The Game Awards 2021 Reveals Recap
Contributed by DJMMT
The Game Awards were a joke. It Takes Two won GOTY. And that’s all I have left to say about The Game Awards for another year. What I do want to talk about is the many reveals that were shown during the show. Now I didn’t actually watch the show, because I refuse to directly support that mess of an awards show, but the reveals are quite important for gaming in general. So I watched them all on YouTube via IGN’s convenient playlist. Every so often, even they manage to get something right.
There were more than 60 trailers in that playlist at the time of writing this, but for some reason there were some repeats. But basically the awards show seems like it was more time spent watching reveals than actual awards presentations. This hilarious article from Hard Drive in reference to The Game Awards 2020 is just as relevant this year as it was last year. Maybe even more relevant considering how irrelevant the awards were given many of this year’s nominees. I did take the time to watch all the trailers, but I am absolutely not going to subject you to having to read my thoughts on all of them here. Also, not all of the trailers were about games, like the trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the movie. So I decided I’m only going to discuss the reveals that meet three specific conditions.
- The trailer has to be for a game that I had not previously been aware of or seen any footage for.
- The trailer has to be for a new game that has not already been released in some form. No ports, remakes, rereleases, upgrades, and so on.
- The announcement has to be for a game.
So here are my thoughts on what I’ll call the most noteworthy reveals from The Game Awards 2021 with the trailers included.
This was your typical bullshit reveal trailer that served no purpose other than to tell people that a game was in the works. Honestly speaking, I do not have high hopes for this game. I’m almost certain that Warner Bros. Games will mess it up. But I do believe that a WW game is a great idea on paper and could be amazing if done well. Like imagine a WW game in the God of War engine. That shit would be mind blowing. And let me be clear in saying that Warner Bros. Games is capable of publishing good games. We have the Batman Arkham games as an example. But I just don’t believe they’ll do this right. Which is a real shame because WW has the potential to be a great game franchise.
Star Wars Eclipse
I watched an absolutely beautiful Star Wars trailer. I saw amazing aliens, beautiful landscapes, and epic spaceships. I saw Jedi training with lightsabers. My hopes rose and rose until my heart was in my throat. Then they reveled that this game is being developed by Quantic Dream. Now let me be clear about something. I don’t hate Quantic Dream. Detroit: Become Human is an absolute masterpiece that I feel privileged to have played. I have enjoyed more than one of their games. I’ve also thoroughly hated at least one of their games (Beyond Two Souls). But that’s not why I’m unhappy with this reveal. I simply don’t think this studio makes games with gameplay appropriate for a Star Wars game. I don’t want a walking, talking, QTE Star Wars game. That sounds terribly disappointing. I will of course follow this game closely, but I don’t expect it to live up to the Star Wars name. For gameplay anyway. I’m confident the story will be fine in their hands.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Why? I’m fairly confident that Gun Interactive can make a solid enough game based on this IP. They made Friday the 13th the game. But what’s the point? This sounds like a pointless cash grab that’s not going to do anything particularly original. It’s being billed as a cooperative horror experience. To me that just sounds like The Dark Pictures Anthology games with a Texas Chainsaw Massacre coat of paint. It probably won’t be bad, but I highly doubt it’s going to be anything particularly special.
Alan Wake II
What this trailer told me is that I really need to finally take the time to play Alan Wake and Control, given that Alan Wake also appears in the DLC for that game as well, from what I’ve heard. This was a solid enough reveal trailer. Again, acknowledging that reveal trailers are mostly pointless as they don’t really tell you anything about the games save for that they will hopefully exist at some point in the future. The one thing that I really didn’t like about the trailer was the use of the phrase “This isn’t the story you want it to be.” To me, that’s a red flag statement when used in marketing. Because it tells me that the developers are actively not trying to do what fans of the franchise actually want and then when people don’t like it they’ll end up blaming the players rather than acknowledging that it’s a choice to actively go against the expectations of your customers.
This looks like a terrible, campy mess in the best way possible. This looks like a game that will absolutely be horrendous while concurrently being very enjoyable for those who decide to play it. I probably won’t be one of those people, but I can appreciate what this project appears to be and why it’s getting made.
First of all, I don’t want to see any announcements from TellTale Games other than The Wolf Among Us season 2. That’s it. If it was up to me, I’d ban them from working on anything else. Second, why are they falling into the exact same problem that got them shuttered to begin with? It was licensing costs that drove their company into the ground. Now they’re licensing another IP. Who allowed this to happen? Now obviously I don’t know the specifics of this particular project. Maybe they’re getting paid to make it rather than paying to make it this time. But I highly doubt that. But again, I don’t really care about any game from this studio other than another season of The Wolf Among Us at this point. The problem is that this is a trap. If we don’t support this game financially, the company closes its door . . . again. Then we’re right back at square one and not getting The Wolf Among Us season 2, and that is not fair.
Planet of Lana: An Off-Earth Odyssey
I don’t know what I was actually seeing or what the gameplay is like, but this trailer was absolutely beautiful. I was more than impressed, both visually and audibly. I can’t say anything about the actual game at this point, but I’ll be sure to follow up when they release some gameplay footage, because I am quite intrigued with what I saw here.
If I had not played Link’s Awakening Remake on the Nintendo Switch, I probably wouldn’t have been as interested in this trailer. But I did play it, and love it, and this trailer gave me the same vibes. It also has great music. I’d love to try out a demo first, but in general I’m interested based on what was shown in this trailer.
This was an impressive looking trailer for a game I don’t want to play. It looks like an FPS MMO. Further research tells me that it’s a shared world survival-crafting game that can be played solo or co-op. That sounds like New World as an FPS game. No thank you. But kudos to this trailer for the cool Victorian setting, the beautiful graphics, and top hats. I do love the presence of wearable top hats in games.
You know what the problem with marketing a game as “from the creator of Silent Hill” is? You end up with more Silent Hill. I don’t care about Silent Hill. It’s old and I’m over it. And you know what else? I’m over Japanese horror games about body mutation/manipulation and parasites as the main driver of the horror. I would love to see Keiichirō Toyama do literally anything else with horror. I’m not saying he should try something other than horror. He did Gravity Rush and I commend him for it. What I’m saying is in the horror genre, I want something new from Japanese devs. It’s always ghosts that look like mutated humans or mutated humans that have a parasite. Break the mold for goodness sake. He could do robots, monsters, Western style demons, aliens, interdimensional beings, or anything else. But it’s always just a call back to Silent Hill with a slightly different coat of paint.
Dune Spice Wars
Dear Lord, we do not need this cash grab movie tie in game. I don’t know when this game actually started development, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that a team was already building an RTS game, which we certainly don’t need more of, and then got offered the chance to slap the name Dune on it in order to leverage the branding while the movie is the hot topic. I liked the movie, but this trailer, which didn’t show any gameplay, screams “shut up and give us money, nerds.”
This was an awesome trailer that I hope honestly depicts what the gameplay will look like. If this isn’t an action hack-n-slash or brawler then I’ll just be disappointed. Beautiful graphics and awesome concept with a steampunk coat of paint that doesn’t come off over the top like Dishonored does. Yeah, I said it. I’ll definitely follow up on this one.
This looks like yet another generic military shooter that’s at least trying to focus on storytelling. Of course it’s only on XBOX/PC. I’m not going to play it but I’m sure people who like shooters and actually enjoy single player campaigns will like it.
I have no interest in a team-based FPS with tactical Pokémon summons, but I just want to say that I really enjoyed the style of this trailer. If there’s a demo or beta, I will most likely play a single match, hate it, play two more matches to make sure I actually hate it, and then never think about it again. To be clear, they’re calling it a “companion shooter”, which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a PVP game, but that trailer gave me hard XDefiant vibes.
I appreciate what this game appears to be. It’s not really a game I’m usually into but I commend them for taking this kind of risk. What I saw in this trailer was a retro sci-fi third person shooter with cooperative elements. It has the bare minimum of sci-fi elements such as robot enemies and epic jump packs, but otherwise seems like a very down to earth story about a dystopian future. It’s probably a game I’d prefer to watch a movie of rather than play, but I enjoyed this trailer a lot.
I don’t know what I just watched, and I don’t particularly like metal, save for Tenacious D if that counts, but I really want to play a demo. I don’t even fully understand what a rhythm FPS is, but I am very intrigued by the concept. I imagine that this game is probably extremely difficult and that I will be terrible at it. I couldn’t even understand how to play Crypt of the Necromancer. But the trailer was epic and gave me DOOM vibes.
Yes! An open world Sonic game set in the ruins of a fallen world? Sign me up! My favorite Sonic the Hedgehog game is still Sonic Adventure and I hate that this is the case. They have made so many 3D Sonic games since Sonic Adventure and it’s still the best one. That’s absolutely disappointing. There is no reason that SEGA shouldn’t be able to top a Dreamcast game in 2021, and I hope they finally do.
What the hell did I just watch? I have no interest in playing this game. I was just so dumbstruck by the trailer that I felt the need to include it. This trailer is like a fever dream where someone watched Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a movie I absolutely abhor, and went “You know what this missing? Overt Indian cultural stereotypes.” Now I’m not accusing the developers of being racist. Quite the opposite actually. I just think the entire concept is ridiculous. But the trailer definitely stood out to me so it seemed appropriate to include in this list.
I both love and hate trailers like this. On one hand, this trailer was so fun. It seemed like an experience I would genuinely enjoy. On the other hand, I know this will ultimately be a battle royale game that looks like Knockout City and plays like some silly open world version of Smash Brothers. It will have massive balance issues, oddly unintuitive gameplay mechanics, and a metagame that I don’t care to learn or adhere to. It will most likely be free to play, attempt to recreate the Fortnite craze, and it may very well accomplish that. Maybe I’ll actually try a round of this game, because I still refuse to play even a single match of Fortnite.
Now technically this game break condition one, and maybe condition three as well. It has been shown before and I think I’ve written about it before as well. But I still don’t actually know what the game is. The first trailer was like a Pokémon type battle thing and this trailer is a K-Pop music video. I’m so curious. I just want to understand what this game actually is. Is it even a game at all? I have so many questions.
That’s it for the announcements I care to mention from the Game Awards 2021, but like I said, there way more trailers. In general, I think 2022 will be an impressive year of gaming with some real bangers on the way. Obviously none of them will win at The Game Awards next year since that will go to some weird indie title that undersold most of the other nominees, but who cares about public opinion in an award show driven by consumer entertainment products? What reveals are you most excited for from this year’s glorified marketing stunt?