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The Good and Bad of The Game Awards 2018

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Game Awards 2018

The Game Awards for 2018 delivered exciting announcements and celebrated the years best titles. An overall success, the show had elements that were both good and bad which contribute to the future direction of the gaming industry.

The Good

The list of celebrity presenters included the likes of Jonah Hill, Ninja, Hans Zimmer, and the Russo brothers, to name a few. Many of these famous faces are not typically associated with the gaming industry which validates the medium for a mainstream audience. Their presence alone also brings a new level of respect to gaming as an art form and not just a piece of entertainment property.

Unlike conventional award shows, The Game Awards have exclusive premieres for upcoming titles. The show had some big reveals this year including new releases from Supergiant Games and Obsidian Entertainment, a Crash Team Racing remake announcement, and trailers for new Far Cry and Dragon Age installments. With such high profile reveals, The Game Awards is becoming a close rival with conventions such as E3 which shows a shift towards appeasing the consumer as opposed corporate bodies.

Indie titles won awards and had their work broadcast to millions of people. This recognition put a spotlight on developers that would usually go unnoticed which is an exciting change for an industry that typically only rewards AAA developers.

Pictured from left to right: Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Shawn Layden, head of Xbox Phil Spencer, and president of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aimé

Typically fierce rivals, the faces of PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo took to the stage to show that they are united to empower the gaming community. This display of cooperation indicates a movement away from corporate rivalry and marks the start of a new, pro-consumer era.

With the exception of eSports, winners are determined by a blended vote between the judging panel of 69 worldwide media outlets and fan votes. The votes of the judging panel account for 90% of the overall vote with fan votes accounting for the remaining 10%. By selecting the winners in this manner, games cannot socially engineer a win and instead receive accolades based upon the quality of the work.

The Game Awards more than doubled its viewing figures in 2018, jumping 128 percent for a total of 26.2 million streams. In 2017, The Game Awards tripled live viewership from the previous year to 11.5 million streams. Compare this figure to the Academy Awards of 2018 which saw a 20% decrease in live views to 26.5 million—only a 300,000 viewer difference to The Game Awards. If the show continues to grow at a similar rate, it will eclipse the Oscars and has the potential to become the most prominent award ceremony in the entertainment industry.

The Bad

Advertisements are a necessary evil in the awards space but in the case of The Game Awards, they reduced the overall quality. The companies advertising during the awards were out of touch with consumers which alienates the audience and prevents it from growing.

The gaming community have always been highly vocal in online forums and The Game Awards were no exception. Negativity and trolling were common which creates an unpleasant viewing experience for everyone, and demonstrates the reality that gamers are unwelcoming which goes against everything good that The Game Awards is trying to build.  

The Game Awards have the ability to become a prominent event in not just the gaming community, but the entire entertainment industry. Despite some minor mistakes, the 2018 awards represent an exciting change in the gaming community—a change that will see greater care for consumers, better coverage of Indie releases, and higher quality of releases of the best AAA franchises.

What does a fitness instructor like to do with their spare time? Write about video games obviously. Amy has been obsessed with video games ever since watching her parents play Crash Bandicoot on PS1. All these years later, she is thrilled to get to share her thoughts on the games she loves so much.

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Editorial

Three Single-Player Games to Watch Out for in May 2019

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May

May offers no respite from the big, bold games that have released so far in 2019, bringing with it a host of games almost certain to appeal to gamers of every stripe.

Close to the Sun

Release Date: May 2, 2019
Platforms: PC, consoles later in the year

May’s first major release may also be its most intriguing. Close to the Sun has regularly attracted comparisons to BioShock for its art style and premise, though the relationship between the two titles is, at best, spiritual.

Players take the role of journalist Rose Archer as she steps aboard Nikola Tesla’s ship, the Helios in 1897. Like Andrew Ryan before him (or after him, depending on perspective), Tesla has created a microcosm in which scientific freedom is unrestricted, with disastrous outcomes. Rose’s first impression is of a quarantine sign at the entrance to a still, dead ship, but she presses on regardless in search of her lost sister.

With Close to the Sun, developer Storm in a Teacup aims to provide an intense horror experience. The Helios holds none of BioShock’s shotguns or Plasmids. Instead, players have no means to defend themselves, with gameplay focusing on hiding from and escaping the threats on board.

Check out OnlySP’s final review of the game here.

RAGE 2

Release Date: May 14, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

For anyone to whom the slow, meditative approach does not appeal, Bethesda is busting out the big guns with the long-awaited, little-expected sequel, RAGE 2.

This time around, id Software has tapped Just Cause and Mad Max developer Avalanche Studios for assistance in developing an open-world game. The result, if the trailers are any indication, is a breakneck, neon-fuelled experience that focuses on insanity and ramps up all the unique aspects of the earlier game.

One focal point of development has been ensuring the interconnectedness of the game’s structure, and the teams have promised a greater focus on narrative this time around. Perhaps in keeping with that, RAGE 2 is being distanced from its predecessor, taking place 30 years later with a new protagonist and a whole new story, though some callbacks will be present.

Although id’s legendary first-person gunplay is a driving force throughout the game, it will be supplemented by some light RPG elements, robust vehicular combat, and post launch challenges and support (though the developers deny that RAGE 2 is designed with a games-as-a-service model in mind).

A Plague Tale: Innocence

Release Date: May 14, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Out on the same day as RAGE 2 is the vastly different A Plague Tale: Innocence. A historical adventure, the game challenges players with overcoming obstacles with brains rather than brawn.

Players become Amicia, an orphan girl struggling to survive in a plague-infested medieval France while also keeping her younger brother safe. With the landscape rife with rats and members of The Inquisition, one of the core tenets of gameplay is reportedly the need to use these threats against each other. As such, though Amicia has a sling to use, the gameplay is designed more as survival puzzles than combat ones.

Developer Asobo Studio is not a household name, though it has a lengthy history of adaptations and support on major titles, including Quantum Break and The Crew 2. Furthermore, even though A Plague Tale is yet to release, publisher Focus Home Interactive has displayed remarkable confidence in the project by extending its partnership with Asobo.

Honourable Mentions

Although RAGE 2 is the incontestable action-blockbuster of the month, gamers in search of another kind of frenetic may want to wait until May 21, when Curve Digital drops American Fugitive, which has a more than passing resemblance to the earliest Grand Theft Auto games. Alternatively, PlayStation VR owners may want to look into Blood and Truth come May 28.

Sega also shines this month, dropping Team Sonic Racing on May 21 and Total War: Three Kingdoms two days later.

Anyone looking for an RPG has indie’s answer to The Outer Worlds, Within the Cosmos, to look out for on May 30, while those looking for slower stories get the latest episode of Life is Strange 2 on May 9, Observation on May 21, and the fjord-noir Draugen at a yet unspecified date.

Have we forgotten anything that you’re excited for? Let us know down below or on our Discord server.

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