Player 2 Vs The Game Awards 2023 Part 1

Player 2 Vs The Game Awards 2023 Part 1

It’s that time once again, another Geoff Keighley job, one that is filled with awards, celebrities with little to do with the gaming industry, and a myriad of announcements to keep us all sufficiently hyped up for the year/s to come. Join Playe 2 editors Paul James and Jess Zammit, as the duo break down each, and every one of the announcements and touch on the award recipients, cameo appearances, any controversies, and more. 


Paul: The eyes were ready to roll when Matt McConaughey came out, but he was engaging, fun and is looped in to what was a pretty awesome looking game in Exodus. The talent on it is impressive, so I’m keen to see how it develops. Could this be the not-Mass Effect, Mass Effect game that we’ve all been waiting for? I’m hopeful!

Jess: Well, I didn’t expect to see Matthew McConaughey, but here he is. There’s always one random actor performing in their first video game. Actual gameplay pending though, Exodus seems to have an intriguing premise. Will it be heartbreaking, or will I feel nothing for the sad man protagonist? That much is so far unclear. But I am keen to see more about the world.

God Of War Ragnarok: Valhalla

Paul: Rogue-lite elements don’t fill me with excitement like a continuation of God Of War Ragnarok would if those elements weren’t present, but that said, Ragnarok is the GOTY of 2022 in my eyes, so I have the utmost faith in Santa Monica to assemble everything in a way that is enjoyable for all. We’re also a week from release, which is exciting!

Jess: Over a year since Ragnarok first released, and we’re finally getting some DLC! Hell yeah! Valhalla is the obvious choice of theme, and it’s going to be free and is coming in a few days?! This is an excellent surprise. The boys are back. Time to clear some space on my PS5 in preparation.

Big Walk

Paul: It’s great to see House House back out on the big stage already. Whether or not Big Walk can capture the masses like Untitled Goose Game did remains to be seen, but the game presented well, and I loved how Australian it was. Let’s show the world what makes this country so incredible.

Jess: The sound of kookaburras is just so comforting, and the perfect way to begin a quintessentially Australian video game trailer. Who are the little ant blob guys in the trailer? No idea. But would I die for every one of them? Absolutely. I will follow House House to the ends of the earth, and it looks like they’ve got another hit on their hands.

Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown

Paul: I played The Lost Crown at PAX AUS a couple of months ago and felt far more positive about it than I was in the months prior to that. Jess has gone hands on with it this week, and can report it next week, so I’m keen to see how it’s shaping up beyond my experiences. The demo a week prior to launch is a bit lame, considering it could have been December to drum up more hype.

Jess: I actually got to play a preview of this game about a week ago, and it was smooth. The movement feels fluid, the battles are challenging in the most satisfying way, and the story grabbed me way more than I expected. So yes, I’m more than a little excited for its January release.

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II

Paul: I’m absolutely floored that Xbox is still unable to commit to anything more than a release year with Hellblade. Everything about it is looking so good, but seriously, they’ve been teasing this game since The Game Awards in 2019. It’s getting a bit ridiculous how they’re keeping players on the hook here, so if there’s another delay out of 2024 I think we’ll all be justified in being pretty pissed off. To be honest, I feel pretty justified right now, they announced this way too soon, no matter how good it looks.

Jess: Hellblade was a special game, and it looks like the sequel is going to bring back all the things that made it great. As long as it does that, it’s likely to be something special too. Plus, that performance? Awesome. Perfect for setting the tone for a game like Hellblade 2.


Paul: Ikumi Nakamura developed titles make the masses pay attention nowadays… even though she actually hasn’t released anything since her amazing Ghostwire Tokyo announcement all of those years ago. Kemuri is still a bit of a mystery, but I’m intrigued.

Jess: It certainly looks cool, but I’m also not 100% sure what Kemuri… is? I want to know, I’m going to google it and learn more, but just from that small presentation, I didn’t get a lot beyond ‘these people look rad as hell’. And also Tokyo is involved.

No Rest For The Wicked

Paul: Moon Studios have made me cry with both of their last games, both Ori titles, and so despite No Rest For The Wicked looking quite different tonally, I trust the studio to be able to hit the right emotional beats to crack me open like an egg once again. The art is again fantastic, and I’m hopeful they can find a way to leverage a bit of Cage The Elephant into future promotions (just because of course you have to with a game named like this!)

Jess: This looks like my kind of epic adventure. It was a very well-made trailer, if nothing else. I’ll definitely be tuning into the Wicked Inside showcase to learn more when it happens!

Sega Mega-Reveal

Paul: I’d heard rumblings that Sega was ready to renew it’s love affair with some of it’s most classic IP but I was certainly not expecting a reveal of five of them simultaneously. Sure, we didn’t actually see anything of Crazy Taxi, Streets of Rage, Golden Axe, Jet Set Radio and Shinobi, but it’s a great statement that they’re making none-the-less. Now, if they can just treat their developers better than they treated Tim and Sanatana, they’ll be off to a good start.

Jess: There was a lot to unpack here. I’m keen on the idea of more Jet Set Radio, but I also can’t really get excited for any of these things after seeing only a few seconds of each one. I’ll get hyped when we know more, but until then I’ll put these to the back of my mind.

Dragonball Sparking! Zero

Paul: I’m not sure why we needed a new Budokai Tenkaichi given that Dragonball FighterZ exists and is better than any other DBZ fighting game in existence, but that said, I have fond memories of the Tenkaichi games, and so hopefully Sparking! Zero, horrible naming conventions aside, is something great.

Jess: Unlike Paul, I am more inclined to play it because it’s called Sparkling! Zero, despite not interacting with Dragonball Z since about 2002. Maybe one day I’ll get back into it, but for now I’m happy to let this pass me by.

Dead By Daylight

Paul: Look, it’s a staple of any showcase these days, but I’m well-and-truly over Dead By Daylight at this point. Please go away and give us the chance to see new games, and actually celebrate the developers. You don’t need The Game Awards to excite your audience, and the TGA audience doesn’t need you.

Jess: I’m sort of inclined to agree, but I do find Supermassive’s involvement here interesting. It suggests that they’re introducing a real story element, given that’s what the developers of The Dark Pictures are known for. Otherwise, yes, let’s celebrate devs. But this was a more interesting Dead By Daylight announcement than I would have expected.

Visions Of Mana

Paul: Hoooooo boy, this is an exciting one! The old Mana games, especially those of the SNES era are genre classics, but sadly Square-Enix’s investment in them waned over the years until we saw these recent remakes. Visions looks extraordinarily good, and with a 2024 release on the cards, I just want any excuse to see more of it in action. Please, Square-Enix, invest in this properly to allow Mana to return to the pinnacle of the genre.

Jess: This is one of those series that always interested me, but that I never got around to. This iteration of it is certainly visually impressive, and there are some seriously epic bosses in the mix. Maybe this is a reason to go back and jump into the series in preparation (I say, already having added about six games from my backlog into the mix from this showcase alone).

Rise Of The Ronin

Paul: PlayStation is again stacking the deck in 2024 to ensure they don’t need to put unnecessary pressure on their first parties. Between PS5 exclusives (both second and third party) in Helldivers 2, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, and now Rise Of The Ronin in early February, late February, and March respectively, they’ve ensured through partnerships that the hardcore will be happy. Rise Of The Ronin is looking great, despite it not being a Paul game. Get ready for another Soulslike folks.

Jess: If it’s going to be another Soulslike, it isn’t going to be a Jess game either. But good luck to Playstation.

The Outlast Trials

Paul: This is another one, part due to regular appearances, part due to being a horror game that I’m about sick of at Geoff’s showcases. Time for us to move on from The Outlast Trials!

Jess: I’ve really never paid much attention to Outlast, and a sizzle reel of streamers reacting to a game is never going to be what gets me interested in it.

Overdose (OD)

Paul: Of course Kojima was going to be a big feature. To be quite honest though, I was expecting Death Stranding 2, not more on Overdose (or OD as he’s calling it), but it was a nice tone piece for what we’re getting. The theatre and guest appearances were pretty cool, but who knows how far away it is given that Death Stranding 2 is likely to be arriving first of the two titles.

Jess: I am not a big Kojima person, but I am a fan of Jordan Peele, and his appearance was the best surprise ever. He’s a master of the thriller genre, and I’m always interested in seeing what his mind will cook up next. Is it going to be absolutely absurd, knowing Kojima’s involved? The teaser suggests yes. But I’m here for it anyway. For me, this is actually more exciting than Death Stranding 2, considering the first one was very much not a game for me.

Jurassic Park: Survival

Paul: Survival horror is something that I’ve grown to appreciate more in recent years, but I’m still quite resistant to. I’m not yet sure if survival horror with dinosaurs is more or less terrifying to me than the various other takes on the genre that we’ve had over the decades. The game certainly presented incredibly well though, and so I’m excited by the prospect of learning more.

Jess: Game genre aside, there’s nothing quite like those first few moments of hearing the Jurassic Park theme to get a person excited. I suspect it’s not going to be my sort of game, but I might play it anyway, just to get some time in on Isla Nublar. And the way they showed those big iconic set-pieces from the films in the trailer? Perfection.

Black Myth: WuKong

Paul: Checking the controversies currently surrounding this game at the door for a moment, Black Myth: WuKong continues to look excellent. It won’t be my bag due to the Soulsborne nature of it, but I can’t deny that what the team is presenting looks excellent.

As for the development process itself… f***, how hard is it to treat your workers with some respect?

Jess: I somehow hadn’t come across the controversy about this game until people started mentioning it as this trailer aired, and now I can’t think about anything else. In any other circumstance, this would be a game that would pass me by without a second thought, but now, unfortunately, it’s going to be one steeped in negativity. Do better. Hold people accountable.

Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League

Paul: The public test build was publicised a little more than WB and Rocksteady had hoped given all parties had signed NDA’s, however, everything I read would suggest that despite earlier hesitation, players are feeling pretty positive about Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League. That’s certainly helping to change my tone a bit, but we’ll know soon enough given the game’s February release date.

Jess: I want to believe in Rocksteady so badly. I just love superheroes, y’know? And it looks fun! But I don’t think there’s any way to know until we’ve got our hands on it. I’m going to remain cautiously optimistic, I think, and just be along for the ride.

Stay Tuned For Their Impending Thoughts On The Rest Of The Main Show!