Well, it finally happened, The Game Awards 2019 rolled in. I’ll be honest, 2019 wasn’t really a particularly great year for gaming. While there were some really astonishing games, there were many mediocre titles that failed to capture the magic games once had. This could be attributed to the fact that games tend to go for a more artistic approach, rather than casual fun.
It might even be a fact that with each passing year, some revered industry practices, like microtransactions, gain a more prominent role in gaming to the point of disgust. Nevertheless, it wasn’t a bad year, just a bit bland. However, TGA, much like every annual award event, can’t go without its evening highlights, as well as its downfalls. We here at Fiction Talk look a bit closer at these moments and pinpoint them for you. So let’s get started.
The Two Mayor Players of The Evening
As we mentioned earlier, this year was a bit bland in terms of overall games. However, the choice for the Game Award of the Year was a good one. Sekiro made so much improvements from the standard norm for which From Software is known. A reinvented formula that stuck with many, regardless of how difficult it was. Considering the other nominees, Sekiro stood out from the beginning. While I do have a soft spot for Resident Evil 2 Remake, I still stand firmly much like last year about the choice for the winner.
On the other spectrum, Disco Elysium grabbed the most number of awards, and rightly so. A title that managed to pleasantly surprise me, ZA/UM deserves every bit of praise it got for this masterpiece. It also once again proves that you don’t need a big publisher’s name to make successful games, something AAA publisher should take note of.
Reggie is one of the biggest names in the gaming world. The face everybody thinks off when talking about Nintendo, our beloved Reggie resigned this year. Many were saddened that such a great persona exited the scene at the height of Nintendo’s popularity. So I have to admit how glad I’ve felt to see Reggie come up on stage to present the Fresh Indie Game Category.
A man who presents so eloquently and with such grace, I could listen to the man read me a bedtime story. It is rare nowadays, for a gaming CEO, to be professional, to stand tall, and give a certain vibe that resonates just by his presence. Reggie is a precise example of how businessmen should behave – calculated, calm, and professional. And he will be missed a lot by fans.
So this year things might not have been so great, but there is always the upcoming one. 2020 already looked promising even before with The Game Awards. TGA added to the already astonishing catalog of next year’s games with the likes of Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, D&D Dark Alliance, and my personal favorite, The Wolf Among Us 2. There were also more details on the upcoming Ghost of Tsushima, and Final Fantasy VII.
It was also rumored that Valve would unveil more of Half-Life Alyx but sadly canceled their showcasing a few hours before the show. CDProjektRed, on the other hand, took their time to promote their upcoming game Cyberpunk 2077. Honestly, the more of this game I see revealed, I get a strange feeling like it’s gonna flop, yet still, the showcasing was pleasant.
Much like every award show, special guests are a staple of the event. The Muppets are cultural icons that swept generations with their lovable charm and colorful cast of characters. So I was generally surprised to see a Muppet sketch on the TGA show. Parodying this year’s indie hit Untitled Goose Game, Beaker and Dr. Bunsen took the stage and audience for a hilarious ride.
It all starts with Beaker putting on the VR headset to enter the world of the games, and meet the wicked goose. The whole scene was brilliantly done, and the moment the goose entered the stage alongside its Muppet’s companions was where it really got chaotic and witty. By the time they needed to announce the winner for Games For Impact, both I and the audience were laughing hard at the gooses obnoxious, yet hilarious presence. You can never really go wrong with the Muppets.
The term bland is something that will most likely be used throughout the rest of this article because, in general, that’s how most things were. Last year’s Game Awards was heavily criticized for product placement during the announcement of certain future games. This year the product placement was minimized but still present. It doesn’t help that on top of that, that this year had some of the most boring announcements. Phil Spencer presented the new Xbox Series X, in the same choreographed script I’ve seen during his multiple E3 conferences.
By the time Hellblade’s sequel trailer was shown, the crowd was too exhausted to give a damn. Fortnite’s Donald Mustard also got a piece of the pie, promoting yet again another season of the game along with Star Wars. Add to that the many games currently in development that weren’t even shown, and well, it’s just dull.
While watching this year’s show, I noticed an immense decline in my mood as it progressed further. That was mostly due to the cringe moments. Don’t get me wrong, Geoff Keighley is a marvelous host and his dedication to the whole thing is wondrous. That being said, he had one of the cringest moments with Mirage from Apex Legends. The audience was shown a conversation between Keighley and Mirage about the award ceremony and the upcoming content for the game.
However, the entire thing was executed with too much salt. I was begging for the whole thing to be over as fast as possible. Yet this isn’t even the only moment, but the most notable. There were a lot more, like the Birds of Prey cringe, and after the entire event, I couldn’t shake off the feeling, as it lingered even after the whole thing.
The Ending of The Event
It would be a personal matter if I said that I found the announcement of The Game Awards’ winner a bad one. It would be if I was specifically talking about the game, which I’m not. The reason it was a bad one was due to its presentation. As we established before, having guests on an award show is nothing new. However, while some people like Norman Reedus and Mads Mikkelsen are welcome, others are less. The ceremony’s last guests were Fast & Furious stars, Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez.
First off we were given a trailer for an upcoming Fast & Furious game. To just simply say it, it looks like a PS3 game, which is not a good thing. Secondly, the whole thing after the reveal was awkwardly and clumsily executed. While I do not mean any disrespect for the actors, Geoff should have personally handed the final award from a professional standpoint. This looked more like a high-school talent show award.
Overall Thoughts on The Game Awards 2019
Aside from the astounding musical scores from games, TGA always plans a live performance by well-known artists. This year we had the pleasure of hearing Green Day, Chvrches, and Grimes. Each of them provided us with a solid show, yet it is nothing I would write home about. Much like this year in gaming, it isn’t anything significant. There weren’t so many terrible games, as there were mediocre. And in the end, much like the games, the award ceremony is the same, a flatline.