Friday night was a big night for gamers. Spike hosted its annual Video Game Awards show, and despite the awkward back-patting and hilariously awful pre-show, as a whole, the event was mildly entertaining. Most of this can be put on Samuel L. Jackson, who hosted the event for the fourth time in the event’s ten year run. Arguably the biggest reason gamers should be interested in the VGAs is the plethora of world premieres, and while this really wasn’t the best — that can be blamed on the fact that this console generation is ending soon, so there aren’t any new IPs to announced), there were still plenty of amazing games that were announced. So what were the best and worst surprises of this year’s VGAs? Find out after the break.
For starters, Samuel L. Jackson’s many cameos in some of this year’s biggest games, like Minecraft, Dishonored, and Call of Duty, was far more entertaining than I thought it’d be. Here’s him in Call of Duty:
The VGAs brought with it an annoying number of awkward celebrity appearances, many of which ended in horrible bits like Jack Osbourne’s introduction of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, which was loosely justified because his dad is the “prince of darkness.” I forgave those because the one bit that worked — Jackson in video games — is one they kept using.
Another (good) surprise was how many awards Telltale Games took away from the event. Their game, The Walking Dead, won Game of the Year, Best Performance by a Human Female, Best Downloadable Game, and Best Adapted Video Game, and Telltale itself won Studio of the Year. All well deserved if you ask me.
I wish it were all good news, but sadly, it isn’t. It wasn’t as bad as what we’ve seen in previous years, but there was still too much CG. Games like Dark Souls II and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 were revealed exclusively in CG. It’s pretty and all, but I want to see gameplay.
This leads me to more that I liked: Dark Souls II was announced — and I’m sure many of you realized this when you heard a girlish shriek of joy come from my corner of the world, and for the games that didn’t come with CG trailers, essentially every one of them looked fantastic.
Remember BioShock Infinite, that game that went dark for awhile, got delayed twice, and had several key developers leave mid-project? I’ll admit I was a little worried, but now? Not so much. Tomb Raider, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and The Last of Us all had stunning showings as well.
Unfortunately, when it comes to horror, this year was lacking. No Left 4 Dead 3, Condemned, F.E.A.R., Alan Wake 2, Zwei… it’s disappointing that we didn’t see something, especially since last year brought us The Last of Us and Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, 2010 unveiled Del Toro’s Insane, and Arkham Asylum the year before that.
This last complaint’s probably going to be a little controversial, but that’s all right. I’ll admit it: I’m disappointed with Kojima’s The Phantom Pain prank. There’s no denying how epic his trolling was, and I give him and his team full kudos for pulling that off, even if it only lasted a few hours, and I’m also sure Metal Gear Solid V will be an amazing game. All that’s fine — my only complaint is I really wanted a new IP to be shown at the event, and The Phantom Pain was that, albeit temporarily.
So what did you think of this year’s event? If you missed out on any of our coverage of the VGAs, you should go get caught up.