December 10th, 2020 was an oddly busy day, CD Projekt Red?s extremely hyped and frequently delayed Cyberpunk 2077 finally was unleashed to the public, Disney held a live streamed investor day event in which they unleashed mind blowing reveals such as a Three Men and a Baby reboot featuring Zac Efron! However this was the bed I made, I tuned into The Game Awards. Don?t get me wrong, the pandemic would mean the show would not be the Oscar-lite with ads it always is. The presenters that Geoff Keighley gathered were A-list, and their presence could solve such mysteries such as, I wonder which room Tom Holland would Zoom call from (Spoiler alert: he actually remoted in from the set of some superhero movie he?s filming). So without further adieu here is a recap of The Game Awards 2020.
Does Geoff Keighley know someone in the Garcetti/Newsom administration? How did he manage to film in a studio when Los Angeles is shut down? Snark and envy aside, Keighley has done a lot of work to bring some credibility to this brand that once was known as the Spike TV Video Game Awards. This year?s set was subdue and Keighley and co-host(under-host?) Syndee Goodman did a fantastic job juggling honoring 2020?s gaming accomplishments and paying the bills. The show?s lack of the crowd felt more intimate and I hope this is something that remains moving forward.
This is what we all came for and honestly this year was a bit of a mixed bag for me personally. My ?elitist? badge was showing as my interest was only piqued by titles from indie studios. Here is a non-comprehensive list of the noteworthy announcements that were made during the broadcast
- Sephiroth torments Cloud Strife no matter where he goes as he joins the cast of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate thus proving Masahiro Sakurai really loves fighters with swords.
- Microsoft AAAA studio the Initiative finally reveals their project…Perfect Dark.
- Turtle Rock evolves past their last release to announce their latest endeavor…Back 4 Blood, an up to 4 player co-op shooter with zombies…that were caused by parasites.
- Hood: Outlaws & Legends from Focus Home interactive to bring PvPvE multiplayer heists to a medieval world.
- The Callisto Protocol seemingly brings back spine based ui elements in this survival horror title taking place on a moon on Jupiter. This title comes from Striking Distance Studio which counts Glenn Scofield as an employee. Scofield?s previous credits include the Dead Space series.
- We finally find out what Steve Gaynor has been up to as the Fullbright Company announces Open Roads where a mother and daughter duo uncover family secrets near the canadian border with vocal performances by Keri Russell (The Americans, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, FELICITY!) and Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart, Uncharted 4).
- Disco Elysium gets a Final Cut that will add voice acting to all characters lines and will be free to owners of Disco Elysium.
- Bioware shows Dragon Age and ends the trailer with a bald elf ::checks wikipedia:: Solas, yeah…that guy!
- Amplitude/SEGA show a multiplayer ? view shooter named Endless Dungeon
- Pearl Abyss debuts Crimson Desert, their beautiful 3rd person medieval action RPG where archers know Taekwondo!
- A Swedish Chef Muppet with eerily human hands help announce that a Swedish Chef Skin will be coming to Team17/Ghost Town Games? Overcooked
- Warframe goes old school with some Unreal Tournament Skins
- Season from Scavengers Studios puts you in the role of a POC bike riding sociologist/archeologist.
- A tribal looking Vin Diesel fights up savage natives in what is revealed to be ARK 2.
- An all-star cast will start in ARK the animated series.
- Fall Guys? 3rd Season will take a Winter theme as it rolls out December 15th.
- Enjoy a more on the ground Elite Dangerous experience with Odyssey: Elite Dangerous coming Early 2021
- A metroidvania in an anthropomorphic world, F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch will have you controlling a rabbit with a mechanical 3rd arm!
- Hail to the King Baby…Ash Williams is dealing with the Necronomicon, with the help of a few friends in Evil Dead: The Game.
- If you though Demon’s Souls is hard, please gird your loins for Ghost and Goblins Resurrection
- Capcom brings over 30 arcade classics in Capcom Arcade Stadium, this free to start compilation to the Nintendo Switch.
- While not an official premiere (it was part of HP?s Omen ad), Road 96 is a procedurally generated adventure where you?re looking to escape a country ruled by a dictator.
- Josef Fares in his most PG performance shows off gameplay footage in Hazelight?s co-op only title, It Takes Two. Fares also announced the friend pass which allows 2 players to play with 1 copy will be included in this title.
- Monster Hunter Rise the Switch will have a Demo in January 2021.
- You can be as sus as you like on Among Us? new map…the Airship early 2021.
- Epic?s Donald Mustard shows that he knows how to decorate a home (Unlike Tim Sweeney) as he announces the following news for Fortnite.
- John-117, the Master Chief from Microsoft?s Halo series joins the dancing sim, leaving only a Nintendo representative missing from the 3 console publishers.
- Old Internet and Current Internet collide as Red Vs Blue alum Sarge and Grif join Ninja to announce that the map Blood Gulch from Halo is available to play in Fortnite Creative
- The Funko Pop?ization of Fortnite continues as Daryl and Michonne from The Walking Dead join the dance!
- Xbox Game Pass reveals that most of the Yakuza games will be available on the service soon.
- Cause chaos on the go in Just Cause Mobile, an isometric title where everyone gets a grappling hook!
- My Joe Madureira senses kick in hard as Airship Syndicate shows off their single player League of Legends game, Ruined King: A League of Legends Story.
- Finally closing out the reveals…a hooded figure unearths a N7 logo. This figure?s face is shown and we all assume that it?s Liara T’Soni. Then the screen reveals the phrase ?Mass Effect…will return? (Ed Note: but not with Casey Hudson).
And the Winners…
A strong showing from the Sony 1st Party studios with Naughty Dog and Sucker Punch accounting for 25% of the trophies won. Some of the standout moments of the winners include Sean Murray of Hello Games so resigned to not winning the “Best Ongoing” award that he was literally drinking something as the winner was announced. The entire Inner-Sloth team fitting on one zoom call with community manager Victoria Tran miming joy via video chat within a video chat was a treat, although I thought their title?s inclusion was odd as it was was released in 2018 as part of the awards…but at the same time the earnestness of the Inner-Sloth team makes it hard to stay mad at them. With that said here is the list of the winners.
Game of the Year: The Last of Us Part II ? Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment
Best Game Direction: The Last of Us Part II ? Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment
Best Narrative: The Last of Us Part II ? Neil Druckmann and Halley Gross
Best Art Direction: Ghost of Tsushima ? Sucker Punch Productions/Sony Interactive Entertainment
Best Score and Music: Final Fantasy VII Remake ? Nobuo Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu, and Mitsuto Suzuki
Best Audio Design: The Last of Us Part II ? Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment
Best Performance: Laura Bailey as Abby ? The Last of Us Part II
Games for Impact: Tell Me Why ? Dontnod Entertainment/Xbox Game Studios
Best Ongoing: No Man’s Sky ? Hello Games
Best Indie: Hades ? Supergiant Games
Best Mobile Game: Among Us ? InnerSloth
Best Community: Support: Fall Guys ? Mediatonic/Devolver Digital
Best VR/AR: Half-Life: Alyx ? Valve
Innovation in Accessibility: The Last of Us Part II ? Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment
Best Action: Hades ? Supergiant Games
Best Action/Adventure: The Last of Us Part II ? Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment
Best Role Playing: Final Fantasy VII Remake ? Square Enix
Best Fighting: Mortal Kombat 11: Ultimate Edition ? NetherRealm Studios/WB Games
Best Family: Animal Crossing: New Horizons ? Nintendo
Best Sim/Strategy: Microsoft Flight Simulator ? Asobo Studio/Xbox Game Studios
Best Sports/Racing: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 ? Vicarious Visions/Activision
Best Multiplayer: Among Us ? InnerSloth
Best Debut Game: Phasmophobia ? Kinetic Games
Content Creator of the Year: Rachell “Valkyrae” Hofstetter
Most Anticipated Game: Elden Ring ? FromSoftware/Bandai Namco Entertainment
Player’s Voice: Ghost of Tsushima ? Sucker Punch Productions/Sony Interactive Entertainment
Best Esports Game: League of Legends ? Riot Games
Best Esports Athlete: Heo “Showmaker” Su (Damwon Gaming, League of Legends)
Best Esports Team: G2 Esports (League of Legends)
Best Esports Coach: Danny “zonic” Sorensen (Astralis, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive)
Best Esports Event: 2020 League of Legends World Championship (League of Legends)
Best Esports Host: Eefje “Sjokz” Depoortere