As we grow closer to the end of 2018, it’s once again time to draw our attention to The Game Awards, with more and more developers eager to show off their ideas and the games they’ve worked so hard on.
What do we know?
Let’s recap on some news we’ve heard over the past few months
Well, we know Obsidian is going to be very eager to show off their new RPG after being bought by Microsoft, which was the main announcement at Xbox’s conference ‘XO 2018’.
However, this game seemed to be in production already with the partnering of 2K, before they got bought by Microsoft. The un-named game will be helped by Publishing label Private Division.
A teaser was recently released by Obsidian which had a countdown timer to Game Awards 2018.
What could be shown?
January 2018 saw Fox gaining a subsidiary of Cold Iron Studios. With the studio having the license to Alien, it was obvious an announcement on a new project was coming. One came with news of a new game set within the alien universe – titled Alien: Blackout.
Studio head Craig Zinkievich said: “We’re all excited to be working on such a storied franchise. To explore areas of the universe that fans haven’t gotten to experience, to put a game in that setting, is incredible.”
Alien: Isolation, which was the last game in the series released in 2014, got positive reviews and hopefully they will take this into account and continue down that path. This means it’ll be at least five years without an alien game, leaving fans excited to hear about a new entry into the franchise.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. An underrated RPG that was released in 2012. It was compared to the likes of Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind & Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion having Ken Rolston, who worked on both of those titles, have a huge say on the game as the lead designer.
Earlier this year on September 6th it was announced that THQ Nordic had acquired the rights for KOA: R, with EA still having publishing rights. It would make sense for THQ Nordic to at least release a teaser for their upcoming project.
The question is what are they going to do with it? A great idea would be a remaster for starters, bringing back their old audience to divulge into a story that they already know and love. Whilst also grabbing the attention of newer fans, who didn’t get a chance to play it and are looking for a decent RPG whilst they wait for the next Elder Scrolls or Dragon Age game.
This is looking even more likely with recent news of the original game being added to Xbox’s endless list of games with backwards compatibility, which could be a little taste of what’s to come. If there is a new KoA game, we should expect it to be a little more like their newest title Darksiders III, being more hack ‘n slash and less role-playing.
The big names that you’d expect to steal the show
This year has been an incredibly important year for gaming with Sony bringing out their new adaption on the God of War series, adding a new camera angle, game mechanics and story. Bringing the series back to our screens for the first time on current gen consoles, God of War was seen through a new light which helped the PS4 bolster its high-rated list of exclusives.
An incredible story from start to finish, adapting the Norse/Greek mythology storyline, our beloved character Kratos was seen for the first time with his son Atreus, as you see a very complicated relationship blossom into something special. A big change from the usual hack ‘n slash method of previous games, this time we found ourselves only swinging our axe when necessary, whilst conserving healing items and carefully assigning our skill points to the skill tree.
Another major contender is the recently released Red Dead Redemption 2. Rockstar is known for releasing brilliant games that are adored by fans (GTA V, Red Dead Redemption, Canis Canem Edit) and this year we have seen the next instalment.
RDR2 sees outlaw Arthur Morgan as he and his gang try to escape the law after a series of risky robberies. RDR was known as a great game that captured the cowboy feel, whilst still keeping it in line with their other big franchise: Grand Theft Auto. Rockstar kept it cool by keeping the main protagonist from the first game and adding him as a side character into this one, making it feel familiar whilst adding a whole new storyline and group of characters.
With the release of the game however, Rockstar delayed the online (where they get most of their players) and decided to bring it out months later giving people time to complete the long campaign.
We’d expect these two major games to be taking the lead with the votes for GOTY, but let’s have a look at the nominees:
Assassins Creed – Odyssey (Ubisoft/Ubisoft Quebec)
Celeste – (Matt Makes Games)
God of War – (Sony Santa Monica/SIE)
Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games/SIE)
Monster Hunter: World (Capcom)
Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)
This year has not only shown a lot of new games, but it’s also shown the next games from some big series. Spider-Man is another important mention as Insomniac (Ratchet & Clank/ Infamous) add a new entry where you play as Peter Parker trying to manage life with Aunt May, his love interest of Mary Jane, whilst keeping his alias of the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man unknown.
The game was well received as it enabled you to swing around New York freely whilst feeling like Spider-Man himself, keeping to the comics and adding some well-known characters (Wilson Fisk, Mr Negative, Doctor Octavius).
Other categories however see brand new games that from narrative to indie. It’s great to see more indie developers getting recognition, as a lot spend their own time and money to create the projects they’ve dreamed about for a long time. (Dead Cells, Into the Breach, Return of the Obra Dinn).
Game of the Year Awards 2017 and what we learned
Last year’s awards saw a huge year for Nintendo as Zelda: The Breath of the Wild won. With the release of the Nintendo Switch console in March last year, Nintendo did amazingly well to win game of the year within the same year as the console launch, sticking to knowing what the fans love whilst making Zelda more of an open world RPG.
Therefore, this year was incredibly important for the other consoles as they needed to bring out games to compete with Nintendo and help them sell their consoles. You’d expect this year to lean towards PS4/Sony as they brought out great exclusives such as God of War & Spider-Man, with Microsoft only teasing news of Halo 6 & Gears of War 5, whilst releasing Forza Horizon 4. However, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a real contender, with it being on both consoles and having a bigger player base.
Where to watch the Game Awards 2018:
- Los Angeles:December 6 – 17:30
- New York:December 6: 20:30
- Brazil:December 6: 23:30
- UK:December 7 – 01:30
- Russia:December 7 – 03:30
- Japan:December 7 – 10:30
- Australia:December 7 – 11:30