A Night at the VGX Awards 2013
So, Sunday December 7th saw the return of the illustrious VGX game awards. The three hour long show started at 6pm ET, translating at 11pm UK time. I settled down with a lovely cup of hot chocolate and with some big expectations, tuned into the Spike VGX twitch stream, ready for some big next-gen reveals, updates on big titles we already know about such as Titanfall and Bungie’s Destiny, as well as a supposed big reveal from Nintendo who were attending the show for the first time in history (It’s gotta’ be big hasn’t it?) and of course that infamous satirical, meta and self-aware presenting style the show has become famous for…..
Well, I don’t know how I managed to stomach it for the full duration! Still, without further adieu, let’s get on with it!
VGX 2013 was hosted by the painfully dry witted Joel McHale from community fame and my industry favourite, Geoff Keighly. The usual big show time trappings of a stage, with a full elaborate light show were swapped out for a more rustic environment and a personal looking ‘leather sofa studio apartment aesthetic’ The sort of thing us gamers can ‘relate’ too, at least. That seemed to be the intent, although there was so many set changes over the course of the evening, it got hard to keep track of who was talking and where they were, or even if they were talking to me?
But hey this is the VGX awards, an awards show thats already mocked within the world of video games, it’s not exactly the Oscars.
Let’s just say it didn’t make for comfortable watching.
It’s the reason we all tuned in, isn’t it? Not to discredit the awards, but let’s be honest. I’m not about to go rushing out to purchase a copy of GTAV because It won best game at the VGX awards… oops spoilers!
Let’s take a quick run-through what we did get to see, what was revealed and what was teased.
Nintendo – So starting with the news that I was personally most excited about. For the first time in the company’s history, Nintendo attended the VGX awards, rolling out that familiar figure we love to ‘meme’ (a point they were only too happy to push during the awards) Reggie.
Nintendo really were busting out all the stops for this one, weren’t they? So the news has to be big, right?
You know that Donkey Kong game Nintendo’s Retro Studios are making? Well, rather than making a new Metroid game called Tropical Freeze, it turns out Reggie’s big news was that the game will be released Feburary 21st in America with a European release date yet to be revealed. We can also expect to play as ‘Cranky Kong’ a fourth playable character in the game alongside DK himself, Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong.
The news was somewhat of a let-down, considering the build-up surrounding Nintendo’s first appearance at the VGX awards. The time spent on stage between Geoff and Reggie was also rather awkward as a result. Something that did transfer to the viewers.
The game itself is looking incredible, however and I believe with all the next – gen buzz surrounding the release of the Xbox One and the Playstation 4, Nintendo simply wanted to remind everyone that the Wii U was still a console worth getting. With the recent release of the incredible Mario 3D World, thats a point I can’t dispute. Its better than anything else you’ll be playing on either the Xbox One or the PlayStation 4, this Christmas!
So, with Nintendo out of the way, moving on!
Titanfall – Respawn Entertainment the developers behind possibly the most anticipated game of the next generation, ‘Titanfall’ were in attendance, to show off two new gameplay trailers, which you can see here.
The trailer details two new types of playable titan classes ‘The Ogre’ and ‘The Stryder’. Vincent Zampella also mentioned the game may be receiving a playable beta on the Xbox One and PC before its release on March 11th 2014.
The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt – We also got to see some gameplay footage of CD project RED’s, the Witcher 3 in this all new trailer.
Personally, this is one of my most sought after titles in 2014 and from the trailer, I think you can agree that this is looking simply incredible, amiright?
Quantum Break –
So Remedy studios were also in attendance for a rather informal sit down with our hosts Geoff and Joel. Remedy, who are famous for previous hits such as Alan Wake and the Max Payne series, were there to show off a new gameplay trailer for the up and coming Xbox One exclusive, Quantum Break, a game thats going to feature alongside its own TV show.
Remedy explained how they’d taken the strong narrative gameplay found in the Alan Wake games and mixed in more of the action-orientated gameplay you get in the Max Payne series in order to create the ultimate Remedy playing experience.
I’m not sure how well this is going to play out. Personally, I found the strong emphasis on narrative and not game play in the Alan Wake games was one of the reasons I found the games so appealing. We’ll have to wait and see
Remedy also found the time whilst out on stage…. I mean, uh, living room, to squeeze out another reveal; a new and very pretty IOS game they have in development called ‘Agents of the Storm’ a reverse tower defence game, involving naval combat in the Caribbean, something which is very en-vogue at the moment after the release of Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag.
Destiny – Of course,with all the next-gen hardware now on the table, we want to know what sort of software the big developers are offering up. They don’t come much bigger than Bungie
Bungie didn’t fail to disappoint with a new gameplay trailer for Destiny, revealing its release date of September 9th 2014, which, for those of you keeping track was little later than was expected from Bungie. But hey, good things come to those who wait.
The Division –
Keeping up that next gen vibe, Ubisoft were there to remind everyone of the next Tom Clancy title, which will be coming to all platforms at the latter end of 2014. Rather than showing off gameplay footage, Ubisoft chose to use show their shiny new toy, the ‘Snowdrop’ engine.
Here, check out the trailer!
The game looks simply beautiful and is sure to be one of those titles that will make you feel good about splashing nearly £500 on a next-gen system or even that GeForce GTX 760 graphics card. Still, not too much was revealed about the plot or game play elements, but it was a jam packed show and they had a lot to fit into those three hours, including the awfully pun-driven segways, elegantly deployed by Geoff.
No Man’s Sky –
Saving the best till last, this really was the surprise of the show and made the whole affair worth watching. Developed by Hello Games a team of just 4 guys who previously brought us arcade hit ‘Joe Danger’ comes No Mans Sky, a space sim/exploration game. This is a game on a massive scale. From the trailer, it appears you’ll be experiencing the game on the very ground level where you’ll be able to swim, walk, and climb. But then comes the real selling point, you climb into a space ship where you can shoot off into the stars and experience other worlds and players. Be sure to check out the trailer below!
The Awards –
Let’s not forget that there were some awards handed out at the show. Here’s the complete list for those interested.
Game of the Year: Grand Theft Auto 5
Studio of the Year: Naughty Dog
Most Anticipated Game (voted on by fans): Titanfall
Best Shooter: BioShock Infinite
Best Independent Game: Gone Home
Best Action Adventure Game: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Best Sports Game: NBA 2K14
Best RPG: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Best Fighting Game: Injustice: Gods Among Us
Best Driving Game: Forza Motorsport 5
Best DLC: Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Best Xbox Game: Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
Best PlayStation Game: The Last of Us
Best Nintendo Game: Super Mario 3D World
Best PC Game: Gone Home
Best Handheld Game: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Best Casual Game: Plants vs. Zombies 2
Best Voice Actor: Troy Baker (as Joel in The Last of Us)
Best Voice Actress: Ashley Johnson (as Ellie in The Last of Us)
Best Soundtrack: Grand Theft Auto V
Best Song in a Game: “Will the Circle be Unbroken” performed by Courtnee Draper & Troy Baker (BioShock Infinite)
Well, I hope you enjoyed my summarisation of the VGX awards. The show itself wasn’t completely awful, although I hope Joel Mchale and his dead pan humour won’t be making a return appearance.
On the subject of returns, I hope that If Nintendo do decide to show their faces at the event once more, it’s for something more exciting than a new character reveal. At the very least, we did get our fill and more hype for up and coming next –gen games, some of which are starting to look really promising. There were even a few enjoyable surprises thrown into the mix, like No Mans Sky.
I haven’t covered every game that was revealed or discussed at the show, If you’d like to know more then head on over to VGX site where you can enjoy the lovely 80’s ‘video nasty’ aesthetic that accompanied the shows transitions.
There was also some news and rather enjoyable appearance from Matt Stone and Trey Parker for the repeatedly delayed South Park and The Stick of Truth. No doubt we’ll be featuring more coverage of these games over the coming weeks, so be sure to keep checking in for more news.