Player 2 Vs The Game Awards 2022 – The Show Part 2
It’s the night of nights for the video game world – The Game Awards – the Geoff Keighley hosted event that awards the year’s very best games, and celebrates all who make the industry as incredible as it is, but also serves as an opportunity to look forward to what is to come. Join Player 2 editors Paul and Jess as the pair debrief on each of the big game’s announced at the event, and reflect on all of the winners
Paul: They’re having a crack at Genshin Impact, and good luck to both Bandai Namco and Amazon in this endeavour but it doesn’t wow me in the slightest. Pass
Jess: Well, it certainly looks like a collaboration between Bandai Namco and Amazon. Kinda Genshin Impact-y, but a little less like Breath of the Wild. I don’t think it’s likely to pull me in, but I’m willing to be wrong.
Paul: I was right into Remnant: From The Ashes, until I realised that it was rooted in Souls-like elements and that prompted me to bounce. Remnant II looks great, but that core means I’m still not at all keen.
Jess: I remember seeing gameplay from the first one and knowing it wasn’t for me, and I feel the same about this one.
Paul: I was never a Transformers fan, and I’ve only seen the first of the Michael Bay movies because… reasons, but yeah this isn’t doing it for me. The 1-4 online action makes it even less likely that I’ll get into it
Jess: I did not expect this to be a Transformers game, and some parts of this trailer looked oddly reminiscent of Mass Effect. I genuinely thought that might be a reaper coming down. But the characters look like a cool gang, and I’m ready for there to be a good Transformers game. Why not? It’s kinda unclear what the gameplay will be here, but I like the vibes.
Company Of Heroes 3: Console Edition
Paul: I can’t say that I have any history with Company Of Heroes as a franchise, and amidst the enormous wave of games that are slated for release in 2023 I can categorically say that the situation won’t be changing in the next year.
Jess: Yeah, nah. Sorry.
Paul: Behemoth looks pretty sweet. The idea of climbing a cliff-face in VR is a terrifying prospect that I’ll have to overcome, but everything else is speaking to me, so bring on PS VR2, bring on Behemoth, and bring on 2023!
Jess: It looks like what you’d expect in a fantasy VR game, but there seems to be a lot of swinging across big chasms which again, makes me feel like I might feel very ill if I play it. Also there’s truly going to be some close-up violence here.
Super Mario Bros. Movie
Paul: This movie… it just keeps hitting the right notes for me. I know that some have their Chris Pratt hangups and while it’s not bother for me, I can appreciate the concerns. Setting that aside, I’m really loving the tone of the movie and am very keen to get in there ASAP to see it
Jess: I don’t. I just. I can’t. The soundtrack feels nice and familiar, and I do like the way they’ve implemented the classic sounds, but I can’t get past the voices. Keegan Michael Key is sorta fine, I see what he’s going for, and I can accept him as Toad. But I can’t accept Chris Pratt. I just can’t do it. Still such a weird mood.
Banishers: Ghosts Of New Eden
Paul: I can’t say that I’ve been much of a Dontnod fan. The original Life Is Strange damn near killed me with the Hella’s, and since then I’ve just struggled to give all of their games a proper chance. Banisher looks pretty damn interesting though so this might break the back of my bias. Keen to learn more.
Jess: So, I love Dontnod. I am ready to jump into anything they do. This is clearly a big departure from their past few entries, and very much isn’t Life is Strange, but I’m keen to see them branch out a little. Ghosts always make for an interesting plot device, especially when not used for spooky effect. I’m ready to cry over this.
Warhammer 40K Spacemarine II
Paul: People are probably fed up with me here, but I’m not a Warhammer fan. Enjoy dorks!
Jess: I’m sure this is good news for some people, but once again, not my field!
Meet Your Makers
Paul: I’m confused and intrigued to know more – that’s probably a sign of some good marketing.
Jess: I somehow don’t really understand what this game is from the trailer. They showed about four different mechanics, and I can’t quite figure out how they’re going to come together to make a cohesive game. But it might be something cool? Base building is fun, and they’re some nice looking robots?
The Lords Of The Fallen
Paul: Couldn’t do Lords Of The Fallen back in the day due to the Soulslikeyness about it, but I’ll admit, this reboot looks pretty good. Give me some difficulty levels and this is a world I’m keen to explore further.
Jess: I feel like the word “Soulslike” is going to be used to describe this game, which already makes me want to distance myself from it. This is apparently a reboot of Lords of the Fallen, which was also not for me, but this new version does seem to be bigger if nothing else. Whether or not bigger will equal better remains to be seen.
Crime Boss: Rockay City
Paul: The on-stage component was a bit too grating, but once we got to the point, the game itself, it looks kinda cool. It’ll be a time and place thing for me as to whether or not I’ll pick it up, but at least the game seems pretty cool.
Jess: Well, I hated the intro, but the rest of the cast they announced is weirdly stacked?? The trailer gave no real insight into what the actual gameplay will be like, at this point I’m kinda presuming ‘Saints Row, but with Danny Trejo’, which I don’t hate as a concept.
Crash Team Rumble
Paul: Oh god no. What are you doing Activision? Is this the craziness that happens when a $70 billion deal starts a death spiral? Get this out of here!
Jess: I guess this is the next logical step for the Crash franchise, sure. Why not? The trailer was a reminder that Tawna is very cool, and that these villains are disasters. Also, this was a relatively cringy reveal, and I’m not sure anyone in the crowd was into it? And I must know who was in that suit. But the game looks fun, if not the most original thing in the world.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
Paul: I was right on the brink of giving Cyberpunk 2077 another go, and I think this has pushed me over the edge. Keen to see more and perhaps get on board in 2023.
Jess: I am here for anything and everything Idris Elba wants to do, and honestly, with the resurgence of enthusiasm for Cyberpunk now that it’s been significantly patched on all platforms, it seems like this might finally be some Cyberpunk content to get excited about. Maybe he’ll draw the masses (me) back in.
Armored Core VI: Fires Of Rubicon
Paul: I wasn’t a fan of Armored Core prior to this, and with this sixth entry likely likely embracing the Souls-like facets that have taken off for FromSoftware in the last 15 years, it’s likely that I’ll have no reason to play this new title.
Jess: I am a fan of neither FromSoftware in general, nor Armored Core specifically, so there’s nothing here for me. The mechs look cool? Congrats to the fans.
Paul: Gimme that Dynasty Warriors X Monster Hunter. I’m all about it!
Jess: Those are some big beasts, and given this is coming from the Dynasty Warriors devs I’m sure there are going to be some epic battles to be had. This take on Feudal Japan looks beautiful, and I hope it delivers on the genre twists it’s promising.
Final Fantasy XVI
Paul: As a Final Fantasy fan from the age of 4 years old, I’m so happy to see Final Fantasy XVI returning to its more fantastical roots. The June 22 release date has me salivating, and the visuals, the characters and the style of the world have me equally as hooked. Just. Bring. It. On.
Jess: This is another one that’s certainly looking epic, but the best part of the trailer was absolutely when the protagonist took a moment to tell the dog that he was a good boy. Honestly, this is looking like I kinda expect it to, as someone who is only peripherally aware of what’s going on with the series. Big effects, dramatic protagonists, and some great hair.
The Award Winners
Paul: Get out of here Elden Ring! You’re not the best game of the year if you’re inaccessible to three quarters of the gaming audience no matter how good you are to the remaining quarter. That bitterness aside though, and shifting on to another game that was chronically over-praised – Stray. It’s a perfectly fine game, but in those indie categories it was so incredibly overrated. Okay, end grumping – God Of War did incredibly well, and that was the true Game Of The Year.
Jess: Look, I mean, you win some, you lose some. Christopher Judge is amazing and incredibly deserving, but Manon Gage was also robbed. I can’t believe there wasn’t more love for Horizon, and Return to Monkey Island was chronically undernominated (and was never going to win in the accessibility category against the PlayStation first party titles, which have just been killing it with accessibility this year). God of War got the recognition it deserved. And, of course, I absolutely disagree with the choice for Game of the Year. It’s been inevitable since the game’s release, but I would argue that isn’t because it’s the most deserving winner. But hey – I’m sure it’ll make a lot of people happy.
Paul: It’s all about Hozier to me – that performance of Blood Upon The Snow has been on a loop in my ears ever since, while the other performances were on point. I’ve already touched on the pretty cringeworthy cameo before Rockay City’s premiere, but outside of that everything else was great, including Al Pacino who leaned into his lack of gaming background… and age, well. The Glass Onion “Someone in this room is a murderer” moment was great at the time, but took a dark turn when our little edgy douchebag crashed the stage at the end.
Jess: The musical performances were great this year. I still don’t quite know why Al Pacino was there (but good for him, I guess?), but the other presenters were mostly pretty fine. Halsey killed it, Hozier killed it, and that orchestra was phenomenal. As always, I wasn’t a huge fan of the “bits” that most of the hosts tried to do, and found they fell pretty flat, but for the most part there wasn’t anything outright offensive about them – they were just a little lame, really. It was a fun – but long – show.
Paul: This was one of the very best gaming showcases that we’ve ever seen, entering the same orbit (though not quite reaching) the heights of the famed PlayStation 2016 E3 Conference. Some of the big moments were spoiled beforehand but when you get the likes of Hades II, Judas, Star Wars, Suicide Squad, Final Fantasy XVI, and Diablo IV all in the same room – you know it’s going to be a good time. It was such a shame that the show ended like it did, with both the GOTY winner and then the aftermath, but security will be better next year, and the next Santa Monica Studios game will get its due when it launches.
Jess: I had fun, and I guess mostly got what I expected from the show, but overall it was still way too male. There were some nice little side ads featuring queer people of colour, who are chronically underrepresented at these awards shows, but it didn’t quite feel like enough for me. There were some neat announcements, but nothing mindblowingly exciting for me personally – I think the highlight was finding out that the Forspoken demo had dropped. It was a flashy, mostly fun, predictable night, and to be honest I kinda wish they’d do something a little different. Plus there are all the inherent problems that come with awards shows, which the industry needs to sort out big time. But that’s a whole other debate.
And so that concludes our coverage of The Game Awards, and all of the games that were announced, shown, and awarded during the event. Without doubt, it was one of the biggest we’ve seen, and we hope that you’ve enjoyed dissecting it with us.