Requiem
Paul: Still haven’t played the original but I loved the concept and the sequel looks phenomenal. Can’t wait to carve out some time for both games
Matt: A Plague Tale was one of my favourite games from the last-gen and I am so excited to see where that bonkers ending leads Amicia and Hugo in the sequel.
Dying Light 2
Paul: Not a Dying Light fan, so this one didn’t do anything for me unfortunately
Matt: It is so close I can smell it. It has been one hell of a ride for Techland in getting this one out the door but I am day one invested. Loved the first game and it really looks like they are taking the sequel in exciting directions. Also, all games (and moves and tv shows) need Rosario Dawson, fact.
Paul: Remedy makes this an attractive option, and of course Crossfire is huge overseas so it will be interesting to see how the West latches (or doesn’t) onto this one.
Matt: I am over military shooters, but one thing is keeping me looking at this title. That is the name Remedy. I am very interested to see what they can do with such a tired genre.
Paul: I honestly thought this had already seen a full release. Good for them that it’s finally happening, but I’m concerned that the moment may have passed them by.
Matt: This game has had some strong support in early access but I am not sure that it is going to draw in a huge amount of players that aren’t already playing.
Halo The Series
Paul: This bad boy has been gestating for a decade or so now, so it’s great to see something finally come of the series. I will however reserve any and all judgment for when the show hits screens next year. I can’t hide a little bit of excitement though.
Matt: I am excited to see this come to fruition. It looks like it is covering some of the stuff from the excellent novel “The Fall of Reach” which will be great for people that never read the books. But damn, Paramount better not balls this one up.
Paul: I appreciate how great the game is having been lucky enough to try the CNT, but I still think it may be too much for me. The pot was cool though
Matt: This is just not my bag. From the soul’s style of game to the design, it is just not speaking to me.
Synced: Off Planet
Paul: Probably not for me, but I’ll happily have my mind changed
Matt: We are starting to get an idea of what this is about. The gameplay looks like it could be a blast but I just want to be sure there is a solid story to bring me along for the ride and it isn’t just multiplayer madness.
Paul: There wasn’t enough here to get me truly up and about re: Arc Raiders but it does seem kinda cool, so I’ll watch the space for now
Matt: This seemed to generate a bit of buzz on the net, but if I am honest it looked a little bland to me. Need to see more to decide though.
The Matrix Awakens
Paul: It’s on my machine and I hear it’s a tight 15-20min experience. I love me some Matrix so I’m keen to dive in and see what it’s all about.
Matt: I still haven’t downloaded it yet but I need to. Keanu is a legend and Carrie Anne struggled to keep a straight face. What more do you need?
Paul: Halo was the winner here, but I’ll have my reservations for everything until the various products are available for consumption
Matt: Matrix is a winner, but everything else is just a blur. White noise among the bombast I am afraid
Guests + Musical Performances
Paul: Wasn’t big on the musical guest performances but the orchestra and what it did for Cuphead, Horizon, the GOTY nominees and much more was nothing short of exceptional. Aside from that it just seemed like Geoff was happy to get his Hollywood favourites together again.
Matt: The orchestra was wondrous as usual but everything else was a bit on the nose for me. Sting looked disinterested and Imagine Dragons are pretty much everything I dislike about the current state of Pop/Rock.
The Award Winners
Paul: Some contradictory award winners, but while I can’t say I’d have chosen It Takes Two to take the top prize, I can’t be disappointed. It’s full of heart, has a powerful message to send, and plays like a dream. I can see how the judges came to the decision that they did.
Matt: Some deserving winners, some odd choices and some outright questionable results. It Takes Two is a good game, don’t get me wrong, but it is in no way game of the year when compared to Psychonauts 2, Deathloop or any of the other nominees.
Paul: Bloat, bloat everywhere. It was too long, no clear transitions between ads and actual content compounded things further and the Awards didn’t get nearly enough spotlight. Pleased by Geoff’s speech referring to Activision, but then he followed that shortly after with Star Wars from the David Cage led Quantic Dream. That’s some contradiction right there. I’m not saying don’t have the game, the deal had clearly already been struck, but seriously, distance your speech from the game a bit! I also feel that COVID still played a big part here. Delays in development meant some games were in need of the spotlight this year that would’ve otherwise been good for 2020, that certainly clogged this year’s show up, and made it one of the weakest since the post-Spike era began
Matt: The show was at least 90 minutes too long and everything dragged out so much it made me want to cry. The format needs to be tightened up and the commercial aspects need to be balanced better. I get the need for sponsors and the like for a show like this to succeed but this year, more than ever, it felt like The Game Awards were one long advertisement and not a celebration of this amazing industry. Pretty disappointing all around if I am honest.