After a long evening packed with debuts, awards, and surprises, there’s plenty to recap from the Game Awards. The evening began with the ceremony’s own symphony performing a wonderful medley from various titles from Dragon Age, Legend of Zelda, and many more.
The first award of the night was Best Narrative. Giant Sparrow took home this honor for What Remains of Edith Finch. As this is the indie studio’s first official award-winning game, it was truly a heartfelt experience for the crew. Next there was a world premiere trailer, from the creators of Firewatch. It displays a beautiful subterranean adventure, explorers skulking in the dark desert ruins- In the Valley of Gods is set to arrive in 2019.
Zachary Levi took center stage to announce the best action game. He proceeded to pull out a credit card stating “Seems there’s a micro transaction to unlock this.” As he swiped the card into his announcement envelope, he nodded to the audience, chuckling, “You know it’s true, it’s stupid, it really is.” Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus won Best Action Game!
Warframe’s Rebecca Ford came on the show to a trailer for Warframe created by a player of the game in the studio’s contest for a cash prize. Additionally, Grand Theft Auto Online: Doomsday Heist had a debut trailer.
Following these announcements, Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro stepped out after a trailer for Shape of Water to announce the winner of Best Art Direction, Cuphead.
Best Art Direction nominees included Destiny 2, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Persona 5, and Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild. Even though the latter didn’t receive this honor, Breath of the Wild announced its DLC, The Champions Ballad. With a surprise on-stage appearance from Eiji Aonuma, a beautiful trailer debuted, surprising fans with the content being available as soon as the trailer concluded! Also Link gets a unicorn motorcycle after all of this DLC package is completed. Yes, it’s called the Master Cycle Zero.
Bethesda followed this with Linda Carter promoting single player games, with much melodrama. And announcing that a number of their best single-player titles will be available for 50% off this weekend!
Carol Shaw was honored as the 2017 Game Awards Industry Icon. Known to be one of the first female game designers. Hired to design games for Atari, starting with Polo, she created River Rage, a well-loved successful series. She had also received a platinum cartridge to recognize her hard work and dedication.
Tekken’s creators debuted the newest game in the legacy, Soul Calibur VI.
Persona 5 won Best Roleplaying Game.
Best Strategy Game went to Mario Rabbids Kingdom Battle.
Most Anticipated Game was awarded to Last Of Us 2.
Mario Odyssey claimed Best Family Game.
NieR: Automata won Best Soundtrack.
Aisha Tyler came out to announce the Best Debut Indie Game. Nominees included Cuphead, Golf Story, Hollow Knight, Mr. Shifty, and Slime Rancher. Fans awarded the title to Cuphead!
The Best Ongoing Title award was introduced to the Game Awards. This new honor was announced by Casey Hudson, Bioware director, who awarded this to Overwatch, winner of Game of the Year 2016.
Conan O’Brien appeared on screen to “cast his ballot” for game of the year, making fun of every contender, from “robot dinosaurs… a woman has to fight them and what do they give her? A bow and arrow. Aren’t women having enough trouble right now?!”
After this, Black Forest Games debuted a trailer for Fade to Silence, wherein the hero needs to survive fatal cold terrain and monster fights in order to protect his family. Next year all the next gen consoles will support this title, but it will be available on Steam on December 17th.
Nintendo announced Bayonetta (1 and 2) for the Switch, just before Reggie Fils-Aimé of Nintendo USA came out and additionally gave us the announcement trailer for Bayonetta 3!
With that, Geoff Keighley announced the Best eSports Player of 2017, “Faker”, who streamed live from a championship in LA.
A large world premiere was then released for Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima’s strange, secretive project alongside Norman Reedus of The Walking Dead and Guillermo Del Toro featuring Mads Mikkelsen. With two trailers already released, you’d think it would finally be possible to describe what in God’s name this game is about. However, this is a piece by Kojima and Del Toro, so all I can tell you is, it’s dark, abstract, and has a flare for sci-fi. But this game as well as the appearance by Kojima and Reedus all served as a giant middle finger to Konami, who forbade Kojima to attend the previous Game Awards in the midst of his firing. With his snub from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions expects a massive release for their strange new title. Here, I’d say the highlight was Reedus saying to Kojima, “Thank you for giving me clothes this time.”
iJustine and Lance Reddick came out to announce the first Best Student Game, which was judged on by industry veterans and EA had the nominees flown in for the Game Awards. The award was given to Level Squared, created by an Australian team. After that, a game from the creators of the Vanishing of Ethan Carter comes a trailer for a game called Witchfire.
Josef Fares, known for the 2012 title Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, spoke with Geoff and it’s very clear this man was inebriated. I can’t even tell you what he was saying besides “the Oscars should fuck themselves!” and “none of this EA loot box shit!” Poor Geoff did his best to hurry this frantic Tommy Wiseau-esque French man ranting about passion and indie games… when finally the trailer was played for A Way Out, a linear, cinematic, co-op game about two criminals. This game releases March 28, 2018.
Sony Interactive Chairman Andy House received a loving tribute and farewell from his position. He entered the scene and offered a long-winded heartfelt thanks to his company, colleagues, and the fans. He then announced Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice as the Game of Impact. Ninja Theory intended to create a story about mental illness and real people, something many critics seem to think they accomplished spectacularly. Nominees included Bury Me My Love, Life is Strange: Before the Storm, Night in the Woods, and Please Knock On My Door.
Andy Serkis, known for performances in films such as Lord of the Rings and the new Planet of the Apes films, announced the Best Performance, presented to Melina Juergens for her performance in Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.
In between this and the last two awards, Ten Chambers, an 8-man team, displayed a trailer for GTFO, a 4-player combat survival horror combat and puzzle game.
Best Game Direction was presented by Ed Boon, Director of Injustice 2, to Legend if Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The nominees alongside the title were Horizon: Zero Dawn, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Mario Odyssey, and Wolfenstein II. Afterwords, another world premiere trailer, this time for the icy post-apocalyptic sequel Metro: Exodus, coming Fall 2018.
Game of the Year was preceded by an Overwatch symphonic tribute that was truly a hero’s welcome for the next award winner. Geoff Keighley set off the final lead up to this final award by announcing the Game Awards Symphony once more to play out a medley of songs from the contenders: Horizon: Zero Dawn, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Persona 5, Player Unknown’s Battleground, and Mario Odyssey.
The winner was announced as Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Nintendo’s first Game Awards winning title.
Freelance cartoonist, illustrator, & writer
School of Visual Arts Alumna